It seems like 2009 all over again for the Ospreys.
Although its been four years since Coach Matt Driscoll took over the helm of the Ospreys, it would appear that not much has changed on the surface.
After making it to the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game in 2011 the Ospreys have exited the conference tournament in the first round the last two years.
The roster situation for UNF is similar to 2009 as well. All of Driscoll's Initial recruiting class have graduated, and he returns only four players from last years roster.
Yet, those who think the Ospreys are the same team Driscoll inherited would be wrong.
DRISCOLL'S "SUPPORT" SYSTEM
Off the court the Ospreys have grown their brand. Ospreys home games now feature tailgating, a seasoned pep band, and more benefits and options for fans to enjoy at the game.
And although Driscoll is again turning to a young inexperienced team to lead UNF this season, there is reason for hope.
The current coaching staff has now had several years to grow its recruiting roots, and it's starting to show. The new players are bringing more accolades and acknowledgement with them when they come to Jacksonville. More importantly, Driscoll now has a team in place that reflects his blueprint and DNA.
Driscoll's young roster shares two main characteristics with previous years' squads: the team is undersized and crowded with guards. This fits the coach's fast-paced shooter friendly schemes.
A BALANCING ACT
The Ospreys bring in a collection of young shooters who will try to replace one of the Atlantic Sun Conference's all-time best three point aces, Parker Smith, who graduated earlier this year. The most notable on this list is Louisiana Monroe transfer Trent Mackey who finished the 2012-2013 at 12th in the nation in three-point percentage, and 57th in overalls treys scored. However, Mackey will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
To balance out his team's youthful speed Driscoll has also brought him two junior college transfers and a 6 foot 10 center that could look to make an immediate impact.
However, the biggest task may not be determining a starting lineup, but instead, spreading out talent and experience to prevent a dramatic drop off when the starting five are not in. Let's take a look at the projected starters, and the roles their backups are likely to play.
FORWARD - Travis Wallace 6-6 Sr.
: Wallace will be looked to as the veteran voice on this team. Although he's not necessarily tall enough to be a center, he can pull in his fair share of rebounds. Plus, although not a giant, Wallace knows how to you the size and the strength he does have to his advantage. Last year he was the team's top rebounder, and was second in the conference in field goal percentage.
FORWARD - Demarcus Daniels 6-7 So.
: Demarcus "BaeBae" Daniels may have not featured as a starter in his first year under Coach Driscoll. Yet Daniels figures to play a bigger roll this year because his ability to grab boards and defend the basket (he finished 6th in the conference with 31 blocks). He may not be as big as some of his freshmen teammates, but his rebounding ability will be key in creating opportunities for the team's stable of guards.
GUARD - Beau Beech 6-8 So.
: With the departure of the school's best all time shooter to graduation in Smith, Beech appears to be the heir apparent to the pulse of the Ospreys scoring attack. Beech was a starter in 28 games in his freshman campaign, and was named to the Atlantic Sun 2013 All-Freshman team. On the defensive end he finished last year ranked 15th in the A-Sun in steals. He may not put up Smith's gaudy numbers, but Beech's dynamic skill-set will likely make him the Ospreys most talented offensive weapon the rest of his time at UNF.
GUARD - Aaron Bodager 6-5 Rf.
GUARD - Devin Wilson 5-11 Jr.
CENTER - Romelo Banks 6-11 Fr.
FORWARD - Chris Davenport 6-7 Fr.
FORWARD - Charles McRoy 6-6 Sr.
GUARD - Jalen Nesbitt 6-4 Jr.
GUARD - Dallas Moore 6-0 Fr. ; Sean Brennan 6-2 Fr.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Sunday, November 13, 2011
“Fantasy” isn’t a word that fits well with the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Nightmare” is more like it.
Fans aren’t the only group fed up with the team’s lack of production. Jaguar players are scarcely found on fantasy rosters, and are usually a huge risk to start.
Here’s a breakdown of Jacksonville’s roster, and a look at what players the Jags, and fantasy owners, should start instead.
QB – Blaine Gabbert (PR 33)
He’s the worst starting quarterback in the NFL…in terms of Fantasy. Blame it on his youth. Blame it on the adjustment to a different type of system. Blame it on his receiving core or bad coaching. Gabbert just isn’t putting up good numbers, and won’t be for a while.
If he’s on your fantasy roster you should keep him permanently cemented to the bench unless there’s an emergency…which looks like where the Jags should have kept him for a while.
RB – Maurice Jones-Drew (PR 8)
He’s the only option on the Jags roster that you’d actually want to have on your fantasy team. Jones-Drew may not put up gigantic numbers every game, but he’s pretty consistent. However, one man can only do so much.
Jones-Drew’s ability to continue scoring points and touchdowns in the future will hinge on the support of his offensive counterparts. There will soon come a point where MJD simply cannot carry the entire team on his back.
