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Old 01-11-2020, 06:02 PM   #1
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Living the Dream (DDS:CB)

Hi, everyone.

You're used to seeing me trying various projects with Football Manager, but this time I'm going to do something new.

Years ago, I played Draft Day Sports: College Basketball quite a bit. At least that's the game I thought I played. I drifted away from it; that's what a growing family will do sometimes. Well, now that my amazing offspring are old enough to be more self-sufficient (our "baby daughter" is about to turn 10), I have time to give DDS:CB another try.

Meet Aidan Harris. He's hopefully about to begin his college coaching odyssey.

Aidan grew up in Richmond, Virginia. A 6'3" guard with a silky jump shot and the ability and willingness to play resolute defense, he was good enough to possibly be a star at a Division III college. However, Aidan chose to attend his father's alma mater, the University of Virginia.

He walked on for the Cavaliers, spent four years on the team, and played exactly 106 minutes in 14 games. The student section at the John Paul Jones Arena adored him, and cheered wildly whenever he stepped onto the court. His career highlight came on a cold December night in Charlottesville, when he knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the Cavaliers' 93-49 victory over William & Mary.

Aidan took his degree in history with the Class of 2015. In the summer of 2018, he's 25, teaching history and coaching at an independent school in his home town. He has a job he enjoys, and he's good at it. He's very newly married to his UVA sweetheart, the former Kate O'Farrell. She's intelligent and vivacious, with short blonde hair and luminous green eyes, and she teaches third grade at the same private school.

If Aidan remained where he is, doing what he's doing, he wouldn't curse his fate. He's a happy man. However, if he could write the script for his life, he'd change the plot just a bit. He'd like to be a college basketball coach. Ideally, Aidan would love most to coach at his alma mater.

A few of his classmates, his closest friends, his family, and the most avid Cavs hoops junkies would remember Aidan's playing career.

Aidan hopes you'll one day remember his coaching career very, very well.

(In the DDS:CB world, I'm starting unemployed. We'll see where Aidan ends up.)

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Old 01-11-2020, 06:27 PM   #2
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Summer 2018

In DDS:CB, you can customize your coaching character at the beginning of the game.

I let my kids (son/15, daughter 12/, daughter/9) set my levels for Ambition, Academics, Discipline, Temper, and Integrity. Interestingly, they gave me the same rating for everything but Temper; my son gave me a 5 (Average) here and my daughters a 4 each.



I was tempted to start Aidan out as an absolutely clueless newbie, but I was afraid if I did, nobody would offer him a job. I don't want my story to be an endless description of fictional high school seasons, so I gave Aidan a decent foundation of coaching skills.



I can also set his tendencies for different playing styles, which I think is very cool. I can change them at any time if I so choose.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Random Game Notes

I installed a Real College Mod that allows me to play with real team names, logos, etc. The option I chose generates fictional coaches and players, but I think I could also have picked real coaches and/or players.

In my world, players may not leave college early to turn pro. So, if one day I'm lucky and good enough to recruit a five-star player, I won't lose him to the NBA before he's had the chance to build his legacy with my program.

I'm very lucky that my family supports my somewhat esoteric hobby. I'm including them in the story this time. If I'm offered a job somewhere, I'll ask my wife if she would be willing to relocate for a job there. If she says no, I won't take the job. That will simulate the decision a real coach's family would help him make. If she's not available, one of my kids will play her "role."

When Aidan is old enough to have a family of his own, with children who could express an opinion about the jobs Dad might take, I'll get input from my own kids. I'll retain the final say, but it might be fun to add an additional level of unpredictability to the story.

It's possible to be offered a job as an assistant coach, as well as a head coaching gig. I almost hope Aidan gets to begin his career as an assistant, so I can learn what that experience would be like.

Last edited by Greyfriars Bobby : 01-11-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:33 PM   #4
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
April 9, 2019

The 2018-19 season is in the books. There's nothing but happiness in Gainesville, where Florida is celebrating their 75-68 NCAA tournament victory over Kansas. The Gators defeated Creighton to advance to the championship game, while the Jayhawks knocked off Louisville. The Cardinals finished the season ranked #1 in both the media and coaches' polls.

This week was also the day of reckoning for coaches whose performance fell short of their board's expectations. Aidan received an email listing dozens of job openings. All of the featured jobs were head coaching positions, and several of them were very intriguing.

Aidan's dream job was among them. Virginia began the season ranked #22. They sputtered to a 14-15 record, including an especially lackluster 6-12 record in ACC play. The Cavaliers were immediately eliminated from the ACC tournament by Wake Forest, and failed to win an invitation to any national tournament. That was enough to cost Doug Deverage his job.

