Believe it or not it’s been three months and over 1,000 Twitter followers since the Owl Howl has launched, and it’s also September which means college football is cranking up. Unfortunately, Kennesaw State won’t have a football team until 2014 so September to us means basketball season is only two months away! It’s too early to know exactly where the players will fit in but it’s never too soon to make a few predictions.
We finished posting our individual player profiles this past week. Each page is full of original and detailed information that we have compiled, including highlights of the players.
Looking Back at 2011-12
In 2011-12 new Head Coach Lewis Preston inherited severe problems with overall talent and depth because of gross dereliction of duties by the previous coaching staff.
Kennesaw State started last season down two scholarships and minus four hours of practice time per week because of a low academic progress rate (APR) for the 2010-11 school year. In addition to the two scholarships, three players who were expected to contribute heavily were deemed ineligible for reasons unknown and an additional player missed the second half of the season with an injury. KSU played the closing end of last season with seven players under true scholarship.
The Owls had three of the top four players and four of the top seven players in minutes per game last season in the Atlantic Sun.
Looking Ahead to 12-13
The Owls have their scholarships and practice time back and will be heading into 2012 with twelve players under scholarship, but the two redshirt transfer players must sit out one full year before becoming eligible. Each Division I school is allotted 13 scholarships per year, and the Owls are currently one under that number. Due to poor grades and other situations that arise, teams are sometimes forced to either carry less than the maximum of 13 scholarships or hastily hand one out at the last minute to a less desirable player(s). The Owls may choose to use the last scholarship on a walk-on player when open tryouts begin, because each scholarship is good for one year and must be renewed by the team.
In total for 2012, KSU should have ten eligible players on the team but there is a chance that one could redshirt and sit out for the year, which would give them nine.
Seniors: 2 (Anderson, Cummings)
Juniors: 2 (Dawson, Osemhen)
Sophomores : 1 (Love)
Freshmen: 5 (Brown, Hamilton, Hobbs, Montgomery, Pruitt)
Redshirts: 2 (Kouassi, Morena)
Walk-Ons: To be determined
The 2012 team is VERY young right now, with more freshmen (5) than upperclassmen (4). The two redshirt players from this year (Kouassi and Morena) will each have at least three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2013.
Our preliminary 2012 depth chart is very fluid because the Owls have a lot of players who can play multiple positions, and a lot depends how they develop and perform in practice over the next few months. The only players locked in tightly are Aaron Anderson and Markeith Cummings…so anything else can change at any moment.
Point Guard: At 5’9″, Yonel Brown is the truest point guard on the roster so we are going to give him the honor of first string point guard. KSU has the luxury of having three guys who can bring the ball up the floor.
Shooting Guard: Delbert Love undoubtedly deserves to start at either guard position after his sterling freshman year, but the energy and natural talent of Myles Hamilton is too much to pass up for the starting line up. We see Love being an elite sixth man off of the bench who can fill in at either guard spot, and be a calming influence on the team if the freshman backcourt spins out of control early on. Jordan Montgomery was brought in to be a shooting guard, but may also see more minutes at small forward this season if other players don’t step up.
Small Forward: Cummings is built like a power forward but we want him to guard the smaller players and stay out of foul trouble to start the game. Montgomery, Cole Hobbs and Nigel Pruitt will be battling for backup minutes here. Pruitt is a prospect that is worth developing, and could end up seeing a redshirt year.
Power Forward: Brandon Dawson should be starting at this spot due to his experience, but how much he will play depends on how much his game has picked up from last season on both ends of the court. Look for Cummings to log a good majority of minutes at power forward.
Center: Anderson is a power forward being forced to play center, but he will likely get around 30 minutes per game again this year. Andrew Osemhen will be his top backup with Dawson rotating in if needed.
2012-13 Bottom Line
No longer will the starters have to play 37 minutes per game and be worn out when it’s crunch time. The team is young and lacks size but there should be more depth available which cannot be understated. We will hold off on any win/loss predictions until the season gets closer.
2013-14 Look Ahead
After 2012 the Owls will be graduating two of their biggest contributors in Anderson and Cummings, but will also be getting two huge contributors back with Auburn transfers Bernard Morena and Willy Kouassi. This should be the first year where Head Coach Lewis Preston will have a full assortment of players for his roster.
Assuming nobody else departs following the 2012-13 season, the Owls roster will look like this (in alphabetical order):
Guards: Brown, Hamilton, Love, Montgomery
Forwards: Dawson, Hobbs, Morena, Pruitt
Center: Kouassi, Osemhen
Of the ten scholarship players, only three will be upperclassmen which gives KSU an extremely young team.
There will be three scholarships opened up which means that 10 of the 13 players on the roster would likely have three or more years of eligibility remaining. Judging from who has been offered a scholarship so far, the two spots that the coaches want shored up the most are small forward and power forward/center spots.
The Owls have four current offers to small forwards that we know of to this date. LaVon Long and Sean O’Brien are both 6’6″-6’7″ players with the ability to put the ball on the floor and push the pace and create mismatches, Cole Murray is a pure shooter with a developing skill set and Jamall Robinson is a very smart athletic player who can take the ball to the basket.
Ten big men have received offers from the Owls for the 2013 season but two of those appear to be extreme long shots with all of the high major interest that they are receiving. To see the complete list of prospects, check our 2013 recruiting section.
2013 Bottom Line
It’s much too early to tell, but things appear to be falling into place nicely.
2014 Season and Recruiting
The 2014-15 season will officially close the door on the previous era of Kennesaw State basketball as Brandon Dawson and Andrew Osemhen will have graduated
On the recruiting trail, there are sixteen current known offers in total as of today and eight of them are to point or combo guards, so the Owls will be looking to add at least one of those in this class. Beyond that, it is too early to tell what the future will hold.Follow @KSUOwlHowl