Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Up-In-Coming Mid Major Prospects Part 3

In this segment, I explore South Alabama wing Martino Brock and his long run potential.

Martino Brock is one of the more interesting mid major prospects who has experienced a jump in production from his freshman season. Despite being only a sophomore, Martino Brock is two years older than his class because he attended Maine Central Institute for prep school before arriving at South Alabama. While he was noticed by several major programs in this additional year, Brock decided to play for Ronnie Arrow's South Alabama squad. He became an immediate offensive option the moment he stepped on the court.

In terms of his long run potential, Martino Brock's intrigue as a prospect centers around his physical and athletic gifts. This talent manifests itself on the offensive end in particular, where Brock has the ability to drive by his man with a quick first step. When he decides to take his man off the dribble, Brock is able to stop on a dime and rise up with perfect balance to hit mid range jump shots. He also is capable of slashing past his man and finishing at the rim. Because of his tremendous quickness and solid strength, Brock is fairly effective at creating space- this separation is what distinguishes him as a prospect at this level and demonstrates his long run potential. Brock also excels as a ball handler- he even takes on point guard responsibilities at times- and is able to implement stop and go moves in order to throw his defenders off balance. Further, Brock is an explosive run-jump athlete that is capable of throwing down thunderous dunks in transition. At this point, Brock is most effective operating in the painted region off the dribble while attacking the basket. Finally, Brock has solid body control when attacking defenders, and he thereby is effective at drawing contact- specifically, he draws 6 fouls per 40 minutes of action, which ranks him as a top 100 player in the nation in this category.

While Brock is at his best when he attempts high percentage shots moving towards the basket, his eFG% and TS% are far worse than they should be. This is due in large part to Brock's inability to consistently hit shots from the perimeter. Brock has already nearly doubled the amount of three point attempts he has taken from last season. And, he connects on only 31.4% of these shots- so this has had an impact on his overall offensive efficiency. In spite of his poor percentages, Brock does have games where he is able to knock down all of his long range shots because he is able to square his body to the basket. Considering the fact that he began the season on a 2 for 20 shooting slump from long range, his percentages may not accurately reflect his improved ability to hit the 3 point basket either. With that said, Brock has a hitch in his shot that needs to be fixed before he can regularly knock down jumpers at the next level. Also, he has an inconsistent shooting rhythm and poor ball rotation on his shot; this- in turn- has contributed to his inconsistency.

In terms of his overall contribution to the offense, Brock is a willing passer when he gets in the lane, and his assist numbers understate his impact on this aspect of the game. When Brock drives to the basket, he regularly finds open teammates who either shoot the 3 point shot or swing the ball around the perimeter to find an open man. But, because South Alabama is the 42nd worst 3 point shooting team in the country this year- connecting on only 30% of their attempts as a team- Brock's assist metric does not wholly account for his game impact. However, analysis from year-to-year demonstrates that Martino Brock's Assist Rate (taken from Kenpom) has increased from 15.4 to 17.7 this season. (this measurement takes into account his teammates' FG%) With that said, Brock must cut down on his turnovers in order to be able to command the ball at a higher level of basketball. His assist-to-turnover ratio has declined this season, as he has had the ball in his hands more often and does tend to drive into traffic. Despite his turnovers, Brock is willing to play within his offensive system and does not normally look to score baskets or make hockey assists at the expense of his team. And, most importantly, it can be said that Brock's dribble penetration is the impetus behind South Alabama's offensive sets.

Additionally, Brock's rebounding numbers have declined this season, primarily as a result of his increased ball handling responsibilities. While he is an above average rebounder for a wing- due in part to his length and athleticism- Brock has not looked to be as assertive on the glass this season. Instead, he tends to sprint out in transition before the ball is even secured by a teammate. Moreover, Brock appears to be stagnant on the offensive end at times when the ball is not in his hands, as he tends to stand beyond the arc and call for the ball. If he continues to display such a habit, he will hurt his long run potential as a professional prospect.

On the defensive end, Brock has the potential to lock down his man due to his length and solid lateral quickness. And, he is better able to get pick players' pockets this season. Despite his massive potential on this end of the floor, Brock is not always assertive enough. On occasion, he stands upright and does not get in his full defensive stance. And, he is not particularly savvy as a help defender either, as he rarely steps in to take the charge.

Overall, Martino Brock has the physical tools to be a professional prospect. He must mend his shooting form and be more assertive on both ends of the floor in order to receive consideration from scouts at the end of the day. Inevitably though, he will have plenty of opportunities to impress scouts in the next two years.

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