I had planned to post this March 12th



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The bolded section is recently added. Everything else is verbatim from my March draft box.

If you'd told me back in late December that UConn would finish 10-8 in conference play, I wouldn't have been surprised. They were a decent, albeit limited team that was set for two+ months and 18 games of grueling travel against a slate of teams better than people think.

Of course, I would have also told you that the team's two best players were Josh Carlton and Akok Akok. Christian Vital had finished with as many turnovers as points in his most recent game against a relevant opponent and shot just 2 of 12 a couple weeks prior against Xavier. There was little reason to believe he was capable of submitting an all-America type season, especially following a frigid 26 for 85 start to conference play. James Bouknight languished in the doghouse for much of the five games that preceded their conference opener, playing just 18 minutes per game on a team challenged for offense. Isaiah Whaley was a complete afterthought who'd logged just two minutes against Indiana (and would DNP weeks later @ Villanova).

Akok's injury is no less depressing now than it was at the time, and his projected absence remains the greatest threat to a monster restoration effort that has otherwise played to script for Dan Hurley.

But Akok's production and overall impact on the game had been dwindling in the weeks leading up to the injury, to the point that it may have suited Hurley to re-distribute some of his minutes to emerging players like Whaley. In fact, it occurred to me when it happened that they may suffer the consequences down the line more than they would in the near-term, where a renewed commitment to four guard lineups - or even lineups featuring more of Sidney Wilson at the four - might provide their offense the jolt it sorely needed. Akok's three point percentage had plunged to just 26% following a 4 of 23 slump, enabling defenders to venture off and crowd the floor for guys like Vital, whose recent stretch of torrid shooting has coincided almost exactly with Akok's injury.

While Akok's injury may have forced them to make concessions that helped stabilize a dying offense, though, the flip side is that Akok allowed them to access a gear defensively - and perhaps even offensively - that they may need to consistently topple good teams away from home.

With or without Akok, UConn's roster as presently constructed is perilously thin on two-way players. Hurley knows this, and he knows they aren't ready to contend for the biggest prizes this year. The men he'll march with, in light of injuries to both Akok and Tyler Polley, consist of two freshman, one sophomore, and five holdovers from the previous regime. One of those holdovers plays sparingly, or sometimes not at all, depending on the match-up, Hurley's mood, or some combination of the two. Winning four games in four days with a rotation of only seven or eight mostly inexperienced and limited players is difficult but not impossible in a league as open-ended as the AAC. This roster is very much an ongoing puzzle that Hurley and his staff have had to solve, and as these men strive towards the pinnacle of their chaotic journey, I think it's worth exploring the personal challenges that await them. Winning the AAC Tournament - a goal that remains realistic, even if slightly ambitious - will require each of them to withstand and defy the most ruthless, exploitative scouting reports and gameplans pressed upon them by opposing coaches. The list below contains my extended thoughts and projections for all eight of these players based on 18 games of film study and statistical analysis.

Brendan Adams - You really have to look beyond both the surface numbers (and even the film) to get a sense of the value Adams provides. Otherwise, most relevant data will paint the picture of a one-dimensional player who isn't very good at that one dimension. In conference play, he shot just 33% from the field and 27% from three while posting more turnovers and assists. He also played some of the worst defense I've observed from a UConn player in recent memory, effectively torpedoing - with help from a couple of his friends - a near fool-proof infrastructure defensively that had been established by Akok and others. He will be targeted, likely relentlessly, by opposing coaches this week and forced to prove he isn't the weak link of an already wobbly foundation.

On the other hand, his defense has progressed modestly in recent games, and in a league where there has typically been no shortage of hiding spots for defensively challenged players, even the mirage of adding an additional shooter and playmaker can help lift the burden for guys like Bouknight and Vital.

Of course, he's more than just a mirage. Adams averaged 9.3 points and 1.6 assists over the second half of conference play and saw his minutes increase in the process. That level of production is not insignificant for a team occasionally starved of offense, even if the efficiency isn't quite where you'd like it to be. He deserves a lot of credit for UConn's offensive resurgence, and it would not surprise me if he played a key role in steering the Huskies through the AAC Tournament. The volume of threes he gets up alone in comparison to a guy like Akok matters greatly.

