With an up-and-coming new class of point guards looking to stake their place among the colleges in Chicago, it seems as though DePaul sophomore Brandon Young may have the only safe point job in town.
Chicago State, UIC, Northwestern and even Loyola are in point guard limbo heading into the 2011-2012 season.
Loyola: Courtney Stanley is the more-than-likely shoe-in to pick up
where he left off last season for the Ramblers, but nothing can be very
certain when a new head coach takes the reins.
Stanley, now a senior, had his share of highlights last season, but had more than his share of turnovers too (32.6 percent TO%). However, his assist rate (21.5%) is good for 375th in the nation.
replacements? Not Gabe Kindred. There's nothing official yet, but
rumors abound about Kindred losing his scholarship in the offseason --
not that he would be considered for the PG position anyway.
Sophomore Denzel Brito is the most likely next in line. Brito played in
24 games last season off the bench, but had comparable turnover issues
(36.3 percent), assisting at a rate of 19.1 percent.
Chim Kadima, also a sophomore, is another option. Kadima stood in for
Stanley four times last season at starting point guard and recorded an
18.1 TO% in 23 games paired with a low (8.0%) assist rate.
Ineligible Iowa transfer Cully Payne is absolutely the future at this position for the Ramblers. He'll have three years of eligibility remaining when he starts in the 2012-2013 season.
UIC: Not much is sure over at UIC, as Lindsey Willhite previously covered.
season Robo Kreps made the move from shooting guard to point guard in
the wake of Spencer Stewart's absence but seemed cramped in his new
role. Sophomore Corey Gray ably took over, unleashing Kreps to the
Now Gray's scholarship status is uncertain (and Kreps is
gone), and head coach Howard Moore has two pure point guards waiting in
the wings to take over. Incoming freshman Greg Travis (138th ranked PG, ESPN) and JUCO
transfer Gary Talton, a D-III All-American who lead Mountain View
Community College to the national championships last year, both have a
shot at this fluid roster spot.
Talton may be the more adept
player for the role, but it would be great to have four years to
completely immerse a pure point guard like Travis in Moore's swing
Chicago State: Like UIC, the Cougars are undergoing a
complete roster overhaul for next season. The team loses seven players,
including top-scorer and forward Carl Montgomery and sometimes-starting
point guard Christian Wall.
Wall began last season with exclusive rights to the starting PG spot, but ended up sharing with junior Steve Martin (John Templon previously explored that topic).
Head coach Tracy Dildy's giant incoming 2011 class,
which includes four forwards and three guards with only one four-year
eligible player (guard Clarke Rosenberg of Evanston Township), doesn't
include any pure point players. It seems Martin will have little
competition for the Cougars' point spot, surrounded by fresh faces.
could, however, give senior Jamill Harris the nod. Harris also had
minutes at PG last season, starting in five games and playing in 26,
mostly off the bench.
Northwestern: The Wildcats have probably the biggest hole to fill in the absence of Juice Thompson, but they're prepared.
the other four starters returning for next season, incoming recruits
David Sobolewski (90th ranked PG, ESPN) and Tre Demps (33rd ranked PG,
ESPN) will have to battle for what will probably be their spot for the
Bill Carmody will likely experiment with both, as Scott Powers writes, their success may be the key to Northwestern's season.
DePaul: Long a trouble spot for the Blue Demons, Michael Bizoukas knows better than anyone that DePaul has found their guy in two-time Big East rookie of the week Brandon Young. Young has room to improve, but his assist rate (26.5%, 185th nationally), turnover rate (22.4%) and offensive rating (94.0) are a solid foundation to build on.
Incoming recruit Shane Larkin (26th ranked PG, ESPN) can learn a lot from Young.