Opinion: Frontcourt Follies

Spartan basketball took a hit when it was announced that sharp-shooting sophomore Kenny Kaminski was being dismissed from the team on August 4. Kaminski tweeted on August 2 that he was transferring from MSU and was unsure of where he was headed.

Two days later, coach Tom Izzo made a brief and blunt statement stating that Kaminski, “could not live up to the obligations necessary to be part of our program.” What exactly these obligations entailed are merely speculation at this point, but Kaminski had been suspended twice last year due to academic issues.

Honestly, Kaminski’s dismissal hurts this team. A frontcourt that lost the glue guy that was Adreian Payne to the Association is now forced to scramble for some assistance in the big man department.

Is it the end of the world that Kaminski was dismissed? No. Kaminski averaged 49 percent from the three-point line, which hurts from a marksman’s perspective. He showed flashes of solid scoring, 19 points against Penn State and then 15 points against Minnesota.

However, his defense was suspect at best and it is obvious that he and Izzo had their problems culminating in his dismissal. Coach Izzo will do what he has always done, make the best of what he has and adjust strategies.

Presumably, Branden Dawson is expected to be the starting presence at one of the forward positions along with Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling in the rotation at the forward positions or center. The problem with this is the lack of depth.

Hypothetically, if coach Izzo started Dawson at small forward and Schilling at power forward, then that would leave Costello at center. You could tweak that lineup by adding Denzel Valentine in the mix at small forward and moving Dawson to the four spot. That would leave Costello as the man in the middle with Schilling backing him up.

However, the fact is that without much experience off the bench it is a fairly difficult plan. Freshmen Marvin Clark Jr. and Javon Bess add depth to the lineup, but lack any amount of game play at the collegiate level. Bench players who were not utilized last season may have to be thrown into the mix.

One thing is definite about this upcoming basketball season, Izzo will have his work cut out for him, but for the Sultan of State, what else do you expect?


Nick Carver is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Scott Wasserman/Impact Sports


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