James Bouknight - I'm not sure I've ever seen a freshman at UConn that was a more dynamic offensive player than this kid. The stats - for as impressive as they are - don't nearly do him justice. It's the degree of difficulty on his shots, and the consistency with which he hits them, that simply leaves you at a loss for words. I can't even begin to imagine how many times, especially earlier in conference play, that the dude was left on an island late in the clock to drill shots against a packed paint. He makes the hardest shots in the game - NBA shots - at a clip most kids can't match spotting up. It's utterly preposterous, and while his floor game isn't great, it's still well ahead of the curve. You can play him in pick-and-roll, you can clear out for him, you can spot him up, you can run him off screens. He scores at all three levels of the defense, getting to the line at a healthy rate and exhibiting a grace and a balance in accelerating to the rim that you just can't teach. Absolute coaches dream and it's sort of astonishing in retrospect that there were 71 players in his class ranked ahead of him.

Of course, for as dynamic and diverse as his game was offensively, he was, stunningly, proportionally behind defensively. For the first 12-15 games this was just really bad, to the point that it would have been fair and somewhat necessary to question his effort and challenge his pride. You could have devoted entire film sessions to the crippling habits that plagued his defense and by extension limited the team's ceiling. Name me a crime and he was a serial offender. Ball-watching? Guilty all the time. Poor balance and technique? Couldn't be worse. Inattentiveness/lethargic play? Leader in the clubhouse. It was like the couple at the gym with the worst physiques and the worst attitudes had a baby. Total fish out of water for this level of intensity.

The last couple games, he's been much better. I'm guessing Hurley challenged him, and he responded. I still think he's susceptible at times, especially if you get him moving laterally away from the ball and then quickly pivot into a dribble-handoff with his man. The difference between below average and catastrophic defense can be the difference between winning and losing at this stage in the season.

Josh Carlton - His stock has fallen the furthest of any rotation player since late December, when I credited him for his integral role in shaping Dan Hurley's systems on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, much of his offensive value was predicated on the belief that he was a capable post scorer, and he has not been that. As a result, his minutes have dipped as Hurley's elected to go with the more mobile Isaiah Whaley for extended minutes at the five. Whaley's proven just as adept, if not more so, at facilitating the high post offense. He has also typically set better screens than Carlton, rolled the lane with more fluidity and power on pick and rolls, and wrecked more havoc on the offensive glass, all without any of the forced post touches we saw with Carlton.

Overall, I'd say that this development has been surprising but not shocking. Carlton never demonstrated the softest touch around the basket, and while there was hope that his touch around the hoop would improve, I think a reduced role comes as something of a relief to all involved. He is a spectacularly unremarkable player in every way, shape, and form whose mere presence on the floor must feel at once liberating and restricting to coaches on both sidelines. He's big but not the biggest and smart but not the smartest. He has good hands, he's usually in the right place on defense, and he can occasionally fool you into sending a double. His athletic limitations are especially pronounced in the backdrop of freaks like Akok and Whaley, and his offensive limitations are all the more frustrating in light of the countless big men around the country who can shoot and spread the floor at a higher level. All in all, I'd say he's better than someone like Phil Nolan (who was more of a specialist) but not as good as Amida Brimah. He likely won't win you or lose you a game.

Jalen Gaffney - He's a freshman, trending about the way you'd expect a freshman to trend. Not great on either end, also not as much of a disaster as he could be. Reminds me a bit of current Rhody guard and former Hurley recruit Jeff Dowtin. Steady kid who plays within himself and should turn out to be a good player long-term. He'll be targeted some on defense. Moves OK laterally but not a great athlete and still growing into his body. Teams that invert their offense like Wichita State could try posting him, especially if he's sharing the floor with Alterique Gilbert. If you try to hide him away from the ball, he doesn't have length or closing speed to pinch and track down shooters in help. Overall he's not really a kid that's ready to win now, but he has improved and should benefit from the experience down the line. On a better team you're probably looking at this as a de facto redshirt year.

Alterique Gilbert - I would have been less kind if I were writing this a couple games ago, but he's recently picked it up on defense and seems to be figuring some things out. I think it helps him to play with Whaley who gets off the floor quicker than Carlton. Hurley's also helping him some by running sets that unclog the paint and reducing the number of layers he has to slice through. They like to run action with Whaley screening away from the ball (for Bouknight and Vital) while Gilbert uses a ball screen on the other side. Bouknight and Vital are dangerous enough away from the ball to require the attention of at least three defenders, and Whaley's man has to honor the slip in a way they wouldn't with Carlton. That empties the entire weakside and allows Gilbert to attack either off a ball screen or a dribble handoff. Sometimes Bouknight and Vital will cut one way off a Whaley screen in the high post, followed by Gilbert receiving a dribble handoff moving in the opposite direction. Elite defenses - especially if they're in a zone - can process that action without over-committing to one side of the floor, but it's tough in real time.

