Roster Construction Moving Forward

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by BigHoss, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. BigHoss

    BigHoss Active Member

    Forgive me for looking ahead - it's a slow afternoon, and I'm having a hard time trying to muster up any sort of excitement about the remainder of the season. While it seems there will be some further bumps in the road in the coming weeks, I'm ready to start looking at (hopefully) some brighter days ahead. With that being said, here are some thoughts/wonderings I've got about our roster moving forward.

    1. Will we try to make a late addition to the 2021 class given the (potential) departures this offseason? Or will we bank those extra scholarships for the transfer market in hopes of landing some players who will be more "plug and play" instant impact guys?

    2. What is going on with 2022 recruiting? I haven't followed as closely as I used to, but it seems like it's been ages since we've been legitimately connected to any prospect. It's not Brandon Miller's lost summer quiet, but still. I understand COVID has put a damper on things, but it's starting to get a bit late in the game for 2022. Hopefully we start to see some movement here this Spring.

    3. I get that we all want to upgrade the talent in the program, but I hope that our coaches are not only evaluating how the player does on the court, but also looking into the player's personality and make up as a person. Are we doing the necessary digging to assess a kid's character, work ethic, toughness, and response to adversity? Are we talking to their teachers, principals, coaches, opposing team's coaches to do a deep dive on the type of kid we are bringing in? I think this is really where we've made our hay as a program in the past, and the current trends are troublesome. Below is a look at who LaVall has brought in.

    LaVall's Recruits:
    - Bryce Golden - Fine player. Hasn't taken the next step we'd hoped he would.
    - Markeese Hastings - Injury problems. COVID Opt-Out. Assuming he won't be back. Questionable take
    - Jordan Tucker - Solid player. Questionable work ethic/toughness. Left early to be a TikTocker?
    - Khalif Battle - Limited playing time FR year - transfers out. Whispers of not "vibing" with coaches.
    - John Michael-Mulloy - Seems to have a great attitude, but very limited as a player. At best, a role player.
    - Derek Smits - Transfer. Not very good. A big body.
    - Myles Tate - Quick, but small. We'll see. Seems to have good body language.
    - Chuck Harris - Better shooter than expected, somewhat limited athletically.
    - Myles Wilmoth - Incredibly high ceiling. But potential is a dangerous word. We'll see.
    - JaKobe Coles - Seems to be a solid player.
    - Scooby Johnson - No idea what to think here.
    - Bo Hodges - Transfer. Lots of talent. Academically ineligible for some reason. Hopeful he turns it around.
    - Jair Bolden - Transfer. Meh. Replacement level shooter. If this was baseball, his WAR would be 0.1.

    That's 4 of the 13 that have had some type of "issues". 5 of 13 if you count Hodges. Maybe this is the norm around college basketball, but we just haven't been accustomed to it as much here at Butler. At the end of the day we all want more talent. But we need to strike a better balance of "fit" and talent. And maybe this is a recruiting budget issue, and more of the blame should be placed there. Hard to say.

    Anyways, if you've made it this far I appreciate you reading my ramblings. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks about what needs to happen moving forward.
    WMUDog and Graves4 like this.
  2. bmradio99

    bmradio99 Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Chris Harrison-Docks, Devontae Morgan, Chrishawn Hopkins, Rene Castro. Those were all guys Brad Stevens recruited that would be on this same list. Elijah Brown was one of Holtmann's recruits that would probably be on there too. I'm not comparing coaches to Brad Stevens, like some people are always ready to assert; my point is that it's a thing that happens, even at Butler. I don't know that it's an indictment of the coach. Sometimes a fit's wrong. (I'm also not including transfers that went elsewhere to seek playing time, like JGB, Jackson Davis, or Andrew Smeathers. Can't fault a college kid wanting a realistic path to PT.)

    It'd be really, really surprising to me if culture fit wasn't hugely important to LaVall. Translating that to landing the right players at the right positions is tough. And it's on the whole staff. I'm not as concerned as you, I guess. It's worth raising, sure. Consistency will be key in establishing that program identity.

    BTW Nze should be on the list, too.
    2xDawg, jarik and NCJon like this.
  3. BigHoss

    BigHoss Active Member

    That's a fair point. I'd forgotten about some of the players you'd named. I guess no one bats 1.000, but it has felt like we've had a higher volume of these issues in the last few years. Recency bias + bad results this year are probably what's contributing to it feeling this way.
    Graves4 and bmradio99 like this.
  4. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    I don’t know that it’s how many guys we’ve had not make it for me-it’s how few guys we’ve had come in and be success stories.

