George Blaney's Comments on Shabazz | The Boneyard

George Blaney's Comments on Shabazz

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No doubt he is a purer point guard compared Kemba, but I'm not so sure that's the case when you look back at AJ. The kid was nasty in terms of assists and assist percentage each year. Without looking at the stats, maybe that's because Shabazz's assists seem flashier, and by just watching the games, it does look like his head is on a swivel and always looking to pass first, and AJ's offensive game was more polished.

Hope Shabazz can make the nice leap in shooting percentage that AJ made after his freshman season, and Kemba made after his sophomore season.
 
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I knew George was old, but I'm beginning to wonder about his memory and mental state. Didn't we just have a PG that came a few votes short of POY recently? :confused:
 
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George is playing the role of anti-Calhoun. Good cop, bad cop. Bazz though after 4 years may make that statement come true.

How many of us were craving for coach to put Bazz in the games last season? He certainly was a game changer and Kemba's number one asset.
 
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He wasn't commenting on who was the better player, he was speaking strictly on their PG skills. Shabazz still has to prove himself as far as running a team and an offense, but based off what I saw last season Shabazz has better PG insticts than Kemba does. Better vision, a much more natural passer, watching him definitely reminded me of Marcus and AJ.
 
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I mean he's not saying best point guard. He's talking about being a "true point guard", which for better or worse, is someone that passes first. Kemba wasn't like that. Kemba is obviously the best
 
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I knew George was old, but I'm beginning to wonder about his memory and mental state. Didn't we just have a PG that came a few votes short of POY recently? :confused:

He covered himself by saying "true" point guard, which excludes point guards like Kemba who's main responsibility is to score. He could have just said "best passer" since Marcus Williams.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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Ok, I'll say it. Kemba was better as a 2-guard than a point last year, and the team was better with him there and Shabazz running the team.

Now that doesn't mean Shabazz is a better player than Kemba by any stretch. It's just that being a point guard is as much a mentality as it is a skillset. Napier has always come across to me as having that point guard moxie. I think that's what Blaney is referring to here.
 
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I think AJ was more of a pure point guard during his UConn career than Shabazz was his freshman year.

Maybe that will change as Shabazz progresses. If he's shooting more, it's probably a good thing that they're falling for him. AJ had Thabeet to throw it up to, Shabazz now gets Drummond!
 
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Yea I don't think that's debatable, Shabazz did a great job last year but how often was he out there running an offense with Kemba by his side and to bail out the offense with a last second shot at the end of the shot clock when the halfcourt offense stalled. None of us can argue Shabazz is in that class yet just based on his freshmen year but he does have those traits that Marcus and AJ had and Blaney gets to see him everyday in practice so he has a different perspective and expects big things this year.

I think AJ was more of a pure point guard during his UConn career than Shabazz was his freshman year.

Maybe that will change as Shabazz progresses. If he's shooting more, it's probably a good thing that they're falling for him. AJ had Thabeet to throw it up to, Shabazz now gets Drummond!
 
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Shabazz is a stud I think folks will notice when he puts up absurd assist numbers this year. I know its argued on here all the time but I haven't etched in stone 4 years for him. Anything could happen.
 

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I think AJ was more of a pure point guard during his UConn career than Shabazz was his freshman year.

Maybe that will change as Shabazz progresses. If he's shooting more, it's probably a good thing that they're falling for him. AJ had Thabeet to throw it up to, Shabazz now gets Drummond!

I agree that AJ was better running the point his last 2 years than Shabazz was last year. Blaney could consider AJ more of a scoring point, even so as he was our number one "go to" guy.

AJ was really good at breaking down zone defenses and making well-timed entry passes.

In any case, the point right now is that Blaney is trying to build up Shabazz as the team leader--like with Calhoun, don't let facts get in the way of what he is trying to say/accomplish.
 

intlzncster

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I think AJ was more of a pure point guard during his UConn career than Shabazz was his freshman year.

Maybe that will change as Shabazz progresses. If he's shooting more, it's probably a good thing that they're falling for him. AJ had Thabeet to throw it up to, Shabazz now gets Drummond!


I don't know about pure point guard with respect to AJP. He could have been, I just don't have a strong opinion on it.

