College and pro football are about to begin but the Euro tour and games have me looking ahead to the Bronco hoops season.
With 3 of our top 4 scorers (Jalen, Vrankic and Pipes) moving on, there are a lot of question marks for the upcoming season. But the incoming transfers, frosh, and potential growth of young returners from the 2021 recruiting class (Stewart, Holt, Tongue and Knapper) make what looks to be a deep and talented roster. There will be lots of competition for PT and there will be winners and losers in this regard.
As I said, lots of question marks:
- Who’s the starting or primary point guard? Stewart seems the favorite but what about Knapper or Ensminger? Can Podziemski play the point? or is it some other approach such as point guard by committee?
- Who’s the starting 5? Bediako or Braun? Or does a dark horse like Holt or Tilly steal the spot?
- Appears to be no shortage of talent at the 2 and 3 spots (shooting guard and wing) with Justice, Marshall, Podziemski, Giordan, Akametu, Stewart and Ensminger all capable of playing those positions…so how does PT shake out?
- Will any of the frosh be breakout, impact players from the start the way Carlos Stewart was last year or JWill was a few years back?
- Ensminger is listed at 6-9. Is he really a point guard? Does he have the quickness to deal with typical athleticism and on-ball pressure of opposing pt guards?
- Podziemski appears to be legit on offense…but can he defend?
In my mind, Justice is the only lock to start. With all the apparent competition for PT, it’s tough to forecast lineups, PT and a depth chart but here’s my best guess.
1 (PG)- Stewart, Knapper, Ensminger
2 (SG)- Podziemski, Marshall, G Williams, Stewart, Ensminger
3 (SF)- Marshall, Justice, Akametu, Podziemski, G Will
4 (PF)- Justice, Braun, Tongue, Holt
5 (C)- Braun, Bediako, Holt, Tilly
Potential Starting Lineups:
Lots of options here, but I have a feeling Sendek goes with a ‘small’ lineup with Justice at the 4 in order to get both Marshall and Podziemski on the floor at the same time at the 2 & 3. Here’s a few options:
- Stewart, Podziemski, Marshall, Justice & then either Braun or Bediako at the 5.
- Stewart, Marshall, Justice, Braun, Bediako (or replace Marshall w/ Podz).
With what appears to be lots of depth and a good balance of skill, athleticism and size represented on the roster, there is a long list of rotation and lineup options.
One thing I like in this roster is that many of the guys who are likely to come off the bench (Knapper, Giordan, Akametu, Tongue) are very athletic and in the case of Akametu and Tongue also very strong. There may be a slight drop-off in skill/execution but not in athleticism…those guys should be able to bring good energy, and defend and rebound as well as and maybe in some cases better than the starters.