June 22, 2011
A tale of two hairlines.Talor Battle
- Battle has the aptest surname for a basketball player since Rolando Blackman. Battle is little, very little, listed at 5'11 and possibly smaller than that. But he battles, and has been something of a one man show for an improved Penn State. As a junior, Battle led the team in points (18.5ppg), assists (4.3apg), steals (1.1spg) and even rebounds (5.3rpg), and while getting a little help in his senior season brought down the rebounds and assists numbers, Battle's scoring went up to 20.2ppg.
He did this via his jumpshot, and he is a much better three point shooter than his 36% shooting from there suggests. Battle regularly shot from 30 feet, not because he was Jimmer Fridette, but because Penn State had no other offensive options, and Battle had to force something up. And given that being so small meant he was easy to smother on the perimeter, he had to drop back farther to shoot. Due to his size, Battle can't do much around the basket and is no defensive threat - he doesn't seem to have good hands, and isn't even especially fast. It's not likely that he makes the NBA as a shooting specialist. But if there was a summer league, he'd be in it, from whence anything can happen.
[Sadly, there is to be no 2011 summer league.]