When it comes to depth, Memphis has the deepest team among the other elite teams in college basketball. Each position has either two or three guys that would fit well for Pastner’s system. There are no stars on this team. Most of them are considered as good role players. But there are leaders on this team when it comes to the seniors and the returning cast. This is the first time that I have given the line-ups that Pastner could possibly use, so please bare with me.
Here’s one line-up:
PG Markel Crawford
SG Kuran Iverson
SF Nick King
PF Austin Nichols
C Dominic Woodson
This line-up could be dangerous but it will not happen due to the depth that Memphis has at the guard position. Crawford will not play a significant amount of minutes because he will have to compete against Joe Jackson, Michael Dixon, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson. Pastner wants experience on the floor and he knows he can’t use Crawford for critical minutes in a game when the team needs a quick bucket. This line-up would do great because all of these guys are athletic.
This entire line-up are all freshmen with no experience at the collegiate level but can play basketball in their sleep. Nichols is the most athletic big man I have seen since Cody Zeller last season for Indiana. He’s not strong enough to beat you in the paint, but instead he will use his fundamentals to his advantage. He has a nice mid-range jump shot from the outside and he’s not afraid to shoot. He’s also quick on his feet and can outrun any big man in the country. To me, he’s a better shooter than Zeller was last season. It’s only my opinion so Nichols will have to prove it once he gets the chance to do so.
Crawford, King and Iverson are versatile players who can beat their defenders off the dribble or off the ball. Crawford has great court vision and looks to get everyone involved. His game is similar to Rondo or Chris Paul. His handles are good and he’s not afraid of contact in the lane. King is a better shooter than Iverson that’s why I placed him at the small forward position but he can play at shooting guard if needed to do so. Iverson is better off at shooting guard and with his athleticism, defenses would be so focused on him that King and Nichols could get their points easily. Just like King, Iverson can also play multiple positions.
Woodson is a 300-pound center who’s hard to move out of the paint. That would be a plus for Memphis because a center who can rebound and play defense will help Memphis come March Madness. Not having a dominant center last season didn’t help Memphis cause at all as they were being punished by Michigan State’s big men in the NCAA Tournament.
This is arguably the deepest team Pastner has had since he’s been at Memphis. So, look for Pastner to use a lot of his players, if not all of them.
Stay tuned for tomorrow as I will present part 2 of the potential line-ups.