Will Brandon Bolden find his way under JT3?
Our award-winning Player Profiles Series rolls on with a look at freshman forward Brandon Bolden.
A Look Back:
Just over a year ago, Brandon Bolden committed to Georgetown during Midnight Madness. At the time, ESPN's recruiting site had his name spelled wrong and his name was buried under the now Patriots running back of the same name. Increased insight into his high school career hasn't exactly brought positive press. His career in high school sputtered over the last two years and included a transfer and reports that he wasn't contributing on the court. As a result he dropped out of top 100 recruiting lists. Nonetheless, he's a lean and athletic big man who has the potential to be a productive player for the Hoyas as he develops.
Outlook for 2012-13:
Brandon Bolden is the near opposite player of Otto Porter, who, as you may have heard, was the most prepared freshman JT3 ever coached. As noted above, Bolden's high school career was inglorious and his motor was questioned. In Kenner League, despite towering over most opponents his positioning and footwork was terrible, he was almost always out of place on defense, which cost him rebounds and forced him to swing wildly attempting to block shots. Touch was non-existent on his jumper. On the other hand, his athleticism was, in flashes, wowing. Given an open floor on a fast break, he went basket-to-basket with astonishing speed. His footwork isn't there yet, but unlike Otto, he plays well above the rim. His dunks were ferocious whereas even Otto's breakaway dunks lack force.
Bolden is a long way from being a face-up forward, but, for a team without a proven center, he might be able to evolve into a serviceable zone defender. Even from the first weekend of Kenner League (which Porter missed) to the second week, the difference in Bolden's play when he was on the floor with Otto was noticeable. Porter was literally coaching on the floor, yelling and directing the defense, and it helped Bolden incredibly. With a full summer and fall of practices, Bolden has the opportunity to catch on and play a solid number of minutes.
Best Case Scenario:
Georgetown still needs to find minutes in the post and Bolden's length and speed makes him the ideal fit on a purely physical level at the bottom of the zone– he's a very similar body type to Henry Sims. Jabril Trawick and Otto Porter want to win as much as any Hoya in the JT3 era, and if their determination rubs off on Bolden and he fights his way into the tail end of the rotation, Bolden could provide a nice cog in a very, very long zone defense.
Worst Case Scenario:
Bolden ends up on the 2012-13 highlights reel with a few huge dunks in garbage time against Liberty and Towson. Bolden remains a project and despite his athleticism, looks years away from have the discipline on defense or the form on offense to a positive contributor on a Big East contender.