FanPost

Looking Ahead: Ben Ball Depth Projections - Part III: Frontcourt & Summary

As promised, in this third segment of the three-part series (the first part here and the second part here) on our Ben Ball depth projections, this time we'll key in on our current frontcourt depth and how it projects over the next two seasons.

As I said before, hopefully, these projections and summary will help foster some discussion on our recruiting situation and how our frontcourt will play out this season.

POWER FORWARD AND CENTER

2008-2009

 

 

PF

C

1

James Keefe (JR)

Alfred Aboya (SR)

2

Drew Gordon (SO)

J'mison Morgan (FR)

3

Nikola Dragovic (JR)

James Keefe (JR)

 

KEY LOSSES:  Kevin Love (C - NBA Draft), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (PF - NBA Draft), Lorenzo Mata-Real (C - Graduation)

 

OTHER LOSSES:  David McGrath (PF - Graduation)

 

INCOMING PLAYERS:  J'mison Morgan (C - # 3 C, 5 stars by Scout), Drew Gordon (PF - # 15 PF, 4 stars by Scout)

 

ANALYSIS:  Losing Kevin Love after one year was the major blow everyone expected.  Having Mbah a Moute jump to the draft, which has worked out well for him, is the blow we did not see coming.  Had LRMAM stuck around for one more year, the Bruins would be seriously challenging UNC as the favorite to win it all in March with a solid core of DC, JS, and LRMAM anchoring the young Bruins.  In addition, losing Mata-Real's solid interior defense will hurt the Bruins on the inside a bit.  However, CBH parlayed LSU's coaching switch into a huge recruiting get for the Bruins, bringing in very highly-touted J'mison Morgan.  Moreover, convincing Alfred Aboya to defer his presidential dreams one year, was huge for the Bruins' interior toughness.  That said, despite CBH's best efforts, expect AA2 to continue to get into foul trouble, which will give JMM plenty of minutes.  Don't be shocked to see JMM getting starts down the homestretch.  At PF, James Keefe really came into his own when LRMAM went down with injury down the homestretch, and according to reports, has made the starting job his.  This should be the year that JK finally lives up to his billing as a high school McDonald's All-American.  If Drew Gordon can overcome the injuries that hampered him his last season in high school, don't be surprised to see him get good minutes in relief of JK.  No one is going to replace KL, but this unit should be solid defensively and on the glass.  Without the inside scoring, expect the majority of the Bruins' offense to come from DC, JH, and JS.

 

2009-2010

 

 

PF

C

1

James Keefe (SR)

J'mison Morgan (SO)

2

Drew Gordon (SO)

Anthony Stover (FR)

3

Brendan Lane (FR) / Reeves Nelson (FR)

James Keefe (SR)

 

EXPECTED KEY LOSSES:  Alfred Aboya (C - Graduation), Nikola Dragovic (SF/PF - Graduation)

 

INCOMING PLAYERS:  Anthony Stover (C - # 11 C, 4 stars by Scout), Brendan Lane (PF - # 29 PF, 4 stars by Scout), Reeves Nelson (PF - # 31 PF, 4 stars by Scout)

 

ANALYSIS:  AA2 will be graduating and beginning his path to Cameroon’s presidency.  Despite AA2 moving on, Morgan should stick around.  There's the possibility he will bolt after one year for the NBA, but with AA2 and JK in the mix, he may not get enough minutes to do so.  Right now, I'm projecting him sticking around through his sophomore season.  JMM will make the center spot his own, but expect Anthony Stover to get good minutes spelling JMM.  Keefe should be around for his senior season and should be the established starter at PF.  Gordon will get minutes in the front-court (if he isn't hampered by injury as he was his last HS season), as will Brendan Lane and Reeves Nelson.  If JK goes down with injury or leaves early, Gordon will have the inside track to start though.

 

2010-2011 

 

 

PF

C

1

Drew Gordon (JR)

Anthony Stover (SO)

2

Brendan Lane (SO)

Drew Gordon (JR)

3

Reeves Nelson (SO)

 

 

EXPECTED KEY LOSSES:  J'mison Morgan (C - NBA Draft), James Keefe (PF - Graduation)

 

INCOMING PLAYERS:  None.

 

ANALYSIS:  Morgan definitely has the talent to succeed at the next level but lacks the conditioning to make the jump.  By the end of his sophomore year, CBH should have him whipped into shape and I would not expect JMM to be around for his junior season.  If he stays, that would be huge, but based on CBH's recruiting efforts, it looks like he doesn't plan on him sticking around for more than two seasons.  Stover and Gordon should be able to establish themselves, although CBH is working hard on landing very highly-touted center Josh Smith from Washington (C - # 2 C, 5 stars by Scout).  If CBH lands Smith, I'd expect Smith to seriously challenge for the starting job.  Either way, if he suits up in UCLA blue and gold, he'll see significant minutes as a freshman.  With Keefe gone, the PF job should be a toss-up between Gordon, Nelson, and Lane, although, I'd give Gordon the edge with the extra year in CBH's system and conditioning regimen.

 

SUMMARY

 

In sum, CBH has done a remarkable job of recruiting consistently solid classes.  While not capitalizing on Lute's sudden retirement and landing Gaddy is a bit of a disappointment, if CBH can get Snaer or Moser to suit up for the Bruins, it'll be a huge boost to an already solid Class of 2009.  As mentioned above, CBH is working hard on landing the highly touted center Josh Smith, which will really help the Class of 2010.  Kendall Williams isn't getting any love from the scouting services, but then again, neither did DC and that turned out pretty well for us.  I think I'll defer to CBH's judgment on the kid.

 

All-in-all, it's becoming increasingly clear that, like Bill Self and Roy Williams, it is not a question of if CBH will win a national title while at UCLA, but rather, a matter of when.  With the talent CBH is bringing in to Westwood, I really believe banner # 12 will be coming to Pauley sooner rather than later.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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