2) the major key to optimism to next year was having our 'big 3' back - Murray, Traore, & Jones
having that point guard, continuity, wings, disruptive players, all of that. With Murray now a question mark (and can't believe he'll be drafted), still seems Murray has likely a decent chance to return - just seeing how he stacks up in teh draft. keeping fingers crossed, because Murray leaving would jsut be a devastating loss. We lost 2 of our 3 point guards (Cobb & Slater)
3) Mansel. It's a loss, especially the Mansel of the last 6 weeks, maturity and played a solid role. could have been potentially a 20-25 minute guy next year and a big we sorely need,
4) Bigs. Not good, losing Mansel (along with Roberts & Hampton) means we are at square 1. Have seen some of the tape and stats of Stroud. He needs muscle, he has some promose, still I think liek Samuels and Edis before him, both those guys took a full year, albeit they were contributors by conference. I just can't see how Stroud at least for next year is more than a role guy - he and Mansel together would have been nice.
all the other bigs, I think are projects, maybe we'll be surprised.
5) Losing Neal and Rhoden are losses, maybe not massive, at least Scott is still there, he's got some athleticsm and developed.
6) so who coming in is gonna move the needle, more than ever, need either Tone Hunter or Hart. Not sure Hart is more than a 1st year 10 minute PG backup to Murray. If Murray leaves, all bets off. Hunter is the single most 'D1-ready' player coming in, and with all the changes, teh team doesnt' compete for a title unless he has the goods, and I think he of all the newcomers it
7) so that leaves this rotation, barring xfer portal:
Murray, Jones, Traore are 30+ minute guys. Scott, Rodewaald, Stroud, Hunter are all potentially 20 minute guys.
that leaves 30 minutes, in other words, the team is short a solid D1 xfer or other Juco to come in,a and desperately need a 6-8" type guy with some muscle .
7) so we could finish anywhere from 1st to last (Last because without a decent experienced pt guard all bets are off). Praying Murray returns.
8) Xfer portal and NIL. Long Beach better have a plan for NIL - we need a proven NIL attraction where guys can have it demonstrated they come to LB and at least earn about 20k. So we can get a couple of players and continue to compete in this free-agent era. We demonstrated a great style of play this year that shoudl be attractive for guys with length and can run the floor, and space.
9) muscle, keep needing to build guys up - Slater developed a lot of strength by this last year that allowed him to a) get to the rim, and b) consistent and longer 3 point range.