Benjy Taylor came off like a new man on Friday.
Yes, his confirmation as acting head coach for the entire 2014-15 season was a rare bit of good news for he and the players (who’d mostly pushed for him) nearing the end of a week that has been challenging to say the least.
That was two days after he gloomily described the program as “a rudderless ship.”
But now there’s one serious issue to confront: the frontcourt.
Isaac Fotu is, at the very least, going to sit some games. And as I mentioned in Saturday’s print edition, sources say he’s considering going pro instead of waiting to find out exactly how hard the NCAA is going to come down.
Sammis Reyes requested his release from the program on Friday, and by all indications he will get it.
Stefan Jankovic was back at practice, which was encouraging because he wasn’t around right after Gib Arnold‘s firing. But he’s slated to miss the first 10 games of the season.
UH’s frontcourt wasn’t deep to begin with. So to open the season, here’s who UH has to play up front.
>> 6-11 Stefan Jovanovic
>> 6-8 Mike Thomas
>> 6-5 Aaron Valdes
>> 6-7 Negus Webster-Chan
Webster-Chan isn’t a post player but he spent some time there this preseason when there were multiple injuries. Valdes can play above his height, to an extent, with his spectacular leaping ability.
But this means there’s virtually no margin for foul trouble or injuries, at least while Jankovic has to sit out.
So what can we expect? Plenty of smallball, for starters. Thomas has played well this preseason, and now is his chance to shine. Webster-Chan will have to be the guy plenty of fans hope he is, even likely playing out of his natural small forward position a good deal.
It looks to be a challenge, that’s for sure.