The Good: Jeff Adrien came out of the gates slow but hit his double-double stride during the most crucial part of the Big East schedule. He was UConn’s only low post threat and often times saw double and triple teams, since the outside threat was so minimal. Even with that he put up his numbers and improved on several aspects of his game. He added an elbow jumper that he hit with regularity and improved his foot work with his back to the basket. He flashed some athleticism and some power moves that he hadn’t shown before, but his main game is battling under the basket for second chance points and defensive rebounds. He is a solid defender but can be beat off the dribble if playing his man to far out.
There is no denying that he is the anchor of the team and gave them the stability with knowing that you were going to get 14 points and 10 rebounds out of him every night. He’s not going to take over a game but he is also more important than a common role player. He sets the tone emotionally and the team feeds off that tenacity. He is a team leader and can take being pulled and reinserted without anything negative to his game.
The Bad: His passing is atrocious and turns the ball over way to many times. He gets stuck in double teams and tries to throw it into traffic. He had 86 turnovers this year compared to 76 the year before. Also it is a bit disconcerting that his stats haven’t improved all that much from the previous year. He has a two point scoring a game difference this year rather then last but his rebounding went down and his personal fouls went up. His free throw percentage did go up but it is still a paltry .616. He also has a hard time defending players that have an outside shot and gives them a cushion so that they don’t blow by him.
Next Year: Jeff needs to come out of the gates strong, enforce his will in the paint and dominate the boards. With some consistent outside shooting and an improved Thabeet offense, he could see less double teams and take advantage of his strength. I don’t know if he is NBA caliber material but he could be a dominate force like a Chevon Troutman in college. With this being his last year, he’ll be ready to leave it all on the court.