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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Guest_Columnist'S COLUMNS

PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL:
The Big Ten Rouges' Gallery


Who's getting playing time in the Big Ten this season?


Date: 11/21/97
Author: Rufus Talladega
Rufus Talladega

    Let's take a look at each Big Ten program, and see what kind of line-ups
    you're likely to see in the Big Ten this year. I've talked with some fans
    of these different clubs and I've done some studying on my own. This is
    what I've come up with:

    ILLINOIS

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Matt Heldman Sr. SG
    Shooting Guard: Kevin Turner Sr. PG
    Small Forward: Jerry Hester Sr. SG
    Power Forward: Jarrod Gee Sr. C
    Center: Brian Johnson Sr. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions played? What does he bring?

    1. Sergio McClain/ Fr. SG, SF, PF Scoring, rebounding, athlete.
    2. Arias Davis/ Jr. SG Deadly outside shooter.
    3. Awvee Storey/ Fr. PF, C Rebounding, speed, scoring.
    4. Rich Beyers/ Fr. PF, C Rebounding, jump shot
    5. Victor Chukwedebe PF, C Rebounding

    Anybody Else?

    Two walk-on guards.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to dislodge
    a starter?

    All the starters are seniors, so I doubt it- barring injury. However, both
    starting guards are expected to play all the point in games. If Turner
    and/or Heldman get too tired late in the game because of their playing time
    at shooting guard, Davis or McClain might start at shooting guard. In
    practice, it seems McClain is showing the most promise of the bench players.
    Storey may also bring a rebounding spark off the bench to the Illini.

    Look of the Team:

    They're a small team on the inside, but they have a lot of quick guards.
    Their inside personnel seem dedicated to rebounding, which I think will be
    a key factor in the Illini's success this season. I think guard play and
    their defense will be other key factors.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    INDIANA

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: A.J. Guyton So. SG
    Shooting Guard: Mike Lewis So. PG
    Small Forward: Charlie Miller Sr. --
    Power Forward: Andrae Patterson Sr. --
    Center: Jason Collier So. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Rob Turner/ Jr. SG good defense, great offense
    2. Luke Recker/ Fr. SF, SG great all-around talent
    3. William Gladness/ Jr. PF rebounding, running game
    4. Luke Jimenez/ So. PG (walk-on) competent to spell Guyton
    5. Richard Mandeville/ Sr. PF, C big guy with outside shot

    Anybody Else?

    Larry Richardson and Robbie Eggers. Larry Richardson is an athletic player
    r who might get some more PT this year than he did last year. Robbie Eggers
    rs is big like Mandeville, but has a very small offensive game.

    Freshman Center Kirk Haston and Walk-on Forward Tom Geyer are probable red-
    shirts this season.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to dislodge
    dge a starter?

    Yes, there are. If Charlie Miller doesn't watch it, Luke Recker is going
    to replace him at small forward. If Miller doesn't produce to Knight's
    epectations, I don't think Knight will hesitate to bench the senior and start
    the true freshman. At shooting guard, Rob Turner might take the starting
    position away from Lewis. Lewis is slightly better at defense, but Turner
    is a lot better at creating his own offense. He's also quicker than Lewis.
    Regardless of who starts, I would expect Turner and Lewis to get about equal
    playing time.

    Look of the Team:

    Talent-wise and scoring-wise, this team is packed. But they have SEVERAL
    questions to answer concerning their defense. Rebounding may also be something
    the Hoosiers struggle with. Indiana will want to run with the ball and score
    as many points as quickly as they can. If their opponent allows IU an
    open-court, high-scoring game- then the Hoosiers are going to have a fun time.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    IOWA

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Dean Oliver Fr. --
    Shooting Guard: Kent McClausland Jr. --
    Small Forward: Darryl Moore Sr. SG
    Power Forward: Ryan Bowen Sr. C
    Center: Guy Rucker Jr. --

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    Jess Settles/ Sr. SF, PF INJURED.
    1. Ricky Davis/ Fr. SG, SF athleticism, scoring, speed
    2. Ryan Lueshrsmann/ So. PG experience, ball-handling
    3. J.R. Koch/ Jr. PF, C versatility, effort
    4. Alvin Robinson/ Jr. C, PF rebounding
    5. Marcelo Gomes/ Fr. PF effort, youth

    Anybody Else?

    JUCO Senior Vernon Simmons has a chance to shine at small forward in the
    absence of Jess Settles. Reports I've heard say that isn't likely. Senior
    Greg Helmers doesn't seem to have improved his game from last season either.
    The rest of the team are walk-ons- but they might see some playing time
    as Coach Tom Davis' full court press demands a lot of fresh bodies.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to dislodge
    a starter?