Unfortunately, Gilbert is a small dude who frequently plays even smaller, and there are only so many places to hide people on defense. He's a potential liability, due to his size, whether he's playing on the ball or away from the ball. These concerns have since been exacerbated by Hurley's been tinkering more and more with the type of frantic, trapping schemes that force defenses to grow comfortable playing one step behind the ball. This can work if you have a lot of length and athleticism, but with Akok hurt and Sidney Wilson in the doghouse, Gilbert and Gaffney are likely to comprise the last line of defense in schemes that steer Whaley near half-court on ball screens. That means they'll be tasked with closing on corner shooters, some of whom will launch from angles that will be unfavorable to the smaller Husky guards.

Isaiah Whaley - The wheels for his coming out party were already in motion by the time the extra PT opened up. Beginning with the Houston game in late January, Whaley's stuffed the stat sheet with 137 points, 106 rebounds, 12 assists, 30 blocks, and 14 steals across 368 minutes. That translates to 14.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals over 40 minutes. He's also averaged 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game since relieving the injured Akok in the starting lineup.

The picture remains friendly for Whaley even when you dig deeper. The Huskies are a +48 in conference play with Whaley on the floor and a -24 when he sits, splits that to my knowledge rank as the most dramatic on the team. His freakish physical tools have enabled Dan Hurley to defend ball screens in a number of ways and alleviate pressure from some of his weaker links. Not great defending the post, but good enough against most teams. When he locks in like he did against Precious Achiuwa (who shot just 3 of 13 when guarded by Whaley in his trip to Hartford), he has the ability to shutdown elite scorers on the perimeter. Still has a lot of room to grow for as dynamic as he is. His footwork can get a little choppy at times and his closeouts aren't always crisp. Good, not great as a weakside shot blocker and probably better suited for the four long-term. Very natural athlete for a kid his size whose range and coordination rates well above pretty much every UConn big man in recent memory. Don't assume that he's maxed out. He potentially has another leap in him if he works hard this summer.

Sidney Wilson - He shares some of Whaley's physical tools but not his instincts, motor, or wiry build. Not a good enough shooter to represent any sort of meaningful offensive upgrade over Carlton (or Akok before his injury) or a good enough defender to move the needle too far beyond Brendan Adams on the other end. It will be popular in light of his recent disciplinary issues to assume he either doesn't put in the work or doesn't take coaching, but to me he's the case of a kid who just hasn't panned out.

His length and athleticism will remain at least somewhat intriguing until he's wearing another program's colors, though, and I for one think it would be better for all parties if he found a way to make it work here. He's actually a decent fit in the sort of blitzing schemes Hurley's experimented with lately. He could offer a lot more closing out on corner shooters than Gilbert, Adams, or Gaffney. For whatever it's worth he did play the best game of his season against Wichita State, so if they're looking for a place to re-integrate him maybe that's the spot (if the match-up comes to fruition).

Christian Vital - Reached a level of two-way excellence down the stretch that no Husky has equaled since at least Ryan Boatright. Far and away the best perimeter defender on the team and probably the best overall. Excellent technique on-ball, terrific balance on close-outs, crisp footwork and plus lateral quickness. Occasional ball-watching more than outweighed by propensity to anticipate and blow up actions outside his zone and willingness to sacrifice body as last line of defense. Can shoot off screens, spot-up, or pull-up. Tweener at the next level but more than sufficient as a secondary play-maker in the college game. Embodied the spirit of the program - and the 2014 team in particular - in a way no other KO recruit came close to matching.

(My impression is that this year's team stands a far better chance to replace his offensive contributions than defensive given the returning personnel, but I don't follow recruiting as closely as some. That aside, the only insight I'll offer is that they harbor many of the same limitations that sometimes doomed them last season, but that they possess the top-end talent to overcome it. Bouknight is a transcendent offensive player; Whaley and Akok (have not followed his rehab) have the tools to get there defensively. Good coaches can build from that and solve for the offense/defense dilemmas caused by other match-ups as they come.
 
