Sunday, October 18, 2009

The play of Magnum Rolle examined

NOTE: From Ron Tyler's A Closer Look at LA TECH HOOPS site, comes this: "...Rolle’s deep hip bruise clearly hurt his production down the stretch. He had four games in a row where he did not score in double figures immediately after the injury. This stretch was the only time in a 31 game season where he had consecutive games where he did not score in double figures." Factor that in where we mentioned below about injury possibilities.

The following comes with this proviso: we have seen Magnum Rolle play but once, have no tape of him and have solicited no information about his strengths and weaknesses from a professional -- so don't try this at home.

One of the most intriguing players in the WAC this season is Louisiana Tech 'big' Magnum Rolle. Possessing mindboggling athleticism, some have Rolle earning a first team, all-WAC nod at the conclusion of the coming season. Others placed on the second team.

For the record, Rolle was an WAC All-Defensive team selection as well as an WAC All-Newcomer squad member in first season after transferring over from Louisiana State.

Time will tell what future honors he earns but what's already accurate is that he has the paint to himself in 2009-2010 -- with Kenneth Cooper gone to Alabama Birmingham.

Will we indeed see Rolle make a big step forward as a fifth-year senior?

Let's take a look at his WAC totals and his post-Cooper 2008-2009 league numbers:

In 16 WAC games, Rolle averaged 30 minutes a contest, 11.7 points per game, shooting .517% overall and .583% (60 free throw attempts) from the foul line. He grabbed 7.8 rebounds each time out and totaled 33 shotblocks, 45 personal fouls, one foul out and 36 turnovers. Cooper played in the first four of these games before his dismissal from the team.

What we don't know is if Rolle played with any nagging injuries that may have effected his production so do also keep that in mind.

Looking at it from a game-by-game perspective, sans Cooper, here is what Rolle put on the board:

1-17-09 Idaho: 28 minutes, 17 points (7-10), nine rebounds, two blocked shots, four fouls

1-22-09 @ Fresno State: 26 minutes, six points (3-10), nine rebounds, three blocked shots, four fouls

1-24-09 @ Boise State: 40 minutes, 23 points (11-11), 10 rebounds, three blocked shots, three fouls

1-29-09 Hawaii: 38 minutes, 10 points (3-7), seven rebounds, one blocked shot, zero fouls

1-31-09 San Jose State: 36 minutes, 19 points (9-14), 12 rebounds, six blocked shots, two fouls

2-5-09 @ Nevada: 33 minutes, 15 points (6-11), four rebounds, two blcoked shots, two fouls

2-7-09 @ Utah State: 34 minutes, eight points (4-8), five rebounds, four blocked shots, two fouls

2-12-09 Fresno State: 18 minutes, eight points (4-8), five rebounds, one blocked shot, four fouls

2-16-09 @ New Mexico State: 22 minutes, two points (1-5), 11 rebounds, zero blocked shots, four fouls

2-26-09 New Mexico State: 26 minutes, 25 points (8-13), 12 rebounds, zero blocked shots, three fouls

2-28-09 Boise State: 31 minutes, five points (2-7), eight rebounds, two blocked shots, three fouls

3-5-09 @ Idaho: 23 minutes, 10 points (3-7), eight rebounds, one blocked shot, four fouls

3-12-09 Idaho: 20 minutes, nine poits (2-6), five rebounds, one blocked shot, four fouls

3-13-09 Nevada: 27 minutes, 24 points (8-12), five rebounds, two blocked shots, two fouls

That's six games -- out of 14 -- in less than double-figure scoring for Rolle, plus two games at 10 points. It's five games with five or less rebounds. But consider it's also seven games with less than 10 field goal attempts.

Now the Aggies lacked a proficient point last season -- as much as James Loe tried and deserves a salute -- and that certainly had an effect on Rolle's shooting and scoring totals. Newcomer DeAndre Brown will be a step up, maybe more. That's a plus in Rolle's favor.

Foul trouble also was a factor in Rolle's numbers. Shawn Oliverson returns for his junior year and greater production from him will allow Rolle to avoid the foul trouble in contests where he played just 20+ minutes in 2008-2009.

We see the most critical element being that Rolle should be no worse than second in shot attempts in 2009-2010 -- it's accepted that Kyle Gibson will be the Tech shot leader but Jamel Guyton should be third, not second, as happened last year.

We also see the need for Rolle to add bulk and strength to his body -- especially for the next level -- but that's not a tremendous factor for him collegiately even though it would certainly help him.

Better footwork offensively would also allow a greater offensive role for Rolle. His marvelous athleticism compensates for a lot in college but not necessarily at the next level up. A go-to move or two would get Rolle's scoring totals to a serious level this season and pave the way for being selected earlier in the NBA draft.

Aggressiveness, or maybe more appropriately, consistent assertiveness is another element that would aid Rolle's production.

So will he or won't he become a nightly double-double producer, with his points per game average edging towards 20? Coach Kerry Rupp and his staff have the best sense of this at this point and everyone else is waiting to see.

1 comment:

Patrick H said...

When they played Rolle out at the top of the zone defense he totally disrupted the Nevada offense. VCU does the same thing with their great center Sanders. But they can't leave the big guys out there too long or they wear down. Still, it's a great change of pace for the defense.

My concern about Rolle is consistency of effort. He disappears for long stretches in some games.

But when he's on he's dominating.