Interesting - welcome to college hoops in 2023. Lots of new faces.
I hope HS figures out how to maximize Caffaro so that younger true centers take notice of SCU. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a steady inflow of (really) big men coming into the program?
That’s a really talented roster. Plenty of “ifs” regarding team cohesion and the ability of some of the transfers to maintain their previous stats in a different system. Plus can guys like Bal and Caffaro really shine with more opportunity?
But there is a proven D-1 player at each position for next season which is good. And then some high potential guys around them with whom SCU may just strike gold yet again. Not a bad way to be entering the season at all.
Not sure I’d expect huge contributions from Caffaro, he hasn’t put up big #'s in 4 seasons to date; mostly hoping he provides some 5th year player experience and maturity and an option to match up with the bigger, pure centers if/when we need it.
I expect (or at least hope) that Tilly gets most of the minutes at the 5 so may only need Caffaro for 10-15mins a game, maybe less if McEldon is ready to play a little or if Sendek decides to occasionally go small with O’Neil and Tongue on the court together as the ‘bigs’.
Yes, plenty of talent and potential on the roster but as Patty notes, cohesion, chemistry, etc. may or may not be an issue…we’ll see. Let’s not forget that all 5 starters from last season are gone and with it a monumental % of our productivity (top 5 scorers, top 4 rebounders, top 4 assists).
I am grateful for both the prospective and current talent (although a wholesale turnover in the starting 5 makes me nervous), but the numbers brings to mind a joke, I think, by Jim Gaffigan:
We aren’t cheering on players, we are cheering on uniforms. Whoever fills them, we don’t care, as long as they win.
Let’s go random hoopsters wearing red and white (and black but no any gold like they used to)!!!
Can’t wait for the season to begin!
I’m encouraged by this roster, but agree with Weave—the game is so different and rosters are so fluid, it’s hard to follow a player and not wonder how long he’ll be with the program. I am all for player empowerment, but a residual impact from the portal is it is indeed a “front of the uniform” perspective. I still root for the players, but with bated breath.
What I like about this team is the depth it is going to have. We won’t see a drop in talent as guys sub in and out. They had a run today against guys headed to Europe. One of the guys who played in the scrimmage is a USF guy. Cam really liked working with John O’Neill - said their chemistry is really good. (Tilly, Jake and Bol were not there). Said the guys all looked good. That’s a promising start.
BballFemme thank you for the fantastic inside intel! I’d be curious if you have heard a perspective on Jake Ensminger? Not a lot of talk on this board about him. 6-9 with handle? Where does he fit in to all this?
Sadly, not a lot to share on Jake. All I know right now is what we all know - he is playing in the 20U European Games this summer - so VERY CURIOUS to see what a 6 ft 8-inch guard will bring us. Hoping they will record the game vs Bol so we can see him in action.
WVC Stats:Welcome Elijah!
Seems like a good recruit. He played for Team Canada in an international tournament that just wrapped up and showed quite well. Very efficient and played well against Team USA (aka the Kentucky Wildcats–no idea how the NCAA allowed that except that it’s Kentucky).
The confusing thing, though, is that he’s a JuCo guy, not a high school recruit. So it would seem like he’s coming this year. Or is he spending another season in JuCo? That would be pretty unusual. Yet, if he comes this year, SCU is now two players above the scholarship limit. Carlos Marshall, Jr. is allegedly playing as a walk-on. Is someone else taking that route too? How does Sendek manage 15 D1 players with almost certainly the best depth of talent he has ever had?
Here’s a writeup about the Canadian players in the Globl Jam tournament, including a couple paragraphs on Mahi. He’s written up as still developing his game but with the highest upside of any player on the Canadian roster:
First, welcome Elijah!
Patty- not certain whether he arrives this Fall or Fall, 2024, could be either. There are JUCO’s who verbal ~year in advance of arriving and my guess is that’s what is happening here and I can’t imagine have effectively 15 scholarship players on the roster (counting Marshall and whoever else would be forced pay their own way) plus a couple of true walkons…starts to become challenging to manage.
More on Mahi…
His current coach at WVC, Danny Yoshikawa was most recently an assistant at SMC before taking over at WVC (for 2nd time) and also previously coached at USF.
WVC roster lists Mahi as a forward, 6-6, 235lbs. But on limited video, he looks strong/stocky but not 235lbs. And the Canadian Roundup story link Patty posted lists him at 6-5. He’s regarded as a very good athlete but raw & inexperienced. Appears to play more as wing, not a forward. Strikes me as somewhat similar to Kosy Akametu in make-up.
WVC stats show him as their leading scorer (17.5/game) and 2nd leading rebounder (6.5/game). And shot 32 / 81 (39.5%) on 3pters which is pretty good for someone who is considered inexperienced.
You must be right. I didn’t realize that JUCOs would verbal so far in advance. And it’s different with them than high schoolers because they are actively burning eligibility while playing at the JUCO level. So if he plays at all at West Valley, he’ll only arrive with two years of eligibility.
how many seniors/grad transfers (players with only this coming season left of eligibility) do we have as things stand now?
I don’t know Mahi’s situation but if a player wasn’t considered a full academic ‘qualifier’ coming out of high school then I believe they have to secure an AA degree (or maybe it is complete certain # of credits) to qualify to move on to a 4yr NCAA school. Or something along those lines.
Players who are fully academically qualified can move from JUCO to 4yr after 1 season. Those guys are generally under recruited or late bloomers types who are hoping to showcase their abilities for 1 season then transfer to a 4yr.
Great info, 92. Many thanks.
Off the top of my head, we lose Marshall, Benjamin, and Caffaro next year no matter what. But we are one over the limit, so we really will only have 2 roster spots to fill. I would expect at least 1-2 transfers because that’s what the sport is now. There will be plenty of space for Mahi to come in a year from now.
Also, for those who are curious, some of the Globl Jam games are on YouTube. Here’s Canada’s first game versus Kentucky in which Mahi got 23 min of run and was Canada’s leading scorer: