Cougars depth at forward provide promise
Guards have speed and centers have size, but forwards typically have a blend of the two, and the Cougars have depth at the position.
The benefits of being deep and versatile are that the Cougars can have varied lineups on the court, and even the second unit off the bench can provide a great spark.
“We’re pretty deep at every position, and I think we have maybe two or three people that can start at every position,” said junior forward Mikhail McLean.
For the forwards, defending, rebounding and taking care of the ball has been the emphasis in practice, said head coach James Dickey. The Cougars are challenging each other to get better, fighting during every practice for spots and minutes.
“This is bringing the team closer together,” said junior forward Tashawn Thomas. “We all understand what everybody is going through, and we don’t have a lot of players that are only good at just one thing.”
Whether the Cougars go with a lineup of more size by playing multiple forwards together, the rotation will depend on who’s playing well and the defensive match-ups, Dickey said.
The Cougars have a number of returning forwards who expect to contribute to the team, including Thomas, McLean sophomore forward Danuel House and senior forward J.J. Richardson. Sophomore forward Danrad Knowles will also be eligible to play this season, which could provide more depth.
The Cougars are striving for consistency, and in terms of leadership, there are several forwards who could step up. Team chemistry doesn’t develop overnight, but the Cougars are looking to improve on it.
“Everybody likes each other and we all have history, even back from high school,” House said. “It’s going to take some time to get on the same track, but in the meantime we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”