NCAA Hoops: Rating the Small Forwards

Paul McGuillicuddyAnalyst IMarch 11, 2008

These guys have the responsibility of rebounding amongst the Redwoods, feeding the post, driving the base line, and when the matchup warrants, playing with their back to the basket in the post. Let’s hear it for the small forwards.

Joe Alexander—Junior/ West Virginia 16.2PPG 6.1RPG – Small never looked so big. Don’t be misled by Alexander’s 6’8” frame. Yeah he’ll play with his back to the basket when the situation warrants. But he gets the most damage done when he is facing the basket. He can take the baseline better than anyone in the country. When needed he can step out and run the offense.

Gary Forbes—Senior/ UMass 20.3PPG 7.9RPG – Recently named the Atlantic 10 Player of the year. Has eight double-doubles on the season including a twenty-three point performance at the Carrier Dome earlier this year when the Minutemen knocked off the Orange - had twenty-two points and seven rebounds at Chestnut Hill.

Courtney Lee—Senior/ Western Kentucky 20.6PPG 4.5RPG – Finally got a chance to catch this talent. Loves to slash to the basket and can finish with authority. Has scored in double figures in all but two games this year including 21 at Gonzaga, 23 versus Tennessee and 22 against Michigan.

Josh Shipp—Junior/ UCLA 13.2PPG 3.1RPG – Okay so that shot should not have counted. It was still sick. Did you see him go off the dribble to get that shot? Don’t let this guy’s numbers fool ya. Somewhere along the line the Pac 10 became a defensive conference – padding one’s statistics just doesn’t happen in the West – has scored in double figures twenty-three times this year.

Robbie Hummel—Freshman/ Purdue 11.7PPG 5.9RPG – There’s been a resurgence amongst the Boilermakers, and Robbie Hummel is leading the way. Kid can light it up from the outside. When you step out on him, he can put it to the floor and finish strong.

Starting Sunday we will break down the brackets by region. We’ll give you in-depth analysis along with interesting tidbits to watch as the NCAA tournament unfolds.