I do think AJP was our most balanced PG since KEA. He could score whenever he needed to, could run the offense, was a great leader and a very efficient passer. I think he's underrated in the UConn pantheon of guards.

We'll see how much Shabazz grows into his role this year. I've high hopes/expectations for him.
 

fleudslipcon

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I don't know about pure point guard with respect to AJP. He could have been, I just don't have a strong opinion on it.

I do think AJP was our most balanced PG since KEA. He could score whenever he needed to, could run the offense, was a great leader and a very efficient passer. I think he's underrated in the UConn pantheon of guards.

We'll see how much Shabazz grows into his role this year. I've high hopes/expectations for him.
AJ was a very balanced pg. His senior year was certainly his best. I can only imagine how that season would have gone if he didn't have that injury the season prior and JD didn't go down in the Cuse game.

The problem of evaluating one player at a position vs. other players at a position is that the supporting cast is different. How many more assists per game would AJ have gotten if Thabeet did not have the bad habit of bringing the ball down before going strong to the basket. Or if Thabeets positioning and footwork were better? There is no way of proving my observation, but I feel Thabeet's rawness on offense cost AJ 3 or 4 assists per game.

I'm hoping AD will be better offensively than HT. And hopefully that translates into more assists for SN.
 
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Yea AJ used to lose at least a couple of assists per game between what you described with Hasheem and Jeff blowing easy dunks/layups. Same deal last year with Shabazz with AO having to gather himself and go up for dunks instead of exploding directly to the rim.
 
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Bazz has a flair and at times he tends to overdo it. Call it confidence or cockiness the team survived it. He is not as good as AJ, but he will be. He has the PG skill set and now he needs to learn the PG mindset. Like AJ he is not a pass only PG, and he will improve his decision making in time. Right now he needs to orchastrate the offense and get everyone on the same page. He will be spoken of in the same breath as AJ and KEA by the time he leaves. He may be the gold standard. I love my Huskies.
 
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Ok, I'll say it. Kemba was better as a 2-guard than a point last year, and the team was better with him there and Shabazz running the team.

Now that doesn't mean Shabazz is a better player than Kemba by any stretch. It's just that being a point guard is as much a mentality as it is a skillset. Napier has always come across to me as having that point guard moxie. I think that's what Blaney is referring to here.
Yeah, I understand what George is driving at, but if Kemba had a Kemba type player at the 2G while playing the point, he'd be a pretty darn good PG IMO.

Maybe I'm wrong and Kemba is closer to Ben Gordon than Marcus Williams, but I think Kemba is what I consider a 1/2 Combo PG who can score compared to a 2/1 combo who finds himself at the 1 because he's small and can handle the ball.

Now I'm not saying that Kemba is the most creative floor general who knows how to thread that ball in tight spaces. I do think Bazz has better instincts in that regard. Kemba was a pretty good passer off penetration. His game winning dish to Lamb in the UL game (I think it was that game) is an example of that. Last season is a bit of a blur, but I think Napier was better than Kemba at tossing it into the post within the flow of the half-court, though at times he would try to thread the needle a tad too tight resulting in a turnover or deflected pass out-of-bounds.

To some degree, the old adage, necessity if the mother of invention, is at work here. Since the team needed scoring, Kemba focused the majority of his game on such. If he had a lot of scoring weapons he could count on, he might have shown a more balanced game.

Conversely, Bazz usually had a few reliable scorers on the floor with him in Kemba & Lamb, so his role dictated the use of his lead guard skills, which were quite advanced for a freshman. People forget that Bazz was a scorer in HS similar to Boatright who would take over when his team needed him to score. I think at times, Bazz was in a cold sweat wanting to jack up Js and drive it to the hole, but he played within what was expected of him. Not that we didn't see him take an ill advised shot or two. :)

I think he and Boatright will be interchangeable at some point in time. Early on, I imagine Bazz will be running the team when both are in the game together due to his experience and Ryan's skill and athleticism that lends itself to him being ready sooner to contribute as a scorer compared to a running the team for long stretches.

I'm interested to find out if my assessment on these players is anything close to what will happen over the next couple years.
 
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Blaney is talking about Shabazz NOW. Not last year. If you haven't been to at least 10 practices/ scrimmages, than you'll have to wait until the season starts to see if Blaney is telling the truth.
 
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