|- Back to basket scoring|
|- Excellent hands|
|- Excellent Touch|
|- All-around defense|
|- Shot-blocking skills|
|- Basketball IQ|
|- Strong Intangibles|
|- Work ethic|
|- High-level productivity|
|- Young for class|
|- Passing skills|
|- Frail frame|
|- Size for position|
|- Mid-range Jumper|
|- Mismatch Potential|
|- Nimble footwork|
|- Lateral quickness|
|- Mechanical player|
|- College system makes him difficult to evaluate|
|- Not productive enough|
|- Incredibly quick|
|Top 25s - Full List|
|Team: Pacers College Team:
H: 7' 2"|
W: 272 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 129||Agent: David Falk |
High School: Georgetown
Hometown: Adelphi, MD
Pick 17 in 2008 by Raptors
Best Case: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Worst Case: Boniface NDong
Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
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|NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/13/08-- Part One|
February 13, 2008
After a very encouraging junior season at Georgetown, Roy Hibbert hasn’t performed as well as many expected he would as a senior, with his efficiency falling off considerably, though his 60% field-goal percentage is still hardly anything to sneer at. Also, despite improving on his repertoire of moves and know-how in the post over the past three years, Hibbert’s minutes, points, and rebounds per game have mostly remained stagnant during that time period, which can be seen as concerning.
Looking at his game this season, one thing Hibbert clearly consistently does well with is his scoring in the painted area, where he has a nice repertoire of moves at his disposal. His bread-and-butter would have to be his hook shot, as he’s nearly automatic with his right hand, and solid with his left as well. He can convert his hook shots in a variety of ways, either from a standstill, rolling across the lane, or coming off a spin move. With his height and length, these shots are virtually unblockable, and these are shots he likely won’t have trouble getting off even at the next level due to his size. Hibbert clearly favors using these hook shots, but he will show off nice dropstep or turnaround jumper moves on occasion, and generally shows good footwork and transitioning between fakes and moves in the post, though he can be prone to traveling when he tries to do too much. His quickness in getting off moves, while not a problem at this level, may become an issue at the next level, where he’ll face bigger, more athletic defenders and have peskier weakside help to deal with.
In terms of finishing at the rim, Hibbert has excellent touch around the basket for the most part, though he struggles to finish through contact, not possessing a great amount of fluidity or explosiveness. It’s also worth noting that he will rarely attempt to dunk the ball except when wide open, and when he does, he isn’t always able to finish over opponents while making contact. This may be due to confidence and aggressiveness more than ability, as he’s looked better in this regard in seasons past, looking for the dunk more often.
Without the ball, Hibbert is constantly working for position and calling for the ball in the post, and when he isn’t, he’s out on the perimeter setting screens for teammates. He shows a nice propensity for cutting and finishing off the ball as well, which is a large part of the Princeton offense Georgetown employs. Hibbert also shows nice ability as a passer, either kicking out of the post or hitting cutters through the lane. As for rebounding the ball, Hibbert’s 6.8 boards per game is slightly misleading due to his team’s slow pace and his only playing 26 minutes per game, but he still is not a dominant rebounder, especially for his size.
Hibbert has shown a developing jump shot over the past few seasons, and while he’s had some success with it this year (he’s 2-for-2 on three-pointers, including one game-winning shot over UConn), he hasn’t been consistently effective with it, even from 12-15 feet. Also concerning, while his mechanics have improved over the past three seasons, his free-throw shooting has dropped from 72% to 69% to 63%.
On the defensive end, Hibbert uses his length and size very well, especially in defending the post in man-to-man situations. Here he shows outstanding patience and isn’t often beat, as very few players at this level can go over or through him, and he moves well enough laterally on the block to handle players at this level when they try to go around him, and if they do get around him, he has the length and timing on his shot-blocking to recover. Hibbert is suspect on the perimeter, though, as his lateral quickness is lacking there, and at times, he chooses to stay home in the paint rather than drifting out to contest jumpers against more perimeter-oriented opponents he’s matched up with.
