Roster Thoughts

Loyola University Chicago men's basketball, 2017-18 MVC Champions.

Roster Thoughts

Postby Blers » Thu May 23, 2019 2:10 pm

I realize it's a long way til the season starts but i can't help myself. Next years team has potential to be the deepest in years, and should we'll be able to give teams way more looks than in years past.

-I think looking ahead there are really only 2 guaranteed starters in Krutwig and Williamson

-Aher has a full year under his belt and is a proven defender, but offensively he's no sure thing (thought when he was on... he looked great). I could see Tate Hall pushing for his spot given his offensive upside and ability to spread the floor, he was also a solid passer and rebounder at Indy, albeit at the division 2 level.

-Kaifes is interesting for me, on one hand it's not hard to see him sliding into a starting guard spot, but he'll only be a sophomore, and there's something to having such a great spark plug off the bench to keep defenses off balance. I could see him in the Devon Turk sixth-man hybrid role for the next season or two, but playing over 25 minutes a game. Hopefully the Bradley semi-final match gave him confidence to take big shots late.

-While we have a surplus of shooters, it remains to be seen how many shot creators we have. Townes (and to some extent Custer) was good at getting to the rim/getting open looks for mid range jumpers; Kaifes may have that potential, but I don't think he'll be there by next year, I liked how Lucas attacked the rim in limited time, but again relatively unproven given his short season.

-Clemons, Pipkins, and Kennedy all seem to have "take it to the rack" ability. In my opinion, we'll need one of them on the court at all times to keep teams off balance; but that's also relying on 3 unknowns at the D1 level.


Newbie breakdown
-Clemons- My read on Clemons is he'll be extremely smart and steady. Not explosive; but he'll do the little things and probably has the inside track at starting pg. Consistent 7-8 points per game, but doesn't ever hurt you.

-Pipkins- I think Pipkins is a boom or bust player. Probably more athletic than any guard we had last year, and carried the weight as the only D1 player from his JUCO... I'm just curious how he plays within an offense where he doesn't have to be ball dominant (not as in a character issue, just a different play style). He'll probably have a few highlights before seasons end.

-Hall- Kind of see him as a halfway point between Lucas and Cooper. Better shooter than Lucas, but I doubt he's as good of a defender. From the one open practice (judge with a grain of salt), he can shoot.

-Kennedy- Probably the player i'm most excited to see. He was so exciting to watch in high school. I don't think his shot will be quite ready yet, but it was really improving his senior year, and he can get hot from beyond the arc. Maintaining confidence will be big for him adjusting to D1 defenses, but he seemed to elevate against better competition in high school.

-Welch-Welch is the biggest mystery for me; does he play with his back to the basket, or do they move him on the wing? Face up 5? He's super skilled, and probably the most unique prospect Porter has pulled, and even if he isn't a duel inside/outside threat in college, he should be good mismatch somewhere. Curious to see who and how he'll defend.

-Wojcik- I'm probably the highest on Wojcik's playing time potential just because his player DNA seems to fit players who gain playing time quickly under Moser. Not the fastest or most athletic; but he's smart, plays hard, and acts as an extension of the coach on the floor. He hit big shots at La Lu and consistently played against top competition. Also seems to have leadership qualities you like from your guards. His whole make up reminds me of Joe Crisman, Ben Richardson, and Lucas Williamson.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby JC64 » Fri May 24, 2019 3:34 pm

I think that, along with Krutwig and Wiliamson, Aher will start. Porter started him most of last season, which shows that the coach has some confidence in him. Also I think Aher showed improvement over the course of last season.
And, I would not be surprised if Bruno starts. He is the only scholarship senior on the team, and knows Porter's system well. He may not start the whole season, if one of the freshmen or transfers really steps up, but I think that Porter will like his experience in the lineup at the beginning of the season.
The last spot I see as a tossup between Kaifes and one of the JC transfers depending on how things shake out in preseason practice.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby 01grad » Fri May 24, 2019 7:28 pm

I’m kinda in the camp where the only sure things are Krutwig and Williamson. The freshmen are all promising. Kennedy...could be special. Aher did improve last year, but Welch, if he can shoot from the outside like his videos show...could be really, really good. But it’s tough to know how Freshmen will adjust. The Juco transfers look like they have real potential. The only thing I know for certain, is I wouldn’t bet against this group of kids.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby natetheskate » Sat May 25, 2019 8:40 am

Clemons and Pipkens both are older and physically more mature than the freshman coming in and will also have more experience...Pipkens had 23 games at aD1.....I think we will see a lot of them....... While I am really excited about the make up of this team..think that there will be a lot of learning and development.......but two years down the road. While all the freshman seem like the real deal I do not see any of the freshman starting next year. I am going with Clemons, Pipkens. Krutwig,Ughar and Williamson ,,,Big Frank,,,Kaifes, Tate and Bruno off the bench.....*.We will see the freshman in proportion to how well they pick up the system and excel in practice with maybe Welch off the bench for Williamson and Kennedy for Clemons as the year goes on ?????? Should be fun to watch.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby ToledoRambler » Tue May 28, 2019 5:57 pm

Next year will be very interesting. Going into last year, the big questions were 1) how far the big 3, Krut, Clay and Townes, could take us, and 2) if anyone could fill the void of what pieces we lost. I think it’s a blessing the team won’t have that kind of pressure on them this year, and they get to reset and find their own identity without living in the shadows of the Final Four team.

