Diverging from the week's fairly consistent -- and understandable -- focus on Kentucky's postseason chances, I was struck by a recent conversation I happened upon via a message board.
A couple of posters were discussing Rose Hill Academy, the high school where 2010 Kentucky commitment Dakota Euton. While one was raving about Euton's teammate Chad Jackson, a more traditional high school guard prospect, the other was lamenting that Euton did not seem quite athletic enough for high D-1 (read "Kentucky") basketball, but that there was still time, as Euton is only a sophomore.
Interestingly, I have only seen a few video clips of Euton, but I remember feeling that he looked a bit stiff, but that he clearly had a Grade A shot and, again, it was early.
But the more I watch of the big kid -- already listed at 6'7"/215 and growing -- the more I see why Billy Gillispie would jump at the chance to lock in a talented shooting natural power forward.
At Texas A&M, he had a very effective Euro power forward named Antanas Kavaliauskas. He was likely less talented as a shooter but more mature (obviously, as a Junior in college) and a better rebounder.
The Kentucky offense, the Gillispie motion offense, that rotates the "four" to the top of the key is predicated on that player -- usually Perry Stevenson these days, occasionally Mark Coury -- being able, really only having to do, two things: pass the high-low pass to the center and drill 15-foot jumpers.
Stevenson shows a limited ability to do these two things, Coury next to none. But watch young Mr. Euton in action:
Can't you see this kid -- two years in October from now, remember -- manning the elbow fairly effectively? Who gives a rip if he can jump over a stick of gum? You're looking, based on what we've witnessed most of this season, at 5-7 open jumpers a day against a man defense, and who knows how many against a low-post zone.
One has to assume that Euton will be working heavily on that three-point range and on his rebounding.
But based on this analysis, Euton would seem to be an ideal prospect for Billy Gillispie: hard-working, tall, strong, a great shooter and a local kid.