Hibbert is a senior, so he’ll automatically be eligible for the draft this season, where he should be firmly in lottery discussions. While he’s been a very productive college player, there are many question marks surrounding his game and how it will translate to the next level. For one, while his conditioning on the court doesn’t appear to be an issue from watching him, he’s never averaged more than 26 minutes per game in his four years at Georgetown. Also, his below-average athleticism leaves doubts about how some of his offense will translate, while he already has issues defending perimeter players. While these are noteworthy concerns, his high work ethic, intelligence as a basketball player, improvement in his four years at college, and his lack of basketball experience prior to college are things in his favor, which GM’s will have to strongly consider in evaluating his game in June. It should also be mentioned that he is extremely young for his class, having only turned 21 two months ago.
[Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part One: #1-#5)
October 20, 2007
Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert is not only one of the most fundamentally sound centers in the NCAA, but he is also one of the most improved. If he is able to progress upon last season’s effort, Hibbert could start hearing comparisons to Georgetown’s legendary big man alums, as well as hearing his name announced in the upper tiers of next year’s draft lottery.
Hibbert has a diverse offensive skill-set that reflects his maturity and intelligence. Around the basket, he has advanced post moves and rarely looks lost with the ball in his hands. He has a combination of spin moves; drop steps, and fakes that he uses extremely efficiently to score. He also moves well without the ball, playing the pick and roll well as both a screen setter and a scorer. Hibbert has a nice looking hook shot that he can hit off the dribble or stationary. It is incredibly difficult to contest, as well, because of Hibbert’s enormous wingspan and the simple fact that he can utilize either hand. Hibbert also uses the backboard very well, showing a soft touch that allows him to score off soft bank shots and short jumpers. He also is extremely aggressive around the basket and can dunk emphatically both on put backs and even coming off a post move. Sometimes, however, this energy and aggression causes him to commit charges and get stripped. More often, though, he is able to draw fouls. During his time at Georgetown, Hibbert has shot about 30 more foul shots every year. Last season at the line he shot a respectable 68.6% on 153 attempts, but getting back around the 72.3% he shot as a sophomore would be ideal.
His combination of soft hands, size, and length really make him a force in the paint and on the offensive boards, and he’s improving all the time on his once-seemingly limited quickness and coordination. However, when he steps away from basket, Hibbert has begun to emerge as a legitimate scoring threat as well. His jump-shot shot recalls Zydrunas Illgauskas, as he shoots with his feet set and displays nice form. Hibbert’s range extends to just inside the college three-point line and his ability to get his shot off from the baseline just as easily as he does from the top of the key shows how much he has improved his offensive game. Becoming a better and more consistent shooter is the first thing that Hibbert should look to further improve in the off-season. However, his 67% shooting percentage, easily ranking first amongst players on our 2008 mock draft, reflects that he is already an incredibly efficient scorer. He also ranked first amongst all draft prospects in points per possession, with 1.21.
Hibbert is an incredibly smart basketball player and it is visible in the way that he plays. That being said, an area of his game that is underrated is his passing and decision-making ability. He passes well out of double teams and does not make pointless turnovers because of stubbornness. Per 40 minutes, he ranks third amongst players on our mock draft in terms of least amount of turnovers committed.
On defense, Hibbert utilizes his length extremely well in challenging shots. He is a good shot blocker and as the season went on, became a formidable defensive presence. In a string of games in which he played against Aaron Gray, Tyler Hansbrough, and Greg Oden, Hibbert was able to assert himself on the defensive end and prevent these elite college post players from getting easy baskets. He averaged a career high of 2.4 blocks/game last season and without Jeff Green occupying the paint with him, these numbers look like they’ll increase. He is a smart shot blocker, not biting for shot fakes as much as you’d think and still being able to contest most shots in the paint. He moves well too and shows a clear understanding of Georgetown’s defensive rotations. Hibbert does, however, get frustrated and sometimes commit reach-in fouls or if he is beaten, he’ll hack his man. Foul trouble is Hibbert’s biggest enemy at this point and for him to be the force that Georgetown needs him to be this year, he’ll have to stay away from the unnecessary fouls.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Final Four)--Stock Up
April 1, 2007
It was a breakout season and breakout tournament for Georgetown center Roy Hibbert, and even though the Hoyas would fall to Greg Oden and Ohio State this evening, Hibbert put in yet another performance that is sure to keep his stock on the rise. While he was clearly the most dominant player of the East region, Hibbert had yet to face a test from somebody his own size. Before tonight, it was still possible for a skeptic to bring up the fact that he was doing most of his work against 6'8 defenders. But tonight's 19 point performance against Greg Oden should put those doubts to rest once and for all. Hibbert more than held his own, perhaps even outplaying the more hyped freshman by a small margin.
