Monday, April 19, 2010

Latvian dude committs to Gophers

Pioneer Press link.

Tubby has been busy securing commitments here in the late signing period for 2010, snagging his second one in a week in 6-6 Latvian forward Oto Osenieks, late of Illinois.  He's an interesting dude, given that he's a 6-9 Euro whose most often cited skills are his outside shot and his ball-handling, and that he weighs just 215 lbs. and would get snapped in half by the average big ten power forward.

I can't find a whole lot about him since he's fairly new to the national picture, playing just one year in the U.S., but it seems there are a lot of questions about his size and athleticism, but he's got a high basketball IQ and a dead-eye shot - he's also 20 years old, which I see as a positive in this type of player.  He's probably already close to his overall potential, but he's also probably honed his on-court smarts more than your average freshman and knows his limits.  When I picture him and try to project him into the big ten based on the limited info and few youtube highlights I've seen I'm seeing an upside of a John Shurna with the downside of can't play defense and is killer in mop-up duty.

Osenieks is the fourth player to sign for the class of 2010 and the fourth player who projects to more of a role-player/contributor than a star.  Not that there is anything necessarily so bad about that.  After two consecutive top-25 nationally ranked classes, sometimes you just need to fill in some gaps.  But, really, it's a pretty underwhelming class so far.  Mo Walker looks like the only guy who's going to be a contributor right away, so the returnees better all continue to improve or we're looking at another 10 seed at best.  We can evaluate this class better down the line, obviously, so I'm not going to rip Tubby for this.  I'll save my Tubby ripping for the mistakes he makes during games this season and his lineup choices.

Make sure you check out this link of Oto in action.  Seriously.  You need to see this (and yes, it's really him).  I'd just embed it, but youtube is being a real douche right now.

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