Aidan's Below Average reputation probably wouldn't make him a strong candidate for the UVA job. His dream would have to wait for now.

I decided to limit his choices to schools with outstanding academic reputations; they seemed more likely to be interested in a coach who shared their emphasis on academic excellence. Schools from major conferences, who were probably looking for bigger names, were also taken off his list. Even with those restrictions, Aidan's short list was far from short.

HTML Code:
SCHOOL CONFERENCE PRE FAC ACA Boston Univ. Patriot League 25 C A- Brown Ivy League 15 C A Bucknell Patriot League 31 C+ B+ Colgate Patriot League 14 C+ A- Columbia Ivy League 14 C- A+ Dartmouth Ivy League 15 C- A Davidson Atlantic 10 46 B- A- Fordham Atlantic 10 22 C+ B+ Furman Southern Conf. 18 C+ A- Harvard Ivy League 30 C+ A+ Holy Cross Patriot League 23 C+ A- Lafayette Patriot League 11 C B+ Lehigh Patriot League 25 C A- Loyola (MD) Patriot League 24 C B+ Northeastern Colonial 29 C- A Pennsylvania Ivy League 29 C+ A+ Princeton Ivy League 29 C A Rice Conference USA 19 C+ A+ Stony Brook America East 18 C B+ William & Mary Colonial 25 C A- Yale Ivy League 26 C+ A+

Aidan could apply for one job in the first round of hiring. Which of these 21 positions would I pursue? I decided to begin by taking a shot at one of the "bigger" programs on his list.

Davidson was clearly the most prestigious school on his list. It was intriguing for that reason. Several of the Ivies, with their aura of tradition, were appealing, too. I decided to ask my wife and son which of the Ivy League schools on the list they'd prefer. I got one vote for Princeton and one for Dartmouth. I decided to go with my wife's choice this time--rarely a poor move on my part--and apply for the Princeton job.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:50 PM   #5
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
April 9, 2019



That didn't take long at all!



Here are the terms of Aidan's first contract. His salary is well over twice what he was earning as a high school teacher and coach. The money could come in very handy, as Kate is four months pregnant with their first child.

The board's expectations for him seem to be challenging, but reasonable. The Tigers went 13-14 last season, and their 6-8 conference record placed them sixth. However, They received key contributions from three seniors, and it looks like Aidan's predecessor, JaJa Sterling, wasn't able to pull in a star-studded recruiting class.

Last edited by Greyfriars Bobby : 01-11-2020 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:14 PM   #6
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
April 16, 2019

Next, I had the opportunity to make any changes I wanted to Aidan's staff. After I looked at the coaches who were looking for work, I decided to stick with the staff he inherited. So, here's the 2019-20 Princeton University men's basketball staff:



Mark Kosic is clearly the best of my assistants. Mark Thomas and Casey Collins are nothing special, but they're at least as talented as anyone else I could hire right now.

Each of the three assistants is assigned to a special emphasis: Recruiting, Scouting, or Practice. I can change their assignments, but I'm not going to do that now.

The four of us share an emphasis on academics, which is probably a given at Princeton. Coach Collins looks like he'll be perfectly comfortable playing the "bad cop," while Coach Thomas's loosey-goosey style might appeal to some players.

If we had any spots left in our incoming class, we could try to fill them in the last week of the recruiting season. We've got a full bus, however, so it's time to begin making plans for next season.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:52 PM   #7
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
May 1, 2019

I like this calendar page, which keeps me on top of what Aidan will be doing over the course of the year.



The Recruiting Calendar is a very good feature. Recruiting is a complicated process, and it's good to have a big picture of what actions Aidan can take during the recruiting season. I've always loved this feature of college sports simulations, so I'm looking forward to recruiting very much.

Today, Aidan got an email ranking each Division I program's recruiting classes. Ours was ranked #89, which looks like it's the best in the Ivy League! Apparently I need to recalibrate my expectations about what a good recruiting class looks like at this level.

He also received information about our budget for the season. This budget is used to pay for two things: the salaries of Aidan's three assistants and recruiting costs.



I checked this information about the other seven Ivies. We have the biggest budget, but we also spend the most on our assistant coaches' salaries. So, our recruiting budget is approximately average for our league.

Incidentally, Virginia is spending so much on their assistant coaches that they have less money left to recruit with than we do!

