With less than three months remaining before the start of the 2014-15 basketball season, it is time to begin looking at possible starting fives.
Tuesday's practice allowed us to see a lot of what the Panthers plan to do and are capable of. Who will start for the Panthers? And, is that any different than who should start for the Panthers?
James Robinson, Cameron Wright and Michael Young all appear to be locks for the starting five. The three of them started a majority of the games last season and all improved upon their abilities during the off-season. Presuming that he is healthy, it is hard to see a starting five that does not include Durand Johnson. However, if Johnson starts, where do you place Sheldon Jeter?
While it may not be ideal, the Panthers should, in my opinion, deploy a starting five of Josh Newkirk, Wright, Johnson, Jeter, and Young. This group is capable of running the prototype ACC offense - one that is fast-paced and can really open up the game with their tremendous long range shooting abilities.
Out of that five, shooting guard Cameron Wright, who has decent range, probably has the worst range. Young's range for a big man is considerable, and he has a ton of confidence shooting from the outside. He is listed at 6'9" and with an above average vertical leap, should be able to crash the boards better than last season
It is unlikely that coach Dixon will start Newkirk over the more seasoned Robinson, but that does not mean that Newkirk will not average comparable minutes to him.
Another option for the Panthers is to use Durand Johnson off of the bench to provide a spark, similar to what Syracuse did with C.J. Fair at one point and Dion Waiters, two of the best six men of recent time.
Regardless of what the Panthers decide to do, they will look much different than they did last season.
Who do you think should start for the Panthers? Should Newkirk start ahead of Robinson? Do you like the idea of starting Johnson, Jeter and Young at the three, four and five?