Monday, July 6, 2009


I haven't updated this in quite awhile, as I am in Grand Rapids now for a sports copy editing internship with the GR Press.

But with all the offseason news coming in about the men's basketball team, let's look at the turnover that has gone down since the end of the season in March:

Expected departures:
Marcus VanForwardSr.26-2429.513.08.3.519.000.625

Van nearly was kicked off the team before last season, but had a solid senior year. His rebounding (8.3 per game) will be missed, but his inconsistencies will not. He had the talent to go on scoring runs by himself, but also could disappear if his matchup in the post frustrated him even a little. A junior college transfer, Van played just two season with the Chippewas, averaging 9.14 points and 6.66 rebounds in 56 games.

Unexpected departures:
Jeremy AllenGuardSo.31-1725.
Lawrence BridgesForwardFr.30-
William EddieGuardSo.25-
Jacolby HardimanForwardJr.30-2832.
Adrian HunterGuardFr.28-

Two of these -- William Eddie and Lawrence Bridges -- make sense. It was obvious neither belonged on the Division I level, nor were ready to put in the work that coach Ernie Zeigler demands. My understanding is that they both were unhappy with their playing time or Zeigler's coaching philosophy.

Jeremy Allen's departure was largely puzzling. Zeigler always likened Allen to just the type of player he enjoys coaching -- tough and defensive-minded. But on the court, Allen failed to improve after a pretty solid freshman year. His strength always was his defense, but after he did not increase his size after his first year, it was evident Allen might not pan out. He, like Eddie and Bridges, just did not look like a D-I player most of the time.

Most surprising is the departure of Adrian Hunter, a promising freshman point guard who did not gain much playing time last season. Hunter, a good shooter, graduated from Grand Blanc High School and was the future at point guard. I haven't heard anything about the circumstances around his departure.

Jacolby Hardiman getting kicked off the team is the most disheartening. It seemed Hardiman had found a place at CMU after spending two years at community colleges. From a rough part of Milwaukee, Hardiman has a complicated life, as I brought to light in a story I wrote in February.

PlayerPositionClassHt.Wt.Previous school
Tyler BrownForwardFr.6-7220Eau Claire (Wis.) HS
Finis CraddockGuardFr.6-1180Garland (Texas) HS
William McClureF/CJr.6-7240Lake Land College (Ill.)
Amir RashidGuardJr.5-9165Trinity Valley CC (Texas)
Jalin ThomasG/FSo.6-4200Pensacola Junior College (Fla.)

The player to watch in this group is William McClure, who should take over rebounding responsilibites from Van. McClure averaged 8 points and 10 rebounds last season for LLCC.
Jalin Thomas adds talent and depth and size to the shooting guard/small forward role.

My projected starters to start next season:
PG Robbie Harman (Sr.)
SG Jordan Bitzer (Sr.)
SF Antonio Weary (Jr.)
PF Chris Kellermann (5/Sr.)
C William McClure