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The bolded section is recently added. Everything else is verbatim from my March draft box.

If you'd told me back in late December that UConn would finish 10-8 in conference play, I wouldn't have been surprised. They were a decent, albeit limited team that was set for two+ months and 18 games of grueling travel against a slate of teams better than people think.

Of course, I would have also told you that the team's two best players were Josh Carlton and Akok Akok. Christian Vital had finished with as many turnovers as points in his most recent game against a relevant opponent and shot just 2 of 12 a couple weeks prior against Xavier. There was little reason to believe he was capable of submitting an all-America type season, especially following a frigid 26 for 85 start to conference play. James Bouknight languished in the doghouse for much of the five games that preceded their conference opener, playing just 18 minutes per game on a team challenged for offense. Isaiah Whaley was a complete afterthought who'd logged just two minutes against Indiana (and would DNP weeks later @ Villanova).

Akok's injury is no less depressing now than it was at the time, and his projected absence remains the greatest threat to a monster restoration effort that has otherwise played to script for Dan Hurley.

But Akok's production and overall impact on the game had been dwindling in the weeks leading up to the injury, to the point that it may have suited Hurley to re-distribute some of his minutes to emerging players like Whaley. In fact, it occurred to me when it happened that they may suffer the consequences down the line more than they would in the near-term, where a renewed commitment to four guard lineups - or even lineups featuring more of Sidney Wilson at the four - might provide their offense the jolt it sorely needed. Akok's three point percentage had plunged to just 26% following a 4 of 23 slump, enabling defenders to venture off and crowd the floor for guys like Vital, whose recent stretch of torrid shooting has coincided almost exactly with Akok's injury.

While Akok's injury may have forced them to make concessions that helped stabilize a dying offense, though, the flip side is that Akok allowed them to access a gear defensively - and perhaps even offensively - that they may need to consistently topple good teams away from home.

With or without Akok, UConn's roster as presently constructed is perilously thin on two-way players. Hurley knows this, and he knows they aren't ready to contend for the biggest prizes this year. The men he'll march with, in light of injuries to both Akok and Tyler Polley, consist of two freshman, one sophomore, and five holdovers from the previous regime. One of those holdovers plays sparingly, or sometimes not at all, depending on the match-up, Hurley's mood, or some combination of the two. Winning four games in four days with a rotation of only seven or eight mostly inexperienced and limited players is difficult but not impossible in a league as open-ended as the AAC. This roster is very much an ongoing puzzle that Hurley and his staff have had to solve, and as these men strive towards the pinnacle of their chaotic journey, I think it's worth exploring the personal challenges that await them. Winning the AAC Tournament - a goal that remains realistic, even if slightly ambitious - will require each of them to withstand and defy the most ruthless, exploitative scouting reports and gameplans pressed upon them by opposing coaches. The list below contains my extended thoughts and projections for all eight of these players based on 18 games of film study and statistical analysis.

Brendan Adams - You really have to look beyond both the surface numbers (and even the film) to get a sense of the value Adams provides. Otherwise, most relevant data will paint the picture of a one-dimensional player who isn't very good at that one dimension. In conference play, he shot just 33% from the field and 27% from three while posting more turnovers and assists. He also played some of the worst defense I've observed from a UConn player in recent memory, effectively torpedoing - with help from a couple of his friends - a near fool-proof infrastructure defensively that had been established by Akok and others. He will be targeted, likely relentlessly, by opposing coaches this week and forced to prove he isn't the weak link of an already wobbly foundation.

On the other hand, his defense has progressed modestly in recent games, and in a league where there has typically been no shortage of hiding spots for defensively challenged players, even the mirage of adding an additional shooter and playmaker can help lift the burden for guys like Bouknight and Vital.

Of course, he's more than just a mirage. Adams averaged 9.3 points and 1.6 assists over the second half of conference play and saw his minutes increase in the process. That level of production is not insignificant for a team occasionally starved of offense, even if the efficiency isn't quite where you'd like it to be. He deserves a lot of credit for UConn's offensive resurgence, and it would not surprise me if he played a key role in steering the Huskies through the AAC Tournament. The volume of threes he gets up alone in comparison to a guy like Akok matters greatly.

