Men's basketball goes through roster upheavel in offseason| 11/16/11 5:44pm
Asauhn Tatum pumped up before the game
Late-season injuries derailed a potentially successful season for the Lakers last year, and a tumultuous offseason has this year’s team looking quite a bit different than last.
The most obvious departure is that of senior forward Justin Ringler. The Mr. Everything was basically the GVSU offense last season. He led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists, and the offense was often initiated – and most times finished – in the hands of Ringler.
His loss is obviously going to hurt, but part of me thinks it can be a good thing. There was times last season where the team would stagnate on offense because they were watching Ringler make plays. Call it the “Kobe Bryant” effect, but without Ringler the team is going to have to make strides on the offensive end, and they have guys who can make that happen.
Also gone are four key rotation players in Alvin Storrs, Asuahn Tatum, Nick Carreri and Wes Trammel. Storrs left after last season, which is acceptable. If a guy doesn’t want to play anymore, they should leave.
GVSU is going to miss his defense a lot, but they’ve got guys like Tony Peters and Josh Anderson who can try to fill that role.
Meanwhile, Tatum transferred to a junior college in Georgia this summer after attending a basketball camp in the state. That camp consisted of four other guys and some coaches. Following his transfer to Chattahoochee Technical College he committed to play at Auburn University in 2012.
First, good luck to Tatum at Auburn next year. Yes, he’s a talented shot blocker and has great size at 6-foot-11, but if you struggle to rebound and score at the Division II level, what makes you think a year at a Juco is going to make you ready for Division I?
Then again, I guess Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is twig-like in size, and he’s looking like the top pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Unfortunately, all that Davis and Tatum have in common is their weight, so like I said, good luck to him.
That last two departures, Trammel and Carreri, are the oddest of the group. I understand Storrs reasoning, and is Tatum is going to play at Auburn, you can’t say that’s a bad idea, but Trammel and Carreri left without warning.
Two of head coach Ric Wesley’s returning seniors, both abruptly left the team at the end of summer. There’s leaving the team at an appropriate time – like Storrs did – and there’s leaving the team high and dry before the school year.
That’s what those two did. Not only does the team lose two of its most experienced players, but they also have to fill those roster spots with walk-on players.
Their departure’s timing is a little morally shaky too. Like I said, if you’re going to leave the team, do it after the season, but to go to class and use your scholarship all summer then quit in the fall before the season?
Even if you have legitimate reasoning, tough it out. You committed to play four years of basketball, and according to sources, once Trammel left it was only a matter of time before Carreri, a friend, left as well.
We may never know why these two left, nor do we really need to know, but the fashion in which they did it can surely be agreed upon as selfish.