Kentucky basketball power rankings

November 19, 2015

Something to keep in mind when evaluating the early work of freshman power forward Skal Labissiere: He is, in a way, the inverse of the typical 6'11"-or-taller mega-prospect, whose value to college teams at 18 or 19 years old tends to be length-and-athleticism-based, with the hopes of adding polished skills as they age. While Labissiere is long and athletic, he has played in far fewer games than most prospects, due to a stress fracture in his back that robbed him of his junior high-school season, and then a senior-year move to a newly formed prep school that played a limited schedule. What Labissiere has done a ton of, however, is offensive skill development; I saw this first-hand while reporting a feature on him this off-season, and was awed by his level of polish.

I would venture to say that Labissiere has done more offensive skill work and played in fewer games than any other elite freshman big man, which is why he already has highlights like these on offense, and is shooting 13-for-17 on post-ups and around-the-basket attempts ...

... yet has so far to go when it comes to making instinctive plays on defense, and winning fights for rebounds. He's such a quick learner, though, that I suspect you won't see struggles like this come March:

Next up: 11/20 vs. Wright State, 11/24 vs. Boston U

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