The roster upheaval is starting to get disturbing for Columbia fans. First, senior guard Meiko Lyles and sophomore forward Zach En’Wezoh left the program earlier this month. Now, per the Columbia Spectator, Alex Rosenberg is out indefinitely after sustaining a Jones fracture in his right foot during practice Friday. As the Spectator notes, the usual recovery time for the injury is six to eight weeks, which would wipe out most of his nonconference season.
Which begs the question, should Rosenberg, who averaged 16 points per game for the Lions last year, go for a fifth-year waiver or make himself available for conference play this season? I say Rosenberg should opt for the latter approach considering this roster is built to win now. The team returns 15 letterwinners and Maodo Lo is likely to keep his momentum from last year’s CIT going. True, Harvard will be much weaker in 2015-16 and Rosenberg could elect to wait till then to return, but this program is dying to deliver on last season’s promise and continue its positive trajectory. This program needs to stack successful seasons to be a long-term Ivy contender, and to do so, this team needs Rosenberg to return for Ivy play this season. After all, Harvard’s vulnerable this season too, and you don’t win championships by kicking the can down the road with players’ eligibility. http://ivyhoopsonline.com/2014/10/27/four-2014-15-preseason-predictions-for-ivy-basketball/ As we’ve already seen with the departures of Lyles and En’Wezoh, nothing in terms of roster makeup is guaranteed from season to season, so take advantage of the experienced, ripening roster you have now.
Let’s not forget that Rosenberg truly is one of the conference’s greatest all-around players. Last season, he posted 3.7 rebounds per game and proved himself again as a productive passer, even notching four steals in a win at Princeton. Just because Maodo Lo is going to make even more things happen in the Lions’ backcourt and Grant Mullins will be back in a big way following his season-ending concussion last year doesn’t mean Rosenberg’s loss won’t be huge, because of course it will be.
Rosenberg will likely be replaced by committee, and coach Kyle Smith already tipped his hand at the Ivy preseason teleconference when he mentioned Cory Osetkowski and Luke Petrasek as players who will contribute more as scorers this season. Petrasek specifically may very well be the first guy who takes over for Rosenberg in the starting lineup and also started 18 games a season ago. Jeff Coby and Chris McComber will be in the mix as well.