Hibbert was a game-changing force once again, providing not only the shot blocking presence you would expect from a player of his size, but also doing an excellent job of manning up on Oden. Hibbert didn't overextend himself in attempting to block his shots, but rather played solid positional defense and limited the easy looks of his formidable opponent. He did do a good job as a weak-side shot-blocker, swatting one Oden dunk attempt and altering numerous other Buckeye attempts in the lane.
On the offensive end, we got to see just how dramatic the improvement has been over the past year. Hibbert displayed a bit of everything, whether it was the sweeping traditional hook early on, an emphatic spin move conversion on Oden midway through the second half, the 20 foot jumper, or the jump hook that kept Georgetown within striking distance as Ohio State was starting to pull away in the closing minutes. Hibbert did a great job of cutting to the basket early in the game and his teammates did a phenomenal job of finding him as he flashed to holes in the defense. This added several emphatic dunks to Hibbert's point total. It must be said once again that as slow and lumbering as he looks running up and down the court, Hibbert is surprisingly agile on the low block.
Once again, the only people that contained Hibbert didn't suit up for the opponent. For as well as he contested Ohio State at the rim, he still was whistled for ticky-tack fouls early and often. He ended up spending a large chunk of the game on the bench, and this allowed Ohio State to largely dictate tempo. Georgetown's saving grace was that Oden picked up a pair of early fouls as well, but Hibbert's fourth really put the Hoyas in a bind. Foul trouble isn't something that is going to keep Hibbert's draft stock in check, but it is partially responsible for Hibbert's less than attention-grabbing numbers in a tournament where his play was absolutely attention worthy.
All in all, nobody has improved their draft stock more than Roy Hibbert in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Not only does the 7-footer impress with his improved skill level and feel for the game on an individual basis, but Georgetown is essentially a different team when he is on the court. There probably wasn't an individual more important to his team in March than Hibbert was to Georgetown, and that includes Oden. There is no doubting that Hibbert still has significant work to do on his game, whether it is polishing up the mechanics on his back to the basket game or continuing to improve his open court mobility, but Hibbert's performance is now impossible to ignore. He is a legit NBA center prospect, even before taking into account that he'll be one of the biggest 5-men in the league the moment he steps on the court.
Will Roy Hibbert be selected in the Top 5 of the upcoming draft? First off, he'll have to declare - and this isn't necessarily a given. Secondly, he will have to find the right team, one that emphasizes more of a half-court oriented style of play. The cards will have to fall right in terms of who gets what pick, but it now appears that Hibbert will have to get consideration from just about any slower-paced team drafting outside the Top 2.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Sunday games)
March 27, 2007
Although the stats might not indicate it, Roy Hibbert played arguably his most impressive game in a Georgetown uniform, on the most important stage he’s been on in his young career so far.
Considering how he dominated the game for nearly every minute he was on the floor, it’s almost shocking to see him end up with only 13 points. He did everything Georgetown could have asked from him, and did so while being matched up against two very highly regarded NBA prospects in Brandan Wright and Tyler Hansbrough.
At times, it looked like Hibbert was just toying with those who were on the floor with him. He started off the game on a complete blitz, coming up with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in the first 10 minutes, but having to go to the bench at that point with his second foul. He started to game off with a gorgeous pass over the top of his head to a slashing teammate, and then absolutely wowed by creating his own shot off the dribble from the perimeter and spinning gracefully into the paint for a layup, an incredible move for a 7-2 player. He grabbed offensive rebounds right underneath the rim, sometimes flat-footed, and showed deceptive quickness going out of his area as well.
