June 17, 2014
|LavaBall never did catch on as a variant, did it?
, Weber State, Senior, 6'4 185lbs2013/14 stats:
33.2 mpg, 19.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.2 bpg, 2.3 fpg, 2.8 TOpg, 46.4% FG, 38.9% 3PT, 82.3% FT
Berry did it all for Weber State, and got them to last year's NCAA tournament. It certainly wasn't a single handed effort, and no self-respecting Kyle Tresnak
fan could ever let that be said, yet when it came to half-court offense and end-game situations, Berry was the Wildcats's primary if not only option.
One of the downsides to doing this much is a tendency to trying to do too much. Berry is guilty of this, getting out of control at times and taking some shots he shouldn't, specifically being prone to forcing jump shots, especially fallaways. Berry can of course hit these shots - indeed, he can hit pretty much any shot, and hits tough ones enough to bail the team out when they needed it. Not all of the poor attempts can be excused in this way, however.
Nonetheless, he is the main scorer for a reason. Berry's 19.2 points per game come remarkably efficiently on only 11.3 shots per game, with more than eight free throw attempts per contest mixed in alongside. He does this while being slightly undersized and not hugely explosive, thereby reaffirming the quality of his offensive game. Efficient from everywhere, Berry uses his decent but not great athleticism to run the court, and has decent strength to take contact and finish. He may be somewhat small and not hugely explosive, but he is always attacking, and can shoot well off the dribble. This is the positive part of his slightly dubious shot selection, and Berry routinely finds open lanes without needing too much of a herky-jerky gait to create them. Berry runs the pick-and-roll, albeit rarely hitting the role man and instead preferring to score, and is particularly effective in transition.
But the drawback in Berry's offensive game is the decision making, and not just in the shot selection. Berry jumps to pass far too often, and has a knack for finding trouble. Rather than the old adage 'taking what the defense gives him', Berry tries to finish what he was doing anyway, even if bumped off a drive, rather than reset or kick out. Berry is a decent passer off the dribble, especially to the bigs around the basket, but tends to premeditate the action rather than read and react, leading to high turnovers.
To his credit, Berry is a decent defensive player, albeit one between positions. Using timely hands and good effort level, Berry will chase around off the ball, and although he gets hung up on screens, he pursues the ball and continues to compete. In the right spot, he can be a Courtney Lee
type of player, a flexible and multi-skilled piece to plug in from the bench and contribute a bit of everything. But Courtney Lee defined his game by becoming a much better shooter, especially from mid-range. Not one thing Berry does could be considered NBA calibre at this stage.
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