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Kenny Brown's production vs. our expectations


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(This is a repost. I posted it below as a response in the "Frericks" thread. I'd like to get some reactions to this one.)

While Kenny Brown was a stalwart defensive presence for the Bills for two years and I believe he'll be missed this season, his tenure at SLU was an overall disappointment. I remember how Lorenzo Romar or someone suggested that by the time he was finished he would be the best center in Billiken history (to that point), and I remember we had discussions about what kind of numbers he'd have to have to exceed past Billiken centers (not much -- 12 or 13 ppg and 7 or 8 rpg?). Well, Brown didn't become the best center to this point in Billiken history.

Now Brad Soderberg is projecting the "best SLU center ever" tag on Ian Vouyoukas. I think there's a good shot that he will become SLU's best-ever center by the time he's done, because he's mobile and smooth and has good hands and feet, but it won't be this year. Freshmen go through growing pains. I don't think, either, that Tom Frericks will provide best-ever type of production, either, but he'll be serviceable and will be a key ingredient in getting SLU into the NCAA Tournament.

At least the days of SLU's being a "doughnut" team with 6-6 centers are over.

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I wasn't thrilled with his offense either but the bills have done ok in the past with centers who have been great defenders like Kenny and Chris Heinrich. If they can score too, great, but I'll be happy if we don't lose defensively with the change over from Kenny to Tom. As you say better a 6'10" wide load style defender than a 6'6" scoring threat that gets pushed out of the way on defense.

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i dont remember lorenzo making that statement or anything like that. i also dont remember anyone predicting kenny would average double figures scoring. he did average more rebounds per game in his two years here than our previous centers did for a two year period and it cant be denied that he shut down some nice players last year which basically allowed marque to win the games at the other end of the floor.

soderberg's statement about ian really took me by surprise. so far everything that brad has said about his players has been very low key and conservative. i even think he could have hyped marque more than he did. my point is for him to make the "greatest" statement is so unlike brad that it really has me intrigued. i cannot wait to see ian for myself tomorrow nite.

btw, who else is coming tomorrow nite?

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>I thought Coach Soderberg something like .... " If there was

>ever a better freshman big man at SLU than Ian, I would like

>to know who he was"....

>

>Is that "best SLU center ever" quote in print somewhere?

I don't think it's in print. I believe Roy is the "culprit." Apparently, Brad said it at the Tipoff Club meeting and/or on air with Frank Cusumano, and Roy took special notice.

As far as "freshman big men" go, Ian Vouyoukas will have to be pretty darn good this year to match Melvin Robinson. The problem is that Ian will miss the first third of the season. His first game will be at home against Kansas State (I hope Justin Johnson goes ballistic in that game!) and then we're into the Conference USA season. Welcome to American basketball, kid!

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i heard brad say at the bratfest and at the last billiken club meeting that by the time ian has left st louis, he has the potential to be the best billiken center ever. i did not hear him say it on kfns, but it was reported here by someone else that he said the same on the air with frank.

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if both of those quotes were true, than we should expect productivity from Ian this year...which would be great...BTW, if Ian isn't as good as Melvin Robinson, then we should have never recruited him...I hope Ian is better than Melvin was after a couple years

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I heard Brad make the best ever statement on Frank's show and on KMOX with Bernie.

I wasn't around when this Kenny being the best ever was discussed but I would have been in the no way in hell camp. I saw Kenny a bunch of times in HS and although he did lose weight and he was a decent athlete for his size he never had enough coordination to be a good offensive player. He couldn't walk and chew gum in HS and he was similar at SLU. No way was there any chance he would have been the best billiken center ever, even with the little amount he would have to do be that.

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