Friday, October 17, 2008

Dupree less bulk, more production

Some good articles in the papers today about sophomore Braxton Dupree and his off season workouts designed to help him shed about 20 pounds from last season. New strength and conditioning coach Paul Ricci may have played a great role in making sure that Dupree's conditioning doesn't detract from his performance. It was clear that after the Christmas break that Dupree had ballooned to over 280 pounds and had all the stamina of Dom DeLuise at the top of K2. The statistics are clear that something happened around the beginning of January and it wasn't good.


2007-8 SeasonAvg. MinutesPoints/gameRebounds/gameFG%
In 200712.94.03.045.2
In 20087.71.11.422.2

Dupree did not play in seven of the team's seventeen ACC games including the last four regular season games and ACC Tournament loss to Boston College so the numbers may be slightly skewed but overall I think they are a fair reflection of how he played. To give you an idea of how bad he was in 2008 in a span of eleven games from January 5th to March 18th Dupree didn't sink a single field goal. Excluding his end of the season run in the NIT he scored a grand total of 5 points after the first of the year, which is even more amazing when you consider he played 84 total minutes during that stretch. It took him just 14 minutes of play against Minnesota to beat that mark when he scored 6 points in the first NIT game.

As bad as Dupree was at times there are some positive signs going into this year. He showed some ability against Illinois when he scored 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. At the end of the year he had a small resurgence in the NIT with 10 points and six rebounds in two games coming off the bench. He has a nice touch around the basket and was one of the better offensive rebounders on the team. It seems obvious to me from the photos alone that Dupree has slimmed down considerably from last season and his conditioning should be much better this season. He played well in some of the summer leagues according to reports which should have given him some confidence. That is good because he will be asked to provide starter level minutes in the low post and dramatically increase his rebounds and scoring. I think Dupree will surprise some fans this season with his play. He certainly struggled his freshman year but he was a top 100 player from 2007 and I expect his to make sizable strides this season.

BB&T is on MASN
MASN will broadcast the games of the BB&T this season and you'll get to see the Terps play George Washington on December 7th at 7:30pm. John Feinstein will be doing the color commentary. The Colonials always seem to play one of their best games of the season when they get to face Maryland but some of the luster of Karl Hobbs' program was lost with the 9-17 disaster they had last season.

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