The Big Ten is often identified as the conference where the game is slower, physical and even boring for those viewers who do not appreciate the tactical side of basketball. At the top of this year there are seven, maybe eight teams capable of contending for the top spots, then when it begins the season of conference play the balance will be the master. Continue reading
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The wave of guys who will arrive on campus for the 2013/2014 season is shaping up as one of the largest among those of the recent past. In addition to those seven, maybe eight, superstars expected to go with the one and done route, there are many guys with plenty of potential and the need to work to refine the various aspects of their game. Another difference with the recent classes is the distribution of talent in all five positions, both physically and technically.
So the following list aims to identify, for each role, players with great room for improvement:
Elite playmaker and elite athlete, this is the new lead guard in NBA, from Rose to Wall and Westbrook.
Rysheed Jordan(6’3″ ) has that type of strength and athleticism needed to reach these high standards. Will certainly have to improve in many aspects of his game, the outside shot and ability to run the team above all. But when it comes to ideal body for basketball, at his age, it is hard to find better. Other athletes worth mentioning at the lead guard position are Jaron Hopkins (6’4″), maybe more a combo guard of Jordan but with similar physical abilities, and UCONN bound Terrance Samuel (6’3″), another super athlete with good playmaking abilities but not very dangerous as scorer.
This position in the NBA is experiencing a particular evolution: the game gets faster and faster and there are often undersized players (Ellis, Lou Williams, the two Gordon) and in some cases the opposite (Paul George). In short, it has become increasingly difficult to find the classic two guard: 6’5 “/ 6’6”, good athleticism, good shot from outside and ability to penetrate (Kobe, JRSmith, J.Johnson).
Robert Hubbs(6’6″) emerged from the pack this spring and has serious NBA upside being dangerous from all three scoring position without settling for outside shots. I expect him to improve before joining a division 1 campus, since it is described as a tireless worker and a smart guy.
Jabari Bird(6’5″) has probably the best in between game of the whole class along a well rounded game, similarly to Zak Irvin (6’7 “) , a future Michigan wolwerine, a good shooter and slasher with an aggressive mindset.
Next part we’ll select player to watch for the three remaining positions.