"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Recruit Evaluation: Trevor Mbakwe

Sometimes content comes at you when you least expect it. I'd like to thank the fan who took the time to post a comprehensive evaluation of Trevor Mbakwe on our 'Media Update' post from earlier today.

I've taken the liberty to re-post that comment verbatim here.......please note that Mbakwe plays later this evening at the Al McGuire Center:

I'm an MU student from the Milwaukee area and went to see Mbakwe play last night against Wauwatosa West HS at the Al.

The program listed him as 6-7 and seeing him practice at first, he didn't really look quite that big, maybe because he was a little skinny--think maybe a tad bigger than Wes. His feet were huge, and he was fairly pigeon-toed, so I was skeptical of the kid's physical stature at first. The first play of the game, however, a guard dished Mbakwe the ball and he dunked right over Tosa's two big men (one of which was benched for a good 5-8 minutes because he laughed in disbelief of Mbakwe's play) and still managed to draw a foul. Tosa then got the ball, their PG drove to the hoop for a layup and Mbakwe immediately flattened it against the backboard for a monstrous block. Not a bad start; he had me on my feet twice in under a minute.

For most of the rest of the game, Mbakwe continued to score well in the paint, and actually had a pretty jumper but failed to play with anywhere near the same intensity with which he had started. He actually had a laziness about him, often being the last guy on his team back on defense and sometimes completely absent. His coach, on more than one occasion, yelled at him to fire up and start rebounding better. St Bernard's--Mbakwe's team--had been up by around 10 for most of the game until the 3rd quarter, when Tosa West started to make a strong comeback. Mbakwe shaped up quickly, snatching a good amount of rebounds and staying consistent with scoring in the paint. The game went down to the final seconds, with Tosa only down by a basket. Mbakwe came up with a key steal before the buzzer and his team won. He tallied, at the very least, 5 blocks in the game, and led both teams in scoring, with 25 points.

Mbakwe's Strengths:
1. Surprisingly "big" down low as a consistent rebounder.
2. He has a decent jumper, which is more than can be said for any forward on MU's team right now, save Fitz. He also hit most of his FTs.
3. Boxed out pretty well, and meanwhile he wasn't afraid to step off his guy to come up with a big block or steal.
4. Can be counted on to make a big play.

Mbakwe's Weaknesses:
1. Seemed a little lazy for long stretches, not going up for rebounds or running to play D. Hopefully experience with fast-paced MU will fix that.
2. A bit clumsy with the ball, like most big guys, but Tosa stripped the ball a few times while he was looking to make a pass.
3. Needs to gain weight. Cross your fingers that he'll grow a little.

Overall, I was impressed and excited to see that we might actually have somebody consistently reeling in rebounds for a change. I can't wait to see him playing for Marquette.
Well done!!

Want more? Check out this thread on Trevor from Marquette Hoops.

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