Depending on how Matt Neufeld’s career at SLU goes, he could land near the top of my “favorite things to come from Canada” list, right behind good ole Rick Moranis.
But seriously, does anyone disagree that this kid could be the real deal? It’s too early to apply any stats here that could support my argument, but if you’ve watched any of the Billiken games this year you hopefully understand why I’m jazzed about this kid.
As expected, Neufeld has had some growing pains getting acclimated to the college game. Like many freshman, he’s had some lousy turnovers and missed defensive assignments, but one thing is certain: this little Canadian has potential.
Neufeld is a 6’11, 220 lbs, and looks like he could shoot a free throw with Gillman (this is assuming Gillman’s actual weight is 80 lbs, not the bogus 220 lbs he’s listed at). Most players that SLU has been able to recruit at that height are scrawny, defensive liabilities (example A: John Manning) and have never developed into intimidating forces under the basket. But look at this one! His feet actually move, he seems athletic!
All I want is someone to play big, get physical, swat a ball into the stands, dunk it like you mean it. Matt Neufeld might be the one that fulfills my dreams.
Jim Crews has had a short leash with his big men so far, as he should. No one has proven they can protect the basket or be effective on the offensive glass. But the result of that has been more and more playing time for our Canadian pal. I’ll admit that it’s becoming bitter sweet watching Agbeko travel on his third consecutive possession. Sure, it sends me into a bout of rage that only Buffalo Wild Wings can cure, but at least I get to see a somewhat athletic Center post up.
We were exposed on Saturday down low in the second half. Louisville put up 43 points in the final 16 minutes of the game by continuously driving the hoop. For those of you not keeping track, that’s a shit ton of points in a short amount of time. They were able to do that because we never gave any indication we were going to protect our basket. This is a void we need filled. Neufeld seems to be getting more and more comfortable playing down low against bigger and better players, and his experience in the Louisville game will pay off when we get to conference play.
Here’s to hoping that “The Goose” continues to impress, and that he lives up to every unrealistic expectation I set for him.