With the first two test of playing on the road in a hostile environment done, Sidney Lowe brings his team back to the more comfy confines of Reynolds. Saturday night will be the one and done opportunity for the Wolfpack to play in the storied building. The tip off is at seven and the opponent is Savannah State (5-6).
Thatâ€™s all I can say about that. Playing in the house legends like Case, Thompson, V and Coach Lowe called home just speaks for its self. Add to that a welcoming party for new football coach Tom O’Brien, and there are more then enough reason’s to bundle up and head on down to Raleigh.
I would like to instead take a look at the current nature of the team, specifically the potential of Gavin Grant. Much was noted earlier concerning Grants ability to take over the duties of running the offense when Engin Atsur got hurt in this earlier thread. With Atsur and or Trevor Ferguson expected to be in the line up in the up coming weeks, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some long range perspective. At the beginning of the season many made encouraging comments about the potential of Grant playing a “point forward” position in Coach Loweâ€™s offense. Now that Grant has had to play the actual role of point guard, what changes if any in his overall game could come about when the players noted above, specifically Atsur, take back to the hardwood.
Some historical background on this topic I found is both revealing and familiar. Take the case of Marques Johnson, a UCLA product who started his NBA career playing for the Milwaukee Bucks under Don Nelson. Hereâ€™s what he had to say about how he was utilized early on in his professional career.
“It was the early 80s and we had all our point guards hurt with the Bucks. Nellie came up with a way to have me initiate the offense in all our sets. My response was, ‘so instead of being the point guard, I’ll be the point forward.’ Nellie liked the label and has used it ever since.”
Over his eleven year NBA career Johnson averaged 20.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was voted a NBA All star as a guard and as a forward in separate years. This and other information I gathered came from this surprising author. The idea of what it meant being a forward in the game of basketball had already been established in Johnsonâ€™s mind, thanks in part to his upbringing and playing under the legend himself, John Wooden.
“My game was all about efficiency. Scoring the easiest way possible. Thatâ€™s how my dad taught me. I always thought if you were a forward and didn’t shoot 50 percent from the field, you weren’t doing your job,”
Others looked to as point forward prototypeâ€™s include the likes of Oscar Robinson and Rick Barry. Everything changed after Scotty Pippen made the point forward a “must have”, and now the professional landscape is flooded with players who fit this versatile role.