If you missed Part Three… The Freshmen, read it here.
If you missed Part One… The Guys Coming Back, here it is.
If you missed Part Two… The Transfers, here it is.
And here we are on hoops preview, day four and the day we start to make some predictions about how this season is going to go. And the best place to do that is, starting with the schedule.
Now I could do a whole schedule breakdown, but as it turns out the fine folks at ESPN did one yesterday. You can read it here. In case you missed it, it’s under the title 10 worst schedules in the nation and it kinda looks they’re calling us the worst. In fact if I may offer a quote. ESPN begins by saying no one expects us to have the hardest schedule in the nation but…
"And having said all that … with the exception of the long-standing rivalry game at BYU, this schedule is atrocious."
So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
I don’t get what Larry is trying to do with this schedule except for trying to create the thinnest illusion of winning. One would think you’d like something slightly easier than last year so you could see where you’ve come. Instead, we’re not going to know a damn thing about our team other than they’ll be wildly underprepared going into Tucson in early January.
Plus it’s one more thing that sort of feels like the Utah State-ification of this program, which I think it terrible. I’d rather fail a 1000 times trying to actually win than the crap illusion of doing it that Disco Stew has perfected oh so well.
One other point. Under Jim Boylen, we moved away from Utah St. and Weber St. in order to book much bigger name teams to home and homes. If we’re not doing that it is awful that USU and Weber aren’t on this schedule. And we all know they’d have both gladly put us back on.
First let me fix a mistake from yesterday. I left Jeremy Olsen off of the Freshman preview, and considering he might be the best freshman in the class, it was a stupid thing to do. Jeremy is a 6′ 10″ kid from Georgia with Utah connections. At his Georgia high school he set all sorts of records and was all Metro-Atlanta, which I’m guessing makes you pretty good. He was recruited by Jim Boylen and redshirted a season before going on a mission. Jeremy has 4 years to play 4 and was offered by some serious programs.
Now on to the predictions.
My guess would be the starting five looks something like…
Dean, Dotson, Loveridge, Lenz, Washburn. The backup at both guard positions will be Jared Dubois and he’ll be first off the bench most nights. They’ll try and get as much as they can out of Ballchynski and Olsen with the bigs as they’d like to keep Loveridge at the 3 as much as possible. Cedric Martin will get a few minutes in here somewhere and the only other serious contributor might be Justin Seymour, depending on a variety of things.
What is Success?
With that horrible OOC schedule, this team should win 10 of those games as a minimum to be considered successful. They should at least double their win total in the Pac-12 to six before we contemplate success as well. Sixteen wins is the bare minimum for success here, and really to feel good about what has happened, it should be more like 20 wins.
So there it is, lets see what happens.