Then and Now - Basketball: The Centers |

Then and Now - Basketball: The Centers


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
The Players

(Stats are last year, per 40 minutes of play, except minutes are per game. m = minutes p = points, r = rebounds, a= assists, s = steals, b = blocks, mfg = missed field goals, mft = missed free throws, to = turnovers, pf = personal fouls, NP = net points, which is p + r + a + s + b minus mfg + mft + to + pf
OE: “offensive efficiency” = p-mfg-mft; FG: “floor game” = NP – OE. TNP: Total Net Points for the season.)


Jesse Edwards, a 6-11 230 senior 28.0m 17.2p 9.3r 1.5a 1.6s 4.0b - 2.9mfg 2.5mft 1.8to 5.3pf = 21.1NP
…When Jesse came here he was listed at 188 pounds so building himself up to 230 is an impressive achievement. He’ll never be bulky but hopefully he won’t be pushed around by anyone. His forte is quickness. He can run the court and is dynamite on the pick-and-roll...He’s also a mobile shot-blocker. He was really blossoming at the point of his injury… Boston College was the first team to decide that he had to be stopped, despite all of the shooters we had, and they roughed him up, holding him to 0 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes. He also fouled out, which has been a problem, and complained of pain in his wrist after the game. X-rays showed it
was broken and his season was over. He would have learned to adjust to the added defensive pressure and to avoid fouling had he continued to play. Those adjustments will have to be made this season – and his teammates need to do their part by burning defenses that overcommit to stopping Jesse, as we were able to do last year with all the shooters we had, (we beat BC in that game).

Jesse’s final numbers: 32.6m 17.7p 12.7r 1.9a 1.7s 3.3b = 37.3+ 4.8mfg 1.5mft 2.5to 3.6pf = 12.4- = 24.9NP 11.4OE 13.5FG TNP: 654 His scoring stayed high, although he missed more shots. His rebounding got much better, his blocked shots, already excellent, improved and he committed significantly fewer fouls, which indicates better defensive positioning. He was stronger, especially in the upper body but was no ‘dancing bear’ in the paint. He could still be muscled out of position. He developed a back-to the basket game but it’s still in its embryonic stage and he was far from dominating defenders. More strength could help there: he was often too far from the basket. He learned to pass out of the double-teams but, with a lack of outside shooting on the team, his assists didn’t really skyrocket. He could have another year here, due to Covid and it would benefit him in further developing his body and his offensive game. But, a foreign player, he can’t get NIL, so he may be going back to Europe to play. He said in an interview that that last regular season game “was a great way to say goodbye to the ‘Cuse’.

Mounir Hima, a 6-11 230 sophomore
Jim Boeheim and his staff needed to find a new back-up center. They got a guy who in some ways is a clone of (the departed) Frank Anselem. Mounir Hima has a 7-6 wingspan. Frank was from Nigeria. Mounir is from Niger. He wasn’t even reviewed by 247. As a freshman at Duquesne, he played 202 minutes, far more than Frank did as a freshman here but less than Frank did as a sophomore. His per 40m numbers: 7.7p 11.5r 0.2a 0.5s 4.2b – 4.5mfg 0.2mft 2.2to 6.9pf = 10.3NP. Basically, he’s Frank except he blocks more shots. Much has been made of the fact that he played for a lousy Duquesne team (6-24, 1-16 in the Atlantic 10 – and we thought we were bad). That doesn’t mean that he was the reason they were bad or that he couldn’t help us. The Dukes
biggest problem was that they couldn’t shoot straight and we aren’t relying on Mounir to score.

Hima’s numbers: 7.4m 5.4p 9.4r 0.8a 1.4s 5.2b = 12.0+ 2.8mfg 0.4mft 1.2to 7.6pf = 12.0- =
10.2NP 2.0OE 8.0FG TNP: 51 His points and rebounds were down from his limited Duquesne experience but his assists, steals and blocks were up. He played more early in the year than late but was an effective anchor for the press. The jury is way out on whether he could someday be a starter here but he’s a decent back-up for now.

Peter Carey, a 6-11 200 freshman
I’ve seen Peter listed at 7-1 205. He’s a skinny but well-conditioned kid who missed the last two seasons due to a covid shut-down and an injury, so it’s hard to know what to make of him. 247 has him at #248 and the 55th best power forward. What highlights there are show him to a be a quick leaper and an explosive dunker who can really run the court.

Carey played 20 minutes in three games and then red-shirted to have an operation, meaning that he’s hardly played any basketball in this decade. Nobody knows how good he could be or when he could be that good – or if it would be as a center or as a forward. He’s kind of everything Hima isn’t and vice versa. Put them together and you could have Bill Walton. Take them apart and you may have two guys who will never play much.

Don’t be surprised if we hit the portal hard for a center if Jesse is, indeed, leaving. Either that or go to a 3-4 guard line up with a power forward at center the way Jay Wright used to. I could see Maliq Brown in that role.

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