It's also time to purchase scouting reports. Here's what this screen looks like:



I didn't figure we were going to be attracting players from outside our Atlantic East area. I was tempted to splurge on a Gold Report, but since this is my first season, I had no idea how much money I'd need to save for the actual recruiting process--calling recruits, bringing them to campus, watching them play, and visiting them at home. So, I clicked "AI Suggest," and went with its recommendation. I'll be keeping things basic and sticking close to home.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:04 AM   #8
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
June 25, 2019

None of our players decided to transfer this summer. That meant Aidan didn't have any available scholarships, so we skipped the transfer recruiting period. That brought us to late June, when it's time to schedule trips to regional camps where we can check out promising high school seniors. This screen looks like this:



Again, I went with the AI's suggestion here. It looks like I'll be visiting three of the regional camps, which will cost $12,900. Apparently, it's more likely that we'll attract a decent player from the Midwest or Southeast than a real baller who'd be attending the East Coast Jam.

In future years, I won't post all the screens I've been showing you so far. I'm doing it once, so you'll get a look at what it's like to play the game, and to save me from writing long explanations of what I'm doing.

Last edited by Greyfriars Bobby : 01-12-2020 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:50 AM   #9
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
June 26, 2019

The recruiting season begins today!

Aidan can offer five scholarships this year. The five senior scholarship players on this season's roster are a PG, a SG, a SF, and two PFs. However, the roster is heavy on big men, so I might recruit a fourth perimeter player instead of two fours.

Here is a screen that shows the recruits who rate Yes (+++) or Some (++) in terms of their interest in playing for Princeton.



Michael Lockwood, a point guard from Maple Shade, NJ, is the only player who's expressing definite interest in our program right now. His national ranking isn't great, but it's similar to at least one of our incoming freshmen. I like his 4.0 GPA, and his stats indicate an ability to distribute the ball.

Here's what Lockwood's player screen looks like.



Right now, Aidan doesn't know much about what kind of player Michael is, besides some stats he could look up online. There are several things he can to to begin recruiting Michael and learn more about him. Aidan will add Michael to his call list, which will cost $5. Placing him on Princeton's watch list costs nothing. I'm going to take both these actions. I wonder what I'll learn about Michael and his family from our conversation?

I can have Aidan watch 10 players' film each week. Each of these sessions costs $20. I could invite Hammond to campus this week, at a cost of $125; I can host three recruits this week. I think I'll watch Hammond's film first, and if I like what I see, I'll bring him to Princeton.

Donnie Brown is the highest-ranked player who is expressing interest in Princeton right now. He's a bruising power forward from West Virginia. If he's as good as his ranking indicates, he'd be a huge get for us.



I'll recruit him, too, and see if we can get him to fall in love with the idea of playing for us.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:26 AM   #10
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
July 4, 2019

Aidan and his staff watched and evaluated 10 players on film this week. Now, I have enough information to grade these players on a variety of skills, and assign each one an overall grade.



There's a lot of interesting information here! Michael Lockwood looks like he might be better than his ranking would indicate. He's apparently not very athletic, but he's got every other quality I'd like to see in a point guard.

On the other hand, Donnie Brown doesn't grade out any higher than Lockwood does. I really don't like that F he gets for Defense.

Andrew Egans, a big man whom I took a flyer on because he's from New Jersey and he's a good student, didn't grade out any higher than the other guys we evaluated. Are he and Brown really not that good, or are we really not that good at evaluating talent?

Jeremy Burns, a SG from West Virginia, was apparently flattered by our interest in him, and apparently is now more interested in what we have to offer.

Lockwood and Brown visited campus last week, and both emailed Aidan with their impressions of their visit. Here's what Lockwood said:



Brown's visit didn't go as well, and you can see that his interest has cooled.

Back to Lockwood. When we look at his recruit page, some things have changed!



We're Michael's #1 choice! Aidan is going to watch him play some summer ball this week, and he's very close to offering Michael a scholarship.

Aidan has different information about other players, who shared things about their family and their interest in things like academics, playing time, and the distance they'd like to travel from home. For example, Aidan has learned that Princeton is Jeremy Burns's second choice (but we don't know which school he'd prefer over us).
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:28 AM   #11
MizzouRah
General Manager
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Troy, Mo
Excellent read so far!
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:05 AM   #12
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
August 7, 2019

During July, Aidan attended the three regional camps in Chicago, Memphis, and New York. At first, I wondered if I'd just wasted a big chunk of my recruiting budget, because it appeared I'd just learned a lot about a bunch of players who had no interest in playing for Princeton.

So, I continued recruiting the players who did seem interested. To my dismay, almost none of them were willing to come to campus for a visit.

Out of frustration, wanting someone to recruit, I turned back to the players Aidan had watched at the Big Apple Showcase. None of these players were expressing any interest in us.

