Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reynolds Makes CHN's All Big East December Team

Jeff Fox over at College Hoops Net put together an All December Big East Team. Looks like Scottie would man the point on this three guard team. He would run with DePaul's Draelon Burns (saw more than enough of Draelon last week...), South Florida's sensational freshman Dominique Jones, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Pittsburgh's super frosh DaJuan Blair (saw a lot of him last week too). Not a bad team at all. Interesting that the Wildcats faced two teams with hot players in their first week of Big East play.


Jamie said...

greyCat, whats your take on Blair? I was at the game last Saturday and couldn't help but see the resemblance between him and Julius Peppers when he played on UNC a couple years back.

greyCat said...

I confess when I looked over his weight/height stats (6-6 250lb) in the off season I was not impressed. I have tracked his stats however since the beginning of the season and what I saw in part motivated me to track down some of Pitt's televised games and catch him in action. I think he is one of several early season heavy favorites to make the All Big East Rookie Team and is definitely in the conversatin for the Big East ROY. I think a good deal of his early success comes from the fact that he fits the Pitt system so well:
1. He takes up space and denies opposing centers position while in their offense.
2. He is active around the basket on the glass (both offense and defense). Scoring at this point is a bonus, which happens to be very helpful to Ramon, Benjamin and Fields (when he gets back).
3. He appears to be very coachable. I noticed he ran the same play at the end of the Villanova game as he did at the end of regulation with Duke. Blair flashes to just beyond the top of the key to set a screen for the pg and after the defense switches he rolls to the basket (if it worked he has the pg's guard), leaving his defender in a mismatch with the Panther's point. Both times Blair executed his part to perfection, drawing the smaller defender with him as he rolled back to the basket. In the Duke game Singler ended up on Fields who faked towards the basket and then stepped back and dropped a three. It worked exactly the same way against Villanova, except Ramon lost control of the ball before he could step back from Pena.

I don't remember Pitt having a big as mobile as early in their career as Blair is. And I am not sure how he would transition to the pros (but he proved me wrong once already...), but I think Pittsburgh has a center who is going to help them win a lot of games over the next 4 years (I think he stays all 4 years).