    Only Golden is anything close. I was thinking last night that our graduation rate actually is in jeopardy of being hurt fairly substantially.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    bmradio99 likes this.
  5. the_speakers_lab

    the_speakers_lab Well-Known Member

    I would love to know what type of player people think LaVall is trying to recruit at the 1-4 positions? Bc I'm still not sure what he values or what the plan is...

    Regardless, gotta hit the transfer market hard and pray for home runs...
  6. WMUDog

    WMUDog Well-Known Member

    I could make you all feel better if I talked about following Western Michigan in the 80's and 90's. Talk about a revolving door.
  7. ConnersvilleBulldog

    ConnersvilleBulldog Well-Known Member VIP Member

    With everyone getting an additional year of eligibility, you'd think there would be a pretty robust transfer market this year.
  8. estar20dawg

    estar20dawg Well-Known Member

    The extra year of eligibility only applies if you stay with your current team in terms of scholarship limits. So the teams that want transfers would have to have spots available for scholarship use. Which could limit some teams, where we might have any number of scholarships at our disposal could become an advantage
    NCJon and ConnersvilleBulldog like this.
  9. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Yep...we should have at least two places open...if not more. Time to really take advantage of this. I liked getting Bolden and Hodges last season, I'd love to see an impact big at least and would love a pure shooter who can come in and fireball for a few minutes at spot times. We'll have the openings...let's see where it goes.
    cornette33 and BoyGeoff like this.
  10. Graves4

    Graves4 Member

    The worse might have been Nolan Berry. Similar to JMM, when he was coming out of high school, people on this board just couldn’t come to terms that he was a wasted scholarship. Then once he got on campus and the season started it was pretty apparent he wasn’t a D1 caliber player.

    The two things about Brandon Miller: 1) he put together a competent coaching staff 2) after that dismal year, at least he cleaned house and brought in 4 worthy transfers. LaVall needs to take note and do the same this offseason.

    The only players on this season’s roster that should be on next season’s roster should be:
    Scooby (if he’s not in trouble)

    Hastings and JMM need to be told to transfer. Thompson, David, Nze, and Bolden need to be told thanks for being part of this season’s team, but the program is moving in a new direction and you aren’t welcomed back. Cold, but true.

    Use the open roster spots to land quality transfers.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  11. BUcheer

    BUcheer Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Not sure JMM needs to be shown the door. Good teammate, good student, showing some signs of life of late. Conflicted about Nze, but have heard he’s moving on.

    Hastings is already gone.
    NCJon likes this.
  12. Staxawax

    Staxawax Well-Known Member

    Agree on JMM. I’m hearing he’s one of the “vocal” guys in the dressing room and in pre-game huddles. He has his teammates respect and with his smarts he’s figuring out what he can do on the court.

    Sent from my iPad using Butler Hoops mobile app
    joliebeth23 and BUcheer like this.
  13. Graves4

    Graves4 Member

    Valid point about JMM. Not being able to redshirt him hurt too.
    joliebeth23 and bmradio99 like this.
  14. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Not sure on a team of these misfits if it's a compliment to call someone a vocal leader...obviously he's not doing that great of a job. He'll never be "pushed" out, but a serious conversation needs to be had. Listed above is 1o scholarship players, so even with JMM we still have two slots.

    And what Bucheer said about Hastings. I'd be interested to pick his brain on his decision and know the "why". Was it the culture, a conflict with players or coaches or was he encouraged...he would have been in line for plenty of time if he would have stayed simply for lack of bodies. Interesting he didn't want to stay and showcase himself a little? Or the coaches found out and kicked him but covered for him with the statement. Either way, it'd be an interesting listen.
  15. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    I agree on JMM. He took a chance on us, seems to do everything asked of him, and he plays hard.

    I don’t ever see him being a guy you want on the floor, but you can’t talk about a good culture and then tell a guy with a good attitude and that works hard that there isn’t room for him.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    bubby, bwesson15, BoyGeoff and 2 others like this.
  16. PSUButlerFan

    PSUButlerFan Well-Known Member

    Took a chance on us?? What do you mean?

    It’s not like he picked Butler over Duke and Kentucky.

    I think he can develop into a Smits role, FYI
  17. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    He chose to come to butler. That should be valued.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    2xDawg likes this.
  18. BigHoss

    BigHoss Active Member

    I've actually come around to JMM having a spot on the squad.

    A guy who is engaged as he is with as little playing time as he gets can be a very valuable piece. Maybe he can help get more talented players to buy in/be accountable. There's value in that.

    And there's value in that IF it is ONE guy, not three. If you've got 3 talent lacking "glue guys", that's just poor evaluation in recruiting.

Share This Page