Will next season be any better than 2011?
Looking ahead to 2011-12 with our current roster and the already signed rookies, I am not sure. For certain, we will have more size, but will that translate to a better team?
This year we have eight guys who get over 90% of the minutes. Of those, we lose only Mo Miller. Lance Storrs will also be gone, so we will lose two guys who are not key to the success of the team. I am assuming Shumpert and Rice hang around. Hopefully they are not silly enough to think leaving will help them in any way.
Already signed are Julian Royal and Bobby Parks. While both look like fine additions, neither is likely to change our fortunes dramatically next season. Royal is 6-8, but thin and not likely to match up well with ACC upperclassmen inside. Parks should help on the perimeter, but is not a pure shooter.
We are also in the hunt for Ben McLemore, another 4-star guy. If we get him, our class ranking will probably improve considerably.
I see this year's team's weaknesses are shooting, inside defense, and quickness outside. With the possible exception of McLemore, none of these guys really chages thoseweak areas very much. McLemore is very quick and could help our perimeter defense. Neither he nor Parks is much different than our current batch of shooters, so we will have to have some offensive production inside if we expect to improve next year.
On second thought, perhaps our inability to defend the 3-point shot is really a by-product of our poor inside defense. Maybe our guards are better than they appear.
So, what does all this mean? Maybe Hewitt stays around for another 9-7 or 8-8 season and early exit from the NCAA tournament. If that were the prognosis, would you be OK with him as the coach? If we sign McLemore, this will be a pretty good recruiting class. I don't see any of these guys as one-and-done players, but all would be solid additions.