Because I was out of commission this past week, the basketball interviews that I did from Media Day are going to be put off until this week. In the meantime however, I had a discussion with an individual at the game on Saturday who gave me an update on the first week of practice for the basketball Cats. According to this person, the first week of practice has been intense, but surprisingly fairly strong. The team is much more advanced offensively than many had expected and the Freshmen are much more integrated than the individual I spoke with expected at this point.
Interesting to me was the breakout of the team. According to the individual I spoke with, it has been hard to get a read on the contribution levels of Joe Crawford and Jared Carter as they havent been able to go at full speed. However not including these guys, there has been a distinct pattern develop as to the “first team” at this point. According to the individual, Ramel Bradley, Jodie Meeks, Ramon Harris, Perry Stevenson and Patrick Patterson have been the group most often characterized as the “first unit.” Alex Legion and (surprisingly) Mark Coury have also gotten some run with the first team, but the five guys mentioned earlier are most often utilized as the first unit. The Big Black Member has “improved dramatically in the last month” and may actually see some court time this year according to my source and AJ Stewart is “all too often lost, especially on defense”, although his athleticism is apparently something to behold. I got very little info on Michael Porter and Derrick Jasper, either positively or negatively.
As with all of these practice reports, I generally believe they should be taken with a grain of salt and used for entertainment purposes only. But the info I was given is fairly consistent with what we have heard up to this point, specifically on the contributions of Ramon Harris and the surprise performance of Mark Coury. What I am a bit surprised to see is that talk of a 3 or even a 4 guard lineup has taken a back seat and we may now see a lineup with Harris, Patterson and Stevenson….a relatively tall group….at least until Joe Crawford gets back.
Interesting fodder for discussion…..