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Where Does Releford Fit In?

Granted, while originally this post was mostly conjecture it is now entirely conjecture because of the recruitment of Liggy. Liggy is a better prospect, more ready for Big 12 basketball and plays the same position at roughly the same size. So however Releford is going to fit into the puzzle you have to factor in not only Liggy but other possible recruitments. Think of that as my disclaimer if you will.

OK, once Rush's knee heals we will start him, RR, Super, DA and DJack/Sasha. Off the bench will come SC, Sasha/DJack, Cole and Tyrell. That is 9 players who figure to be the key 9 this season. And of those 9 3 (DJack, Sasha and RR) are seniors, 2 (Super and Rush) are juniors, 2 are sophomores (DA and SC) and 2 are freshmen (Cole and Tyrell). I know that you know all of this, just bear with me a couple more lines. That means that at least 3 of our key contributors will be leaving us, essentially leaving 3 holes for regular PT. Rush's certain departure to the NBA along with the likely departure of Super/SC (I think only one of them will leave) and DA leaves us with 5 holes to fill. At least. If those 3 leave for the three letters though, we will have 7 or 8 scholarships to fill their holes. But just for the significance of Releford, let's pretend that we don't recruit anyone else and we have nothing else besides him and current Jayhawks on the roster, at least at first.

If all of that were to happen, Self would find himself with little to work with. The point guard would likely be Brady Morningstar, the shooting guard Tyrell Reed and the small foward? Relly. So at least he would get to start then. Power Foward would refused to be filled (no one on our roster qualifies) so for this exercise we'll say we get Greg Monroe too, but no other recruits. That would leave Monroe at PF and Aldrich at C. With little-to-no depth at any position, Relly would figure to get roughly 25 minutes a game.

More realistically, we will likely recruit another swing player (most obvious candidate right now being Liggy) that will steal PT from Relly. But even if we add another 2 or even 3 guards in the class, he will stee some playing time. The only returning guard who will continue to play solid minutes is whoever stays out of SC and Super (if anyone) and Self would feel no qualms about playing 4 or even 5 guards 10+ minutes. We are doing it this year, no reason why we wouldn't next year. So that would mean in what would be the worst case scenario for Rellly, all he would have to do is beat out Brady Morningstar to be the 4th or 5th guard. Something he should be able to do, considering how differently they were regarded coming out of high school by the recruiting networks.

So, with all of that considered Relly figures to see about 12 minutes or so a game his freshman year. Not bad at all for a freshman and hopefully enough for him to improve significantly. With how young are guard would be he would likely only see a slight jump his sophomore year, maybe up to 15 or 16 a contest. After that he will likely see a significant jump because while Relly strikes me as a 4 year kid, Liggy isn't likely to stay more than 2 and certainly not more than 3. Depending on who else we recruit and their possible professional future, Releford will most likely be a starter his junior season and play around 20 minutes a game. His senior season, and like I said I do see him still playing as a senior a la Russell, he will definately be a starter and playing 25 minutes+ a game.

So there you have it, my rough career projection of playing time for Relly. Like I said at the beginning, this is completely conjecture by my part so don't read too much into it. I will try to do something like this for each of our incoming recruits, it is a fun little exercise to see how much of an impact they will make during their time in Lawrence.