As for strengths and weaknesses, I would say the strength is going to be depth and team defense. Yes, there are several players that can light up the scoreboard but this team will go as far as its defense takes it. It is a surprisingly big team with tons of length which should help with being a top defensive team. I remember a time when our center was 6'-6", now we have guards that height! so crazy! We lost Quinn Taylor and Dwayne Brown Jr. to graduation, Tuariawn Knight transferred, and another reserve, Ben Fakira, decided to go back home to Australia. Of that group, Taylor's production is the biggest need to fill but there are multiple new additions that should more than cover it.
Weaknesses would include some depth a PG. Some may argue that Merrill is a decent enough backup at PG but the problem is that it would be nice to get that guy some rest instead of having him play PG for a few minutes while the starting PG gets a break. I also don't believe we have an elite ball handler or drive and dish type PG on the roster. We have guys that can create their own shot or create for others but not a quick PG that can go past his man and penetrate the lane with any sort of consistency. Conversely not having that quick PG poses problems when we face teams with multiple quick athletic guards that like to attack. Queta eliminates the possibility of going all the way to the rim for easy buckets but we get killed on drive and kickout situations.
My best shot at the depth chart:
Center - Neemias Queta, Jakub Karwowski, Klay Stall
Neemias Queta- SO, 6'-11", 240 - I think most are familiar with his work
Jakub "Kuba" Karwowski - JR, 7'-2", 230 - New JC transfer. Was signed as insurance in case Queta stayed in the draft. Looks to be very mobile and quick for his size, runs the floor well and tries to dunk every time he gets his hands on the ball anywhere in the lane. Will play immediately as a backup since he has no redshirt available.
Klay Stall - JR, 6'-10", 240 - been at USU since 2016 and has experienced multiple injuries. Also missed his entire SR year of HS due to injury. He has shown talent in his brief time on the court but getting anything out of Stall at this point is just frosting.
PF - Justin Bean, Liam McChesney, Roche Grootfaam
Justin Bean - SO, 6'-7", 215 - A former walk-on that earned a scholarship mid-season last year. He brings lots of energy and seems to have a nose for the ball with his ability to rebound and get put back baskets. He doesn't look like an athlete at all but he is super quick off the floor and surprises people with his leaping ability. He even won the team dunk contest last year.
Liam McChesney - FR, 6'-9", 195 - McChesney is one of two signed freshman that are creating a buzz and have Aggie fans excited. McChesney is the #1 rated HS player in Canada. He can spread the floor with the ability to shoot from deep or drive to the rim. He moves very well and has a game that more matches a traditional combo guard, but in a 6'-9" frame. Rumor is that USU coaches have made comments about Liam already being the best shooter on the team the moment he steps foot on campus.
Roche Grootfaam - JR, 6'-8", 250 - Grootfaam was a JC signee last season but sat out due to an ACL injury suffered during the NCJAA championship game. Not known for scoring, but is a good rebounder and shot blocker, he's very strong, and has the body to bang down low.
SF - Brock Miller, Alphonso Anderson, Diogo Brito, Sean Bairstow
Brock Miller - SO, 6'-6", 205 - Obviously Miller's game is the 3 point shot, he took more than any freshman in USU history and made the second most ever. I would not say he is an elite shooter but has the potential to get there if he can eliminate being streaky and become more consistent. He's not really a factor on the boards and plays like he does not like contact. His defense improved as the season went on but he could still use some work in that department too.
Alphonso Anderson - JR, 6'-7", 230 - Anderson is a new JC transfer. He can do a little of everything, he can score in bunches, he can rebound, he can play outside but is also comfortable with his back to the basket, and he can defend multiple positions. He is similar to Bean in that he can fill up a stat sheet but not be the main focus at either end of the court.
Diogo Brito, SR, 6-5", 205 - Brito really came into his own last season and improved in so many ways. He will likely spend more time at the 2 than here at the 3 but he is capable of playing the 1, 2, or 3. He is a player that can knock down the 3, is a gifted passer, and is serviceable at being the main ball handler.
Sean Bairstow, FR, 6'-8", 185 - Bairstow is the younger brother of former Lobo Cam Bairstow and is the other freshman Aggie fans are excited about. His game appears to be very different from Cam's. Sean is a true combo guard that can score in all sorts of ways and is an excellent passer. Coaches have also commented on how good of a rebounder he is and I would expect him to be able to eventually play the 1, 2, or 3 as needed.
SG - Sam Merrill, Diogo Brito, Brock Miller, Sean Bairstow
Sam Merrill - SR, 6'-5", 205 - he's a bum (just seeing if you're still reading)
PG - Abel Porter, Sam Merrill, Diogo Brito, Sean Bairstow
Abel Porter - JR, 6'-3", 195 - Former walk-on that earned a scholarship mid-season along with Bean last year. A couple of years ago if you would have told me that the walk-on guy at the end of the bench that looks like he could be the equipment manager would eventually be our starting PG I would have told you our program was in big trouble. Porter and Bean were both surprises as walk-ons but because of the amount of time he is on the court and how much he handles the ball, I would say Porter has been the most pleasant surprise. Porter hit some big shots and his confidence increased as the season wore on.
Scholarships left = 1