Hibbert was about as aggressive calling for the ball as we’ve seen him, moving from side to side constantly, setting picks, and establishing deadly position around the basket to finish automatically with his jump-hook or drop-step. When double teams came, he reacted instantaneously, for example by dropping off a perfectly timed back-door bounce pass right into the hands of a cutting teammate for a simple lay-up.
If this game showed us anything, it’s how far along Hibbert’s coordination and instincts have come since we first started seriously evaluating him as an NBA draft prospect. His reaction time has become superb these days—for a 7-2 player at least—and that came out first and foremost in the defense he played against North Carolina. On numerous occasions he had less than a split-second to react to a surprising offensive rebound that took a strange bounce off the rim or a drop-off from Ty Lawson right into the hands of one of his post players. Hibbert didn’t hesitate for a second, showing terrific hands snatching up loose balls and sticking his hands in all the right places to come up with a career high 6 blocks. When he grabbed an offensive rebound, he didn’t need any time to gather himself, going straight back to finish strong the way you’d expect a big man his size to.
Much to the dismay of the Georgetown bench, Hibbert was called for his third foul about a minute into the 2nd half. This kept him off the floor for long stretches, and he only ended up scoring his first basket of the half with 4:15 left to go in the 2nd half. 30 seconds later, he already had his fourth foul, although he would continue to play and play well for big chunks of the rest of the game, including overtime.
In the end, it didn’t really matter, as Hibbert showed the NBA executives in attendance all they needed to see. NBA referees don’t call the kind of ticky-tack fouls that college refs seem to be infatuated with, so one day we might look forward to seeing a player like Hibbert being rewarded for his aggressiveness rather than sent to the bench. This is really the only thing that can ruin this upcoming week’s matchup between Hibbert and Oden…the over-exuberance of the stripes.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (Sweet 16, Friday )--Stock Down/Neutral
March 24, 2007
It was a tale of two halves for Georgetown’s gentle giant, having a forgettable performance in the first half while absolutely dominating the game in the second. After looking like quite the project in half one, he came out with a fire after intermission and played the game of a surefire lottery pick. This showed scouts both the ups and downs that Hibbert can give you, as well as the huge impact that he can have on a game when he’s “on”.
From the tip, the Commodores stressed that they would double team Hibbert each and every time he touched the ball within 10 feet of the hoop. They constantly threw a second defender the way of the seven footer whenever he was on the low blocks, forcing him to kick the ball out to open teammates for jump shots. Hibbert was not even able to get his first shot up until the 7 minute mark of the first half, and that was his lone attempt of the opening stanza, along with two free throws that he converted. Defensively, he was burned constantly throughout the first half by perimeter oriented Vanderbilt big men who took him outside and routinely knocked down open jump shots or beat him to the basket. Simply put, it was a performance that he would probably choose to forget, if possible.
Different half, different story. From the opening possession of the second half, it was clear that we were looking at a completely different player then we had seen before the intermission. The Hoyas immediately looked to get Hibbert touches inside, which he successfully converted to the tune of 8 quick points. He was incredibly active on the offensive glass, scoring on two tip dunks that changed the total psyche of his Hoya team. He played inspired on both ends of the floor, utilizing his size on the defensive end while anchoring the zone defense that Georgetown ran. Although he was not credited with any blocks, he altered countless shots and took up the large majority of the paint when he was planted in the middle of their zone scheme. When Vanderbilt decided to pull Hibbert away from the basket late in the game is when he got in foul trouble, eventually fouling out on a Derrick Byars three point attempt with around four minutes to go. Even with the foul trouble, he still had a superb half to end the game.
Hibbert has done just a good a job as anyone in the country this past season in terms of improving his draft stock. He has firmly cemented himself as the third best center prospect in this year’s draft behind Greg Oden and Spencer Hawes, and could very well be a lottery pick when it’s all said and done. Georgetown’s NCAA tournament run has done nothing but allow the emerging big man to put his skills on display for NBA scouts for yet another day, giving him the opportunity to bolster his draft stock even more while other center prospects are forced to sit back and watch on television.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, Saturday games)--Stock Up
March 17, 2007
Georgetown got a bit of a scare from Boston College this afternoon, but today was yet another example of why Roy Hibbert is John Thompson III’s most important player. With Hibbert passive and in foul trouble for most of the first half, Al Skinner was able to go small. The Eagles frustrated Georgetown with a zone defense and led 30-26 at the break. The second half was a completely different story, however.
