Poor Coach Bennett can't catch a break. Less than two weeks away from tip-off of the 2012-2013 basketball season and the men's basketball team is already realizing that they aren't going to get to send out the starting five that they planned on!
Earlier this month the team announced that Jontel Evans suffered a foot injury and expected him to be out six weeks or so. As Tim pointed out in his article, that six weeks puts us at the NIT Tip-Off and the third game of the season. Luckily, it appears that Jontel's rehab process is going well and he might actually be ahead of schedule. Do I think he might come back a little earlier than that six week projection? Yes, the training staff works miracles. Do I think Evans will be in the starting five against GMU next Friday? No. That is just too quick of a turn around and I am sure Bennett and staff don't want to risk Evans getting injured further.
Evans doesn't appear to be the only one that the Cavaliers were going to count on this year that may miss some time at the beginning. If the rumor mill is correct, Sophomore-Guard Malcolm Brogdon is going to miss part of the beginning of the season with a similar foot injury that limited him down the stretch last season. There were theories last year that Brogdon's injury was more of a lifetime injury that was never really going to heal back to 100%. In any case, Brogdon being out further limits the amount of experience that Bennett was going to be able to trot out on to the court.
AND IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH! Redshirt Freshman-Guard Teven Jones was suspended at the end of last week for an undisclosed violation of team rules. You'll remember from last year, Jones was the guard that joined the team in January but only practiced with the team the rest of the season. In the long run, this (hopefully) isn't that big of a deal, but the lack of back-court depth for the GMU game could be rough.
Trivia Question! Which Cavalier was named defensive All-ACC last year? Question Code: DEFENSE. Put your answers here!
As for the starting five, I'm not even sure Coach Bennett is 100% sure what it is going to look like. As for my guess (with the help of Cavalier guru Justin Ferber), it looks like we'll have Joe Harris (probably running some of the point)(and more importantly, OH MY GAWD I CAN'T WAIT TO LOOK AT ME SOME JOE HARRIS AGAIN! SWOOOOON), Freshman phenom/second coming of Jordan/LeBron/Magic Justin Anderson, Akil Mitchell trying to semi replace Mike Scott, another Freshman Taylor Barnette (who left Lexington, KY to come to Charlottesville. TAKE THAT CALIPARI!), and Darion Atkins or Mike Tobey (Ferber's picks) or Paul Jesperson (my pick).
Every time you think you might know what the starting five might be, someone gets hurt or transfers for greener pastures closer to home. This year is certainly shaping up to follow the same path that began last year. Who do you think will be in the starting five next Friday? Who else is going to transfer by the end of November?