SMC Basketball: Previewing the Preview Game


One thing that I’m sure I know: Brad Waldow will not play point guard for the Gaels.

With the men’s basketball team set to hold and open scrimmage on August 1st, ahead of their tour of Australia, now is a good time to start previewing their upcoming season. This is the first of many blogs looking forward to the upcoming year.

Previewing the Scrimmage:

The way the Gaels roster is set up, picking the starting line up is the same as choosing five guys to be on a team in a pick up basketball game: you take your big and put him down low on the block, and then have four guys run around and try to either make an easy layup or hit a three pointer. No joke, this is a very watered down version of the 2013-2014 Gaels offense. The only certain piece that I know for sure is that Brad Waldow will be a center. That is it. Everything else is up for grabs. Here are some of my questions heading into the scrimmage:

1. Assuming that Waldow plays 20-25 minutes a game, does Matt Hodgson play only the “five” spot this year? 

Hodgson spent some time playing the power forward position last year, and can shoot the three ball. He is much more versatile in comparison to Waldow. While he won’t back down any big centers, he has a nice mid-range jumper to go along with his outside shot. However, with no other center on the roster, it is highly likely that Hodgson will not see any time as the power-forward. That said, having a center who can shoot the three-ball is dangerous as well, and if Randy Bennett can run plays for Hodgson to spot up and shoot, then this offense will be very, very dangerous.

2. Everyone (including I) expects Steven Holt to be the primary point guard, but does Randy Bennett actually play Holt at the one?

This question, along with the third one, doesn’t need much explanation. Yes, Holt is the best guard on this team, and with the addition of Kerry Carter, Holt will have another guard who can play off-ball and be a spot-up shooter. But, with Guisti in the mix, Holt doesn’t have to be the sole point guard. Unlike last year where teams double-teamed Dellavedova, they will have a harder challenge doing that to Guisti and Holt. I still expect Holt to get the bulk of the point guard minutes at the start of the year, but don’t be surprised if Guisti is the primary ball handler come March.

3. The Gaels have so many guards. Who plays for how long?

Duffy, Guisti, Carter, Holt, McCoy, Walker III, and perhaps even Hermanson. And that is with Jordy Page in rehab. Holt and Guisti are the experienced of the two, and Carter put together a solid season at Citrus last year. Paul McCoy should finally be back to 100% while Trevean Duffy is a stud-in-waiting.

4. Does either Hermanson or Pineau redshirt this year?

With so many guards on the team, I kind of expect Hermanson to redshirt. (I see him as a SF, but in a three-guard offense, the minutes won’t really be there for him). Pineau, on the other hand, had a great FIBA U-19 tournament as a Power Forward, but I have doubts about him playing against older power fowards who are stronger than him. With Chris Reyes on board, and Garrett Jackson possibly playing some power forward, the 80 minutes are all accounted for and there is no need for Pineau to dress this year.

5. What kind of impact will Garrett Jackson have on this team?

Last year the build-up surrounding Matt Hodgson was high, and it took him a while to truly settle in. Hodgson did come from a small program. Jackson, on the other hand, was starter his sophomore year in the Pac-10, and, from what I heard, has improved greatly. I am really excited to see what he can bring. It will be good for Saint Mary’s if he can play both the small and power forward positions, which will allow Bennett to redshirt Pineau.

Make sure to follow me on twitter @SimonTryzna and tweet me other questions I can answer. I will be tweeting from McKeon Pavillion on Thursday (at least until my phone dies).