Yeah, the series name sucks, I know. I had to come up with it. If you’ve got something better, let me know. Anyways...
It’s the heart of the offseason and with the portal slowing down, it seems like a perfect time to look into some of the newcomers to this amazing conference. I’m a natural homer, so obviously I was going to start with Butler, and with a freshman whose game I absolutely love. I’m supposed to at least maintain a little bit of objectivity here, but I won’t lie, I’m all sorts of excited to see Bizjack take the floor this season. Here’s why:
Let’s start with the obvious, the name and the hair are awesome.
Nah, I’m playing, it’s his jumper. He’s got an incredible jumpshot and has “in the gym” range. Anytime Bizjack crosses halfcourt, you better check up. He’s going to come into the Big East and be one of the best shooters in this conference on day one. He’s got excellent form, a quick release and it's just pure. Anytime he sets up to shoot, I’m confident it’s going in.
Not only is he dynamite off the catch and coming off of screens, but he can hit shots off the dribble. His pull-up is incredibly smooth. His jumper very effectively sets up the rest of his game.
Bizjack isn’t just a shooter. He’s an effective slasher. He’s able to get to the rim and isn’t scared of anyone. He’s not an incredible finisher at this point, but he’s able to get to the basket and score. That first finish in particular is incredibly crafty, he does a great job of using his body and the rim to seal off the defenders behind him, and not give them an angle to block his shot, as he squeezes that reverse layup in. Beautiful.
And if you pressure him in the backcourt to keep him out of a rhythm, he’s able to blow by you, stay under control and score at the rim. He’s not the most athletic guy and doesn’t score every time he gets to the rim, but I absolutely love his aggression. It’s exactly what Butler was missing last year. I swear there were times when this team didn’t attack the rim for entire halves. That’s not going to be the case with Bizjack. Even if he isn’t finishing, he will keep going downhill and make sure you have to respect this part of his game.
He’s crafty around the rim and able to finish in multiple ways. But he’s not one-dimensional when he’s attacking, his head is always on a swivel.
Bizjack’s playmaking was something I didn’t expect to see digging through this tape. I was pleasantly surprised. When he gets into the paint, he does a great job of reading the defense and finding the open guy. His teammates will be able to cut off his drives, which could lead to easy layups, or force a rotation to leave a shooter wide open.
He loves that little hook/lob pass I showed in that clip, he used it a couple of times. It’s a crafty way for the smaller guards to get the ball over the double team and to an open defender. I like it, but at the same time, I can see a Big East defender seeing that pass coming and jumping into the passing lane, leading to a runout. It’s definitely a useful pass to have in the arsenal, but it’s not going to work every time.
Very similar takeaway to Bizjack’s defense. I liked his defense more than I expected to. He wasn't afraid to take on a very tough matchup and defended Pate pretty well. He’s going to be at a size and athleticism disadvantage early on in his career, but he’s going to hold his own on that end. I really liked what I saw here.
He’s not an incredible, Tony Allen-type defender, but he holds his own. He’s going to do everything he can to make the offense work for everything they get. He moves his feet pretty well and will challenge shots.
I’m all-in on Bizjack. All in. Absolutely love his game. It might take some time before we see Bizjack’s best version, which is normal for a freshman, but man I love his game. Absolutely love it. That jumpshot will cause serious problems on day one. He’s going to have a 25pt, 6/8 from 3 game that absolutely crushes some poor Big East team en route to a Butler upset, I can already see it. Down the line, he’s going to be an absolute monster.
I’ve hinted at it a couple of times, but one thing I absolutely love is his fearlessness. With freshmen, there are times when you can tell that they are outmatched or a little nervous out there, I don’t think that will be the case with Bizjack. He’s fearless out there. He will take on any challenge and absolutely go at you. Bizjack will not be afraid of Donovan Clingan or anyone else out there, and that’s something I absolutely love about his game. He plays with an edge that I just absolutely love.
He’s a more well-rounded player than he gets credit for, too. And he’s only getting better. It will take time for him to get used to the Big East and the college game, but man I can’t wait to see him take over Hinkle! Just can’t wait!
Oh, and this was absolutely a block. Worst case a no-call. This call was absolutely atrocious.
Also, here's an interview with Bizjack from the one and only Guru. Love it.
And, legend has it that we're going to get another interview with Bizjack coming out pretty soon. Can't wait to tune in!