As Matt noted earlier today, the Hoos basketball roster was a bit heavy for the upcoming season. It seemed like some sort of roster move was coming. But what would happen?
There was speculation on message boards regarding Darion Atkins, Teven Jones and even Taylor Barnette. But, it seems we've gotten our answer. Paul Jesperson is leaving the program, and looking to transfer.
Reactions to this are likely to be mixed. While most fans are never happy to see a player leave the program, many fans seemed to blame Jesperson for the teams' problems. Certainly, his offense will not be missed. Despite starting 33 out of 35 games this season and seeing over 25 minutes per game, Jesperson averaged less than 5 ppg. He didn't contribute much elsewhere either, averaging just over 2 rebounds and less than 1 assist per game. The half a block and half a steal per game also aren't eye-popping.
He did shoot 37% from 3 point range, which is pretty good. But since over 2/3 of his shots were from beyond the 3 point line, his total FG% was just 36% and that is pretty bad. Jesperson also shot just 14 FTs on the season.
What the numbers don't show is Jesperson's basketball IQ. We all know Tony Bennett's defense relies on players being in the right place at the right time. Paul was always there. That is why he got so many minutes, and that is the part of his game that will be difficult to replace.
It seemed likely that Jesperson was going to lose minutes next season regardless. Obviously, Joe Harris will be starting. With Justin Anderson's strong play down the stretch, it was almost definite that he'd be starting. With the addition of Anthony Gill, the emergence of Mike Tobey and the return to health of Darion Atkins, it seems like Anderson will be starting at the 3, as opposed to the 4.
The two incoming PGs are going to get minutes, and Devon Hall's size means we may see some lineups with him at SG. Taylor Barnette proved to be a deadly shooter, meaning he is likely to be getting more minutes. As these guys gain experience in Tony Bennett's system, Jesperson's value drops.
All of these factors seem to point to the same outcome; that Paul Jesperson was going to struggle to find consistent minutes next season.
Now the real question becomes "What will Tony Bennett do with the extra scholarship?"