Friday, August 16, 2013

Player Profile: Niels Giffey

Looking Back:  Niels Giffey played a significant role last year and did everything this team needed.  Ollie had Giffey play three different positions at times, subbing in at the two, three, and four spots.  His versatility gave UConn plenty of options off the bench and has quietly gone about his business.  The major improvement for Giffey this past season was his ability to finish plays at the rim.  At the end of the season, fans of this blog voted him with the Sixth Man of the Year award.

The Good: Giffey isn’t going to wow you.  He’s versatile, can slide into three positions, has a smooth jumper, displayed an above the rim game in transition, and has good enough lateral movement to play the pick and roll defensively.  He’s one of the better free throw shooters on the team and Ollie is comfortable leaving him in late in tight ball games.  He cut down his offensive fouls a lot last season and has developed a mid-ranged game.

The Bad: He doesn’t have a good first step and dribbling is still a major problem for him.  His rebounding needs to improve and lacks the ability to seal his man when the ball is in the air.  He only managed 100 rebounds last season which is sixth best on the team. Even though he has a great free throw percentage, his game rarely allows him the opportunity to get to the line.  He has developed a mid-ranged game but he doesn't utilize it as much as he should and even though he has a good jumper, his three point percentage doesn’t reflect that.

Looking Ahead: Giffey will play a major role this season.  He’ll once again be the first option off the bench but needs to get better at rebounding and finding ways to get space for his jumper.  This team needs him to do all the little things from getting loose balls, defending without fouling, and help on the boards.  If he can do all those things then it should be a fruitful season for Giffey.

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