Culling this big herd is a challenge. Since it's my first season, I'm not yet able to judge how high a player's GPA needs to be in order for him to remain academically eligible at an elite academic institution like Princeton. If I bring in a guy who flunks out. That could cost me my job. I'm not concerned about Michael Lockwood and his 4.0 average. It's the guys with averages around 3.0 that I'm not sure about.

I added some of them to my call and watch lists, which also has the benefit of having Aidan's assistants call them behind the scenes and learn more about their priorities. Then, on a whim, I had Aidan invite the ones I liked best to visit campus.

Three of them accepted their invitations!

Dominick Stokes, a 6'8" forward from Pennsylvania, didn't think his visit was productive. However, the other two guys who visited on July 30 were more impressed. Quick 6'0" point guard DeWy Henry came up from Virginia, and he was appreciative of our time. Lewis Martin had an even better time. The athletic, 6'8" forward from West Virginia gave Aidan the same feedback he'd received from Michael Lockwood. Henry (#361 nationally) is a much more highly regarded player than most of the guys I was recruiting before.

This week, I noticed that some of the players who had once had plus-plus-plus interest in us were no longer impressed. These are the players who had turned down campus visits. Maybe they're mad because I haven't offered scholarships to them.

I went back to the strategy I used last week, and brought in three more "reach" guys. Mario Saunders (PF, 6'8", Virginia, #271 nationally) and Johnny Morris (SF, 6'7", North Carolina, #1033 nationally) had very good visits. So, I've decided to offer them scholarships and see what happens next.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:09 AM   #13
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzouRah View Post
Excellent read so far!

Thanks, MizzouRah. It's been fun getting back into this game. I hope you enjoy following the story!
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:17 AM   #14
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
September 18, 2019

The recruiting season has intensified over the last two weeks. The first contact period has begun, so Aidan can visit the homes of players he's recruiting.

I can choose a Pitch Focus for each visit: a point Aidan will emphasize as he talks with the recruit and his family. This is where the information I've learned through phone calls comes in handy. If a player has mentioned academics is a high priority, I might choose Academics as my Pitch Focus. Or, if I've learned that a player's parents will have a high level of influence over his decision, I might choose a Focus that matches his parents' priorities.

During the first week of September, I offered a scholarship to Lewis Martin, the PF from West Virginia. Aidan could visit three players on September 11, and I chose to send him to the homes of Lewis, Michael Lockwood, and Mario Saunders.

Emails from the players appeared in Aidan's mailbox right away. Martin's response to the visit was meh. Saunders and Lockwood were more effusive, talking about what a good time they had.

Later that week, Aidan offered a scholarship to Aaron Klein (SG, 6'0", Maryland, #800 nationally). He's a very athletic guard with a nice outside shot.

Coaches could visit four players on September 18. Sensing he could seal the deals with Lockwood and Saunders, Aidan went back to see them again. He also decided to take one more chance with Martin, and made his first visit to Klein.

That day, I got an email from Lockwood:




I'll post Michael's profile once he's signed his letter of intent, which he can do in early November.

Unfortunately, I got two other "My Decision" emails. Johnny Morris has chosen to attend Northeastern, while Mario Saunders picked Boston College. It's hard to feel too bad when a player picks an ACC school over us. If I'd known Mario was being recruited by schools of that magnitude, I might not have offered him. Perhaps that's where the Gold-Star scouting report comes in handy.

I wasted no time offering a scholarship to David Bergmann (PF, 6'7", Connecticut, #723 nationally), whom I'd been following for some time. David is a rugged interior presence with a reputation for playing tough defense.

Last edited by Greyfriars Bobby : 01-13-2020 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:33 PM   #15
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
For future reference, yes, Chicago and Memphis were probably wasted recruiting dollars. You should have attended the East Coast Jam, which is your regional grey camp (hence why it's cheaper than the other regional camps).

Dangerous going Ivy for your first time out. Makes recruiting much more difficult due to the academic requirements.

Going to be fun reading this, though.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:23 PM   #16
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izulde View Post
For future reference, yes, Chicago and Memphis were probably wasted recruiting dollars. You should have attended the East Coast Jam, which is your regional grey camp (hence why it's cheaper than the other regional camps).

Dangerous going Ivy for your first time out. Makes recruiting much more difficult due to the academic requirements.

Going to be fun reading this, though.

That's what I get for taking the AI's recommendation. I could have saved a few thousand had I not schlepped out to Chicago and Memphis.

