It's really impossible to evaluate a whole lot about Mills after year one. The team had talent but the perceived strengths going in didn't have great years (i.e. the bigs). The sure had their chances since they ran the offense through the post for most of the season. Add in the fact that the back court didn't have the full compliment of healthy players very often. Kearns is the only guard who played in every game. So you had no depth to run a faster tempo or play more aggressive defense. We were bottom of the league in pace. Considering the first interview I heard from Mills he said he liked to run the Arkansas or West Virginia style... I think you know where I'm going.
So the negatives? I'm concerned he couldn't get two assets to buy in after a full season preaching to them. I had the feeling all year that Tray was probably out but the Javan loss is surprising. He seems to be a perfect fit. That being said, he's getting numerous power 5 offers and its tough to just ignore that. I'm also a little concerned that this team is going to be counting on a bunch of freshman to provide quality depth and maybe even start.
Positives? Four solid returners including two who received some post reason recognition (Kearns and Eman). Chris has some very nice moments all season and RJ battled a ton of injuries to end up having a decent freshman year. A full offseason to get stronger and healthier and all the returners should improve. Amir battled knee issues all year as well and should come back much better. I'm guessing Eman won't be playing for Denmark this summer. We also have Obionor stepping in as a freshman and he has been here since January. He basically have Javan's body and will certainly get the opportunity to play. I've talked to Mills a few times and I know he believes that commitment wins over everything else. He's got 4 freshman and maybe a juco or two coming and the returning guys leading the charge on getting them integrated. Also, what could be a blessing in disguise with these departures is now the style of play almost HAS to change. We can spend all summer getting Eman ready to play the 4 and hopefully get more quickness and shooting on the court.
Maybe even more important is our schedule can't possibly be as hard next season. We were setup to struggle from the jump and got zero breaks early on. The tone on this board would be much different if we win 15 or 16 games.