As Selection Sunday nears, bubble talk is heating up. I won't get into specifics about bubble talk, but if you must your better off discussing it with Mr. Nusser. As he stated, most people have a generalized idea of what makes a "Tournament Team". I'm certainly not saying that is what the selection committee will look at in less than a month, but one of those conceptions is that successful teams have a true "leader." So, for the sake of entertaining all of you, I pose the question, who is this teams leader?
We cannot begin this discussion without starting with Klay Thompson. Make no mistake, if he has to, he could put the team on his back and go all Jimmer Fredette during a game. His quietness restricts his vocal leadership though. Believe me, I have no idea what goes on at practice or during team meetings, but he just doesn't seem the type to fire the whole team up before a big game. Klay is a different type of leader than us as Cougar fans are accustomed to, but he sure is good at putting the ball in the basket, so you won't hear me complaining.
More after the jump.
Another candidate is the highflying Marcus Capers. As with most teams, there is generally one player who completes the selfless and inglorious things that help a team win. This category fits Capers, and he seems to have accepted this role. He is an awesome player, but I don't think he is this teams leader.
Lodwick is much more of a mystery to me. He is another one of our juniors, but he was red shirted, which makes him a year older academically. That definitely has given him the respect of the younger players.His role was thoroughly discussed earlier this site, so I won't dissect that. What I will say is he makes his teammates around him better. His effort and communication on the defensive end greatly improve our zone. However, he doesn't play enough minutes (averaging 22.6) or take enough shots (again, averaging only 2.9) to fully impact an offense the way a leader is "supposed to." At WSU's page on Kenpom, he is listed under the "invisible" category, because he uses less than 12% of our possessions.
To me, a leader has to be able to take over a game, and when called upon take the last shot. Not to mention create opportunities for their teammates and get them to play as hard as they can when on the floor.
DeAngelo is a similar story. Although less often, a post can be a teams go-to-guy (case and point Derrick Williams at Arizona) but I don't think DeAngelo is as polished as Derrick Williams. The other issue I have is his playmaking ability is dependent on the guards getting him the ball near the basket. Without the ability to control the game, I'm going to go ahead and say he is not our leader. One heck of a sidekick though, when he gets going its hard to stop.
Now we move on to Reggie Moore. When Moore is attacking the basket with reckless abandon and shutting down his man on defense, this team is very hard to beat. He also has his moments of immaturity when his youth cracks through the television set. Sometimes he settles for contested jumpers and his defense soon follows. You probably could make a case that Reggie is also our leader, along with Klay, but I am still waiting for the conventional wisdom "leader."
All this does is make me miss Rochestie even more.
This was my first time posting one of these, so don't trash it too bad.