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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 26th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Pacific Tigers

Overall Rank: #111

Conference Rank: #1 Big West

 

2005-06: 24-8, 12-2, 1st

2005-06 postseason: NCAA

 

If history, or at least last year, has taught us anything, it is that Pacific will win the Big West.  The Tigers lose their top three scorers, but it was much worse last year and Pacific still went 12-2 in the conference and earned a trip to the NCAAs.  Credit head coach Bob Thomason for that.  After 18 years of success for the coach, expect the same in year number 19.

 

Who’s Out: Christian Maraker led the team with 17.6 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.  The backcourt duo of Johnny Gray and Mike Webb combined for over 25 points per game and were lethal from long range.  Forward Miguel Flores saw limited playing time as a senior and guard Kevin Hurley left the team after playing in two games last season.

 

Who’s In: Although that is a lot of talent lost, Pacific fans aren’t worried.  Junior college transfer DeAngelo Garrett and redshirt freshman Casey Neimeyer will add some depth to the frontcourt.  Garrett, a transfer from Northern Oklahoma College, is a solid scorer in the paint and will battle on the glass.  Neimeyer averaged a double-double in high school two years ago and will see his first action in Stockton this year.  Guards C.J. Morgan, Matt Goodwin and Solomon Horsechief will battle for the starting job at the two spot.  Morgan is a good shooter with plenty of range and can play both guard spots.  If it is a scorer you need, look no further than Goodwin.  As a sophomore at Williston State College, the 6-1 Milwaukee, Wisconsin product averaged 24.8 points per game.  Horsechief, a transfer from Redlands Community College, is a smart player who could see most of his minutes at the point.  He isn’t a pure scorer like Goodwin, but will make his mark on the program over the next two years.

 

Who to Watch: Michael White has quietly waited his turn.  After playing in just 12 games two years ago, the 6-7 forward earned 24 starts last season, averaging 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds.  The senior isn’t an explosive offensive threat like Maraker, but he works hard under the basket and does the dirty work.  The scoring and flare should come from his frontcourt mate Anthony Brown.  The 6-8 sophomore showed flashes of his potential averaging 5.6 points and 4.8 boards a year ago. 

 

Final Projection: Replacing the long range shooting will have to come from the newcomers.  Point guard Steffan Johnson and wing Anthony Esparza can hit the long ball, but won’t replace Gray and Webb’s numbers in that category.  Johnson is a scrappy point guard who can get to the basket and Esparza will develop into one of the team leaders during his senior campaign.  Long Beach State and Cal Poly will make the conference race interesting, but don’t make the mistake again and bet against Coach Thomason.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA

 

Projected Starting Five:

Steffan Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 6.3 points per game

Matt Goodwin, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

Anthony Esparza, Senior, Guard, 7.1 points per game

Anthony Brown, Sophomore, Forward, 5.6 points per game

Michael White, Senior, Forward, 7.5 points per game

112 High Point » Complete List » 110 Seton Hall

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