NIT Tournament 2011: Tournament Could Be Great Experience for Chris Wright
NIT Tournament 2011 Could Bring Another Championship For Chris Wright And Dayton
If you were to watch game film of Chris Wright, Darius Miles would probably come to mind. In terms of an overall skillset, that's not a glowing compliment. But when you watch the film and the things he can do, you might need a couple of minutes to pop the eyes back in your head.
The kid's one heck of an athlete, and when he's not throwing down dunks or rejecting shots he can leap right out of the building. NBA scouts usually go crazy over that kind of athleticism, yet he's slipped back this season.
"His extremely hard work ethic and drive to get better has resulted in a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection this season," Jack Jensen of Dime Magazine wrote last season. "There’s no question that Wright is a legit NBA prospect – and one that will remind you of a Jason Maxiell type player – what is questionable, is when he will declare."
As expected, Wright returned this season. But his numbers dipped and he's continued to struggle with a perimeter game. He's still a dominant athlete who can thrive in the right system and he didn't just lose it overnight. Some experts, including Chad Ford of ESPN, are afraid about his hybrid status between a small and a power forward, which has created problems.
If he can continue to develop as a forward, then he's a player who teams will try to find a place for. But all the talk there was surrounding him last season has all but vanished this season. If there's one thing scouts love about him, it's his work ethic and his desire to get better.
"You don’t play the game to try to make it to the second-best tournament," Wright told the Dayton Daily News after the Flyers were resigned to the NIT. "Nobody likes to be second best. Last year, we won it. The most important thing is we still have an opportunity to play the game we love. We’re going to go hard, but it’s not super exciting."
It might be the second-best tournament, but it's also the last chance for him to make an impact in game action. If he can show flashes of being the player he was last year and lead the Flyers back to the NIT title, his stock might rise again.
He'll get looks, but he needs to be better.
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