Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Mike Tisdale Scouting Report

Illinitalk took the opportunity to watch Mike Tisdale-I mean Riverton-play Lincolnwood tonight in the Carlinville Holiday Tourney.

My wife, brother-in-law and father-in-law are all alums of Lincolnwood so my family was doing its best to root against Tisdale, which was tough because he's heading to the U of I next year and we are all die-hard Illini fans.

Riverton won 61-54 and Tisdale scored 30 points. Lincolnwood didn't go down without a fight, though, leading through most of the first half before Riverton tightened up the defense on their guards and shut down the long ball. Anyway, here is my scouting report on Tisdale (with some help from my father-in-law and brother-in-law):

-Seems to have good court awareness. When the defense collapsed on him, he had the presence of mind to kick the ball back out to the perimeter for a wide-open shot by one of the Riverton guards.

-Seems to have very good footwork. He moved very well without the ball tonight, which will be key in Weber's motion offense.

-Very aggressive tonight. Wasn't afraid to take the ball to the rack and hammer it home (see photo above) with authority. Had some very nice dunks (where other guys just would have laid it in gently).

-Good stroke from short range. Has a nice touch on his floater (see photo above).

-Seemed to have a very good attitude (unlike some seven footers we've had).

-Obviously needs to put on meat. My father-in-law said he thinks Tisdale put on about 30 pounds of muscle since last season. I believe it after seeing photos of him last year. Still, he'll need to bulk up in a major way if he doesn't want to be pushed off the low block in the Big Ten. I'm sure he'll find this out very quickly when he's assigned to guard Pruitt or Carlwell in practice next year.

-Not quite as quick up and down the court as some other big men I've seen. Here again, Weber's conditioning program will be key.

-Seemed to struggle from the line tonight. My father-in-law pointed out he'd fit right in on this year's Illinois team (obviously we still have the end of the Mizzou game on our minds).

The wild card, as my brother-in-law pointed out, is that Tisdale hasn't really been tested against the size of guys he'll be going up against next year. I think the tallest player to guard him tonight from Lincolnwood was six foot, which makes it tough to get a good read on his potential.

His positives are definately good and the negatives that we saw can definately be improved (especially if his attitude is good). My best guess right now is he'll redshirt next season, bulk up, get a year of practice against Shaun Pruitt under his belt and come ready to contribute in two years. I can see him providing valuable minutes off the bench at that point and hopefully by his senior year he's going the Luther Head route for player development and not the Nick Smith route.

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