As we get closer to Sunday's season opener, most fans are still in shock over the Daniels' departure. It was interesting to hear Donahue say that Daniels felt that he was going to get less playing time than both Rahon and Hanlan. If you're trying to split up 80 minutes for two guards, 20 minutes apiece isn't going to cut it for long. You could give 25 to each of Jackson, Hanlan, and Rahon, but that leaves Daniels with only 5. Daniels can't compete for playing time with Jackson because Daniels can't play the 2. It's easy to see how this situation devolved so quickly. I want to address some of the other players as we look forward to Sunday.
Anderson: I fully expect Anderson to pick up where he left off last year. Anderson needs to become the guy that we can throw it to with the shot-clock winding down, that guy who can make something out of nothing.
Clifford: The FIU game is going to tell us a lot about where Clifford is right now. He should be at the point where his size can take over the paint against lesser opponents. If he can dominate our weak out-of-conference schedule and at least hold his own in ACC play, this team will be able to take a major step forward. He should have a double-double against teams like FIU and I fully expect him to deliver Sunday.
Jackson: Jackson is going to have to fight for playing time this year, although he's pretty much guaranteed 15 minutes per game with Daniels gone. He showed last year that he can score in bunches but he needs to be more consistent with his shot selection. It would also help if he could work on creating his own shot, which I'm sure he's done in the off-season.
Heckmann: I'm really interested to see how we use Heckmann early. My assumption is that teams will press us early in the year with the hopes that Hanlan will give them some easy turnovers. This probably means that Hanlan, Rahon/Jackson, and Heckmann are going to have to work together to get the ball up the court. Heckmann never seemed to recover from mono last year, and so I think he's the real wild card on this team. If he can contribute 10-15 efficient points on a consistent basis Donahue would be happy.
Caudill: I think we'll use Caudill to spell Clifford and Anderson when necessary. I will be interested to see if Caudill gets any time in relief for Heckmann. If Caudill, Anderson, and Clifford are all on the floor at the same time, that only leaves us with two ball-handlers, one of which is a freshman.
Odio: Odio is going to surprise a few people with how much bigger he's gotten. I'm not sure how much this will translate into him being able to score points, but it should help on defense. If he can at least keep our defense on par while spelling either Heckmann or Anderson he'll see increased minutes.