    Definitely. If Jess Settles recovers from his back injury, he'll start at
    small forward. Additionally, expect Ricky Davis to start at small forward
    (if Settles doesn't recover) or to start at shooting guard (if Settles
    does recover). It's only a matter of time before this Top 50 talent gets
    a starting position. The same goes for Dean Oliver, but I expect he'll start
    out the season at point guard. If Oliver doesn't, it won't be long before
    he wins over Coach Davis and Ryan Lueshrsmann is playing off the bench.

    Look of the Team:

    Iowa is Iowa. They're going to use full-court pressure defense and they're
    going to outrebound everybody in the nation. Without Settles, their small
    forward position takes a definite hit. And Iowa has a very young backcourt,
    with two freshmen, one sophomore, and one junior. Once the young Hawkeyes
    get their defense (and the ball) under control, watch out.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    MICHIGAN

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Louis Bullock Jr. SG
    Shooting Guard: Travis Conlan Sr. PG
    Small Forward: Jerod Ward Sr.
    Power Forward: Maceo Baston Sr.
    Center: Robert Traylor Jr. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Robbie Reid/ Jr. PG ball-handling, assists
    2. Brandon Smith/ Fr. SF running game, offense
    3. Josh Asselin/ Fr. C height, rebounding
    4. Peter Vignier/ So. C height, rebounding
    5. Tai Streets/ Jr. SG, SF (WO) athletic play, speed

    Anybody Else?

    A few walk-ons.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    If Robbie Reid gets the starting point guard position, expect Bullock to
    start at shooting guard and for Travis Conlan to come off the bench. Those
    three guards are going to play the great majority of the point guard and
    shooting guard position time- regardless of who starts. If Jerod Ward
    doesn't wake up this season, Brandon Smith may start at small forward.

    Look of the Team:

    I haven't heard much about them but I suspect they'll look a lot like they
    did last year. Michigan is very athletic, capable of running the ball
    down the field but doesn't possess a pure "run-and-gun" game. With strong
    rebounding and strong inside scoring, Michigan needs to balance their
    inside game with good ball-handling and outside shot threats from their
    guards.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    MICHIGAN STATE
    =0D
    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play
    =0D
    Point Guard: Mateen Cleaves So. SG
    Shooting Guard: Thomas Kelley Sr. PG
    Small Forward: Morris Peterson So. =
    Power Forward: Antonio Smith Jr. =
    Center: Ken Miller So. =

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Dujuan Wiley/ Sr. C rebounding, experience
    2. Charlie Bell/ Fr. PG, SG scoring, ball-handling
    3. Andre Hutson/ Fr. PF, C rebounding, offense
    4. Doug Davis/ Fr. PG, SG scoring, leaping, running
    5. Jason Klein/ Jr. SG, SF spell Peterson

    Anybody Else?

    Walk-on (but Top 100) BB talent Lorenzo Guess, who can play either guard
    position. Other players are David Thomas, A.J. Granger, and Jason Webber.
    I don't know much about any of these players (mainly because no one wants
    to talk to me about MSU basketball), so it's quite possible some of these
    people should be further up the totem pole.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    There's a lot of good but young talent coming into the Spartan backcourt
    with Charlie Bell, Doug Davis, and Lorenzo Guess. But Mateen Cleaves has
    lost around 30 lbs. since last season, and should be quicker. I doubt he'll
    lose his spot. I also doubt Senior Thomas Kelley will lose his spot.

    At center, I wouldn't be surprised if centers Wiley, Miller, and Hutson
    don't share equal time (some more equal than others, depending on skill
    development), regardless of who starts.

    Look of the Team:

    I imagine their defense will be even more aggressive than it was last year,
    trying to create more opportunities for easy baskets. Guard play should
    also improve from a year of experience and Cleaves' trimming down on
    weight.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    MINNESOTA

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Eric Harris Sr. SG
    Shooting Guard: Kevin Clark Jr. PG
    Small Forward: Sam Jacobson Sr. SG
    Power Forward: Quincy Lewis Jr. SF, C
    Center: Miles Tarver Jr. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Kyle Sanden/ Fr. C red-shirt exp., size,
    rebounding
    2. Russ Archambault/ So. PG, SG spell Harris
    3. Kevin Nathaniel/ Fr. SG, SF offense
    4. Antoine Broxsie/ Fr. PF, C blocks, rebounds, size
    5. Dusty Rychart/ Fr. SF (walk-on) enthusiasm

    Anybody Else?

