Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Small School Review: Spencer Liddic

In this edition, I review Muhlenberg College's Spencer Liddic.

Spencer Liddic is a prototypical D3 athlete who is undersized at the forward slot, but compensates with tremendous effort and basketball fundamentals. The 6'5 215 lb forward plays predominantly inside, utilizing his girth to attack with his back to the basket. He is fundamentally sound on the block and employs several pivot and reverse pivot moves to get his shot off. At higher levels of basketball, he must become more vertically explosive. And, he may need to fade away against bigger players that will be capable of blocking his shot. He will have to adjust by moving to the perimeter at times, and this will require him to slim down and tone his body. While he will likely always have a low center of gravity, he must become more explosive.

In terms of rebounding, Liddic is one of the best at the D3 level. He has great hands and demonstrates solid box out fundamentals, soaring over much taller players to clean up on the glass. Further, he has a knack for knowing where the ball is going to go- a trait which can really not be taught. Even still, Liddic must get his body in shape and become more of an athlete to succeed at higher levels where length can become a supreme advantage on the glass.

On the defensive end, Liddic played on the perimeter at times on closeouts. He was able to move his body against D3 offensive players, but it is unlikely that he will be able to put in the same sort of effort at higher levels of basketball. Liddic must always maintain focus and not run down ahead of the pack when his team has not secured the ball, something which he did on several occasions against Gettysburg College. His lateral speed is going to be a weakness, but he may be able to improve in this area by slimming down.

Liddic is a decent passer out of the post, and has a solid basketball IQ. He must develop more of a lift on his jump shot and look to develop more of a perimeter stroke. He has a solid form already, but he does not look for his outside jumper often enough.

All in all, Liddic is a great player at the D3 level, but it is unlikely that his game will translate at higher levels unless he can improve his body and learn to play as a post up wing. Or maybe, just maybe he can find an AJ Moye-like reserve role somewhere in Europe. Of course, this would still require him to put in significant work on his build. After all, Moye was a physical specimen.

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