I've been saying for months that the biggest reason to believe in this Mocs team is not just the new coaching staff (Will Wade is doing a marvelous job) or the new system (Chaos will work wonders when fully implemented with the right players, whether that is this year or not), but that the Mocs have two of the top ten players in the conference in Gee McGhee and Z Mason. Throw in how much better Casey Jones played at the end of the year and how well I think he fits into the Chaos system, and I could easily see the Mocs having three of the top twelve or fifteen players in the conference.
Any team with three of the top fifteen in a sport like basketball can contend in that conference race. That's been my stance on why the Mocs could be better.
Of course, the thing giving me pause is that without a true, experienced point guard, maybe there would be struggles. When they implement this Chaos system, will McGhee and Mason still fit as well as I hope they will? Will they continue to improve at the rate they did last year? It's possible that my hopes are too high because of those things. Also, in the Chaos system, it is important to have a deep team, and I don't think (with all the injuries and transfers) that this is a particularly deep team.
So there's that.
But, I looked at this preseason Top Ten SoCon players as determined by Mid-Major Madness. Gee McGhee checked in at number eight and Z Mason checked in at number one. Even if you ignore those numbers, this is a relatively unbiased site proclaiming what I've been saying- McGhee and Mason are two of the top ten players in the SoCon.
Again, if you have that kind of talent, there is a chance to contend in the SoCon right away.
Like I said yesterday, we shouldn't be hung up on wins and losses this year. I do think Mason could be Player of the Year in the SoCon this year and I also think that McGhee could be a Player of the Year in the SoCon in the future. So they provide me a lot of hope.
I am eager to see these guys in action Friday night against Covenant and see what they can do. I am eager to see Chaos at work. This is going to be a lot of fun. The ride (whether or not wins come this year) is going to be a lot of fun.