James Bouknight - I'm not sure I've ever seen a freshman at UConn that was a more dynamic offensive player than this kid. The stats - for as impressive as they are - don't nearly do him justice. It's the degree of difficulty on his shots, and the consistency with which he hits them, that simply leaves you at a loss for words. I can't even begin to imagine how many times, especially earlier in conference play, that the dude was left on an island late in the clock to drill shots against a packed paint. He makes the hardest shots in the game - NBA shots - at a clip most kids can't match spotting up. It's utterly preposterous, and while his floor game isn't great, it's still well ahead of the curve. You can play him in pick-and-roll, you can clear out for him, you can spot him up, you can run him off screens. He scores at all three levels of the defense, getting to the line at a healthy rate and exhibiting a grace and a balance in accelerating to the rim that you just can't teach. Absolute coaches dream and it's sort of astonishing in retrospect that there were 71 players in his class ranked ahead of him.

Of course, for as dynamic and diverse as his game was offensively, he was, stunningly, proportionally behind defensively. For the first 12-15 games this was just really bad, to the point that it would have been fair and somewhat necessary to question his effort and challenge his pride. You could have devoted entire film sessions to the crippling habits that plagued his defense and by extension limited the team's ceiling. Name me a crime and he was a serial offender. Ball-watching? Guilty all the time. Poor balance and technique? Couldn't be worse. Inattentiveness/lethargic play? Leader in the clubhouse. It was like the couple at the gym with the worst physiques and the worst attitudes had a baby. Total fish out of water for this level of intensity.

The last couple games, he's been much better. I'm guessing Hurley challenged him, and he responded. I still think he's susceptible at times, especially if you get him moving laterally away from the ball and then quickly pivot into a dribble-handoff with his man. The difference between below average and catastrophic defense can be the difference between winning and losing at this stage in the season.

Josh Carlton - His stock has fallen the furthest of any rotation player since late December, when I credited him for his integral role in shaping Dan Hurley's systems on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, much of his offensive value was predicated on the belief that he was a capable post scorer, and he has not been that. As a result, his minutes have dipped as Hurley's elected to go with the more mobile Isaiah Whaley for extended minutes at the five. Whaley's proven just as adept, if not more so, at facilitating the high post offense. He has also typically set better screens than Carlton, rolled the lane with more fluidity and power on pick and rolls, and wrecked more havoc on the offensive glass, all without any of the forced post touches we saw with Carlton.

Overall, I'd say that this development has been surprising but not shocking. Carlton never demonstrated the softest touch around the basket, and while there was hope that his touch around the hoop would improve, I think a reduced role comes as something of a relief to all involved. He is a spectacularly unremarkable player in every way, shape, and form whose mere presence on the floor must feel at once liberating and restricting to coaches on both sidelines. He's big but not the biggest and smart but not the smartest. He has good hands, he's usually in the right place on defense, and he can occasionally fool you into sending a double. His athletic limitations are especially pronounced in the backdrop of freaks like Akok and Whaley, and his offensive limitations are all the more frustrating in light of the countless big men around the country who can shoot and spread the floor at a higher level. All in all, I'd say he's better than someone like Phil Nolan (who was more of a specialist) but not as good as Amida Brimah. He likely won't win you or lose you a game.

Jalen Gaffney - He's a freshman, trending about the way you'd expect a freshman to trend. Not great on either end, also not as much of a disaster as he could be. Reminds me a bit of current Rhody guard and former Hurley recruit Jeff Dowtin. Steady kid who plays within himself and should turn out to be a good player long-term. He'll be targeted some on defense. Moves OK laterally but not a great athlete and still growing into his body. Teams that invert their offense like Wichita State could try posting him, especially if he's sharing the floor with Alterique Gilbert. If you try to hide him away from the ball, he doesn't have length or closing speed to pinch and track down shooters in help. Overall he's not really a kid that's ready to win now, but he has improved and should benefit from the experience down the line. On a better team you're probably looking at this as a de facto redshirt year.

Alterique Gilbert - I would have been less kind if I were writing this a couple games ago, but he's recently picked it up on defense and seems to be figuring some things out. I think it helps him to play with Whaley who gets off the floor quicker than Carlton. Hurley's also helping him some by running sets that unclog the paint and reducing the number of layers he has to slice through. They like to run action with Whaley screening away from the ball (for Bouknight and Vital) while Gilbert uses a ball screen on the other side. Bouknight and Vital are dangerous enough away from the ball to require the attention of at least three defenders, and Whaley's man has to honor the slip in a way they wouldn't with Carlton. That empties the entire weakside and allows Gilbert to attack either off a ball screen or a dribble handoff. Sometimes Bouknight and Vital will cut one way off a Whaley screen in the high post, followed by Gilbert receiving a dribble handoff moving in the opposite direction. Elite defenses - especially if they're in a zone - can process that action without over-committing to one side of the floor, but it's tough in real time.