RB – Deji Karim (PR 70)
Unfortunately, being a successful special teams player doesn’t equate to good fantasy numbers. Karim has become the Jag’s main backup running back since an injury to Rashad Jennings in the preseason. Yet, the most points he’s been able to manage in a game this year is six. Let’s hope Jennings can recover, so Karim can get back to focusing on what he’s good at.
RB/WR – Brian Robiskie (PR 140)
The Jaguars are like that popular girl you knew in high school…they like “projects”. Gene Smith’s love for small-school players is the most obvious display of this. After that, the Jags are known for taking throwaway players nobody else wants. So what happens when one project fails? You move on to the next one. With Jennings and Sims-Walker injured opted to not role the dice and play it safe by filling the gap with someone else’s trash.
Jennings isn’t trash, and Robiskie was a second-round draft pick, but Smith’s strategy just doesn’t seem to work with finding play-making skill players.
WR – Mike Thomas (PR 69)
He’s not a number one option, but he’s the most dynamic receiver the Jags have. Thomas is known for his big plays, and his even bigger personality. However, his numbers don’t matchup with his charisma. You can expect him to make magician-like plays, but don’t expect him to record more than 4 catches or points.
WR – Jason Hill (PR 54)
He’s had some nice moments this season, but… don’t expect much more. The good thing is that Hill has provided some very good short-term value to the Jaguars. The bad thing is that he isn’t likely to be more than an occasional threat.
Fantasy wise, you should keep him on your roster and hope for the best…but don’t rely on him. Sounds like the Jags approach towards a lot of players lately.
TE – Marcedes Lewis (PR 42)
What a disappointment!
The Jags were looking for big things from the Pro Bowl tight end this season. However, Lewis is one of many ‘Top Level’ tight ends across the league who have disappointed. The fact that he has zero touchdowns and less fantasy points this season than he had in one game last year isn’t all his fault. Blaine Gabbert’s learning curve is driving the team’s franchise player into obscurity. But don’t expect the blame game to work for that long if Lewis continues to underperform.
Defense – (PR 14)
This defense is much improved, but they just don’t put up consistent fantasy numbers. There biggest improvement is in an area that can’t me measured: physicality.
K – Josh Scobee (PR 18)
Scobee is a great kicker that the Jags would be idiots to get rid of. Yet, I wouldn’t let him touch my fantasy roster with a ten-foot pole this season. He may be averaging eight points a game, but that’s due to an 18 and 12 point showings. This is not the Scobee norm. The Jags pitiful offense is not scoring, which means Scobee won’t be scoring for your fantasy team.
QB – Tim Tebow (PR 23)
Money and fans aren’t the only things the local legend could have brought to the Jaguars. It may not be pretty, but the Broncos seem to be a winning team with Tebow at the helm. Plus, he’s been putting up decent fantasy points this season.
He may still be raw and inconsistent, but if you had to choose between the pair of young quarterbacks Tebow trumps Gabbert hands down.
RB – Maurice Jones-Drew (PR 8)
What more can we say?
He’s one of the best running backs in the league…even with little support from his teammates. Jones-Drew is a great player to have as the backbone of your franchise or fantasy team.
RB – DeMarco Muray (PR 21)
Five weeks ago I made a horrible mistake. I dropped Murray from my fantasy team. Since an injury to starter Felix Jones, Murray has caught on fire. He’s averaged over 19 points and 150 yards a game the last four weeks. He’s what you’d expect a backup that defenses haven’t fully figured out to be able to do. Although, he probably won’t be a backup for much longer.
RB/WR – A.J. Green (PR 8)
It may be a dream, but he’s the type of player the Jags need. Green and fellow rookie Andy Dalton have quickly turned the Bengals from a farce to a force in the AFC North. Receivers that can make an instant impact like Green or Julio Jones don’t come around every day. However, at this point the Jags need to invest all of that cap money they’ve been saving up on the best receiver available receiver…no matter who it is.
WR – Pierre Garcon (PR 14)
With Peyton Manning gone, he’s arguably the best player on the worst team in the league. He’s not a superstar, but he’s an example of what the Jaguars want their receivers to be.
WR – Doug Baldwin (PR 36)
Baldwin is the type of hidden jewel that Gene Smith loves. Sidney Rice may get more looks that his Seahawk counterpart, but Baldwin makes more out of less. The undrafted rookie has put up good numbers, and provides a real bang for your buck.
TE – Brandon Pettigrew (PR 16)
Tight end isn’t necessarily the easiest option to figure out. But at this point, a lot of people look like better scoring options than Lewis.
Defense – Detroit Lions (PR 6)
The Jags and the Lions defenses are roughly around the same quality. The one thing that really separates them is support. If the Jags were getting more help from the offensive maybe they could put up impressive numbers like the Lions. Instead Jacksonville will have to settle with “looking” good on defense for now.
K – Dan Bailey (PR 2)
The Cowboys have often looked a lot liked the Jaguars this season…except America’s team is actually winning. Bailey is the perfect example of what a good kicker can do on a bad team that scores.