Friday, February 06, 2004

Recruiting Update - Randolph Morris

Rumors are flying but the truth lies within one young man's heart. Here is a story about Morris with a good number of pictures.

If anything OFFICIAL comes up, you will be the first to know.

However, I would like to make a case for why Morris is the perfect addition to this team.

Early in the year, we were dominating teams. Why? Our fast break. We were runnin-and-gunnin. If the primary break was not there, the secondary break was often successful. Teams did not have the benefit of tape of our team playing and couldn't scout us properly early on (right from Hewitt's own mouth). Now teams have figured out how to more successfully shut down our fast break options #1 and #2. Case in point - in the last 4 games only 17% of our points have come on the fast break.

So NOW we have to play half-court offense. And guess what - that is where we are struggling the most. Why? In my opinion, because we cannot pass the ball into the post. To me that is the missing element. You have to be able to dump the ball down low to someone who has back-to-the-basket skills. It keeps the defense honest. The post player can back down his man or dish to someone on a wing. But we DON'T do that. Why could that be - Luke is playing so well recently (you say)? Yes he is, but he is playing well for 2 reasons:

1. He is crashing the boards more effectively and getting putback points.
2. Guards have been able to penetrate and dish to Luke when his man leaves.

Watch how often in our regular halfcourt set we actually dump the ball to Luke in the post. It is a rarity. What do we do to respond? We just pass the ball around the perimter. What do the defenses do? The play VERY tight on the guards out top and they overplay the passing lanes. How many times have you seen Jack go over to BJ or Marvin out top, etc and they had to HAND the ball to him? How many times can our guys stop dribbling out top and have nobody to pass to? Why - defenses are denying the passing lanes because they know we don't have a true post-up player to give the ball to keep them honest. What happens is that the only way for our half-court game to flow is for the guards to drive one-on-one and create.

All of this is to say that a TRUE post presence is the missing piece of the puzzle at GT. Luke is the real deal. Luke is playing stellar for us. But Luke is not the type player that prevents defenders from overplaying the passing lanes. Morris IS that type of guy. They will often have to collapse and double-team Morris, leaving someone open out top. Morris can create balance and spacing on the offensive end, then we can see the true magic of guys like Jack, Elder and Bynum, when they are not always forced to go one-on-one.

So Randolph, there it is - you are the missing piece. We would be honored to have you as a Jacket and we will wish you well in whatever decision you make. You certainly must be under a lot of pressure. Just do what's best for you.