While we await word from Kevin Larsen, Michael Carrera and anyone else presently on GW's radar for next season, I thought it would be worth mentioning why Kevin Larsen may very well be the most important recruit in the ML era. To be sure, Larsen will not likely wind up with more impressive statistics than Carrera or perhaps even any of the incoming freshmen or Isaiah Armwood. In fact, he can average say 5 points a game and 7 rebounds a game for his career and still end up being that important. What GW needs from Larsen isn't scoring or even rebounding (GW teams do manage to hold their own on the boards despite often being undersized down low). What Lonergan desperately needs is a defensive enforcer. Not a weak side shot blocker like Jabari. A guy who is going to alter shots. A guy who is going to make opponents think twice about driving the lane. We did not have a single player on last year's team who could assume that role. Kevin certainly has the size and body to become that player. Does he have the defensive mindset and athleticism? Should he play for GW, we will find out soon. At this stage, assuming we sign him, he's by far our best bet. Judging solely from clips and my impressions of other European players (which are admitttedly unfair), Paris does not appear to be this player despite having enough size. Isaiah and David lack the bulk.
To illustrate the point, ML took the GW job stating that defensive field goal percentage was amongst the 2 or 3 most important statistics to him. Up until this year, ML teams had pretty much always played tough defense. What we found out last year is that this is very difficult to accomplish without having the type of player I am describing. Statistically, we allowed oppoonents to shoot a hair under 45% last year. To put this in perspective, the six preceding seasons saw GW's defensive FG% at (starting from 2010-11): 42.9%, 41.4%, 40.8%, 42.2%, 41.3% and 42.2%. I found it interesting that for all of the complaints about the Hobbs defense giving up wide open three point shooters, last year's opponents shot 37.8% from 3 against us, the highest percentage over this period of time. This says to me that because we lacked a strong defensive presence down low, other players had to "cheat" or allow more space to a three point shooter in exchange for helping to guard the paint. Without a big guy down low, the entire defense suffers.
So you may like Carrera's overall game better and believe that he will be a more productive college player and both of those views are fair. But for this GW team and it's ability to fulfill its most glaring need, let's really hope that Kevin is the one who signs with GW...and hopefully soon.