    The Stanford brothers (walk-ons). All others are ineligible to play this
    season. It's also quite probable that Dusty Rychart will be red-shirted.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    Doubtful. Coach Haskins really seems to like Tarver, so he will probably
    keep the nod as a starter over true freshman post player Antoine Broxsie
    and medical red-shirt freshman center Kyle Sanden, who has a heart
    condition.

    Look of the Team:

    They're much smaller in the frontcourt. They also lost many of their
    leading rebounders from last year (Jackson, J. Thomas, James). But if
    Minnesota finds new bodies to do the rebounding, and the backcourt (Clark,
    Jacobson, Harris) light up from the outside, then Minnesota is back in
    business.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    NORTHWESTERN

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Jonah Batumbuze Fr.
    Shooting Guard: Julian Bonner Jr. PG
    Small Forward: Joe Branch Sr. SG
    Power Forward: Joe Harmsen Jr.
    Center : Evan Eschmeyer Jr.

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Nate Pomeday/ Jr. SG, PG ball-handling, experience
    2. Sean Hanlon/ Jr. SG, SF offense, experience
    3. Sean Wink/ Fr. SG ball-handling
    4. Aron Molnar/ So. C, PF size, rebounding
    5. Terrence Avery/ Fr. C size, rebounding

    Anybody Else?

    To my knowledge, that is the complete roster.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    If the freshman Jonah Batumbuze isn't starting at the point, he will be as
    soon as the coach determines it is safe. In the coach's opinion, no one
    on the team but Batumbuze is really that well-suited to play point. Sean
    Wink might find a starting spot if he shows a lot of promise quickly, but
    I don't think that's likely.

    Look of the Team:

    Eschmeyer is the offense of the team. Stop Eschmeyer and you stop
    Northwestern. So the Northwestern guards have got to find a way to cause
    turnovers, steal balls, make the open shots, do anything they can to create
    some offense for themselves and force the opposition to stop double or
    triple-teaming Eschmeyer.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    OHIO STATE

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: NeShaun Coleman Jr. SG
    Shooting Guard: Carlos Davis Sr.
    Small Forward: Jason Singleton Jr. SG
    Power Forward: Sean Tucker So. SF
    Center: Ken Johnson So.

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    Damon Stringer/ Jr. PG, SG INJURED.
    1. Michael Redd/ Fr. SG, PG scoring, ball-handling
    2. Shamar Herron/ Fr. C, PF rebounding
    3. John Lumpkin/ Sr. PF, C (walk-on) rebounding
    4. Jon Sanderson/ Fr. SF, PF rebounding
    5. Eric Hanna/ ?? SF (walk-on) effort

    Anybody Else?

    A few walk-ons. With Tate transferring, Stonerook out due to grades, and
    Trent Jackson being dismissed from the program, OSU lost a few starters and
    a lot of depth.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    Once Damon Stringer gets well, he'll take over at point. Prop 48 Sophomore
    Ken Johnson might get some competition for the starting spot from freshman
    center Shamar Herron.

    Look of the Team:

    New coach, a lot of new players ... I'm not really sure what to expect.
    From O'Brien's past programs, I would expect a tough man-to-man defense -
    with a roster full of players with good fundamental skills on offense and
    defense. But I'm far from an expert on Coach O'Brien's basketball
    philosophy ...

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    PENN STATE

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Dan Earl Sr.
    Shooting Guard: Pete Licisky Sr. PG
    Small Forward: Greg Stevenson So. SG
    Power Forward: Jarrett Stephens Jr. SF
    Center: Calvin Booth Jr.

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Titus Ivory/ Fr. SG Offense, red-shirt exp.
    2. Gyasi Cline-Heard/ Fr. PF Rebounding, offense
    3. Greg Grays/ Fr. SG Offense, defense
    4. Scott Witkowski/ Fr. C Size, rebounding
    5. Joe Crispin/ Fr. PG ball-handling

    Anybody Else?

    Freshman Small Forward Pete Rogowski and some walk-ons.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    No one's replacing a healthy Earl, Licisky, or Booth this season. But Greg
    Stevenson might be replaced if one of the freshman (Ivory or Grays) show
    merit. If Gyasi Cline-Heard rebounds as well in college as he did in high
    school, he'll replace Stephens in a heartbeat. Mainly, I believe the
    bench players will be competing against the other bench players in practice
    for PT in the games.

    Look of the Team:

    Penn State has a lot of big bodies that look like good rebounders this
    season. Thus, Penn State's misses from the outside might not cost them as
    much as it did last season. With Earl and Licisky in the backcourt, magical
    things have been known to happen in Happy Valley ...

