The Post Game Show

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's The Dynasty People, as promised...

Coming off a unbelievable storybook ride to the Big Dance last March, the 2005-2006 edition of the Delaware State men's basketball team tips off their season in less than two weeks at UCLA. Considering the murderous non-conference schedule most mid-major programs take on, wins may not come right away for the Hornets, but the good news is that the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule doesn't start until after New Years'. With that in mind, here are the players, events, and things that will define the Hornets for this coming season.

Breakout Player:
Shooting guard Tracey Worley. The MEAC experts and fans were stunned when conference coaches and SIDs picked Worley as a first-team All-MEAC selection at guard this pre-season, but look for Tracey to earn his stripes.

Aside from leading the team in scoring (13 points on six-of-six shooting) against Duke in the NCAA tournament, the 6'3, 190-pound sophomore has unfailing confidence in his J (which reminds me of long-forgotten Sixer stud Andrew Toney), and a willingness to play defense. Also, he's very mature for a youngster (he doesn't turn 19 until January 25th) and along with the rest of team, lives on his faith in God. With teams keying on last year's breakout guy Jahsha Bluntt, Worley should have plenty of chances to prove his worth to the doubters.

Player who must step up
: Center Aaron Fleetwood. This is not a slight by any means, considering how Aaron came on strong in the MEAC title game last year, but now as the man in the middle, "Fleet" is going to have to do his thing in more minutes, and more than likely against Hampton's behemoth, Bruce Brown in the title game in '06. At 6'9, and generously listed at 215 pounds, Fleetwood can block shots and rebound, but also handles the ball and shoots very well, which could be an added bonus for Coach Greg Jackson if Fleet can do his thing all game, all year.

Player(s) to look out for: Redshirt freshman guard Phillip Brown and true freshman Forward Frisco Sandidge. Brown (6'3, 180) broke his wrist last season before he could really get a foothold in Coach Jackson's system, but showed flashes of why he can be a capable point guard to spell Darrin Shine.

Sandidge (6'6, 210), meanwhile will more than likely give the Hornets depth in the Frontcourt, combining the recently graduated Terrance Hunter's ability to the get to the hoop, and the consistent shooting touch of this year's starting power forward, Troy Roundtree. If both of these guys can give the Hornets some quality minutes, everyone else would really be playing for second place.

Now it's time to answer some questions pertaining to the Hornets and their MEAC repeat chances.

Why is South Carolina State ranked ahead of the Hornets?

Because they have the conference's best player, Thurman Zimmerman returning for his senior season, along with junior forward Brian Mason (whom I call "Deebo" due to his Tim "Tiny" Lister physique). With those two up front, the Bulldogs have as good as shot as State to win the title. But guard play might kill them again if they're not careful.

What does Jahsha Bluntt have to do get better after last year's breakout season?

While Jahsh's shot is always going to be there like Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, one thing I'd like to see him do is crash the boards a little more. That's hard especially since he plays the perimeter on offense and defense, but he can definitely help himself out by helping his teammates on the glass. Apparently he has been working on his ball-handling and driving to the hoop, which everyone has requested he do, so pencil Mr. Bluntt in for about 17-18 points a game this year.

What team is the scariest threat to the Hornets' crown?

More like one player, and that player is Bruce Brown. An uptown fade shy of 7 feet tall and 280 pounds, the Hampton center is a monster underneath with soft hands (pause), and quick feet, making him hands down the best big man in the MEAC. If Pirates coach Bobby Collins is smart enough to ride the Bruce Brown express throughout the season, Hampton could get its revenge on State.

What do you see happening come March?

Well, predictions aren't recommended in my line of work, but with Hampton, SC State and DSU being the top three, it's a severe drop off from that point on, so I'll say one of those three will end up representing the MEAC in the big dance. Which one remains to be seen.

2 Comments:

  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger jameil1922 said…

    BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE! You gotta hear that at HU. Its great. You think its boos, but its not. Its really hot. Kinda like the Cameron Crazies with the jumping up and down yelling. Nice. So you know who I'm pickin to go all the way. And you see Devin Green has been signed to the Lakers. Whooo!

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    I remember when I attended and covered the MEAC title game last year, I saw a sign in the stands that said "You Can't Handle the Bruce" and the way he was kicking the Hornets' asses in the paint, I was like "sounds about right."

     

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