If you've been around Anonymous Eagle long enough, you've noticed our yearly player preview series for men's basketball. In the past, we've gone with a concept of "Minimum Expectations/In Our Wildest Dreams/In Our Worst Nightmare" model for what the baseline for each player is for the coming season, plus where we think they could achieve or lag behind.
With new head coach Steve Wojciechowski running the show, things get a little complicated. It's hard to have minimum expectations for each player when we really don't know how Wojo will see fit to use them in the system that he's running... which we also don't know a lot about at this point.
So we're changing the system up. We're deploying a new set of criteria to preview each player:
- What I Think We'll See
- What I Want To See
- What I Don't Want To See
It's a little more open ended, so there's a bit more freedom to explore what we're thinking about each guy. This might stick around going forward, so be sure to either email us - firstname.lastname@example.org - or comment on the posts to let us know what you think.
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Don't feel bad if you kind of forgot about John Dawson this offseason. A lot of Marquette fans that I talk to about the roster, and who is coming back this season, tend to react the same way when Dawson's name comes up: "Oh yeah, I forgot about him."
That's not a dig at Dawson in any way. It's just a byproduct of the fact that, when it comes to the '14-'15 Marquette backcourt situation, there are a lot of other names that are garnering attention ahead of sophomore from New Mexico. People are all talking about: Will Duane be as good as he was billed? What will Derrick's role be under the new coaching staff? What can we expect from Carlino? Dawson ends up getting lost in the shuffle a little bit. And it's anyone's guess as to what his role is going to be on this year's team. But John showed us last year that he can definitely play a little bit, so we would be remiss if thought that he wasn't going to have some impact on the season.
What I Expect to See
I have no clue what to expect from John Dawson from a basketball, X's and O's, stand point. In fact, I'm not even really qualified to speculate on such things. But what I do expect to see is an improved player.
John has always struck me as a hard-working, "nose to the grindstone" type of kid. He came with significantly less hype than his classmates Duane Wilson and JaJuan Johnson, but he ended up seeing the floor in more games than either of them (with Duane, of course, dealing with the injury). So, I expect he will have put in the time over the summer to push for minutes this year. And remember, with only having 9 healthy bodies to start the year, there are minutes to be had. With the current roster, Johnson is essentially a 3. That means it's Dawson and Duane competing for floor time behind Carlino and Derrick (assuming they're the starters) in the backcourt. I know we're all excited about the highly touted Wilson, but don't be stunned if it's Dawson getting off the bench first - especially in the early going.
What I Want to See
I want to see Dawson make more than just the small, incremental improvements that you would expect to see in a second year player. Ideally, Dawson makes strides on both sides of the ball. I'd love to see him become a lock down defender, to go along with his already capable offensive game. He could be something like a Derrick Wilson, with a jumper. Mainly I just want to see him contributing, but if he wanted to toss in a couple games like this one, I'm cool with that too.
What I Don't Want to See
The same player I saw last year. As I've said, it's all about taking the next steps this year. The last thing we want is to see Dawson being riding the pine and getting more recognition for his dad's Twitter feed* than for his performance on the court.
*Seriously, check out @dddawson1 once the season starts. He is crazy for some Marquette hoops. It's awesome!