Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Breakdown: Power Forwards

The power forward position was non-existent for UConn last season.‭  ‬With the lack of any depth of big men,‭ ‬Kevin Ollie had to use his only true power forward in Tyler Olander as a center.‭   ‬UConn used three guards,‭ ‬a small forward,‭ ‬and a center for a majority of the minutes and it had a major impact on their rebounding.‭  ‬It put a lot of pressure on the four and five positions to play against bigger and taller opponents which allowed teams second,‭ ‬third,‭ ‬and sometimes four opportunities at the basket.

Olander struggled playing out of position and was exposed by bigger and more powerful centers.  He needs to play with another big to be effective.  He still has a nice stroke and has the ability to knock down that fifteen footer that is important against the zone.  This is a make or break year for Tyler and he needs to start out strong because his confidence was at an all time low at the end of last season.  Hopefully he’ll bounce back from his foot injury and make an impact in his senior season.

With the addition of Kentan Facey, UConn has much needed depth at this position, but it is a lot to ask of a freshman to contribute right away at this position.  He’ll get minutes early in the year but Ollie will have to ween him in especially in conference play.  If he can show the ability to rebound and hold his position on the block then Olander’s minutes might dwindle.

The power forward position is disappearing in college basketball.  Most teams like to use what would classically be a power forward as an undersized center, because having two big men on the floor at the same time creates spacing issues in the college game.  Ollie will more than likely have Napier, Boatright, Calhoun, Daniels, and whichever Power Forward/Center is rebounding the best as the starting five.  If this is the case then the power forward position is slowing going the way of the full back in the NFL.  It just takes too long to develop the strength, post game, and ability to knock down the fifteen footer for teams and once they do show that potential they are gobbled up by NBA teams.

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