I am trying to think about next year now. Even though I am still gloomy over the state of our football program and our early exit in the tourney, our immediate future (at least in basketball) is indeed bright.
I am 100% confident that Jared Sullinger returns next year, however, I think Buford bolts for the NBA.
We are lucky to have a guy like Aaron Craft, who I believe is a four year player who will develop into one of the best players in the country by his junior and season seasons. Another guy, Deshaun Thomas, will benefit most from this upcoming off season in my opinion. I think his first full off season will turn him into a more complete offensive threat. Thomas is another guy who I believe will stay at least until his junior year.
Then we have a trio of players: Jordan Sibert, Lenzelle Smith Jr., and J.D. Weatherspoon who will be sophomores next year looking to contribute more than they did this year. I think at least one or two of these guys (Sibert for sure) will be a significant contributor off of the bench. And who knows, maybe Sibert starts at shooting guard next year if Buford leaves.
I also can't forget the underrated recruiting class that Thad has put together. Shannon Scott (PG), Amir Williams (C), Sam Thompson (SF), and LaQuinton Ross (SF) are all four star players according to ESPN. A three star, Trey McDonald (C) rounds out the class. Although I think McDonald and Thompson will have to wait a year or two for their turn, I think Scott, Williams, and Ross could all contribute. Especially Scott and Williams.
Here's my opinion on next years depth chart to finish off this comment.
Aaron Craft (Point Guard)
Jordan Sibert (Shooting Guard)
Deshaun Thomas (Small Forward)
Jared Sullinger (Power Forward)
Amir Williams (Center)
Bench (6th, 7th, 8th players):
Shannon Scott (Point guard)
LaQuinton Ross (Small Forward)
Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (Shooting Guard)
Bench (Bench Warmers):
J.D. Weatherspoon (Small Forward)
Sam Thompson (Small Forward)
Trey McDonald (Center)
Any walk on's