Monday, May 10, 2010

Gophers ink underwhelming Point Guard

I don't know what it is, but I can't get excited for the big signing of PG Maverick Ahanmisi by the Gophers that happened over the weekend, despite his sweet name.  Maybe it's because we're in the middle of a great baseball season, or maybe it's a hang-over from missing out on Cory Joseph (which does at least save us all from hearing people call him CoJo all year), or maybe it's just because signing non-rated players in the Spring period does nothing for me.

Yes, following in the grand tradition of Oto Osenieks, Maverick is another player not rated by any recruiting service.  Now, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  Unrated players and low-rated players can certainly develop into good players, or even stars (see:  Hayward, Gordon), but that isn't exactly the norm.  Much more likely is that you are getting a player who will work hard in practice and probably endear himself to the drooling masses of fans with his "hustle", "grit", and whiteness, and who has an absolute top-level upside of having one skill that can help in very specific situations - like Jamal Abu Shamala against Northwestern.

In fact, here are the 0 star players the Gophers have signed since 2002 according to  Kerry Woolridge, Kevin Payton, Limar Wilson, and Engen Nurumbi.  Does that thrill you?  None of those four even finished out their time with the Gophers, and I can't remember any of them contributing anything outside of some stellar high fives and towel waves. 

Certain things about Maverick sound good.  He's increased his scoring average every year of varsity ball and is described as a good scorer and excellent shooter, but his negatives, from his own mouth, are that he needs to become a better ball-handler and improve his defense.  This is what we wanted as a back-up point guard? 

It would be easier to handle shots like this at Maverick and Oto if there was a solid recruiting class in place to build from, but it is sounding like out of the five players coming in next year, four of them are going to be projects and/or redshirts with Mo Walker the likely lone contributor next season.  I know I've typed this before a few times on this site, and maybe at this point I'm just trying to convince myself, but I'm still willing to give Tubby the benefit of the doubt.  The big difference being that going into the previous two seasons I was already impressed by what Tubby had done, while this season he brings in a bowl full of question marks.

As Homer once said, "Prove me wrong, kids, prove me wrong."

Seriously, if I can't get excited for a guy named Maverick, there must be something seriously wrong.


Dawg said...

Bogart - Please go to Miami and get Mbwake's case thrown out. The gophs need to add him next year otherwise this recruiting class is worse then anything Monson ever threw together.

So far his attorney has shown that he is good at getting trials postponed but that just means he is good at filing paperwork (think Snacks). Maybe you could file suit against Miami-Dade county and the alleged victim for wasting Trevor's time. Make sure the suit includes attorney fees so you can treat your friends to a weekend at the Clevelander!

PS Kubel = Tim Laudner with less power.

snacks said...

The thing I'm clinging to with this kid is that he played at one of the nation's top prep schools that also had Enes Kanter, the top recruit by at least one recruiting service who is headed to Kentucky. He should come in having developed his game much more than a typical freshman. Whether that game is good enough for the Big 10 is another question of course.

Can you tell me what you've heard that makes you think that Hollins is unlikely to contribute next season? From what I recall the kid is 6'4" and an excellent outside shooter. Sounds exactly like the type of player that can have an immediate impact spacing the floor, at a minimum, which this team can use.

WWWWWW said...

I'm not exactly sure what I read, but I don't think it was just one thing. He's three star rated and is skinnier than Tayshaun Prince, which doesn't exactly scream Big 10-ready. But, he is supposed to be a big time shooter and have a good bball IQ, so who knows.

The point stands.