June 16, 2014
, Washington, Senior, 6'9 275lbs2013/14 stats:
27.5 mpg, 10.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 0.9 apg, 0.5 spg, 2.8 fpg, 1.3 TOpg, 53.9% FG, 62.6% FT
Blackwell is a big strong guy, a wide body with plenty of muscle and a little fat that makes for a strong if not overly long post player. The post is inevitably where he lives on both the offensive and defensive ends.
A side effect of the strength is that Blackwell is slow, grounded and unathletic, which makes for a foul and turnover prone player who struggles with certain matchups against quicker bigs. He also struggles when asked to provide any perimeter defense, something which he is keen to avoid having to attempt, and he can be slow to rotate. Indeed, he's slow to do everything. That said, Blackwell has improved that at which his lack of speed makes difficult. He runs the floor fairly well for someone his size, and certainly better than he used to, a story that also translates over to his rebounding. Not replete with the speed to chase down loose balls well, Blackwell nevertheless camps in the paint, uses his strength to gain and maintain position, boxes out and competes.
The same story is true of the offensive end, where Blackwell is a fairly consistent halfcourt option. Lacking the explosiveness and playing below the rim, Blackwell uses good smart footwork to set up right handed hook shots, fighting for position with gusto and being unafraid of taking contact. Slow that he is, Blackwell nevertheless uses his good feet to step through, use the rim as a barrier and the like, with good defensive awareness and knowing how to get separation by using his body and finding angles, in lieu of being able to just raise up and power through. When without the ball, Blackwell dives to the open spots and has good touch from inside the foul line, predominantly with a righty hook shot he will always favour if possible, but also capable of going back to his left. He demonstrates great poise in the paint, not getting flustered, and using spin moves and reverses to good effect. Blackwell hardly handles the ball outside of the paint, and has shown little by way of a jumpshot from there when he has, but when he does, he sets a mean screen and is an option in dribble hand-off situations.
Blackwell is mostly an offensive player, but it is not through a lack of trying. Improvements in his turnovers and free throw shooting saw him become a primary offensive option, and while he will always lack the explosion to just power through like others can, he knows how to get his. Defensive concerns are legitimate - Blackwell can be caught looking, does not rotate well, is not a rim protector as he just cannot get there fast enough, and does not make much attempt to defend the perimeter. He is limited to some positionally fortuitous blocks, the hard foul around the rim, and the occasional taken charge. Nevertheless, go to him on most trips down, and his uses become apparent.