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March 19, 2008
The five burning questions
As interesting as the season was for the Red Storm, an 11-19 record will cause some questions for people.
So we've gone through the message board and heard the rumblings on the radio airwaves and decided to come up with five burning questions for the Red Storm.
1) What's the reason for Norm Roberts coming back?
The topic of Coach Roberts being axed at season's end was all over the message boards and talks amongst media outlets. Me, personally I think the calling for Coach Roberts keys were a little too soon. If you looked at this year's team, there was only one senior who really contributed and that was Eugene Lawrence and one junior, Anthony Mason Jr. That means all the other playing time was being taken by sophomores or freshmen.
Look at all the other teams in the Big East and I'm sure you'll find that they played way more upperclassmen than the Storm. With the assurance of next season, I say you give him until after next season to see what he can do with this young talent that he has brought in.
2) What's up with the shooting?
When watching Red Storm games this past year you couldn't help but notice the offensive dry spells they would go through during the course of games. Think back, the games against Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and so forth. The Red Storm were in those games and once the lid seem to shut on their basket they couldn't get back into the swing of things. They ended the season shooting 41% from the field and that won't get it done on most night. When you take into consideration that opponents shot close to 50% from the field you can understand why.
Two players that can help this number go up next season are Larry Wright and Paris Horne. Wright, a sophomore started off the season hot, especially from three point range, but fizzled out towards the end of the season. If he can be consistent shooting the ball next season the Red Storm percentages will go up. And Horne, showed that as a freshman he could take the ball to take rack and do some things.
3) How about some playmakers?
With the Red Storm shooting a low percentage from the field some of that can be attributed to their point guard position. In 06-07, Eugene Lawrence was one of the best assist men in the Big East at close to 4.5 a game. This past season saw him get about three a contest. It's not that Lawrence didn't attack gaps like he did in the past, it's just that defenses were ready for his moves this time and he didn't adjust and that would lead to the Red Storm taken ill advised shots or getting into lane and not finishing a lay up. Back up Malik Boothe averaged 2.2 assists per game, but watching Boothe you see he is what he is, right now which is a back up. If the Red Storm can plug a point guard for next season that would be essential. Justin Crosgile out of New Jersey wouldn't be a bad pick up or maybe Long Island native, Terrell Holloway, who recently backed out of his commitment to Indiana.
4) Can the Red Storm get one more big man?
As I just touched on getting a point guard, getting one center could be the next step for the Red Storm being one of the middle teams in the Big East. This past season saw forward, Anthony Mason Jr., Justin Burrell and Sean Evans gave everything they could on the post and on the boards, but the center position was no help. Junior, Tomas Jasiulionis was not the answer. As the season went Jasiulionis went from starting to finding himself on the bench. Freshman, Dele Coker was formidable for 10-15 minutes a game. If Coker can stay out of foul trouble and the Red Storm bring in maybe a junior college transfer big man, someone with experience that would help tremendously.
5) So what's next?
Right now you expect the returning Red Storm guys to start their spring conditioning program and play pick up. This should help them get better chemistry for next season. There were times this year where you saw the potential of a lineup with D.J. Kennedy, Anthony Mason Jr. and Justin Burrell can do when on the floor together. Put them on the floor with a good point guard and center and the Red Storm could be a team to cause trouble in the Big East.