Hibbert made his presence felt almost immediately at the start of the second half, collecting several offensive rebounds and forcing Skinner to scrap the small lineup. But reserve shot blocking specialist Tyrelle Blair was no match for Hibbert’s newfound activity level and awareness. Georgetown’s guards got him the ball regularly, and it was pretty much over for BC as soon as he touched it in good position. Even when he missed a handful of relatively easy looks near the basket, he was able to react quickly enough and use his immense length to get his own rebound. He displayed dazzling footwork on several post moves, with a drop step on the left block and quick reaction (for a 7-3 behemoth) step through into the lane really standing out.
Hibbert also did a nice job facilitating ball movement when the Hoya offense bogged down, making several nice passes. His feed to a cutting Patrick Ewing Jr for a contested reverse dunk should go down as one of the plays of the Tournament so far. Boston College was able to draw Hibbert away from the basket at times when their small lineup was on the court, but this is to be expected with a 7’3 big man. With Blair in the game, Hibbert was able to stay home and denied drives to the basket very effectively.
This was another game where Hibbert’s already impressive 17 point, 12 rebound, 2 block stat line just doesn’t tell the whole story. He grabbed 7 offensive rebounds in the game, and was practically playing volleyball with himself at times in the second half. Roy Hibbert’s presence almost single-handedly turned this game around for the Hoyas, and Hibbert looks more and more like a legit NBA center every time he takes the floor.
[Read Full Article]
NBA Draft Stock Watch: Conference Tournament Week (Part One)
March 12, 2007
In what was supposed to be one of the better individual matchups of the conference tournament week—pitting the two best upperclassmen centers in the country in Aaron Gray and Roy Hibbert against one another—Hibbert wasted little time in showing that there is absolutely no question as to whom the better NBA draft prospect is.
Hibbert struck early and often, scoring on Gray in almost every way possible and utilizing every tool he has in his arsenal to put Georgetown in a dominating position to win the Big East championship convincingly. Whether it was with a powerful drop-step, a pretty jump-hook, outquicking for offensive rebounds or otherwise, Hibbert clearly looked like the more skilled, intelligent, athletic and determined big man of the two. He made a couple of nice passes, blocked or altered Gray’s shot repeatedly, moved off the ball with great purpose, and finished efficiently on nearly every opportunity he had. He attacked the glass relentlessly, beating Gray on multiple occasions for position with superior quickness and hustle and boxing out fundamentally to corral 11 rebounds. And all the while, Gray looked on helplessly, to his teammates, the refs, the bench…anywhere, but to no avail.
He finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds on 7-9 shooting from the field in the decisive first half that saw Georgetown establish a lead that Pitt was never going to come back from considering the tempo of the game. Defensively, Hibbert bothered Gray into a 0-9 shooting performance in that half and only 1 total point, using his length and bulk on defense to challenge shots with a business-like attitude. Even though he wasn’t pounding his chest or talking trash at his opponent, it wasn’t hard to get the sense that he had Gray completely dominated in a matchup that NBA scouts will remember for a while.
Although this entire season has shown outstanding improvement from Hibbert in nearly every facet of the game, it was one particular play he made that really stood out more than anything. Receiving the ball in the high post, Hibbert created his own shot putting the ball on the floor with a crafty dribble before spinning into the lane to draw contact for a foul and nearly finish an off balance hook shot. If it were a 6-2 guard executing such a move, we wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but considering that this is a 7-2 center who was always considered an extremely raw player, it was hard not to be incredibly impressed. We don’t know at this point if Hibbert will be in the draft or not—it’s reportedly still 50-50—but what we do know is that he’s sold us on the fact that he’s a lottery pick whenever he decides to come out.
