Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Centers to watch in the 2016 NCAA Tournament

The Centers we are watching most closely in the 2016 NCAA Tournament...

Poeltl, Pac-12 Player of  the Year. 
Jakob Poeltl - Utah 7'1" 240, soph. ...Poeltl was the Pac 12 Player of the Year for 2015-16. He averages 17.6 points and nine rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in all but four games this season. He is converting a staggering 67% of his field goal attempts (career). His defensive rating of 93.7 anchors the Utah defense. Poeltl is a good offensive rebounder and his free throw stroke is improved, up from just 45% as a freshman to 69% this season. He is showing a much better ability to pick and pop this season. He led the Pac 12 in True Shooting Percentage (.673). ...Poeltl has more turnovers than assists, and that part of his game needs improvement. Poeltl is originally from Vienna, Austria. Both his parents were members of Austrian national volleyball teams. You just don't see too many seven foot players with his ability to run the floor. I think he is potentially a top-tier BIG in the NBA at the height of his career. 

Diamond Stone - Maryland. 6'10" 250, frosh. ...Diamond Stone is a BIG freshman. He averages 12.9 points (56% FG), 5.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots per game. He has the finesse to hit 76% of his free throws. He has good hands. Stone broke a Maryland freshman school record, scoring 39 points in a game against Penn State. Stone was also suspended by Coach Mark Turgeon for one game this season. He hit a Wisconsin player's head against the court to earn the suspension. Defensively, Stone has a slightly better defensive rating than the Maryland team. …His decision making and passing are a work in progress. He presently coughs up more than three turnovers for every one assist. Stone won four consecutive Wisconsin state championships in high school. He was a 2015 McDonald's All-America selection.

Thomas Bryant - Indiana. 6'11" 241, frosh. ...There is a reason that Indiana Basketball is back on the map. A lack of size in recent seasons was cured this year with the arrival of Thomas Bryant. Bryant has a 7'5" wingspan, and a standing reach of 9'3.5". He averages 11.6 points, and 5.8 rebounds per game in just 22 minutes per contest.  He led the Big Ten in True Shooting Percentage this season (.704). Bryant is decent at the foul line, connecting on 68.9%. Bryant scored a career high 23 points (in just 27 minutes) vs. Minnesota, January 30, 2016. ...Bryant has more turnovers than assists. He is just 18 years-old, and he won't turn 19 until July 31st.  Bryant was a 2015 McDonald's All-America selection. While Bryant may not be a star in the NBA, we think he can be a starter during his career.

The rest of the BIG men we will watch closely in the 2016 NCAA Tournament...

A.J. Hammons - Purdue. 7'0" 251, SR. 
Isaac Haas - Purdue. 7'2" 297, soph. 
Skal Labissiere - Kentucky. 7'0" 216, frosh.
Daniel Ochefu - Villanova. 6'11" 245, SR. 
Cameron Ridley - Texas. 6'10" 262, SR. 
Mike Tobey - Virginia. 6'11" 227. SR. 
Prince Ibeh - Texas. 6'10" 250, SR.
Amida Brimah - Connecticut. 7'0" 217, jr. 
Tonye Jekiri - Miami. 7'0" 244, SR.  

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