Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Season in review- Grading the Centers/Forwards

Centers: D+
We all knew this was a gaping hole in the lineup, but who knew our season would take a tumble when Carl Engstrom went down for the season. This made us play Gueye probably more than he needed to and put added pressure on Jacobs playing PT Center. I did see some improvement from Gueye defensively... and even a tad on the offensive side (looks like Jacobs worked with him on the sky hook), but let's be honest and say I don't think he sees the court more than 5 minutes a game anywhere else in the SEC.

Jacobs is AUful on the defensive side and he was 3rd on the team in rebounds. Let me repeat that... 3RD ON AN UNDERSIZED TEAM IN REBOUNDS at a tad over 4 a game (Cooper and Randolph pulled 4.5 and 4.2). That is inexcusable for a guy his size.... yes I know he had some back issues, but by default he should've been pulling 6 a game. I should cut him some slack as he probably should be put in the Forwards group, but oh well.

Forwards: C
Technically Jacobs should be included here, but like I said... tough. I'm including Rodney Cooper and Devonta Pollard here since Coop played more as a SF than guard IMO. Cooper was enigmatic... he'd look great one day and AUful the next. The one thing he did every game was play good defense. He was our leading rebounder and in many instances was called upon to guard the opponent's top scorer. Overall, I think he was better than average.

Pollard... while he came on a little bit in the final month he looked lost out there for most of the season. He couldn't shoot, defend, or dribble more than 5 feet. I'm not sure if he was overwhelmed this season or was a product of bad coaching. Regardless, he was a major disappointment considering we knew he had to make some sort of an impact this season for us.

Long story short, our deficiencies here was our downfall. Grant needs to address this in the offseason quickly as I'm not getting the warm and fuzzies with what we have right now. I know we are a guard oriented team, but we need AT THE VERY LEAST an illusion of an inside game and a dedicated board cleaner.

3 comments:

crimsontider said...

Taylor and Hale coming in, Engstrom coming back, and hopefully Jacobs and Pollard's continued improvement should help with these two groups. Jimmie is a great shot blocker and rebounder, but his offensive game is not well rounded. I am depending on Hale for improvement in terms of front court offense. This will be the key for Alabama, if they want to make some noise in March Madness next year.

Msmilie said...

Hale will be a lot like the Layman kid for Maryland. 6'8, but he can
knock down the 3-point shot. I'm really excited to see him play.

Taylor
will be an upgrade just in terms of his length and athleticism around
the rim. He'll need to get stronger, but he has a ton of upside. Both of
those guys should get opportunities next season.

I was happy
with Engstrom's progress before the injury. I just hope he's fully
healthy when the season starts. If he is, he will be an instant
improvement on the defensive end (stronger and more athletic than
Moussa) and the offensive end (not a bad passer for a guy his size)
Pollard started to show signs of getting it late in the season. The
biggest problem for him was his lack of strength and the fact he played
out of position. With the interior depth next season, Pollard will be
able to play more at the SF position. Same thing for Cooper who was
forced to play the 4 for most of the season.

crimsontider said...

A dream scenario would for him to be like Erik Murphy for Florida, boy could we use someone like him.