In this installment, our focus shifts to an analysis of the returning players in the program as well as the newcomers. Friday we will focus on what the Mid-American Conference will look like next season.
Here we go …
OVERVIEW: The Falcons lost four players to graduation, including the team’s two all-league performers. There are nine returnees, but none of those nine have averaged more than seven points a game in a college season. The most notable returnees are three-year starter Cam Black at center and one-year starter Chauncey Orr at forward.
RETURNEES: Seniors: Cameron Black (C, 6-10); Craig Sealey (F, 6-6). Juniors: Jehvon Clarke (G, 6-1), Anthony Henderson (G, 6-1), Richaun Holmes (F-C, 6-8), Damarkeo Lyshe (G, 5-11), Chauncey Orr (G-F, 6-4). Sophomore: Spencer Parker (G-F, 6-7).
BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the scoring numbers for the Falcons, including where the leaders ranked among MAC players last season (in parentheses).
- Chauncey Orr … 7.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 44.8 FG%, 35.3 3FG%, 81.5 FT%
- Richaun Holmes … 6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg (17th), 2.3 bpg (3rd), 63.3 FG%, 62.0 FT%
- Anthony Henderson … 3.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 32.7 FG%, 26.9 3FG%, 66.7 FT%
- Jehvon Clarke … 3.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 32.7 FG%, 30.0 3FG%, 80 FT%
- Cameron Black … 3.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg (9th), 48.1 FG%, 28.6 FT%
- Craig Sealey … 3.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 38.8 FG%, 63.2 FT%
- Damarkeo Lyshe … 1.8 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.0 apg, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3FG%, 50 FT%
- Spencer Parker … 1.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 30.8 FG%, 66.7 FT%
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE NUMBERS: I was surprised that Richaun Holmes’ points-per-game average was as high as it was. He averaged roughly four shot attempts per game, so there’s room for more scoring there. …. Several field-goal percentages were surprisingly low to me. Anthony Henderson has a history of being a much better shooting than his numbers, and “inside” players such as Cameron Black and Craig Sealey had shooting marks under 50 percent. Both shoot many of their shots close enough to the basket, so this percentage should be higher. … While much has (rightly) been made that the Falcons lose a large percentage of their scoring, they return a large percentage of their rebounding (62.6 percent, or roughly two-thirds). … I was surprised that several players had positive assist-to-turnover ratios, most notably Chauncey Orr (52-to-43), Anthony Henderson (24-to-13) and Cameron Black (22-to-20). The key player in this category, though, will be Jehvon Clarke (30-to-37 last season).
COACH LOUIS ORR SAID: “I think there’s a chance you’ll see [Cam Black and Richaun Holmes] on the floor together at times. We’ll have different looks. I think we have a versatile team because we have guys who can play a couple of positions. We can use a lineup that has Craig Sealey or Spencer Parker at the four; we can have a bigger lineup and play one of those guys at the 3 and have Chauncey Orr play some 2. … We have some versatility here – we have some different lineups we can put on the court.
“[At the post position] you have the experience of Cameron Black, who is a senior and a three-year starter, and you have Richaun Holmes, with his talent and the experience he gained last year. … With those two guys and Josh Gomez, you have size and length.
“We can’t practice together, but we can watch film and use ‘educated imagination’ to think about different combinations. We need to do some different things (emphasis is mine). … The next step becomes, ‘How are you going to use them?’ But you won’t know until you get them on the court. … I like our talent, and I like our work ethic. And I like our versatility.
“Jehvon Clarke is our best possibility at point guard – [a starting job] is right there for him. Not that he’s got to be the only playmaker, because we have a number of guys who can handle the ball. But I expect him to be the guy to initiate the offense. … And we have Damarkeo Lyshe, a young guy who’s getting better all the time.
NEWCOMERS: Zack Denny was named All-Ohio second team in Division II last season after averaging 35.0 points per game for Valley View High School this past season. That was the top mark in Ohio boys basketball last season, marking the second year in a row he led the state in scoring after averaging 28.8 ppg as a junior. … Garrett Mayleben averaged 8.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game for Milford High School this past season. … J.D. Tisdale was named All-Michigan sixth team in Class A (the largest class) while averaging 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game at Swartz Creek High School. … Josh Gomez sat out last season as a transfer from Iona. The 6-10 F-C is a sophomore in terms of eligibility.
COACH LOUIS ORR SAID: “Josh Gomez can score the ball. He’s got a good touch; he can stretch the defense because he can shoot the 3. Offensively, his ability to put the ball in the basket is his strength, because he can shoot well for a guy his size. … He hasn’t played in two years, so you have to give him some experience, but what he does well is put the ball in the basket.
“Zack Denny led the state in scoring this past year. … He can score the ball, and he’s been scoring all his life. He’s a very good shooter, he’s a competitor, and he’s smart. In high school he’s had to do a lot of everything; he can handle the ball, and he’s a really good passer. He’s unselfish. … He can stretch the defense, but he can do more than that. He’s crafty around the basket, and he can handle the ball well enough to get to the rim. He’s an active defender who gets his hands on a lot of balls, he’s tough, and he’s a gym rat. He’s got a lot of intangibles.
“J.D. Tisdale is a 6-5 point guard who can play other positions, but he’s a really good athlete with good vision. … He’s young, but he’s talented. He’s going to play.
“Garrett Mayleben is a skilled 6-9 player who can face-up, who has some really good offensive skills who needs to grow in strength and experience.”
FRIDAY: A look at the men’s basketball prospects around the Mid-American Conference next season.