Monday, August 2, 2010

GPA Over GHPA Tonight for Lamb

Was looking forward to seeing UConn incoming freshman Jeremy Lamb, who’s scored 76 points in his last two games, play in the Greater Hartford Pro-Am tonight. Naturally, Lamb’s not here, but there’s a good reason: study hall and night classes back in Storrs.

Here’s what Dr. Steve Sobel, who coaches Lamb’s Club Palace Slamm GHPA team, says about the 6-foot-5, long-armed guard:

“Jeremy Lamb is one of the most talented players I’ve ever had in 20 years of coaching at the pro-am level. Not only physically gifted, in terms of shooting ability, creating his own shot, (but) I told him was pleasantly surprised how he can take people off the dribble, long arms, he can rebound. I see him as a 2 or 3, potentially, and on the press I think he can even bring the ball up, if he doesn’t overdo it.

“And when I say talented, he’s also a kid who listens. He’s very gracious, you talk to him about where to play, he’s got a very bright mind for where you play your position. He can play the game from the neck up, as well as the physical (game). I think he’s going to be very special at UConn, to be honest with you. He’s going to have to wait his turn, he’s going to have to play within the system. But once he starts to make a contribution, I think it’s going to put them back in the race of the Big East. He’s that type of player.”

High praise, indeed. Maybe even a tinge of hyperbole. But in my book, anyone who can score 44 points (as Lamb did Sunday night) at virtually any level definitely has some game.

“I think he’s wiry strong. What he’s got to do is get some upper-body strength, but I don’t think he needs to overdo it. He’s kind of got a George Gervin body … he’s got that fluidity, he’s got that mentality, and he can jump over people.

“When Jim recruits a kid, I say, ‘Why should he wear a UConn uniform.’ I think I’ve gotten the answer the last two games.”

Here’s what Sobel has to say about another Club Palace Slamm player, Ater Majok,

Ater is probably the most loyal player I’ve had in two years in the pro-am. He hasn’t missed a game. Ater will do anything to compete. What Ater needs to know is that he does not have to do it alone. He’s got to be selective with his jump shots, he’s got to be 13 feet and in, and he’s got to be vicious on the boards. He’s not as vicious as he needs to be. If he does that, I think Coach has got to look at him for contributions in the Big East. I think he’s got an idea of what the Big East is really all about now. He’s got to do certain things, maybe 20-percent better, to get the minutes that are going to help UConn. He’s hanging in mentally, he’s working physically. He’s got to continue to run the court. He’s got what I call a ‘pro jump shot’ – it’s almost like a Garnett shot, it’s way up there. He’s got to work on his ballhandling, and his hands. His hands are not where I want them to be. He’s got so much raw potential, that a coach will lose sleep overnight. Because you can’t teach the body he’s got.”

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