Breaking down the minutes for VCU’s upcoming team is no easy task. If only they could have everyone on the court at one time. Between older returning players and younger ones who have earned more playing time each season its difficult predicting who will play. What makes it even harder is having one of the best recruiting classes VCU has ever seen coming in as well. Here is a rough prediction of what the minutes may play out to look like.
Point Guard: leading with the easiest position, Briante Weber will be the go-to guy. Weber had 1011 minutes last season and will get just about that this season. Jequan Lewis had 565 last season and, with the exception of his infamous foul in the final moments of the Stephen F. Austin game, (we won’t talk about that) ran the court very well. Lewis may even take a few minutes away from Weber so that Smart can mix it up a little bit more. Jonathan Williams is a very skilled point guard and will probably see a few minutes here and there. He will need to train and get VCU’s style down his first year.
Guard: Jordan Burgess will earn the most minutes in this position as he had 669 last season. With Brandenberg graduated, his numbers will go way up in order to fill this void. Doug Brooks will see a good amount of playing time as well as he will likely get somewhere around 800 minutes next season. Torey Burston saw 100 minutes last season and with the opening, he will see much more this season as well. All three players grew last season in the guard position and will all make vital impacts on the court.
Shooting Guard: last season’s leading scorer, Treveon Graham will tear up this position. He earned 989 minutes last season and will likely see even more if the team makes it as far as they should this season. Melvin Johnson wasn’t too far behind with 738 minutes. Johnson has great range and not only shoots accurate 3-pointers; he’s also one of the team’s best defenders. Johnson grabbed 30 steals last season.
Forward: this position is one of the most difficult to predict because of the talent VCU has coming in. Returners who play here are Jarred Guest and Emerson Burk. Guest earned 316 minutes and Burk saw 8. Both players have the potential to play more this season, Guest more than Burk. Although it’s hard to predict, after watching the three class of 2014 players, they may take the most minutes in this position. Mike Gilmore and Justin Tillman are coming in as athletic, tall, power forwards. They will be stealing some playing time. Terry Larrier may be one of the most exciting players to watch this season and he will see time in the small forward position. These three will be taking time away from the returning forwards, wither it be one or all of them.
Center: Mo Alie-Cox is a great forward, but with all the talent coming into that position he will be better suited to use his center skills. VCU needs a power house under the basket running their plays. Mo can do just that, and more. Antravious Simmons was redshirted last season so he will be taking some of the minutes as well. Simmons is explosive in the low-court and has his own style that will shine this season. Mo will likely see more playing time, but fans shouldn’t be surprised if these two share a good amount of the time in the center position.