I’ve been watching a lot of post players over the last two weeks during the live recruiting period. One subtle thing that I love to see that will tell you more about a post player than you think is whether or not he can catch a bad pass. A big kid who can go get a bad pass saves a lot of turnovers and will give his guards confidence to throw it inside.
You see a lot of post feeds that become turnovers when the big is moving one way while the ball is going the other. More often than not that is a reflection of the bigs inability to move his feet properly and not a reflection of the pass being thrown. My assistant Matt O’Brien made a great point while we were watching games last week in Springfield. He said when you have a mismatch in the post, with a big on a guard, you have to throw the ball up in the air. So many people make the mistake of trying to bounce it in to that guy and allow the guard to use his quickness to reach in and get a piece of it, rather than throwing it up where only the big is going to get it.
The second part of that is the big being able to go get it. It’s a frustrating turnover when a guard tries to throw it up to a big and he’s moving the wrong way when the ball is coming in. Sure, there is a timing element to that pass, but usually a good big can move his feet in the right direction when the ball is coming to him. If he’s stuck moving the wrong way that’s probably on the big. It tells you more about the big than it does about the guard making the pass.
When I see a big who can go and get a tough pass, or even a bad pass, that tells me two things – he has good feel and he has a natural ability to move his feet and change direction quickly. If a big can’t go get those passes, I’m not sure he ever will. The way he moves his feet when the ball is in the air is a reflection of his natural ability, and a good sign of how good he can be.