Early Look At Playing Time Distribution

While we aren't even certain of how the roster will be composed next season, I thought it'd be interesting look ahead to how the minutes could be distributed in 2015-16. Let me get a couple of assumptions out of the way. First, I'm assuming that Ferry will lean heavily on the same four guys who started for the team down the stretch and sixth man LG Gill. Those five seemed to be his most trusted players and I don't expect anyone further down the depth chart to pass them, at least not initially. Second, I'm also guessing they'll head into next year playing a similar style to the one they ended last year with, with some modifications coming at the four to accommodate Gill's expanded role.

Here is my breakdown with the starters starred:

PG.  Rene Castro 22 mins
        Derrick Colter 18 mins*

SG. Micah Mason 30 mins*
       Derrick Colter  10 mins

SF. Jeremiah Jones 25 mins*
      Eric James 13 mins
      Micah Mason 2 mins

PF. LG Gill 25 mins*
      Ty'Sean Powell 10 mins
      Nakye Sanders  5 mins

C Darius Lewis 20 mins*
    Jordan Robinson 15 mins
    Ty'Sean Powell 5 mins

Keep in mind, this is what I would expect the regular rotations to look like early in the season. This is not to suggest that other players won't see action. Marqywell Jackson will play, but I don't know what his role will be and how much. This may come out of lack of familiarity as much as anything else. He and James could conceivably eat further into Jeremiah Jones' minutes if the performance merits it.  Meanwhile, Rene Castro will get the most minutes at the point in my estimation, but not as many as Colter will at the 1 and 2 combined. I'd also expect Mason to change it up and get a few minutes on the wing every game.

That rotation isn't perfect, but the back court is solid and not overdependent on newcomer Castro. Ferry had different plans for the front court to be a little more stable than it is now and God laughed at them in 2013-14. Gill and Lewis were recruited as projects and still  have holes in their game to work out. Both should be redshirt sophomores this year.  Gill is a tweener and the even at 6'7'' the team will feel like a 4 guard set when he's on the floor. He needs to become a viable second rebounder. Lewis needs to continue to improve on offense to the point where he's at least keeping defenses honest around the hoop. His hands need to get softer and he needs to make decisions faster. Thankfully, the still raw front court will be a year older and showed signs of progress by the end of last season.

Then there is the mater of how the two scholarships left are used. There will already be a building block of the program or two squeezed out of  minutes by more favored upperclassmen as it is. I'm not sure I love the idea of adding a player for the short run. Where an immediate contributor could make sense is someone who can flex between the 3 and 4 or the 4 and 5. That might give the coaching staff the extreme luxury of being able to redshirt Nakye Sanders. Other than that, I think it's best to use the openings with an eye towards the future. 

I feel considerably better about this team than the average bear and better still than I did heading into last season. It will have some holes and it isn't the roster that Ferry was hired to build. However, it should be good enough to take steps to become one of the few middling teams in an Atlantic 10 that I see as being full of have's and have not's in 2015-16.