Andrew's New Mentor; Kobe Bryant

  • I caught the following post today and want to offer up some new ideas:

    @Blown - “Wiggins is just a Gorillas Grip on the ball away from finishing those drives. Here to hoping Hudy has a hand strengthener in her fantastic arsenal”

    I think Andrew needs to reexamine his game. I’d like to sit in a video room with him and go over file footage of Kobe Bryant’s NBA career. This is the player that Andrew needs to model his game after.

    Bryant is 6’6" and 205 lbs… almost identical to Wiggins. He came into the league with a similar attitude as Andrew has now; you gotta finish at the rim… except the “Black Mamba” played a lot more physical basketball than Andrew and excelled by mastering the skill of scoring after contact by protecting the ball and creating enough space to score.

    However, Bryant didn’t achieve the majority of his 30,000+ NBA points at the rim. Over time, Bryant realized how to use his skills to create scoring space all over the court. He seemed to even be more lethal when guarded closely, because his moves flow with perfection from the repetitions he worked on in practice.

    Since Andrew attempts to finish hard almost every time he dribbles the ball, his weaknesses have become obvious to fans and opposing team scouts. Andrew is not a skilled dribbler, especially in traffic. Andrew has limited moves to the basket, mostly a spin move. Andrew is predictable when trying to finish. All of his weaknesses have been highlighted now, even being pointed out by game commentators, and have made it much harder for Andrew to be successful at finishing because everyone knows what he is going to do next.

    Andrew needs to step back and take a hard look at his strategy. Andrew needs to follow in the path of Kobe Bryant.

    In last night’s victory over Baylor, Andrew did show a little bit of what he should be doing on a regular basis. As the game was winding down, Andrew made a few easy moves that quickly helped him rack up a few easy points. First, he had an easy pull up jumper that was so smooth it looked like the rim had a high-powered vacuum sucking the ball in. The second move he went around his man, but instead of heading to the goal, he went sideways for a baby jumper at the free throw line area. He didn’t make the shot, but was fouled and sent back to the line. What made this play stand out was Andrew clearly thought ahead to what he wanted to do, and he did it. If he makes this a habit… he can quickly shoot his way to the top of college basketball.

    It will take many years before Andrew’s game can reach the skill level of Kobe’s game. But he does have the potential to match and potentially surpass the man that should be his mentor moving forward.

    If Kobe would advise Andrew now, he’d tell him, “look for your shots all over the floor. Think ahead with a plan on where to score next, but know it can change spontaneously. Finish at the rim only when it’s there. Do this and you’ll have the formula to score 30,000+ points at the next level and will (hopefully) have the good health to stay around long enough to accomplish it!”

  • Andrew seemed to figure this out in the TCU game… having a career night and collecting most of his points off of mid-range pull ups. And look how easy he made it look. Granted, TCU played little defense, but this same style of play will one day land him in the Hall of Fame and will work against anyone!

  • Now, if he will just take another year to perfect it at KU. 🙂

    Wiggins and Oubre on the wings. Embiid in the middle. Perry and Alexander splitting the 4. Tharpe and Mason with experience at the point. Greene, Frankamp and White to spell the wings. Lucas and Mickelson to spell Embiid. 40-0. RING!


  • @jaybate 1.0

    In my books that would be the best college team ever to step on a court!

  • @drgnslayr Believe! I say a little prayer every day to make it happen.

    I really do think your Kobe metaphor is crucial for Andrew’s brain trust to buy into.

    If Andrew were to retool along the Kobe model, there would be no reason not to come back. Injury risk down in his extra year of college. Injury risk waaaaaay down for his NBA career.

    With a Kobe style ball handling and shooting, then all of the incremental edges he seems to hold over Kobe in terms of length and athleticism would become next level advantages for a career.

    All this takes is belief in Andrew’s capacity to redirect his game beyond the rather raw leaping and bouncing athleticism he shows effortlessly now into a polished craft refined to a highly specified role ideally suited to the L.

    P.S.: I meant no disrespect to Selden for forgetting him. I would foresee him coming back and splitting with Oubre.

    Deck. Stacked. Pot of gold won.

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