The Van Buren Boys

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Barker Weighs in on Green & Hibbert

Barker explains why Roy will be more valuable next season than Jeff could have been. He's right on all of it, and indeed a number of these points have been made in this blog:

"1) You can't teach ..." : "Guess how many 6-10 or taller players who averaged double digits in scoring, six or more rebounds and two or more blocks will be returning to major-conference rosters next season? Hibbert (12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks) ... and, well ... Hibbert. That's it. Just one. And, as Thompson has always been quick to point out, Big Roy has only begun to scratch the surface of his potential. Green came to Georgetown with a high hoops IQ and an incredible skill set for a prepster. Of course, he improved, particularly his game away from the hoop. But few players in recent hoops history have enjoyed Hibbert's near-stratospheric developmental arc. "

"2) Team Need": "While 'Big Ticket' showed flashes of the game that made him a McDonald's All-American at Hargrave Military Academy, his 9.8 minutes-per game average and single season in the system leave him less prepared to fill the void that would have been left by Hibbert than the player who will likely be asked to assume Green's starting role: rising senior Patrick Ewing Jr. (14.5 minutes). Throw in gifted wing man DaJuan Summers, who enjoyed an exemplary freshman season (9.2 points), and incoming McDonald's All-American Austin Freeman (DeMatha), and the Hoyas actually have three NBA-caliber talents to share the onus of replacing Green's myriad contributions as the team's point-forward."

"3) Gameplan": "As good as Green was in his three seasons, Hibbert represents a far more daunting matchup problem for opponents on both ends of the floor. Defensively, Hibbert's ability to alter shots and provide help on dribble-drive proponents makes the paint a virtual no-fly zone for Georgetown opponents."

Barker is correct on all counts. I think that #2 is the big one for me. There are three players who can step up and pick up the slack for Jeff. And although they have not been as dramatic as Jeff's, Summers's dagger 3's in a number of big games took some serious stones. I think he will want to take the big shot in next year's Vandy, Nova, or Notre Dame-type game. You thrown in Freeman and Ewing, who got markedly better as the year wore on, and I think the void can be filled. Add to that player development--I think Roy, DaJaun and Ticket will all seriously elavate their games--and Freeman and Wright, and I think next year's team will be a better one come March than this year's was. That's not to say they will definitely be in San Antonio, but I think one has to put them among the top 4 or 5 contenders--particularly when you factor in post-season experience that teams like Memphis and Kansas can't match.

1 comment:

Italian Stallion said...

I'd have to agree. While Jeff will be missed, to me a 7 footer in the paint with ability to play defense is almost irreplaceable. Jeff's leadership & unselfish play will be missed, but I think the GU bench has the ability to duplicate Green's efforts - it'll just come from a couple of folks.