Monday, October 1, 2012

Alumni Profile: Rudy Gay

Looking Back: Rudy Gay was coming off a shoulder surgery that ended his 2010 season short and coming into 2011 campaign, he had a lot to prove because during his absence his team made a spectacular run in the playoffs without him. He needed to show that he deserved his max contract and was a major piece to the up and coming Grizzlies. While he had a good season, his numbers dipped in just about every category. It wasn’t a drastic dip but the strike shortened season and the injury to Zach Randolf contributed to his struggles to find consistency. His season ended on a sour note, losing to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs and it didn’t dispel the fan base from questioning his leadership and his asset to carry this team deep into the playoffs.

The Good: The first word that comes to mind for Rudy Gay is athleticism. He is deadly in the open court, has developed a consistent jumper, and can play on the block. He has worked hard on defense, though he isn’t renowned for fighting through screens or pressuring his man. He is a solid rebounder, hovering around 6 a game. He likes the ball in hands down the stretch of ballgames and has hit his fair share of game winners. He is also in the prime of his career and should be ready to solidify himself as UConn’s best Alumni in the NBA.

The Bad: Rudy is hovering around super star status but hasn’t reached it yet. He lacks that ability to take over stretches of the fourth quarter that other high caliber players have. He’ll knock down a clutch 3-pointer here and there, but won’t carry his team on his back for six or seven plays in a row. He isn’t a player that looks for the contacts, fights through screens, or battles in the paint for the tough points.

Looking Ahead: With a full season ahead of him and a healthy Zach Randolf, Rudy should have a much better showing. If he can remain healthy, hit better from deep, play tighter defense, and be more of a vocal leader then he should have another good year. It really comes down to what he does in the playoffs that truly matters and until he carries this team on his shoulders through a playoff series then the trade rumors will continue to swirl around him.

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