June 16, 2014
|Jordan Heath is a jumpshooting big man.|Jordan Heath
, Canisius, Senior, 6'10 245lbs2013/14 stats:
27.6 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 0.9 apg, 1.0 spg, 3.1 fpg, 1.0 TOpg, 53.4% FG, 48.9% FT, 41.3% 3PT
Similar to the above Aaric Murray, Canisius's Jordan Heath is also a 6'10 shotblocker and shooter. Differing from the above Aaric Murray, Canisius's Jordan Heath is a very good shooter. With almost half of his field goal attempts coming from three point range, Heath hits over 40% of his attempts, a mighty reassuring sign for any potential stretch big. He shoots a high volume and hits a high volume - indeed, the three point jumpshot has been the main part of Heath's offensive game.
Coach Jim Baron wishes it hadn't been. Heath was asked to post up more, not to float about the mid range and perimeter, because that's what history dictates your biggest guy is just supposed to do. Heath occasionally would do so and demonstrate decent touch with his right hand, but with little post footwork, no strong left handed counter moves or the core strength to gain and keep position on the block, it is not something he will ever be a natural at. No, instead, Heath is a stretch big, and an effective one. He spots up, plays the pick and pop, runs the court, and can drive from the arc to the rim if presented with an open opportunity to do so. And he does it all efficiently, the bizarrely poor free throw stroke offset by very comfortably low turnover numbers.
Defensively, the stocks numbers are good, but don't tell the entire story. Heath, put succinctly, is a little soft. His height, length, reasonable athleticism and proclivity for help defense are the source of the numbers and of his effectiveness, but a lack of toughness hampers the rest of his game. Heath has been a deterrent in the paint at the level he has been playing at, a level where 6'10 shotblockers are in short supply and players often avoid going near him, yet he is also a noticeably poor rebounder who does not box out enough. Heath needs to play bigger, tougher and harder, cutting down on the foul rates caused by unhelpful grabs and bumps, knowing when to stay straight and toughening up so as to not be so easy to push off the block. He recovers well when beaten and contests most shots, but also overhelps (perhaps so as to avoid contact) and sometimes rotates completely the wrong way. Heath's length and effort make for an occasionally disruptive defensive presence, but go at him and he is less useful.
Heath, then, needs to play in a certain way to be successful, a certain way that may offend old schoolers and generally stubborn people alike. His efficiency and mismatch potential should overcome the significant flaws in his game, but coaches tend not to look at things like that. Here's hoping for a more progressive sort.
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