Sunday, September 7, 2008

Player Profiles: The Role Players

Gavin Edwards: Gavin supplanted himself as the first big man off the bench. At 6-9 and 234 pounds, he has the size and ability to play power forward and center. He isn’t shy about rebounding, getting 1.6 every 8 minutes. He could use a bit more size to balance his lack of athleticism. It was his reliable play that propelled him beyond Kelly and Mandeldove up the depth chart. It looks like Calhoun will play him primarily in the power forward position with no competition behind him.

Looking ahead: Edwards needs to work on the offensive end. To be a power forward, he’ll need to post up and make a consistent shot. With more muscle he should have a productive season.

Jonathan Mandeldove: Mandeldove couldn’t find the minutes last year to make an impact. He is a legit 7-footer but he wasn’t aggressive. Without getting any flow of the game, he came in cold and primarily focused on staying in front of his man and blocking out. With Thabeet gobbling minutes and Okwandu behind him, it will be a battle again to find the court.

Looking ahead: He’s going to have to bulk up. Okwandu is raw and behind in fundamentals, but he is an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier. Mandeldove needs to be a blocking threat and an aggressive rebounder.

Donnell Beverly: Beverly did a great job coming in during Dyson and Wiggins vacation. He handled the rock, ran the offense, broke the press, and made some jumpers. He’s going to be a steady point guard. He’ll find his way into the rotation, especially with a three guard lineup.

Looking ahead: If he battles for weak side rebounding, he should find minutes. He’ll need to show some speed this year and be willing to take the ball to the basket.

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