by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
The breakdown was brilliant.
“Can shoot from distance. Got a nice mid-range shot. Has a solid post game. Can defend, run, jump, get up and down the floor. About the only thing that you can’t really tell at this point is how he is as a playmaker.
“You can see he has a handle, but he’s not asked to do much with getting his teammates involved.”
Obi Enechionyia, meet your NBA prospect analysis … courtesy of my son, Sean, who displayed an insight beyond his 15 years on this planet and limited time watching the best athletes on that planet perform.
Sitting among a few too many fans dressed as empty seats Friday night at the Liacouras Center for the 2016 season-opening Temple University men’s basketball game against Big Five rival La Salle, a highly entertaining affair eventually won by the host Owls 97-92 in overtime, our most interesting topic of conversation turned to which players seemed to have the potential to play at the next level.
As many will come to discover rather easily, Enechionyia definitely has the “goods” to do so. Not only is the aforementioned profile spot on, but the Owls’ 6-foot-10 junior forward also possesses an NBA-ready frame, obviously beefed up and buffed up from a year ago, a healthy athletic swagger and some stamina. He played 40 of a possible 45 minutes against the Explorers.
What else? Well, he has a tendency to disappear at times on both ends of the floor, but the Owls in general really disappear offensively when he isn’t on the floor.
On a night when Fran Dunphy’s squad managed to get six players in double figures, don’t plan on that being the norm unless Enechionyia’s minutes remain a constant throughout.
Senior Daniel Dingle led Temple with 21 points vs. La Salle, but his tally was entirely predicated by the visiting team’s preoccupation with keeping Big O under wraps inside. Same thing with fellow starters Shizz Alston (14) and Ernest Aflakpui (12) and subs Quinton Rose (12) and Mark Williams (10). Funny thing is, Enechionyia’s multi-faceted gifts seem more suited for the outside, which is mainly how he averaged 11 points per game last season.
Against North Philly neighbor La Salle, though, he was interior first/exterior second for certain, but still managed to show a vast repertoire, scoring 20 points with a couple dunks, shooting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, 8-for-14 overall, a couple of sweet off-handed inside moves, and posting game highs in rebounds (14) and blocked shots (4). His follow-up of a missed Rose lay-up attempt with 3:03 to go put the Owls up, 86-84. He later denied Pookie Powell’s drive with 30 seconds remaining to keep Temple ahead 92-88.
Put it this way, the kid is good. Real good. NBA-prospect good. My kid-approved good.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better talent in the city … or even, gasp, out on the Main Line.
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