Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who is the deepest team in the country?

Last week, Jeff Goodman took a look at the three deepest teams in the country, Kentucky, Kansas, and Texas.

You'll get no real argument from me here. The last player off the bench for these three teams will probably be freshman Jon Hood (who was Kentucky's Mr. Basketball), sophomore Travis Releford (who was a consensus top 50 recruit), and freshman Shawn Williams (ranked the 45th best recruit by Scout), respectively. Each of these three kids could start for the majority of the teams in the BCS leagues.

Rush the Court asks a good question - why does this matter? Williams and Releford will be the 13th men for Texas and Kansas, while Hood is Calipari's 12th man at Kentucky. None of these teams will go more than 9-10 deep during the season, and even that would be pushing it come March.

But RTC is missing a critical point. Think about the practices these teams will have compared to, say, Memphis, who only has eight scholarship players this year. While Memphis will be practicing every day against a team that has two walk-ons, every practice in Lexington, Austin, and Lawrence will look a little bit like a high school all-american game. Except instead of the players coasting, you will have guys like Releford and Williams and Hood trying to prove they deserve to get some minutes.

If you are at the bottom of the depth chart, the only way for you to move up is by outplaying someone in a spot above you. Don't you think having a guy like Releford busting his tail every day will help Sherron Collins prepare to face guys like Willie Warren, Avery Bradley, and Denis Clemente?

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