Leading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.
Here are the previous rankings
#5. Kadeem Batts
Exactly a year ago, Kadeem Batts was starting his 1st semester suspension for violating team rules. This apparent off the court issue set the tone for a disappointing season on the court. Heading into his junior year, Batts’ mindset appears to be quite different. He’s all-in on Ed Cooley, and looking to be a leader of the team.
Resources: Friars.com Profile
Stud stats: Despite a poor all around season, Kadeem Batts did have the Louisville game. Everything came together that night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, including Batts being a physical presence down low. His final line: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal. One of his monster dunks landed him on ESPN (shown below) and a few top dunks list for the year.
Dud stats: In his 2nd season of play, Batts regressed in most categories after sitting out the first semester for violating team rules. He played less minutes per game, put up less points and rebounds per game, turned the ball over on 25% of his possessions, and shot under 40% from the field. His offensive rating was also a disastrous 90.7, which was much less efficient than his solid 107 rating during his freshman year.
I know what you did last summer: Batts spent a lot of time in the gym. A lot.
Know your role: With a thin roster before BIG EAST play along with plenty of question marks in the front court altogether, Kadeem Batts is going to be counted on to be a leader and producer on the team. Ed Cooley needs consistency, intensity, and improvement on the defensive end from Kadeem. Minutes will be there as long as he can stay out of foul trouble. Although he struggled last season, I believe the offense will be there for Batts. It will need to be in order to help provide balance for the guard heavy offense (Buckets can’t do everything!). I expect his mid-range jumper to continue to be his most productive shot, but he will look to try to score inside more as well. Having one of the best point guards in the league will certainly help, as well as two long range shooters in Cotton and Fortune that could help open things up.
Relevant Tune: Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf
I can see myself tearing up the road
Faster than any other boy has ever gone
And my skin is raw but my soul is ripe
And no one’s gonna stop me now
I gotta make my escape
If Kadeem Batts was a TV Show: Touch – Batts is going to need some around the basket if he is going to improve offensively.
Best case scenario: While it’s impossible to expect the Louisville performance every game, Batts puts last year behind right from the start on both ends of the court. Offensively, he becomes more efficient and consistently turns in games like he did against Syracuse last season – agressive, with good shot selection and execution. The focus and passion is clearly there every game, and Batts even has 3-4 games where he steps up even more and is the difference maker. Stats: 30 minutes per game, 15 points per game, 7-8 rebounds per game
Worst case scenario: After a summer of focus and hard work, it just doesn’t pay off and Batts is unable to take a step forward. He has a few good games offensively, but seems to disappear all to often. Once Sidiki Johnson is eligible, he begins to see most of the minutes at the 4 as he continues to outplay Batts on both ends of the court. Stats: 20 minutes per game, 8 points per game, 4 rebounds per game. 41% FG.