Jan 05, 2008, 03:10 am
Longar Longar isnt your typical college basketball senior, as hes 24 years old, has only been in the United States since he moved here from Africa in 1998, and didnt start playing basketball until high school in 1999. He was old for his class to begin with, but he also didnt earn college eligibility initially, forcing him to spend a year at a prep school prior to coming to Oklahoma.
Under former coach Kelvin Sampson, Longar couldnt earn more than eight minutes per game as a freshman and sophomore, but his playing time picked up substantially last season, and has carried over into this season as well. Hes shown noticeable improvement in his game, which was extremely raw entering college.
Longar is a decent athlete for a big man, showing pretty good mobility and coordination with nice ability to get up and down the court. He isnt very explosive, and is certainly not an elite athlete by any means, but he does boast very nice length for his size.
Longar has a decent groundwork of skills on the offensive end, but not what youd expect from someone who will be turning 25 in three months. In the post, Longar has decent footwork and a few moves in his arsenal, though he doesnt show exceptional awareness or many counter-moves. He also has not shown any ability with his left hand, and because of such, vastly prefers working on the right block and turning off his left shoulder, looking very uncomfortable when forced to go the other way. When he is in his comfort zone, though, Longar has shown a mini-hook shot, a drop-step move, a turnaround jumper, and a series of fakes to get past his man. Hes had varying success with these moves, but his footwork has been solid and he shows good coordination in getting the moves off.
Longar also has shown the groundwork of a jump shot, though he hasnt had much success with it from the video weve analyzed. He missed on six of seven jumpers from the 15-20 foot range from what we saw, and didnt have much more success in the 8-10 foot range, where he rushed a few contested jumpers. His shooting mechanics are nothing to rave about, as theyre not very refined, but he has a high and quick release, and its something he could possibly develop in time by working with a trainer or coach.
Longar gets a lot of his baskets by getting open near the hoop and finishing on uncontested jams, which he also has a pension for in transition. He doesnt show the same strong finishing ability when matched up with a defender, though, not possessing the strength to go through most defenders, even at the college level. Hes put on noticeable weight in his four years at college, but hes still not very thick, and since his shoulders are not that broad, its questionable how much more bulk he could add at his advanced age.
On the defensive end, Longar still looks very raw, not showing a great base of fundamentals, biting for fakes often, and looking uncomfortable when forced to move laterally on the perimeter. He also doesnt seem to have the greatest concept of leverage in the post, and gets pushed around by larger opposition fairly easily. He can block some shots with his length, but doesnt have the explosiveness to be a real force in that regard. On the boards, Longar gets his fair share by using his size, length, and decent athleticism, but hes inconsistent with boxing out, and can get pushed around by opponents bigger and stronger than he is. He only pulls down 6.5 rebounds per game, which is nothing exceptional for a 6-11 player coming off a fairly weak non-conference schedule.
Longars an interesting prospect, but its hard to project him in the draft due to his age and rawness. Some team could take a flyer on him in the second round and hope he still has a lot more learning curve in him, but many teams could be scared away by his age and his less-than-dominant performance in college against players 2-6 years his junior. In all likelihood, hell need to spend a year or two in Europe or the D-League continuing to develop his game to have a chance to make an impact in the NBA.