After three hours spent watching men’s basketball practice, I figured I had to write something. So here goes a few observations:
– I was most impressed today with Carl Baptiste, ’13. I’d been led to believe that he was really rough around the edges and a project, and he looked a lot more polished than I would have ever suspected. While he looks like Shetland Blake Griffin, he’s actually pretty fundamentally sound, has a decent jump shot, is comfortable above the rim, and an impressively big body. For me, he’s already supplanted Temi Adebayo, ’12, as the first big man off the bench. Which brings me to:
– Temi’s offensive game is the basketball equivalent of a 1998 Dodge Neon that hasn’t been buffed out: it has absolutely no polish. I know he’s still relatively new to the game, and he obviously has the length to make it work, but it’s not there yet.
– While we’re in the low post, might as well talk about Todd O’Brien, ’12. It’s no secret this area could be a problem this year, and O’Brien is the person with the most power to stop it. He showed decent range with his jumper, is very fluid from the line, and was commended by head coach Phil Martelli (while being yelled out), saying he should be “the best offensive rebounder I’ve ever coached”. But what impressed me the most was his passing ability and vision. During halfcourt drills, he fired a few crisp backdoor passes and a behind-the-back pass on the baseline that led to a lay-up.
– In the backcourt, Carl Jones, ’13, is the shortest six footer ever. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s 146 pounds. But he was noticeably the first in the backcourt to tire today and left a lot of shots short in the last hour of practice. His stamina will definitely have to improve.
– Martelli was harping on toughness a lot during practice, which included a drill in how to take charges. During five-on-five drills later, he stopped play several times to reprimand players not taking charges, especially Darrin Govens, ’10.
– Matthew De George ’10