RKelley3/17/2016 1:08:15 AM
Will GW's defense be better next year than it was this year?
I like that ML is an offensive-minded coach. I personally think that controlling the game via a dynamic offense and keeping it simple defensively is a practical approach to winning with sub-premium athletes. However, there's no question that GW's defense got thrashed this season from front to back. Only twice in the past 15 seasons (2009, 2012) has the team ranked lower in adjusted defensive efficiency.
With no change in gameplan, the roster changes from this season to next doesn't seem like it will be enough to improve the defense substantially. In fact, it looks like the defense is poised to get weaker.
We're losing Garino, who even after slowing down this season, was still one of the top defenders in the conference and effective at guarding the perimeter. Joe Mac, who also slowed down, was still one of the better defensive point guards in the conference. He's gone too.
Larsen wasn't great defensively, but this year he had the lowest DRTG on the team. Will Toro/Marfo/Smtih/Cimino be able to top Larsen's level next year? Doubfful.
Sina doesn't appear to be a defensive-minded or particularly athletic point guard. Statistically, his career DRTG is 111.3. He also drew almost nil fouls, and collected almost nil steals at Seton Hall. You can't conclude anything concrete from that, but it certainly appears he doesn't drive to the basket much on offense, making it unlikely that he's a strong or speedy athlete. He also apparently gives up a lot of points without generating turnovers. Doesn't sound like an upgrade defensively over Joe or Mitola.
Hart is returning. While I obviously think he's an unheralded, starting-caliber player, defense is not his strong suit.
Neither Yuta nor Cavanaugh were better than average defensively this season according to their DRTG and other stats. They'll be back and starting.
The other returning guys--Cimino, Roland, Swan, Goss, Jorgensen--aren't particularly good defensive players. Goss has some potential, but he's so slow and unathletic it's hard to see him get minutes. Swan has some rebounding and defensive talent, but he has barely played. Cimino has not looked good at all when he has seen the court. Roland is very small, light, and erratic. From what I saw from him this season, I'd play Swan well before him.