The Golden Eagles have started the season 1 – 1, but the team looks much different compared to last season’s 0 – 6 start. Despite the team dropping a tough LSU game, the Golden Eagles are capable of a successful season.
In the exhibitions and first two regular season games, the Golden Eagles are a better team. The team has a strong combination of veteran leadership and young talent but a star player has yet to come forward.
This shows that the team has to play well as an entire unit rather than having one player bring a different dynamic to the court. In a sense, this will help the younger players develop in the long term. However, without any of the players seeming capable of going off-script, they will lack having a consistent scorer and will have to mostly rely on their offensive scheme.
With the lack of a “superstar,” several players have scored in multiple digits – which is a huge benefit. This will make it harder for defenses to slow down the offensive production. This pattern has occurred in every game so far this season.
Defensively, the team is weak inside the paint. Most of the players on the team struggle to stop plays from unfolding. The team seems to be too quick to try and stop the three-point shot allowing lanes to open inside.
The big problem for the Golden Eagles is their lack in size, which makes them vulnerable on defense. The team will have to avoid man-on-man matchups and stick to a zone defense to be more effective.
One of the biggest keys for the Golden Eagles success is to beat teams in the defensive rebounds category. If the Golden Eagles can stay ahead in the rebound category, it will help them control the time of possession. They need to control the ball longer and keep away from playing defense for longer periods, which keeps the other teams’ scoring opportunities to a minimum.
The player to watch this season will be sophomore center Tim Rowe, who has averaged 11 points a game and has 14 rebounds already in the season. But, Rowe needs greater involvement in the offensive scheme.
Rowe is deadly in the paint and can be just as deadly in the rebound game simply due to his size. Rowe lacks somewhat of a defensive presence, which he needs to work on if he wishes to become a major asset for the team. A shoulder injury he received during the Mississippi College game may have slowed him down.
Overall, the team has a great chance to do better than last season’s 8-21 mark but will likely be just an average team. This team has potential because it has a solid bench capable of playing to the caliber of the starters with guys like Rowe, Cortez Edwards and D’Angelo Richardson.
The Golden Eagles can achieve a .500 or even a winning season based on their manageable schedule. As this season may not look promising, the young talent that will see playing time will help play into creating a team for the future.
With that said it would not be shocking to see this team play beyond expectation.