Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey addressed the media in his weekly press conference after the BU men’s basketball team returned from its four-game Florida road trip on Tuesday. The trip gave the Bearcats (4-4) an opportunity to test their depth against tough opponents. With early injuries to junior forwards Willie Rodriguez and Justin McFadden, BU’s young bench has proved reliable. Binghamton will attempt to give its young players time to grow the seven games that remain before America East play begins in January.
Here are three takeaways from Dempsey on Tuesday:
The Bearcats are still fiddling with rotations.
“As we turn the calendar to December, we have to start shortening the bench a little bit,” Dempsey said. “We’re shuffling so many guys in and out it’s hard to find a rhythm.”
Binghamton’s backcourt has a lot of depth. Redshirt sophomore guard J.C. Show has been the Bearcats’ most consistent offensive producer in his first eight games in a BU uniform. Walk-on sophomore guard Timmy Rose is seeing a lot of minutes off the bench, while sophomore guard Everson Davis is embracing his role as a slashing wingman. Starting senior guard Marlon Beck, freshman guard Fard Muhammad and redshirt junior guard Yosef Yacob have also made played roles in Binghamton’s good start.
Rodriguez’s injury has opened the door for other players.
“On the positive side, it has gotten the other guys extended minutes, which only helps you as you move forward,” Dempsey said. “You just don’t know what other issues that you don’t foresee and almost everyone on the roster has gotten some experience and some minutes in the first portion of the season. But at the same time we need to get him back so we can keep building our group.”
Rodriguez sat out of Binghamton’s road trip after re-aggravating his hamstring injury two weeks ago. In the meantime, his absence has opened the door for players like junior forward Dusan Perovic to prove themselves before conference play begins.
The road trip improved Binghamton’s chemistry.
“It’s important just to be together for an extended period of time,” Dempsey said. “It was a full week which is a really long trip this time of year. We got a lot accomplished, and grew together on and off the court.”
Binghamton split four games over the course of the road trip, including an impressive victory against Long Beach State. The Bearcats also defeated Ave Maria but fell to Florida Gulf Coast and FIU.