[Read Full Article]
DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big East Postseason Awards
February 27, 2007
Defensive Player of the Year: Roy Hibbert, 7-2, Junior, Center, Georgetown
Hibbert’s steadying, fundamental presence as the anchor of Georgetown’s defense is an essential part of John Thompson III’s game plan, and is one of the main reasons the Hoyas are the best team in the conference. Ken Pomeroy did a convincing job on ESPN Insider explaining why Hibbert deserves special consideration in determining who the best defensive big man in the country is.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/16/07-- Part Two
February 16, 2007
While 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game might seem like fairly mundane for any 7'2 player with a pulse, Georgetown behemoth Roy Hibbert's line looks much more impressive once put in proper context. Coach John Thompson III's Princeton-based system results in Hoya games being played at the 7th slowest pace in the country, according to KenPom.com. Taking the tempo-adjusted angle, Hibbert's production goes from steady but not spectacular to exactly the latter. The junior ranks 8th in the country in Pomeroy's offensive rating, and is 1st amongst players that are used on 20% of their teams' possessions. Hibbert also ranks first in the NCAA amongst 2007 draft prospects in Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) at 71%, and 2nd in True Shooting Percentage (TS%) at 72%, behind Air Force's Dan Nwaelele.
These types of numbers would be attention worthy from any player, let alone a 7'2 space eater with the rare skill of Hibbert, let alone an skilled 7'2 space eater improving at the rate that this one is. He has put up 20 or more in four out of his last five games, including averages of 21.5 points and 11 rebounds in last week's key wins over Louisville and Marquette.
Of course, the improvement in Hibbert's game is just as noticeable from watching him play. As a freshman, Hibbert's main on-court value was his sheer size. He was awkward, slow, and largely unskilled, capable of overpowering certain opponents but not producing consistently. Contrast the freshman version of Hibbert with the junior one, appearing quite at ease within the Princeton system and the perfect finisher for all of that near the basket offense it creates.
Hibbert now displays phenomenal footwork in the paint and is doing a much better job of using his size to gain position. He gets the ball in the air very quickly upon receiving a lob or draw and kick, even if he still needs a bit of refinement when it comes to the touch on his traditional back the basket post moves. Hibbert will never be an ideal fit in a fast-paced offense, but has improved significantly as an athlete. His overall activity level has improved by leaps and bounds, and he is now much more of a factor on the offensive glass and as an intimidator on the defensive end. Hibbert now has his way with nearly every Big East-level post defender, and his frame should allow him to add even more bulk.
This isn't to say that Hibbert is a can't miss center prospect just yet. He still plays the game in somewhat of a mechanical manner, and will probably never be mistaken for Hakeem Olajuwon with his back to the basket or running the floor. Nonetheless, it is hard not to be impressed by the steady improvement of a prospect this big. Hibbert may still be getting by some of the time on size alone, but he is big enough to do the same thing in the NBA eventually.
Furthermore, Hibbert's dramatic rise in production has taken place right along with Georgetown's ascension up the Big East standings. Most of the NBA attention has been focused on Pittsburgh's Aaron Gray, but it is becoming obvious that Hibbert is at least Gray's equal as a pro prospect, and is perhaps now leaving the pre-season conference player of the year in the dust in that regard. Roy Hibbert is producing like a lottery pick and his Hoyas suddenly look like a legit Final Four contender. Of course, Hibbert and his team will get to prove both claims next Saturday, when Pitt and Gray are in town for a game that could very well decide both the Big East title and Big East player of the year. Don't miss this one, folks.
[Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part One: #1-#5)
November 6, 2006
One of the more intriguing storylines to follow last year in the NCAA was the reemergence of the college big man, many of whom decided to stay in school for another season. Thanks to the hard work he’s put in and plenty of good coaching from John Thompson III, Roy Hibbert will join a long line of Georgetown centers to play in the NBA. That’s really not a question at this point. What is, though, is the type of role he’ll be able to have there; whether he’ll be just poster-fodder and 6 fouls off the bench or a potential starter and game-changing presence in the post on both ends of the floor. Due to the fact that he’s a late bloomer who made some huge strides in his game--but still has plenty more work ahead of him--we have more questions than answers at this point unfortunately.
