Kareem Canty to the NBA
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Kareem Canty has left The Plains for the NBA draft. I hope the grass is greener for Mr. Canty. However, arguing with your coaches does not bode well at the next level. I believe Coach Pearl is a good coach. The question is, can he get the team to believe that they can win without Canty?
It is not only possible, but I have seen it done. Living in Dayton, OH, home of the University of Dayton Flyers (SEC killers), I watched Archie Miller do it with UD.
What did they do in the 2014 – 15 season?
The Flyers entered the season with three players capable of playing as centers, but by the start of 2015, none of the three were available to the team. First, the NCAA declared incoming freshman Steve McElvene a “partial qualifier,” rendering him ineligible for the entire 2014 – 15 season. Then in December 2014, starting center Devon Scott and intended backup Jalen Robinson were dismissed from the team after allegedly being caught committing theft in a campus dormitory. Two other players were sidelined by injuries. Junior college transfer Detwon Rogers was lost for the season to a knee injury, and graduate transfer Ryan Bass quit basketball on medical advice due to post-concussion symptoms.
These departures and injuries left Dayton with arguably the most limited roster, in both depth and physical size, in Division I. The Flyers played the bulk of their season with only six players who started the season on scholarships.
In January 2015, Bobby Wehrli, who began the season as a walk-on, was given a scholarship but only for the spring of 2015. No one left on the active roster, whether on scholarship or not, was taller than 6′ 6″. CBS Spornalist Gary Parrish had this to say about the Flyers’ roster limitations (emphasis in original):
“To put this into perspective, consider that Kentucky has seven scholarship players taller than 6-8, and that UK’s starting backcourt (Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison) is just as tall as Dayton’s starting frontcourt (Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard).”
Meanwhile at Auburn, Coach Bruce Pearl said, “It was his (Canty’s) decision, and we wish him well. … Every player faces this situation at some point and it being late in the year and him being (suspended), he made this decision. This was his decision; it was not something that we forced him to do.”
Canty was Auburn’s leading scorer, and he had been on suspension the last two games for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
Now it may be too late for Auburn this season, but maybe not. If the Tigers believe they can win and execute the game plan then maybe they can build momentum for next year.