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Team Preview: The Guards

Could J. Adams  become an A10 All Rookie Team player at Year's end?

Could Jalen Adams become an A10 All Rookie Team player at Year’s end?

With the Bonnies’ exhibition game roughly three days away it is crunch time in terms of previews, predictions and prognostications for us bloggers.

With that in mind, we’re going to preview both the front court, as well as the back court in two different pieces. We’ll start with the back court which looks to replace the production left by Charloon Kloof and Matthew Wright. To say that those two players morphed into solid A10 guards would be a gross understatement when you look back on their senior seasons. Kloof led the league in A/TO ratio and became one of the most underrated point guards in the conference. His ability to break down a defense and excel on the fast-break will certainly be missed. Wright on the other hand, only become one of the best (top 10) pure scorers in the league. His three point shooting helped space opposing defenses down low for Ndoye and Simmons, he converted at the line with incredible consistency and he even became a great slasher who could finish at the rim off cuts and screens. Wright’s senior season was something very few could have seen coming during his junior year. He had his struggles but finished his career as one of the better scoring guards in recent team history.

So where does that leave this year’s version of the Bonnies?

Essentially, with a lot of unproven guards who need to take similar steps forward in order to turn this team from a bunch of unknowns to a bunch of knowns. When I worked with coach Schmidt during his first year he would often say we had to stop the “known” on any opposing team to have a good chance to win. Basically, stop their best two players…The guys you know are going to score in double figures on a given night. When I think about this team, I truly don’t see any “knowns” aside from Jordan Gathers…and he’s iffy if you consider a “known” someone who scores over a dozen a night.

So, let’s see what the back-court holds for 2014-2015.




Iaakem Alston Starts from day one at the point guard spot, limits turnovers and makes the loss of Kloof seem bearable by February. Takes a full year to adjust to being a D1 PG and splits or looses time to J. Adams and Gathers is forced to handle the ball as a result; not what Schmidt wants.
Idris Taqqee Taqqee becomes a gritty role player off the bench who provides defense and toughness on a nightly basis. Shows “glue-guy” potential all season. A reserve player whose skill-set is still at least a year away, he’s buried on the bench due to his ability to handle the ball/pressure and score in the half-court.
Marcus Polsey Becomes a big time three point shooter right away. Is the second coming of Eric Mosley within a month or two. (I think this is possible). Takes a few months to adjust to D1 play, shots don’t fall and Cumberbatch/Jalen Adams cut into his time.
Jordan Gathers Steps into Matt Wright’s shoes, becomes a consistent three point threat and improves his ability to score inside in the half-court. Finishes the season in the league’s top 15 scorers. Never fully develops his game as Wright did. Averages under ten a game and shoots under 40% from the field as he did last year. Off-season injury also slows him down.
Jalen Adams Is A10 All-Rookie Team. Highlight reel dunks, explosive athleticism like we haven’t seen in years in the RC. The teams’ best pro prospect aside from Ndoye come 2015. Skill level doesn’t match up with athleticism for the entire year. Doesn’t figure out Schmidt’s offense/defense enough to gain major minutes and development.
Jaylen Adams Battles Alston for minutes and shows the promise of becoming a very steady four year point man; something the Bonnies haven’t had under Schmidt. Faces the normal challenges of a high major D1 point guard and only sees limited minutes behind Alston. Plays under ten minutes a game and fails to make a big impact most nights.
Andell Cumberbatch Regains Schmidt’s trust, starts the entire season, cuts down on turnovers and silly mistakes and becomes a better shooter from three (31% last year). Finishes the year averaging over a dozen points a night. Falls back into the same bad habits, doesn’t cut down on turnovers, doesn’t shoot it any better. Becomes a role player whose passed over by younger guards.
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A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.


  1. route16

    I’m glad you started with the guards, as I think the Bonnies’ will go as their guards do. As for Cumberbatch, Jalen Adams, and (maybe)Taqqee, I think they, with Gregg and X. Smith, fit more into Schmidt’s hybrid three-spot. That position will be an exciting one to watch. Gregg and Smith are tall, lean, and athletic. Cumberbatch and Jalen Adams are shorter, but Cumberbatch is a capable rebounder and Jalen Adams is a freak athlete Taqqee’s reported tenacious defense makes me think he could earn minutes down the road at this spot, though he may be more of a perimeter player at the A-10 level.

    Keep up the good work on the blog!

  2. COPE

    game day! GoBonnies!
    will the upperclassmen start instead of the potential of the underclassmen?
    Posey and C-Batch vs. Gregg and Adams?