Is there much chance of an Ivy signing a player good enough to attend a national camp? My instincts said "probably not," since when I looked at the recruiting classes Princeton and the other Ivies landed in 2018-19, not many of the players were ranked much better than #1000 or so.

I'm seeing what you mean about the academic requirements. Anyone I sign has to score 1100 or better on his SAT, and if one of my players becomes academically ineligible, I'm going to have to face the board.

Thanks for following along! It's been fun so far.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:56 PM   #17
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
October 9, 2019

The contact period ended yesterday, an action-packed four weeks that gave Aidan Harris a wild ride through the world of college basketball recruiting. By the time the dust cleared, Aidan had been turned down by a recruit who chose a conference rival instead, and pulled a scholarship offer from a player whose parents basically told their son to tell me Princeton wasn't the school for him, and, finally, landed his second commitment.

David Bergmann was the recruit Aidan missed on. The Connecticut native decided to stay very close to home, committing to Yale on October 2.

Lewis Martin's parents played a very active role in their son's recruitment. After Aidan visited the Martins a second time, Lewis emailed him to tell him his parents didn't think Princeton would be a good fit. I revoked my offer and began to look for another big man to recruit.

Joey Stevens (SF, 6'8", Connecticut, #611 nationally) had been on Aidan's radar for some time. Princeton had been gradually moving up his list for several weeks. Aidan offered Joey the newly-liberated scholarship, and Princeton moved into his top three.

The best news of the week came today, when Aaron Klein emailed Aidan to tell him that he was committing to Princeton. My scouting report on him gives him an F for defense, which is a shame, because otherwise he's a very nifty guard. Perhaps it's my staff's scouting ability that's subpar, rather than Aaron's ability to play defense.

Again, I'll post Aaron's profile once he's signed his LOI.

Practice is underway, and it's time to take a look at our schedule for the 2019-20 season. First, our non-conference slate:



A trip to Omaha to take on Creighton, who made it to the 2019 Final Four, will be the toughest test. Otherwise, it's a very manageable schedule. I'm allowed to replace our non-conference opponents with other teams that have suitable openings in their schedule, and I made a few switches here and there.

And, here's our Ivy League schedule:



A home-and-home with each of our seven opponents, fourteen games in all.

And, on a more personal note, Aidan and Kate welcomed their first child to the world on September 21. Matthew Parker Harris is already exhibiting outstanding dribbling skills. (I flipped a coin for the baby's gender, and my older daughter named him. )

Last edited by Greyfriars Bobby : 01-13-2020 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:45 PM   #18
Greyfriars Bobby
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
November 10, 2019

The season is about to begin, so it's time to take our first look at the 2019-20 Princeton Tigers.






For the second consecutive season, the Tigers will start a pair of seniors in the backcourt.

Point guard Steve Vines must replace last yearís Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, graduated senior Wayne Hammond. Vines, who averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 assists/game as Hammondís backup last year, is not nearly as accomplished a defender, but he has very good court vision and is a threat to shoot from outside.

Both Hammond and last seasonís shooting guard, Doug Lane, were second team All-Ivy selections, so Laneís successor, Brian Jones, also has big shoes to fill. Jones, who barely played in 2018-19, is nonetheless a talented player. He is a threat from three-point range, and he is also savvy enough to run the offense if need be.

A pair of promising underclassmen, sophomore Chris Johnson and freshman Daniel Winkfield, provide backcourt depth.

The return of power forward Rick Henry, whose 2018-19 season ended in January when he tore his Achilles, is a huge plus. Henry started 20 of 21 games before his injury, averaging 10 points and six boards a game. Harris will count on even more from the senior, who is comfortable both on the perimeter or in the post.

A fourth senior, Andre Thompson, will fill the small forward slot. Thompson is perhaps the teamís best defender, with the athleticism to guard quick wings and the strength to hold his own against big men. He demonstrated his scoring ability last year, averaging 9.3 PPG as the teamís sixth man.

Justin McKie will come off the bench to spell Thompson, bringing a solid mid-range game and a quick pair of hands. Harris can also call on freshman Shawn Jackson, who looks like a football tight end but prefers to operate on the wing.

Freshman Sammy Forney will be counted on to contribute right away. He has the size and strength to assert himself in the paint, but he also offers a decent mid-range jumper. If he develops into the star Harris believes he can be, the Tigers will be set in the pivot for the next four years.

Forneyís arrival moves last yearís starter, Stevie Benson, into a reserve role. Benson averaged 7.6 points and 4.2 rebounds/game last season. He's a more traditional post player than Forney, and he'll get a decent amount of playing time, spelling both Forney and Henry.
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