Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Making the Grade

With classes winding down for the semester, it is time to give the pups their grades.

Hasheem Thabeet: A. 14.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4 blocks a game. He came out of the gates and has shown drastic improvement. He’s scoring with authority, showing some post moves, and rebounding with tenacity. Sure he isn’t a legit post threat yet but his other intangibles have grown by leaps and bounds.

Jerome Dyson: A-. 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3 assists and .1.8 steals. He has found his confidence and early. He’s driving into the lanes and pulling up for jumpers and runners which he didn’t do last year. The more games UConn plays, the more it is obvious that the offense needs to run through him. He needs to shoot better from the line, just .683, and he needs to be more consistent from deep, 7 out of 23, but he runs the break, plays great defense and is the motor to the offense.

Jeff Adrien. B+. 14 points, 9 boards, and 1.25 blocks. He isn’t flashy but he gets the job done. With Thabeet’s progression on the block, it has freed Adrien from the double teams and he has flourished. He has done most of his damage from driving at the elbow to the rim and on second chance points. His elbow jumper isn’t there yet and he’s missed his fair share of bunnies. He leads the team in minutes played which shows that he is playing solid defense without fouling.

Kemba Walker: B+. 12 points, 3.6 boards, 3 assists, and 1.6 steals. He’s made an impact every game except the Buffalo one, which is fantastic for a true freshmen. He runs the break as fast as passing the ball up court and finishes plays. He has great court vision and has supplanted Price during stretches of the game at point. While he has only taken a handful of outside shots, he has drained them, shooting .385 from beyond the arch and he is the best free throw shooter on the team at .833.

Craig Austrie: B. 10.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. He’s put together three solid games, but remains a streaky outside shooter at .346. He’s an all-around reliable guard that can play both point and the 2-guard positions which is an asset that most teams do not have. He hasn’t been as reliable at the line like his other seasons at only .788 percent but that should rise. It will be interesting to see how his minutes play out when Robinson returns.

A.J. Price. B-. 8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. It is tough to critique a player that is recovering from a devastating knee surgery that Price went through, but it is obvious that he isn’t fully recovered. He’s a bit slower on the court and hasn’t caught up to the pace of the game. He still has developed into the teams best outside shooter at .394 percent and is the best rebounding and assist guard on the team. He might not be the Price of a year ago but he doesn’t have to be to take this team to were it wants to go.

Gavin Edwards. C+. 5.1 points and 2.3 boards. He has filled in nicely into the first big man off the bench and has produced in his 11.6 minutes of action but his rebounding numbers aren’t where he needs them to be and he has been a liability on defense on a number of occasions.

Charles Okwandu. C. .4 points and 1.3 rebounds. He physically looks the part of a big time center and he moves well, but with 4.9 minutes a game, he hasn’t been able to show his stuff out on the court.

Donnell Beverly. C. 1.5 points and 1 rebound. He is mired in the rear of a really talented back court. He is a solid player and is waiting patiently for his time to play. He will be a contributor on next year's squad.

Scottie Haralson. C-. 2.3 points and .3 boards. He has shown himself to be a streaky shooter and that is not what UConn needs. Of course with only 6 minutes a game, he doesn’t have time to warm up before jacking up the three. It is good to see those shots falling though.

Johnnie Bird. Incomplete. He’s shown talent but not enough to warrant playing time.

Jonathan Mandeldove. Absent. He’s played one minute. What happened?

John Linder. Incomplete. He’s a rebounding machine at 1 every 2 minutes.

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