There’s almost no better dead period talk than predictions, whether it be starting lineups, award winners or in what order the teams are going to finish up in league play. Today, we’re going to try and predict the starting lineup for the Cowboys.
These are some of the perfect offseason pieces to do because they generate discussion. It allows people to throw out their own opinions and can be a lot of fun to discuss.
Now, let’s get on with it.
This is probably going to be a little bit more difficult than I first thought it would simply because of all the possibilities. There’s a lot of returning talent on the roster and Mike Boynton and Co. did a great job of filling the 2020 recruiting class with talent.
I don’t think there’s any questions about these three guys: Cade Cunningham, Isaac Likekele and Kalib Boone. Cunningham and Likekele will be interchangeable at the one and two spots as both guys can create scoring opportunities for themselves, as well as facilitating for the guys around them. While we haven’t seen him at this level, I don’t think there’s any doubt Cunningham and Likekele will be two of the best players in the Big 12 this season.
As for Kalib Boone, we watched his game grow this past year as the season went on. We saw his averages jump from non-conference, 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, to Big 12 play where he averaged 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Ka. Boone’s also added some weight and appears to be stronger. Not to mention the fact Mike Boynton told the media earlier this summer that he doesn’t believe it will take Kalib four years before he can play professional ball.
“That kid’s got unbelievable potential,” Boynton said during a Zoom call Monday. “His confidence is growing. The success he had as a freshman is one I’m sure will spill over. The opportunity to play with a group of guys he knows really well from last year, being comfortable in college basketball now and then being infused with — Cade’s a unique talent that can help him be even better — where, I’m not gonna go too far, but I’m not sure he’s gonna have to spend four years in college before he can go play professional basketball.”
As for the third guard spot, I believe that spot will go to grad transfer Ferron Flavors Jr. I'm choosing Flavors for his ability on the court, but also because he's brings a ton of experience to the floor.
This past season for Cal Baptist, Flavors was electric from beyond the 3-point line. He knocked down an averaged of 2.93 3-pointers per game while shooting 42.7% beyond the arc. Those numbers led the WAC this past season and his shooting percentage was ranked 16th in the NCAA. On the season, Flavors averaged 13.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this past season for Cal Baptist.
The fifth spot on the roster is where some discussion could come into play, but with everything we’ve heard, I believe it will be Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe. He’s the first ever two-time BioSteel All-Canadian Player of the Year and is the No. 1 prospect out of Canada.
He checks in at 6-7, 215-pounds and is an incredibly versatile player that can score from almost anywhere.
“He’s a driver,” Boynton said in a ‘Film Room’ video on Moncrieffe. “He drives with force. He drives understanding that it’s his identity. He drives to put people on posters. I think as a rebounder and defender, he’s going to be able to make an immediate impact for us.”
As a senior at Orangeville Prep, Moncrieffe averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He also shot 57% from the field and had 10 games of 20 points or more, including two 30-point games.
So, as of July 30, a little more than three months before the start of the season and before anyone, other than the coaching staff, has watched the team play, my starting lineup would be:
G: Cade Cunningham – 6-8, 220-pounds
G: Isaac Likekele – 6-5, 215-pounds
G: Ferron Flavors Jr. – 6-3, 190-pounds
F: Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe – 6-7, 215-pounds
C: Kalib Boone – 6-9, 210-pounds
This is a very talented and versatile roster and we're going to see a lot of every guy and a ton of different combinations. There's going to be games where we see Avery Anderson III, Chris Harris and Bryce Williams start. There's going to be games where we see Keylan Boone, Dee Mitchell, Rondel Walker, Donovan Williams, Montreal Pena and Bernard Kouma start.
I’d love to hear from Cowboy basketball fans and what they feel the lineup will look like. Do you agree with me, or do you have changes? If so, leave a comment and let’s have a discussion.