The exhibitions are done, so now for the prognostications. Who’s going to start, who’s going to play and who’s going to redshirt for Idaho basketball? It’s no easy task this year, with the Vandals boasting a ridiculous amount of depth. But we’re going to try.
Here’s our guesses, based on coach Don Verlin’s statement that he’ll play no more than an 11-man rotation. A caveat: these are predicted Opening Day starters vs. Utah. Depending on how fast the incoming talent gets adjusted to Division I basketball, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see some of them work into the starting lineup later in the season.
- PG Mac Hopson, Sr. — A no-brainer here, Idaho’s returning star will run the show again.
- SG Steffan Johnson, Sr. — Another no-brainer, Stef is an instant double-digit scoring threat.
- SG Kashif Watson, Sr. — Last year’s quiet glue guy, no reason to think he won’t be again.
- PF Brandon Wiley, Sr. — Led Idaho in rebounding in 08-09, and the Vandals need his boards.
- C Marvin Jefferson, Sr. — He’ll get competition from Barone, but Big Jeff gets the nod for now.
- PG Marcus Lawrence, Jr. — Stef can run the show as PG too, but Marcus will be a solid backup.
- SG Shawn Henderson, Jr. — The revelation of the exhibition, he’ll be Idaho’s go-to sixth man.
- SF Luciano de Souza, Sr. — Big hair, big shots. Need a three-ball in the clutch? Give it to Luci.
- PF Luiz Toledo, So. — Will rotate with Wiley, and may just about split the 4-spot minutes.
- PF Corey Stern, Fr. — Showed great poise and skill for a freshman, should see plenty of action.
- C Kyle Barone, Fr. — May be the much-needed answer to the Vandals’ rebounding woes.
- SF Travis Blackstock, Sr. — T-Black is back, walking on for the love of the game. Gotta love it.
- PG Landon Tatum, Jr. — This guy’s too talented to sit, but we’ve run out of places to put him.
- SG Jeff Ledbetter, Jr. — Solid 3-point production and ball-handling, but no room at the inn.
- SG Justin Stewart, Fr. — The walk-on from Spokane will get a year to learn Division I.
- C Joe Kammerer, Fr. — Big Jeff graduates next year, makes sense to save Big Joe’s eligibility.