Unfortunately, Gilbert is a small dude who frequently plays even smaller, and there are only so many places to hide people on defense. He's a potential liability, due to his size, whether he's playing on the ball or away from the ball. These concerns have since been exacerbated by Hurley's been tinkering more and more with the type of frantic, trapping schemes that force defenses to grow comfortable playing one step behind the ball. This can work if you have a lot of length and athleticism, but with Akok hurt and Sidney Wilson in the doghouse, Gilbert and Gaffney are likely to comprise the last line of defense in schemes that steer Whaley near half-court on ball screens. That means they'll be tasked with closing on corner shooters, some of whom will launch from angles that will be unfavorable to the smaller Husky guards.

Isaiah Whaley - The wheels for his coming out party were already in motion by the time the extra PT opened up. Beginning with the Houston game in late January, Whaley's stuffed the stat sheet with 137 points, 106 rebounds, 12 assists, 30 blocks, and 14 steals across 368 minutes. That translates to 14.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals over 40 minutes. He's also averaged 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game since relieving the injured Akok in the starting lineup.

The picture remains friendly for Whaley even when you dig deeper. The Huskies are a +48 in conference play with Whaley on the floor and a -24 when he sits, splits that to my knowledge rank as the most dramatic on the team. His freakish physical tools have enabled Dan Hurley to defend ball screens in a number of ways and alleviate pressure from some of his weaker links. Not great defending the post, but good enough against most teams. When he locks in like he did against Precious Achiuwa (who shot just 3 of 13 when guarded by Whaley in his trip to Hartford), he has the ability to shutdown elite scorers on the perimeter. Still has a lot of room to grow for as dynamic as he is. His footwork can get a little choppy at times and his closeouts aren't always crisp. Good, not great as a weakside shot blocker and probably better suited for the four long-term. Very natural athlete for a kid his size whose range and coordination rates well above pretty much every UConn big man in recent memory. Don't assume that he's maxed out. He potentially has another leap in him if he works hard this summer.

Sidney Wilson - He shares some of Whaley's physical tools but not his instincts, motor, or wiry build. Not a good enough shooter to represent any sort of meaningful offensive upgrade over Carlton (or Akok before his injury) or a good enough defender to move the needle too far beyond Brendan Adams on the other end. It will be popular in light of his recent disciplinary issues to assume he either doesn't put in the work or doesn't take coaching, but to me he's the case of a kid who just hasn't panned out.

His length and athleticism will remain at least somewhat intriguing until he's wearing another program's colors, though, and I for one think it would be better for all parties if he found a way to make it work here. He's actually a decent fit in the sort of blitzing schemes Hurley's experimented with lately. He could offer a lot more closing out on corner shooters than Gilbert, Adams, or Gaffney. For whatever it's worth he did play the best game of his season against Wichita State, so if they're looking for a place to re-integrate him maybe that's the spot (if the match-up comes to fruition).

Christian Vital - Reached a level of two-way excellence down the stretch that no Husky has equaled since at least Ryan Boatright. Far and away the best perimeter defender on the team and probably the best overall. Excellent technique on-ball, terrific balance on close-outs, crisp footwork and plus lateral quickness. Occasional ball-watching more than outweighed by propensity to anticipate and blow up actions outside his zone and willingness to sacrifice body as last line of defense. Can shoot off screens, spot-up, or pull-up. Tweener at the next level but more than sufficient as a secondary play-maker in the college game. Embodied the spirit of the program - and the 2014 team in particular - in a way no other KO recruit came close to matching.

(My impression is that this year's team stands a far better chance to replace his offensive contributions than defensive given the returning personnel, but I don't follow recruiting as closely as some. That aside, the only insight I'll offer is that they harbor many of the same limitations that sometimes doomed them last season, but that they possess the top-end talent to overcome it. Bouknight is a transcendent offensive player; Whaley and Akok (have not followed his rehab) have the tools to get there defensively. Good coaches can build from that and solve for the offense/defense dilemmas caused by other match-ups as they come.
You gotta be kidding
 

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