Biko Paris, G, 6'1, 196lbs
Corey Raji, F, 6'6, 214lbs
Tyler Roche, F, 6'7, 215lbs
Rakim Sanders, G/F, 6'5, 225lbs
Josh Southern, C, 6'10, 242lbs
What you need to know
Outside of Rice, this is our experience: four sophs and a limited junior. The narrative is that these guys were good but not Dudley, Smith, Bell like great and hence BC's stumble. That is not entirely fair comparison though. Of the recent greats and freshmen standouts (you could include Sidney, Rice, and Williams) only Troy Bell started his career with a tougher schedule and fewer pieces in place than these guys did last year. Roche is the odd duck of the returning contributors. He's a JR and actually saw his role diminish as the freshmen progressed. Regardless of their varied upsides, these five do a lot of different things and balance many of the team's needs. All are solid. We need two or more to become very good.
Southern, Raji and Sanders are all good rebounders. They have all been in the system a year or more now and understand where the ball needs to be. Paris is one of the better ballhandlers we've had in the past few years. Roche is allegedly a sharp shooter in practice.
None of these guys are particularly good defensive players. Despite Raji's shooting percentage, Sanders chucking it from 3 or whispers about Roche, none of these guys are good shooters. Southern may actually have the best touch.
Last year was the first time under Skinner that four different freshmen all played more than 290 minutes.
General improvement means this team can compete for an NIT spot. If any of the guys takes a major leap forward, we are a bubble team. If they don't develop, it could be a long four years. I predict big years from Southern and Raji and think they'll be part of a fun season at Conte.