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The Misplaced Emphasis

Posted on April 7, 2018, in Our Blog by Seattle Hoo.

It drives me nuts how much people focus on height despite all the evidence that a player's height in most cases has little to do with how effective he will be.

Jeff Jones's best lineup, the one that got him to the Elite Eight:

  • Junior Burrough
  • Jason Williford
  • Jamal Robinson
  • Curtis Staples
  • Harold Deane

 

Not one of them taller than 6-7, with a 6-5 power forward and a pair of guards at 6-3 and 6-1.  If the other 6-1 guard had been healthy, that was a Final Four team.

Pete Gillen's best lineup:

  • Travis Watson
  • Chris Williams
  • Adam Hall
  • Roger Mason, Jr.
  • Donald Hand

 

Not one of them taller than 6-7 and a wing body type power forward.

Our best lineup this past season:

  • Isaiah Wilkins
  • De'Andre Hunter
  • Devon Hall
  • Kyle Guy
  • Ty Jerome

 

Not one of them taller than 6-7 (maybe Hunter) with a wing body type power forward.  Our 6-6+ post guy was one of the top post defenders in the nation, giving up less than half a point per possession on post-ups.  Clearly, his lack of height was not killing him on the defensive end.

Think back to the best post scorers we've had in the last 30 years.

  • Burrough
  • Norman Nolan
  • Watson
  • Smooth
  • Anthony Gill

 

Only one of them was arguably 6-8 (and I think Nolan was 6-7).  Clearly, being 6-7 or less didn't keep those guys from being able to get their shots off in the post.

Why anyone would be bothered by Eric Dixon's height is beyond me.  He has a wide body, a big base and a lot of strength.  Imagine him after two years in the program.  He'll be a dolomite boulder in the lane.  He has a well-developed post offense game.  Pair him with a Hunter/Smooth type and you've cloned UVA's best approach.