Thursday, November 16, 2006

Basketball Prediction

I said last week I would give my prediction on the basketball season. I guess I should get it out of the way before we get too deep into the season. After watching and listening the Rebels play a couple of games I predict they will win 17 games this season. No this will not get them into the tournament, but it is a drastic improvement from the past several years.

I am expecting the Rebels to win all but two of their pre-SEC games. Then going a few games below .500 in conference play.

For the Rebels to get to 17 wins, Dwayne Curtis needs to get back onto the court. Having Curtis out really hurts the depth downlow. The Rebels are having to start Jeremy Parnell or Kenny Williams while Curtis is in street clothes. I feel like that Clarence Sanders or possibly Bam Doyne will lead the Rebels in scoring this year. I predict the starters in January will probably be Curtis, Doyne, Todd Abernathy, Justin Cerrasoli, and Sanders.

As I have stated several times on this page, I feel that Trey Hampton can be a good player. I feel like he has the skills, but I do not know if he has matured into SEC basketball form yet. He plays up and down from night to night. Hampton and Xavier Hansbro will provide very valuable minutes this year and either of them could wind up in the starting lineup before the season is over.

What will be interesting to see is how the new players on the team will develop this year. So far we have seen very little of players like Andy Ogide and Rodney Jones. I would guess that at least one of the two will be red shirted. We will see a little of Eniel Polynice this year and hopefully he will contribute some quality minutes this year.

Andy Kennedy is going to do great things for this program. He brings alot of energy to this job that has not been there in a long long time. Just watching Kennedy's reaction is going to be worth going to the games. If the University and fans will make a commitment to basketball and improve the facilities, Kennedy's goals can be reached. But until we make a commitment, they are going to be hard to attain.

I long for the days again when I could go to SEC basketball tournaments and expect a win in the opening round instead of a loss. The Tad Pad can be a very intimidating place to play when it is packed and loud. While I do not think we will reach that status this year, I truly believe Kennedy will build this program back to where it was just a few years ago, if not better.