Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
In 1987, the Italian government announced that its GDP exceeded that of the United Kingdom. That sent shockwaves throughout Europe, and was a source of great pride for the motherland of my people. Further, in 1991, the Italian GDP exceeded that of France, making it the fourth largest economy in the world.
Needless to say that didn't last long.
See where I'm going? As the biggest Jordan Adams supporter on this site, this post will be a bit blasphemous, and a few months ago, I would have hunted down anyone else who would ask the following question:
Has Norman Powell exceeded Jordan Adams on the court? Will he steal minutes from Jordan in 2014-15?
I've been commenting and posting lately about this. Its food for thought. Salford is so rigid that I don't think he makes any basic changes this year, but I think there is a possible dogfight for minutes at the 2 next year.
Without going too in depth here right now, if I assume 1) these are the scholarship players here next year (we can certainly debate these assumptions): Adams, Powell, Parker, Bail, Looney, Bolden, Golomon, I Hamilton, D Hamilton, and B Alford. 2) I claim that Adams is a 2/3, I Hamilton is a 1/2 and Powell is strictly a 2 and 3) I start with Adams getting 25 minutes at 2 (5 at 3), I Hamilton getting 5 minutes at 2 (20 minuts at 1).
What does that leave for Powell? 10 minutes or walking out the door. I'm sure most here don't believe that either of these things will happen. So where does a happy and productive Powell get 25 minutes from? Is it out of Jordan Adam's hide?
Here are the season stats from UCLABRUINS.com. There is still quite a bit of separation between Powell and Adams. Per minute, it is closer. For example, Total scoring, Adams 0.55, Powell 0.46. Still a 20% difference, but we know Jordan's stats were padded against the cupcakes, and it is Powell that has been coming on stronger.
What does my eye test tell me?
First, last year. Jordan was actually our best defender. Howland invariably placed in on the other team's top 2 or 3. Remember his shut down of Cal's POY Allen Crabbe? His scoring average was 17.8, second to Shabbaz. He was also the league leader in steals. We can debate who was the real MVP last year, Shabbazz, Jordan or Drew, but no one will doubt how key he was to the team, especially vs. Arizona in the PAC-12 semifinal. And then he broke a bone in his foot.
He didn't hit the floor again until mid-August 2013. No jumping, no shooting from March to August. That said, at the open practice, I did think he was the team alpha-the man with the green light. In retrospect, that might be part of problem now. He wasn't ready, but shot like he was. Also, as we all know now, he draws (or at least did) the opposing team's best perimeter defender.
And Norman? Well, last season wasn't so great. Was it due to Howlanditis? Probably. this year is different, but we can't forget a certain amount of inconsistency-recall Oregon State. His defensive intensity has steadily gone up, and his move to the hole is the best on the team-bar none (a certain freshman star can't finish with a body near him). He still can't shoot from distance. He'll get better over the summer, but remember this-he has a slow setup on the shot. Jordan has a quick and fluid release. I think Jordan has more shooting upside, and I expect him to work very hard over the summer. Norman is obviously the better athlete--that can't change. Finally, Jordan is smarter. That is a post in and of itself, but let me refer you to the end of the Cal Poly game and Norman's dumb foul which facilitated that horrific loss.
I have to say, I take Norman right now--at this moment. Next year? Jordan may have issues that we don't know about (there is his mom with the stroke), so impossible to say with certainty, but I do think he comes back better than ever.
Here's my I cop out. I'm surprised about the rotations now, so who knows about next year. If the lineup is something like Adams, Powell, Looney, Parker and Alford/IHam, then the minutes problem was a figment of my imagination. I do, however, believe, Bolden/DHam get significant minutes at the 3, pushing Adams down to 2 most of the time.