Coach Shaka Smart is one to utilize his forwards on the court at all times. With the forwards returning for the Rams, there’s definitely space open for a star to emerge. Returning forwards include Mo Alie-Cox, Jarred Guest, Antravious Simmons, and Emerson Burk.
Fans will probably see a new face in their starting lineup though. Rising freshman and forward Terry Larrier is a top 50 ESPN recruit and a very talented forward. Larrier plays more of a small forward role, as he is quick to draw fouls and plays a versatile game. Larrier’s strengths are in defense, rebounding, and passing.
With his quick hands, Larrier will most likely earn the starting forward position for the Rams. In addition to his characteristics, Larrier’s stats prove his talent as well. With his 6-10 wingspan Larrier is able to stretch to the basket and score as he averaged 17 PPG in his varsity career. Larrier also averaged 3.6 reb/game and proved his versatility around the court.
Mo Alie-Cox is a returning crowd favorite forward. With his 48 blocks, Mo not only excited fans, but he protected the basket better than anyone could have hoped for. Mo is more of a power forward and he thrives under the basket, looking much like Juvonte Reddic. Averaging 3.3 PPG and 3.6 RPG, Mo is a great candidate for the forward position and will probably start alongside Larrier as more of a center.
Senior, Jarred Guest, is also a returning forward this season. Guest didn’t see long playing time each game, but he was a go-to backup in all of the games last season. Guest is a strong, reliable player who can enter into the game and immediately take control of the court. Averaging 2.3 rebounds, he grabs the ball on both ends of the court pretty equally as he ended the season with 43 offensive and 37 defensive rebounds. Guest is a solid player to put in during transition times in the game.
Emerson Burk earned playing time in 12 games last season as a freshman. Next season, as a rising sophomore, Burk will be training to gain speed and strength. As a walk-on Burk has proved that he is a great fit for the team. Although he averaged just 0.7 minutes/game, it was playing time nonetheless. Coach Smart must see potential in Burk and it will be interesting to watch what Burk has to bring on the court next season.
Finally, we come to rising sophomore Antravious Simmons. Simmons unfortunately didn’t earn any playing time last season. Simmons is a 6-9 250-pound all-star center who thrives in the frontcourt. Being that Simmons was new to the team as a freshman, with training in the offseason and with his hard work, fans can probably look forward to seeing Simmons on the court soon.
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