Skyhawks season preview
- By Joe Weber, Day 1, 2024
Skyhawks season preview
Rubin WIngfield - at only 31, Wingfield put up amazing numbers last year and looks to lead this team to the playoffs this year. Wingfield put up 20-10 while shooting 48.4% from the field and .406 from down town while posting his best TS% of his career at .614
Derek Cousins - Signed as a backup PG. Cousins has shown some flashes but fallen out recently. Can certainly play the game but lacks effort on the defensive end of the floor.
Jamal Johnson - GM W7 told me after the draft that Johnson was always the guy they wanted and they feel super lucky he slipped to them at #9. Ranked #5 overall on their board and they were drooling at his workouts and what this kid will bring to the team in the future. Being able to learn under Wingfield should benefit Johnson quite a bit as he has also been known to be a leader in college for the Orange.
Malik Phillips - Phillips who often goes unnoticed will slot in as the starter opening night. He plays good defense but needs to find a 3pt stroke. The kid is only 20 and has already started 140 games against the leagues best. Often shutting them down.
Ari Ajayi - The 21 year old draft prospect from last year will get some burn as the first SG off the bench. Coaches say he just oozes potential so we will just have to see what type of impact he makes.
Tezale Craig - Adding the all star SF came out of left field after talks to grab him from the stars last year fell through. Craig is literally exactly what the team was missing in my opinion as a beat writer. He brings everything they were missing to the arena every night. The drive. The scoring. Someone who will push these guys to the next level and show them that they CAN play with anyone and beat anyone. I love the fit here and I think he is going to love playing on this team.
Deanthony Hunter - Hunter has improved each season and at 23 seems primed to really contribute this season. He will get all of the SF mpg behind craig, and W7 has been known to play him at PF and he might even get some time at SG this year if he plays well.
Trey Astbury - At only 22 Astbury is just starting to come into his own. Grabbing a huge contract this offseason the Skyhawks proved to him they are serious about this team and the roll he will play in the future of this team. His per 36 numbers were 10-9-5.5 with a steal and 2.5 blocks. He really brings it all and is proving to be one of the steals of the 2020 draft. Crazy to see just how good this kid will get
Griffin Walls - a Stretch 4 who has been solid but not great. Plays a solid rotation player role but never really developed into the player we had hoped he would.
Corey Fullard - Slipping down in the draft, the Georgetown C could be a steal at #38. The 7'1 7'7 wingspan PF. He probably won't get a ton of playing time, but he could play a supporting role.
Mark Hunter - Franchise Player Mark Hunter, fresh off his first all star appearence join his father Dale. By adding Craig, Hunter won't have to provide a huge chunk of the scoring. He can be more efficient and find his spots rather than be forced to be the man night in and night out and fight through double teams every possession. I think that and the fact he is only 23 somehow (feels like hes been in the league 20 years) and not even in his prime yet, this will be his best season yet.
Jalyn Jones - A diamond in the rough, jones has played well in his first two seasons and looks to build on this at only 22 years old.
Skyhawks Season Preview :
The Skyhawks made some big moves this offseason, Shaking things up by grabbing coach Dale Hunter. Dale who won a ring with the rockets in 2017 joins His son Mark and PG Wingfield with whom he has a close bond.
The Skyhawks also traded for Star Tezale Craig, who fresh off another championship run for him, brings his experience and drive to the Skyhawks team just hungry for a SF, and scoring leader. At the low cost of a first round pick and two second round picks, This seems like a great deal. Even if things were to go south with Craig the Skyhawks assume they should be able to get a first round back for him.
The Skyhawks seem primed to be the perfect blend of strong vets/leaders and good young talent/support coming into their prime. Could be the perfect storm and I predict them to vault to a division championship and probably a 4th seed in the conference.