I agree with your comment on defense…though it isn’t like Johns or Dickinson are poor defenders. The advantage he’d have is guarding an athletic 4 or 5 that would give the other guys trouble.
I think Hunter has a lot of room for improvement, despite how good he was as a freshman. In addition to the points already mentioned, I would like to see him improve his footwork, especially in terms of quickness.
To me, Diabete reminds me a lot of Bam Adebayo in terms of skill level. If Diabete can bulk up 10-15 lbs and guard 5 credibly well, it’s a game changer on the defensive side. Bam can credibly switch seamlessly and provide rim protection which is exactly what Diabete can do for Juwan. Juwan helped developed Bam from a raw prospect to a top 15 player in the league. Offensively, he still has ways to go but he flashes in a lot of ways.
Diabete can genuinely guard 1-5 without much of a dropout and I think we might see a much more aggressive defensive scheme under Diabete instead of dropping Hunter/Davis like we’ve seen in the past. We’ll see more hedging and switching with Diabete at Center.
What do you all project Hunters minutes-per-game at? Over/Under 29.5?
I remember watching a game in the fall where Diabate got switched onto Frankie Collins and absolutely smothered him. I think that kind of length could be a nightmare for smaller, less athletic guards and wings.
He averaged 28.5 MPG in the NCAA tournament, I’d set the line there personally. Bet he ends up at or above 30 in most conference games but 20-25 in smaller non-con games and blowout wins (hopefully many), and that will probably be enough to keep his total average below 30, especially if Diabate is full time backup C.
That’s where I’m at too. I certainly want him playing every possible minute of the biggest games in March. I am fine with 28 minutes or so, just wasn’t sure if I’m alone there.
I think Juwan will try to use him more in that role if only because Jones isn’t as pure a PG as Smith and Houstan doesn’t project as the ball handler/passer Wagner was as a frosh, so I expect more high post stuff to allow Diabate and Johns to bully other 4s inside and to open up the lane a bit for Jones to get inside.