What we do know is that Hibbert is big. Huge in fact. A legit 7-2 if not more, he has a great frame that is filling out by the day and will surely be able to carry all the weight he’ll need to handle the rigors of the NBA down the road, even if he’s not quite there yet. He is also well proportioned for his size with long arms and a strong lower body, not looking gangly or awkward the way most 7-foot plus NBA prospects do.
Another thing that is immediately evident from watching him play is that Hibbert is both extremely smart and a hard worker, two things that are again not all that common amongst prospects his size. He plays very hard and really tries to maximize himself on both ends of the floor, although the results don’t always show that due to where he’s at in his learning curve.
When he decides to go inside and make his presence felt around the rim—particularly on the offensive end—there isn’t much opposing players can do to stop him. His big body means that he can’t just be pushed out the paint, and he uses this size to grab plenty of offensive rebounds over the top of his usually puny (compared to him) opponents and score from point-blank range. His work ethic can be distinguished not just from the excellent demeanor he shows on the floor or the numerous articles that have been written about his fantastic attitude in the local DC media, but especially from the huge strides he made in his game from his freshman to sophomore season.
Hibbert is also an intelligent player, which has helped him carve out an invaluable niche in Georgetown’s intricate Princeton-type offense. He doesn’t have a problem stepping out behind the 3-point line as part of his team’s set plays; although it’s never going to be for anything fancier than to make a pass or dribble the ball once or twice at most. When he gets the ball in the post and is inevitably double-teamed, Hibbert shows plenty of promise in the way he’s able to find slashing teammates making their way to the rim. He uses his size here to its fullest and will collect a couple of assists each game by just seeing over the top of defenses and reacting accordingly, but again, all relative to what you’d expect from a player at his height and position.
Two more very encouraging things that Hibbert shows is the ability to catch tough passes as well as a soft touch from the free throw line. His hands are very good which allows him to be a fantastic target in the post to just lob entry passes towards his general direction and let his size do the rest. This makes him a prime target to draw plenty of fouls (just under four in 24 minutes per game), and unlike most big men, Hibbert converts at an excellent rate—72%.
Despite all the positives, there are also plenty of weaknesses that present themselves in nearly every minute Hibbert is on the floor. We’re not talking about a freakish athlete, although he most certainly isn’t a stiff either. The biggest problem has to do with his reflexes and coordination, which have made serious strides but are still just not up to par. Like many big men, the game seems to be moving a little too quickly for him at times. He lacks serious polish in nearly everything he does, whether it’s posting up on the block, using advanced post moves to make his way to the hoop, finishing gimmees around the basket, or doing much of anything offensively outside of 3-4 feet. He doesn’t have the athleticism to explode in the post to make a strong finish once he catches the ball, which means that he’s not always a sure bet to convert in spots you’d expect him to with ease. He also has a tendency to bring the ball down after catching a pass or offensive rebound, and needs a second or two to gather himself before he goes up again. For this reason you’ll see him get his shot blocked more often than you’d typically expect from someone his size.
Hibbert has work to do on his conditioning, as he begins to lumber up and down the court if he’s asked to play more than 25 minutes or so. Defensively he has huge potential for obvious reasons, but is not quite the intimidating threat you’d hope for at this point. He gives up space in the post a little too easy and isn’t quick enough to react to things that are going on around him; which limits him in terms of rotations as the anchor of his defense. If his team is playing man to man defense he’ll struggle immensely if the opposition is smart enough to pull him outside for pick and rolls and such, as his lateral quickness is obviously poor and he’s just too big to be able to hedge on screens. When facing up-tempo teams, Hibbert is usually the last one down on the court on a fast-break.
The direction that modern basketball seems to be heading in is not really in his favor, as many NBA teams are starting to prefer a freakish 6-9 or 6-10 athlete at the center position who can face the basket rather than an old-school back to the basket type. He’ll have trouble with plenty of matchups in the NCAA and especially the NBA due to his physical stature, so it will be on him to improve his offensive game to the point that he hurts other teams more than they hurt him. Converting his terrific touch from the free throw line into a reliable mid-range jump-shot could be a nice start. Developing a consistent go-to move in the post, for example the always deadly jump-hook, would also go a long ways. Hibbert will surely play in the league and could even develop into a lottery pick this year or next, but he still has plenty of work ahead of him and will need to land in the right situation.