This is the first year I really feel like we are stacked 10 deep with Division 1 athletes. I think almost 10 of our guys (Krut, Williamson, Kaifus, Uguak, Frank, Kennedy, Hall, Pipkins, wojcik, Welch) have the ability to provide us 10+ points a game. If these guys can play unselfish and create open looks for each other in Porter’s offense, it will be very hard for teams to prep against us. It may not be as easy for them as a game plan to try and either shut Krut or Custer down and hope it disrupts our offense. With Skokna the only one to leave next year (who I personally think will be a non-factor this year), if this team gels early and figures out how to play together, we could really be in for something special.

Last year we had some issues with slow starts, and we had to let it ride when our talent didn’t get out of the gate quick. I think we will be seeing a lot of substitutions this year, and we are going to try and wear teams down with fresh legs that can pick right up where the starters left off.

We should have shooters next year! If Krut and Frank can combine for 30 points a game down low (which I think is entirely possible if Frank even shows mild improvement this year) things are gonna open up outside for Hall, Wojcik, Williamson (from his favorite corner spot), and Kennedy. Uguak is going to look much more comfortable in the offense than he did last year.

I know we lose a lot with Clay and Townes gone, but I’m actually more excited to see this years’ team than last years.

We are going to be deep.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby ahunte1 » Wed May 29, 2019 8:31 am

ToledoRambler wrote:If Krut and Frank can combine for 30 points a game down low (which I think is entirely possible if Frank even shows mild improvement this year)...


I agree with just about everything you said, but this is the Internet, so I am going to pick on the one thing that seems crazy to me and say I will take the under on Krutwig/Frank scoring 30 points a game. In fact, I think I will be surprised if it happens once, just based on playing time.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby shyhyme » Wed May 29, 2019 12:13 pm

We need to get back to the formula of 2 years ago, where our 1 down could get to the elbows and we had guards cutting to the basket. That seems to open up maximum options in this offense. I think the jucos will be on different lines to make that happen more. I could see Welch playing as much if not more than Agunanne if he does not make great progress over the summer. I’m still not high on Uguak, but coach seems to be, and he calls the shots, so I’m sure Uguak will play a lot.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby ToledoRambler » Wed May 29, 2019 1:49 pm

ahunte1 wrote:
ToledoRambler wrote:If Krut and Frank can combine for 30 points a game down low (which I think is entirely possible if Frank even shows mild improvement this year)...


I agree with just about everything you said, but this is the Internet, so I am going to pick on the one thing that seems crazy to me and say I will take the under on Krutwig/Frank scoring 30 points a game. In fact, I think I will be surprised if it happens once, just based on playing time.



You're probably right, that 30+ points per game from our centers is presumptuous, but I do think that Krutwig is going to have multiple 20+ point games next year. I also think that you're going to see a lot more teams fouling him and putting him to the line, so I hope that his free throw percentage goes up this year. If our team can get good spacing, it's going to open things up for him a lot, and teams are going to have but no choice to foul him or watch him maneuver around them one-on-one. Frank only had 2 or 3 10+ point games last year, so it would probably be asking a lot to see him put up between 8-12 points a game next year, but you never know. Either way, I expect us cause a lot of problems down low for other teams on defense and a lot of big guys should be in foul trouble against us. If we are successful next year, I think it's going to be because we just exhaust teams defensively, wear them down, and foul them out late in games.


If there's one thing that i could pick that I'd want to see an immediate improvement on for the beginning of next season it's FREE THROW PERCENTAGE. A lot of the games we lost early last season would have had different outcomes if we could have just been marginal at the line...
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby JC64 » Wed May 29, 2019 1:54 pm

I agree on the free throw issue Toledo. We should make a greater percentage of them. After all, they are FREE.
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Re: Roster Thoughts

Postby Blers » Wed May 29, 2019 3:31 pm

shyhyme wrote:...I’m still not high on Uguak, but coach seems to be, and he calls the shots, so I’m sure Uguak will play a lot.


I'm curious to see how Uguak plays next year, I do think he had a longer leash out of necessity as our only ball handler over 6'5 last year. With Tate Hall (6'6) and Tom Welch(6'8) coming in we have two more players who could potentially fill that 4 spot (plus a healthy Williamson, who has the physicality to grab rebounds and defend 1-4 from the wing spot despite being 6'4). Having two extra bodies to turn to when injury or slumps strike makes a huge difference. Not to mention more competition in practice.
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