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I have two questions for you all:

Davis, Smith and Shungu are set as starters for next year. Powell, Patella and Duncan - I assume that two of the three are the other two starters. Which two?

Given the players who are currently on board for 2020-21, what do you think, percentage-wise, is the likelihood that Vermont will repeat as regular-season AE champion and the likelihood that the team will continue the streak of 20-win seasons?
 

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Roster, as of 3/15...

*SENIORS
Bailey Patella
Ben Shungu
Stef Smith

*JUNIORS
Ryan Davis
Duncan Demuth
Robin Duncan
Justin Mazzulla (season start date, and exact year of eligibility TBD)
Isaiah Powell
Kevin Garrison (walk-on)

*SOPHOMORES
Eric Beckett
Aaron Deloney
Deng Adiang (walk-on)

*FRESHMEN
Georges Lefebvre
Nick Fiorillo (walk-on)

Two scholarships left on the table (presumably).
 

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If we don’t see any bigs roster moves (transfer to and from UVM), I would say that the starters are probably:

Benny
Stef
Aaron
Isaiah
Ryan

I don’t think UVM would want to play Ben and Robin at the same time too often, as they both are guards who like to play in the paint.

We could also see Mazzula start if he’s available right at the start of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking starters (by position)
1=Shungu
2=Smith
3=Patella
4=Powell
5=Davis

With main backups
1=Duncan (or Deloney)
2=Deloney (or Mazulla)
3=Beckett (or Duncan)
4=DeMuth
5=a grad transfer? Lefebvre?

Is Mazulla a 2 guard? I do ot really know much about him

In any case, very deep at guard, a bit thin up front
 

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For 20-21: Conference 1. Stony Brook (depending on transfers) 9 seniors on roster
2. UVM
3. Hartford
4. UMBC
5. Albany
6. New Hampshire
7. UMass - Lowell
8. Maine
9. Binghamton
2 through 5 could be dogfight. But If Lefebvre can give minutes. Powell handles the PF spot and Demuth
gets healthy. Cats could challenge for 1 or be clear #2.
Lineup for next year based on returners and barring transfer.
1. Shungu Deloney, Duncan, Chavez
2. Smith Deloney, Mazzullo - once eligible, Patella
3. Patella, Demuth, or Duncan - Beckett
4. Powell Demuth, Patella, Fiorillo, Lefebvre, Beckett
5. Davis Lefebvre, Powell, Fiorillo

Not sure how good Fiorillo is. I am sure some of you have seen him practice.
 

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Chavez got an offer from Tulsa the other day. Wouldn't be surprised if whatever window we had to begin with is closing.
 

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Given the logjam at guard, my sense is they will push the pace. Smith, Shungu, Deloney, Robin Duncan, and Mazzulla...only one of them is a proven commodity at shooting the ball, but all four of the players we've seen in a Catamount uniform can get to the rim and are quick enough. I do hope that all those who need to know how to shoot (the four guards minus Smith + Patella, Powell, and literally anyone else) lock themselves in the gym when they can all summer and 1-2 of them can come out of it above 33-34% from deep. You can do it, forgotten man, Eric Beckett.

Inside, Davis just has to have it together for the entire year, but I think he'll be reliable. Got better defensively, but that's still a red flag. Powell...honestly don't know. He's the make or break guy, and my gut tells me he's nothing more than like a solid third option at best. If that's something like 8 and 5 I'll take it, but we all can agree the hype on him is dead and just hope he becomes something consistently helpful. He's the guy I would most like to see prove me wrong. Same with Demuth, hoping he figures out a role. Patella, isn't a frontcourt guy, but, I think if he can take on some of the rebounding load that will help. We know what he is and he plays his part and that's fine. The Fiorillo kid, I am expecting nothing of even with his redshirt. All that means is he probably has the means to pay for 5 years of college. Perhaps as an upperclassmen he carves out a bench role but that's all you can hope for. The freshman big committed, like any freshman, you can't judge. My guess is a minimal role at best.

That leaves them with two scholarships barring any transfers, and since they can't go out on the road and recuit because of COVID-19, that means a lot of tape and scrounging the portal. You can't replace Lamb but you can nearly replace Everett Duncan and Giddens, at least in the roles they play. If there's a shooter who can defend a frontcourt position as more of a wing guy, that would help, and so would a defensive big with size. The style of the team is likely going to change a lot, and if I had it my way I'd really try and stay away from one-year rentals, if only because you don't want the bottom to fall out after losing Smith and Shungu, and you should want the transition after them to smoothly go to someone like Deloney as the lead guy while making sure he has the guys around him that help him be successful too. It's why I think guys with 2 years if they don't have to sit, or the JUCO route would just make a lot of sense, especially when you're not going to have time out on the road to evaluate this spring and potentially into summer if this pandemic continues.

