13 + 1 = 13?
With final exams in the books and five new Bluejays inked to men’s basketball letters of intent, summer vacation is officially underway. That was until the past few days, when recently departed senior-to-be Cavel Witter whipped discussion of CU hoops back into a frenzy with the news that he is not leaving the program as previously reported this spring.
Thursday’s Omaha World-Herald reported coach Dana Altman was open to Witter coming back to the team and earning his way back into the rotation, yet adding that nothing was “etched in stone.” Friday, Steve Pivovar published a story
saying Witter expects to wear the White and Blue next season. “"Basically, it's going to come down to me getting back in there and working myself back on to the team," Witter said. He added, “I just need to show that I'm willing to work hard and that I'm willing to deal with the coaches and my teammates," Witter said. "That's not going to be a problem.”
The problem, though, comes when trying to answer this question: how many teammates will he be dealing with?
Ethan Wragge, Andrew Bock, Wayne Runnels, Daryl Ashford, and Greg Allen each signed fresh LOIs in the past 6 months. Add those five guys to a roster sans scholarship players Josh Dotzler, Booker Woodfox (graduation), and Kenton Walker (transfer), and the numbers don’t add up.Seniors:
Justin Carter / Chad Millard (TF) / Cavel WitterJuniors:
Kenny Lawson (RS) / Casey Harriman (RS) / P’Allen Stinnett / Kaleb Korver / Wayne Runnels / Daryl AshfordSophomores:
Josh Jones (RS) / Ethan Wragge / Andrew Bock / Greg Allen
*Scholarship players only
That’s right; that’s 14 players either on scholarship last year or planning to be on scholarship this year. Problem is, 13 is the magic number. So what in the abacus is going on here? Is Witter paying his own way to play? Is someone else? Is someone picking up some academic aide? Is Kenny Lawson logging some work study hours in the library, putting books away ala Panon? (At least Lawson wouldn’t need a library ladder to reach the top shelves.)
It is a good problem to have, in my opinion. Regardless of how things went on the court for Witter last season, it is almost unheard of for a coaching staff to be able to bring in a player with 2 years of experience in their exact offensive and defensive systems this late in the year. Plus, Altman knows a thing or two about changing his mind.
Plus, with Dotzler graduating and the young Young stepping in to play a majority of minutes at the point guard position (I assume), having Witter in place as someone who can play point and some off-guard will no doubt add to the experience on the bench needed to return to the NCAA tournament. I’m in no way doubting the abilities of Bock and Allen, but I also haven’t seen them drop 40 on Bradley or hit some clutch free throws against Southern Illinois (yet).
Also, in this scenario, it is possible for the point guard position to be solidified through 2014. If Altman can redshirt one of his two incoming freshmen point guards, then Jays fans would potentially spend senior nights with Young (2012), Bock (2013), and Allen (2014). That kind of consistency at the point guard position would be ideal.
Who really knows how this will play out? I’m just excited that it seems Witter will get one more year to attend a great school, play with teammates he’s been with for a few years, and make the best out of his senior year in a Creighton uniform. The more experience, the better, right?