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    PURDUE

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Alan Eldridge Jr. SG
    Shooting Guard: Chad Austin Sr. SF, PG
    Small Forward: Jaraan Cornell So. SG
    Power Forward: Brian Cardinal So. SF, C
    Center: Brad Miller Sr. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Gary McQuay/ So. PF, C rebounding, blocks, offense
    2. Tony Mayfield/ Jr. PG assists, defense, 3pt. shot
    3. Mike Robinson/ So. SF, PF offense, rebounding, steals
    4. Mosi Barnes/ So. PG speed, aggressive off. play
    5. B.J. Carretta/ Fr. PG, SG (WO) ball-handling, 3 pt. shot

    Anybody Else?

    Walk-on guard Chad Kerkhof.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    Yes. Tony Mayfield is a heavy favorite to eventually start at point guard,
    but that's not a big issue. Purdue will be playing with a three-headed
    point guard this season. Eldridge, Mayfield, and Barnes will probably get
    about the same amount of time on the field. But Eldridge will be splitting
    his time between point guard and shooting guard. Eldridge at the point
    gives you someone who plays good defense, has experience in Big Ten play,
    can sky to the basket, and can hit the outside shot. Barnes is a quick
    player who can beat his man on offense and score, or get a steal on defense.
    Barnes is more scoring-focused than the other two. Mayfield is an assist
    machine, capable of driving to the basket and dishing off at will. He
    makes good passes, plays aggressive defense, and has a good outside shot.

    Gary McQuay has shown a lot of improvement over the summer (both in
    strength, speed, and in skills). But it'll be tough for him to take a
    starting position away from Brian Cardinal or Brad Miller, very
    accomplished players in their own right.

    Look of the Team:

    It's a strange looking team because the players are so versatile. Almost
    every player can play two or three different positions. What you can't get
    away from is the fact that Purdue's frontcourt is shallow in depth, if
    not in talent. But Purdue is answering that by playing a three-guard
    offense this year and is using a full-court press defense to help create
    turnovers and disrupt the opposition's offensive game. Purdue was near the
    top of the league last year in blocks and steals, but they need to get a
    better rebounding margin and their guards have to control the ball (limit
    turnovers). Against the Australian National Team (a team that Purdue beat
    and one that No. 5 Clemson lost to less than a week later), Purdue's 7
    guards played a combined 106 minutes of play with only 5 turnovers. That's
    certainly a step in the right direction to limiting turnovers ...

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    WISCONSIN

    Starting Five: Name Yr. Other Positions He Can Play

    Point Guard: Ty Calderwood Sr.
    Shooting Guard: Sean Mason Sr.
    Small Forward: Sam Okey Jr. PF
    Power Forward: Booker Coleman Sr.
    Center: Sean Daugherty Sr. PF

    Most PT from the bench:

    Name Positions he can play? What does he bring?

    1. Hennssy Aurianthal/ Jr. PG, SG Ball control, defense
    2. Mark Vershaw/ Fr. PF, C Rebounding, offense
    3. Andy Kowske/ Fr. PF Rebounding, energy
    4. Duany Duany/ So. SG Scoring
    5. Mike Kelley/ Fr. PG Ball control, leadership

    Anybody Else?

    Freshmen Wing Forwards Maurice Linton and Charlie Wills. Linton is more of
    an outside scorer, Wills is more of a rebounder and banger. There's also
    a few seniors, guard Burkemper and forward Vraney. This team is deep;
    full of seniors and freshmen.

    War of the Starters- Are there any bench players who are looking to
    dislodge a starter?

    Don't expect Booker Coleman to keep his starting position. Wisconsin needs
    s scorers and Coleman only averaged 1.1 ppg last season. The heavy
    favorites to eventually replace Coleman are the freshmen Andy Kowske and
    Mark Vershaw. Vershaw probably has more offensive talent, but Kowske is a
    pleasure to watch in a game. He reminds me of Purdue's Brian Cardinal or
    Iowa's Jess Settles on defense.

    Look of the Team:

    With Bennett, you always start with defense. This team has 7 seniors; so
    it knows how to defend. It also has 5 freshmen; so you can expect Wisconsin
    in to get better in everything, including defense, as the season
    progresses. The freshmen should also help take some of the scoring burden
    off Okey, Calderwood, and Daughterty. I would expect Wisconsin to be better
    this season than they were last season.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    If you have any questions or comments, you know where to send them. This is
    just my opinion. I could be wrong - it HAS happened before ...

    Until Next Time,
    Rufus Talladega


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