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NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Sweet Sixteen, Friday games)
March 25, 2006
A bit of a quiet night for Georgetown’s 7-2 monster center Roy Hibbert. He clearly struggled with the athleticism of Florida’s frontcourt, and looked physically drained down the stretch having to chase them up and down the floor.
Hibbert did show off sparks of why many consider him to be a potential future starter for an NBA franchise, using his size and strength to establish position deep in Florida’s paint on occasion and showing nice touch finishing off the glass with his jump-hook, and even putting the ball on the floor once from the free throw line before spinning beautifully into a soft layup. Defensively he struggled to get out and establish his presence when his man would stray more than a few feet away from the basket, and clearly faded a bit down the stretch when his team needed him the most.
If anyone would have told Coach John Thompson III two years ago that he would have gotten 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks out of his goofy looking high school senior when he committed to the Hoyas he likely would have been ecstatic, though, as no one can take anything away from the massive improvement Hibbert has shown since the second he stepped on Georgetown’s campus. Hibbert has his work cut out for him this summer to continue to add polish to his all-around game and improve his conditioning, athleticism and coordination before being able to think about making the jump to the NBA, but from everything we’ve seen he has the work ethic, intelligence and physical characteristics to eventually make it there, potentially as early as next summer.
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NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (round of 32, Sunday games)
March 20, 2006
No discussion of players who have helped their stock in the past four days would be complete without a long mention of Georgetown's Roy Hibbert. Hibbert has taken advantage of favorable matchups to post two consecutive impressive performances, and appears to be improving by the game.
Ohio State is a perimeter-oriented team, and Thad Matta is really only comfortable playing one big man in his rotation. Terence Dials is a crafty veteran that makes the most out of his physical gifts, but he was no match for the massive Hibbert. The Hoyas looked for Hibbert in the paint consistently throughout the game, and in most cases he simply overpowered his man for easy looks around the basket. However, there were flashes of brilliance. A spin move past Dials down the middle of the lane would normally be foolish for a player the size of Hibbert, but he had the awareness to recognize that no help defense was coming. His footwork has steadily improved throughout the season, and for a player of Hibbert's size, a strong drop step is all one needs sometimes.
There is a lot to like about Roy Hibbert right now. He's got the size that will make any scout drool, and is improving at a rapid rate. He still has a long ways to go in terms of athleticism and getting used to the speed of the game, but one gets the feeling that this will come with time considering his intelligence, intangibles and the feel for the game he has shown throughout the year. Keep in mind that Hibbert has faced ideal matchups in his past two games, and that this is about to change against Florida. The Gators have the horses to contain the latest Hoya behemoth, and it will be interesting to how Roy Hibbert responds.
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NCAA Tournament: Minneapolis Bracket NBA Draft Prospects
March 14, 2006
The goliath sophomore has been one of the most improved players in the country from last season, as he doubled both his scoring and rebounding numbers from his freshman campaign. Hibbert still has fatigue problems, which limit him to around 23 or 24 minutes in most games. The Hoyas will look for Hibbert to provide a defensive presence near the hoop when their guards gamble for steals throughout the game. He will also be counted on to give some scoring contribution on the team, as he has an impressive variety of post moves for a player of his size and age (only 19 years old). His hands are excellent, as is his feel for the game and awareness of where he is on the floor.
Hibbert would best be suited by returning to Georgetown for at least another year before considering entering the draft. Although many will surely attempt pressuring him to enter this year because of his size, Roy seems to be a very grounded and humble individual and will most likely realize that he still has a ways to go before he can contribute in the NBA. 10 years ago Hibbert would have likely been a lock for the lottery whenever he decided to come out based on what he’s shown so far, but the NBA has moved more towards agile big men who rely more on quickness than pure height and back to the basket skills. Continuing to improve his coordination and all-around skills around the basket will make Hibbert a much better player down the road, one that is capable of changing the game on both ends of the floor.
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