Hoops: Too many players, not enough scholarships

Apr 5, 2011, 7:32 AM | Updated: 8:00 am

With the announcement of Ken Bone’s latest verbal commitment, the question about available scholarships has to be raised.

For a little background, you can read Cougfan.com’s take here.

The situation is this: Ken Bone has three incoming players slated to join the team, but only one available scholarship.

Guard DaVonte Lacy (a recent selection to the Seattle Times All-State team), Forward Greg Sequele and the most recent addition, 6-9 JC-transfer DJ Shelton are all expected to enroll next year, but there are no senior scholarship players on this team. On top of that, Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd, who is sitting out this season due to transfer rules, will certainly take up yet another scholarship.

Does that mean Ken Bone really does expect Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto, and perhaps another player, to leave this off-season?

If that happens, then Bone will have to find one scholarship. If it doesn’t, he’ll have to find three.

Bone is in a tough position. He certainly can’t wait around for Thompson and Casto to decide – the recruiting cycle doesn’t work like that. But if they stay, several players are going to have to go or play as a non-scholarship player (remember Taylor Rochestie?) and that’s a tough position to be in.

Bone has pulled in another solid class of recruits, highlighted by Lacy who may be talented enough to get serious play time come this fall, especially if Thompson goes.

DJ Shelton, a 6-9, 220 pound forward with a year of Junior College ball under his belt, is another guy who has the potential to come in and play right away. His recruiting stock has risen quite a bit as of late and was also being recruited by the UW.

Sequele checks in at 6-8, 225 and may be a bit more raw, but will still bolster what is a pretty thin group of big men. If Casto does go, he’ll be needed.

These are all guys that Bone simply had to go after. If he didn’t and Thompson and Casto did in fact leave, he’d be in real trouble.

What it leads to is an interesting off-season where there will undoubtedly be some turnover. The most pressing question, fortunately, will be answered by May 8th. If Thompson declares for the draft, he’ll have until that day to withdraw his name.

But this is not just any off-season, as the NBA may be facing a lockout next season, and the underclassmen are certainly aware of that. Here’s a good article from the New York Times that explains the situation more fully.

The interesting part is that a guy like Thompson could actually benefit from the strike. He’s currently listed as going in the late first round or early second, but if a large number of underclassmen withdraw from the draft, he could see his stock soar.

Either way, I wouldn’t want to be Ken Bone right now. He’s going to have some uncomfortable conversations in the near future. As much as I want Klay and Casto to stick around, the thought of having to “make room” feels a bit slimy. It’s the cost of being competitive in the current world of college basketball, I guess.

Go Cougs!



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