Monday, October 8, 2007

Biggest Shoes to Fill


Players leave their teams after every season, whether it was a matter of eligibility running out or the player taking the early-entry route. It's the way college basketball is. However, the impact of some of the missing players on their old team will vary from player to player. This year, there is an obvious absence of several of the best players from the last few years. Who will replace them?

Kevin Durant, Texas; Replacement: Damion James: James will have to be the versatile forward he has the skills to become.
Greg Oden, Ohio State; Replacement: Kosta Koufos: Koufos is not the defender Oden was, but he is excellent offensively.
Mike Conley, Ohio State; Replacement: Jamar Butler: Butler was very good at PG two years ago, and will return to that spot.
Acie Law, Texas A&M; Replacement: Donald Sloan: He has shown the ability to score, but needs to be the leader Law was.
Alando Tucker, Wisconsin; Replacement: Marcus Landry: Landry has the talent and skill to be an inside-outside scorer.
Arron Afflalo, UCLA; Replacement: Josh Shipp, Kevin Love: Shipp will replace his perimeter scoring; Love takes his spot in the line-up.
Aaron Brooks, Oregon; Replacement: Tajuan Porter, Kamyron Taylor: Porter moves over to the point after starting at SG last year.
Derrick Byars, Vanderbilt; Replacement: A.J. Ogilvy: Doesn’t play the same position and isn’t as versatile as Byars, but will make an impact.
Jeff Green, Georgetown; Replacement: DaJuan Summers: Summers has a similar skill set and stepped up late in the year.
Al Horford, Florida; Replacement: Marreese Speights: Speights could become the next All-SEC big man from the Gators.
Joakim Noah, Florida; Replacement: Alex Tyus: Athletic forward has a decent mid-range game, but is not as active as Noah.
Corey Brewer, Florida; Replacement: Chandler Parsons: Freshman can shoot it from the perimeter and score inside.
Taurean Green, Florida; Replacement: Nick Calathes: He can play both backcourt spots, and is the best guard on the roster.
Nick Fazekas, Nevada; Replacement: JaVale McGee: Impressive in flashes last season, McGee is very talented inside.
Julian Wright, Kansas; Replacement: Darrell Arthur: Could end up being one of the best players in the country.
Jared Dudley, Boston College; Replacement: Rakim Sanders, Shamari Spears: Both are versatile forwards that will anchor the frontcourt.
Brandan Wright, North Carolina; Replacement: Deon Thompson: Thompson had a very good summer and will be solid inside.
Spencer Hawes, Washington; Replacement: Matthew Bryan-Amaning: Will make an immediate impact as a freshman.
Nick Young, USC; Replacement: Davon Jefferson: Impact freshman is versatile and will become a very good offensive option.
Al Thornton, Florida State; Replacement: Uche Echefu: Obviously not the player Thornton was, Echefu is decent inside and out.
Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech; Replacement: Maurice Miller: Miller will likely be the second straight freshman PG for Jackets.
Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech; Replacement: Mouhammed Faye: Versatile forward is extremely long and athletic.
Glen Davis, LSU; Replacement: Anthony Randolph: Will immediately be the go-to-guy in the frontcourt.
Josh McRoberts, Duke; Replacement: Lance Thomas: Blue Devils lack a post presence this season; he needs to step up.
Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington; Replacement: Marcus Hinton: Has to become a leader instead of a bench player.
Trey Johnson, Jackson State; Replacement: Jenniro Bush: Highly-regarded freshman will make an immediate impact.
Jason Smith, Colorado State; Replacement: Stuart Creason: 7-footer had a very good season last year, but needs to step up.
Morris Almond, Rice; Replacement: Bryan Beasley: Texas A&M transfer needs to provide scoring in the backcourt.
Mustafa Shakur, Arizona; Replacement: Jerryd Bayless: Natural wing will be a super scorer at Point Guard U.
Ivan Radenovic, Arizona; Replacement: Jamelle Horne: Versatile forward is an inside-outside option.

Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh; Replacement: Tyrell Biggs:
Saw good minutes the past two seasons, but needs to produce.
Kyle Visser, Wake Forest; Replacement: David Weaver: Good defender and rebounder needs to make strides offensively.
Carl Landry, Purdue; Replacement: JaJuan Johnson: Athletic big man has plenty of talent and potential, but could be raw.
Jamaal Tatum, Southern Illinois; Replacement: Wesley Clemmons: Needs to play well on both sides of the ball.
Nate Funk, Creighton; Replacement: Nick Bahe: Very good long-range shooter has to expand offensive game.
Blake Ahearn, Missouri State; Replacement: Dale Lamberth: Very efficient shooter is go-to-guy in the backcourt.
Keena Yong, BYU; Replacement: Jonathan Tavernari: Produced very well in inconsistent minutes last season.
Brandon Heath, San Diego State; Replacement: Lorrenzo Wade: Very good all-around player will become a star.
Caleb Green, Oral Roberts; Replacement: Marchello Vealy: Terrific sixth man last season needs to be more consistent.
Demetris Nichols, Syracuse; Replacement: Donte Greene: Versatile forward can score both inside and out.
Herbert Hill, Providence; Replacement: Randall Hanke: Took off last year for personal problems, but is solid down low.
D.J. Strawberry, Maryland; Replacement: Greivis Vasquez: Showed flashes of brilliance last year, and has lots of potential.
Stephane Lasme/Rashaun Freeman, Massachusetts; Replacements: Dante Milligan, Luke Bonner: Completely new post duo.
J.R. Reynolds, Virginia; Replacement: Mamadi Diane: Will move to the shooting guard spot, and has to step up production.
Zabian Dowdell, Virginia Tech; Replacement: Malcolm Delaney: Freshman will start at point guard from Day One.
Derek Raivio, Gonzaga; Replacement: Matt Bouldin: If he becomes more consistent, he could a terrific player.
Jared Jordan, Marist; Replacement: Jayde Gavin: Freshman can knock down threes and score, but needs to lead team.
Jamar Wilson, Albany; Replacement: Jon Iati: 5-9 guard has to step up production to replace two-time conference player of the year.
Adam Haluska, Iowa; Replacement: Justin Johnson: Very good shooter has the size to become a solid wing.
Mario Boggan, Oklahoma State; Replacement: Anthony Brown: Physical big man can score inside and will start.
Cartier Martin, Kansas State; Replacement: Michael Beasley: A definite upgrade for the Wildcats, Beasley is a star.
Jarrius Jackson, Texas Tech; Replacement: Alan Voskuil: He played well in the second half of last season.
Russell Carter/Colin Falls, Notre Dame; Replacement: Zach Hillesland, Ryan Ayers: Will split the wing responsibilities.
Frank Young, West Virginia; Replacement: Da’Sean Butler: Sixth man last season is a good scorer.
Curtis Sumpter, Villanova; Replacement: Shane Clark: Versatile forward will have to play big for undersized ‘Cats.
Jermareo Davidson, Alabama; Replacement: Justin Knox: He is strong and athletic, and is a solid rebounder inside.
Randolph Morris, Kentucky; Replacement: Patrick Patterson: Highly-touted freshman will start immediately down low.
Tre Kelley, South Carolina; Replacement: Devan Downey: Cincinnati transfer is one of the best point guards in SEC.
David Patten, Weber State; Replacement: Tyler Billings: He put up decent numbers last season off the bench.
Torrell Martin, Winthrop; Replacement: Antwon Harris: Performed well at spots last season, but is not a shooter.
Larry Blair, Liberty; Replacement: T.J. Bannister: Virginia transfer immediately becomes a top point guard.
Bobby Brown, Cal State Fullerton; Replacement: Josh Akognon: Washington State transfer is a good scorer.
Aaron Nixon, Long Beach State; Replacement: Donovan Morris: Fresno State transfer will start on the wing right away.
Gary Neal, Towson; Replacement: Tim Crossin: Will need help from his teammates to replace Neal’s scoring.
Loren Stokes, Hofstra; Replacement: Greg Johnson, Devon Peterson: New York City guards need to fill gaping hole.
DaShaun Wood, Wright State; Replacement: William Graham: Brings experience and decent scoring to backcourt.
Blake Schilb, Loyola Chicago; Replacement: Justin Cerasoli: Mississippi transfer is a talented combo guard.
Ibrahim Jaaber/Mark Zoller, Pennsylvania; Replacements: Harrison Gaines, Tyler Bernardini: Very good freshmen duo.
Romeo Travis, Akron; Replacement: Steve Swiech, Quade Milum: Both will have to play well up front for the Zips.
Jahsha Bluntt, Delaware State; Replacement: Matthew Washington: Paterson Catholic big man will help anchor frontcourt.
Javier Mojica, Central Connecticut State; Replacement: Dan Powell: Has to become more of a factor this season.
Keith Simmons, Holy Cross; Replacement: Kyle Cruze: Part-time starter last season needs to increase production.
Rashad Jones-Jennings, Arkansas-Little Rock; Replacement: Rashad Moss: Will take a lot of work to replace great rebounder.

Photo Credit: Columbia Daily Tribune, AP


  1. Not sure if Delaney will be the PG starter at VT - I've heard indications that they plan to start Hank Thorns. It's worth watching either way, to see how a freshman will handle getting thrown into the fire -

  2. Can this apply to multiple pairs of shoes...Long Beach State's whole roster. Nine Seniors gone, relying on Donovan Morris, a Fresno State transfer, a couple former walk-ons and jucos, and a new coach from Minnesota.