Well there you have it folks, my cathartic take to make up for the fact that none of us got true closure on the season and probably aren't going to be able to enjoy our needed breaks post March.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Solid analysis, Catpower.

I can see Powell evolving into almost a glue guy. He is really solid on defense and rebounding. He can handle (unconventionally, admittedly) and is athletic. He can finish at the rim despite lack of height. I do not think he'll ever be a big scorer /#1 option. I hope his jump shot softens and improves.

One thing I like about Davis is finishing at the rim. He has good hands and great touch. I think he'll keep improving

Robin, Powell, Shungu and Patella all need to improve their 3 pt and FT %s for this team to take off
 

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At the ticket pickup event last fall Fiorillo played in the scrimmage and I thought he looked very good. After a season of practices he might be great. He'll certainly be stronger. The "walk-on" status could be deceiving since he's a Maine kid who was off everyone's radar. I seem to remember that he turned down a U Maine scholarship to play at UVM.
 

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I’ve mentioned before how much I respect the player development success of this coaching staff. Well this off season will be a huge test of that. We are going to need leaps from multiple guys to keep this train rolling, especially with the number of good players returning to other teams.

Shooting was the glaring concern coming into this year for me, and when we struggled, it was often because of that. It’s at least as big of a concern coming into next year. Smith will be the focal point of every opposing coach, and just like they did this year with Lamb, they will happily allow somebody else to prove they can make enough shots to beat them. Deloney is our best bet here. I think he will evolve into a very effective scorer both in the paint and as a spot up shooter. We have several other guys who can make the shot, but let’s face it, does anyone feel real good about Shungu, Patella, Davis, Powell, or Duncan having to make one late in a game? We need improvement here. I still think Beckett could surprise. He seems like a heady player, but might need to get on the Davis offseason conditioning program this summer.

Then there is the lack of front court depth and strength. Davis will be good, but I worry about his injury tendencies. When he’s not bothered by some sort of lower body issue, his post game is really good and that hook he developed will be a big weapon. But if he isn‘t full strength or has to miss time, yikes. It’s a good thing we have guards that rebound. We’re going to need Powell to move down low more often and use the mid-range more, which is actually a pretty effective shot for him.

On the new guys, I have higher hopes for Lefebvre this year than Fiorillo, but both will have to prove they can guard people at this level to see the court. Lefebvre looks fantastic. Great length and seems to have filled out some. Would make a massive difference if he could contribute. They obviously think Fiorillo can develop into a player. Otherwise there would have been no reason to redshirt a walk-on. He’s also got good size. The only glimpse I got of him was in one of the exhibitions and it was only a few minutes. He looked pretty lost, but a year of practice has to have helped.

One thing we know for sure....we will play defense. That should at least keep us in the mix in spite of all of the question marks.
 

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The front court is a area of deep concern. Unless Powell or Demuth make serious strides for next season, they have one legitimate starter. They'll be depending on getting immediate contributions from Lefebvre. That's not the way you want to be going into your season. There are too many non scorers on the roster right now.
 

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I have absolute confidence in the UVM coaching staff to have a championship level team when the first tipoff happens. They are as reliable as anyone in D1 basketball and they have at least a couple of scholarships to work with. Of all the things that might disturb my sleep, UVM not being ready to win is at the bottom of the list.
 

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The front court is a area of deep concern. Unless Powell or Demuth make serious strides for next season, they have one legitimate starter. They'll be depending on getting immediate contributions from Lefebvre. That's not the way you want to be going into your season. There are too many non scorers on the roster right now.
Still thinking Fiorillo is a hidden gem. Agree that it is a bit unusual to have a walk-on red-shirted. Think he has grown when I see him standing next to Davis and Demuth. Looking forward to seeing if my hunch is correct. Will have a full year to learn the system, to bulk up, etc.
Also was informed by someone with an inside scoop that “Demuth is really good...just a little tentative”. I need to see lots more to be convinced. Seems to have a decidedly slight frame, as well...one seemingly not one to easily fill out, so he has lots to prove in my mind.
 
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