We’ve taken a few days to relax, recuperate, all while some under-the-radar drama went down (head recruiter Matt Abdelmassih declined an invitation to join new LSU coach Will Wade down in Baton Rouge).
Other changes could be coming, though - with Marcus LoVett’s decision about the future looming large.
So here is some good news.
Marcus LoVett's father: "A return works for both [parties]." No decision yet, but seems like the plan. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) March 29, 2017
While some argue about why Ellison would leave, this bit of news about a likely return seems to help make the reasoning clearer.
Marcus LoVett was a reliable attacking weapon - likely the most reliable player on the roster. His passes sometimes came in a little hot, but his vision saw openings that no other player could envision. And he could get his shot - making buckets at the rim, from inside the arc, from outside the arc and at the free throw line. He needs to be defended well everywhere, and that shapes what opportunities other players can get.
The 6’0” guard had delayed his time on the court long enough and came out as an excellent freshman. He could be a better sophomore as he learns to manage a team and utilize the weapons around him.
If LoVett returns, he is a regular started in the diminutive but scoring-packed backcourt with Shamorie Ponds, who should continue to mix creative scoring with quick hands on defense.
And consider the rest of the guard and wing collection.
Bashir Ahmed likely keeps his starting job.
Federico Mussini brings, at times, high-level outside shooting.
And Justin Simon brings slashing and possibly defense, given his athletic profile.
With those five players, playing time will be at a premium for a player like Malik Ellison, who can score a little, handle the ball and defend - but not a player who consistently creates opportunities for others at this stage. Ellison, who had strong defensive games, could fill in a number of roles, but didn’t dominate in any one area in Big East play.
A different program might like that profile in a starter or bench player, especially after he has had a year to refine a game that seemed a bit deliberate and raw at times, especially when confronted with different defenses.