10-06-2007, 12:32 AM
Six Pack Cat
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Clemson, SC
Nice Article on Jared Dudley
FORWARD FOR BOBCATS
6-7 Dudley subtly does what's right
Rookie intrigues with talent for thankless tasks
WILMINGTON --He isn't all that tall, he's isn't cut like a bodybuilder, and no one mistakes him for Gerald Wallace as a leaper.
So why are the Charlotte Bobcats excited about rookie Jared Dudley?
Off pre-camp pickup games alone, point guard Raymond Felton singled out Dudley as the most interesting prospect on this roster. Coach Sam Vincent echoed Felton's intrigue with the guy the Bobcats drafted 22nd overall in June.
To appreciate Dudley, you must appreciate the subtle, thankless tasks that often win basketball games. He does them all.
"He finds the open spots on both the offensive and defensive boards and he comes up with it," Vincent said.
"He's not an incredible athlete, but he knows how to use his body and he's got a real nice savvy about him. When you combine all those things with him always having to work really hard to stay on the court, he brings a strong element to this team."
In other words, Dudley -- a 6-foot-7 forward out of Boston College -- is the less-is-more kid. His strengths are positioning, persistence, toughness and intelligence. There are dozens of players sleeker and more graceful, but this isn't a beauty contest. Dudley does the job.
Though he wasn't widely recruited (growing up in San Diego, he was essentially ignored by Pac-10 schools), he averaged double-figure scoring all four seasons at Boston College. As a senior, he was ACC Player of the Year, averaging 19 points, 8.2 rebounds and 56 percent shooting from the field.
B.C. fans recall him as a willful leader. If you rooted for an opponent, he's a loudmouth pest. Either way, you remember the guy has a motor and wins a lot.
"I'd like to think I have a high basketball IQ," Dudley said when asked about his assets.
"It's easy to focus on my rebounding because of the way I throw my body around, but it's also the little things I do. I'm good at getting players open. When Gerald makes a shot, (the average fan) won't appreciate the screen I set, but the coaches will. They're not going to notice me tipping a loose ball to someone or making the extra pass. That's fine. That's my role on this team."
Dudley is a bit Rodman-esque. Not the Dennis Rodman at the end -- a cross-dressing creature of the reality-TV culture. Instead, the Dennis Rodman who could get his team 10 extra possessions a game with his positioning and determination.
"Rodman wasn't the best jumper or the tallest guy," Dudley said. "But it's about desire and knowing how to get the ball. The measure is not how tall you are, it's a measure of your heart."
Dudley never figures to be an NBA star, and with Wallace and Jason Richardson on the roster, he might never be a Bobcats starter. But teams need players like him in support roles. It's clear Vincent, who played more off smarts than athleticism, appreciates those same characteristics in Dudley.
"I think sometimes, the guys who are a little bit less gifted athletically spend more time learning how to use their bodies -- how to create small advantages to get to the rim," Vincent said.
"He's figured out how to master the game with his mind."