Laval Lucas-Perry Impact

Submitted by BleedingBlue on December 10th, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Seems to be a lot of questions about LLP, so I thought I would throw this out there.

First Game: December 20th versus Oakland at the Palace.

I attended the open practice/scrimmage after the northwestern game this fall (I think I get a double black belt or something...anywho) and this kid is legit. The practice and scrimmage were intense. Obviously, things can change 'when the lights come on' but nothing suggests he won't be able to perform at the same level or better in games.

Notes on the scrimmage - He absolutely drained a three from the top of the key. nice stroke and very confident. He also jumped into a passing lane, stealing the ball, taking about three dribbles and jamming it home on the other end before anyone really had time to react. My friend turned to me eyebrows raised and said 'shot out of a cannon'. Notably - he 'ran with the ones' as they say the whole time as well, which was a little surprising to me, but obviously speaks to what Beilein thinks he will contribute.

On to the impact for the team:
To address some points from previous threads, first is chemistry. He has been with the team for about a year. He gets along with everyone and has been practicing and lifting and working with them that whole time. If anything, I think the team will be really happy that he finally gets to play because they all realize he is going to make them a better team.

Second - Offensive Impact - he is a 'combo guard' meaning he will play both the 1 and 2. He is a very good shooter and a scorer. He can drive and is a good passer. He will be the best guard on the team. (this excludes Manny as he is playing wing this year). Will he score 20 a game? no. Can he in a single game? yes. He will take a significant amount of pressure off Manny and Sims and will be that third consistent scorer contributing probably 8 to 12 points a night.

Third - Defensive Impact - this has been the most talked about aspect of his game is his voracity on the defensive side of the ball. He will immediately give the team the ability to play significantly more effective man-to-man defense if he is in at the two guard and Grady is at the one. If he is at the point, he also gives the baseline man in the 1-3-1 significantly better height/more of a presence running out to challenge the corner three pointer.

Fourth - Minutes - He will take minutes from Merrit, Lee, Novak and probably a lot of Douglass' minutes. I don't think any one person will be affected to the point where they become disgruntled, except for maybe Douglas if he takes that starting spot.

To sum up - LLP will have a tremendous impact in upgrading the team's performance in games and being able to consistently score within games and also on a game to game basis. He has ALREADY had an impact by making practices more challenging and has positively affected the other guards games' by pressuring them in practice and providing competition for their minutes.

Update: Link to highlights from open gym while LLP was at AZ below. This is roughly 1.5 years old and he is presumably improved from that time, especially under Beilein's tutelage.
(link ganked from comments on another thread. Thanks to baorao for finding it. as he noted, music on the highlihgt movie might not be safe for work.)



December 10th, 2008 at 10:55 AM ^

Thanks, good analysis. You say he's a good scorer...I hope there are enough shots to go around. Manny can play unselfish at times, but DeShawn seems to get better the more involved he is in the offense, and then you have the white guy gunners (Novak, Douglas). I hope the transition is smooth (and we're playing crappy teams until Wisconsin, so it shouldn't be a major issue.)


December 10th, 2008 at 11:58 AM ^

when I say scorer as opposed to Ant-Wright-like jacking of three pointers early in the shot clock.

He will score in a variety of ways - kind of like grady when he has his best games - driving lay ups, steals converted to fast breaks, open 3's within the framework of the offense (the same looks that Novak/ Grady/ Douglass/ Merrit/Lee are getting now). There are still periods within games where Manny is tired or Sims isn't feeling it that the team seems to be searching for someone to step up and will go scoreless for a few possessions. Novak has helped with this, and ideally he and LLP will totally fill those gaps.


December 10th, 2008 at 11:21 AM ^

Thanks for providing the summary. I agree with most of your points:

- I also don't think chemistry will be an issue for the reasons you stated,
- 8-12 pts sounds about right (although probably not right away),
- I've also heard good things defensively,

What I still want to see from him:

- Can he limit his turnovers?
- Can he finish his layups ;) (Grady, nooo!)


December 10th, 2008 at 12:06 PM ^

Good points
The team has been averaging about 13 turnovers per game this year (like whoa so much better than the turnover-plagued Amaker years). I would expect turnovers to actually decrease with him in the lineup. He will be a significant improvement ball-handling wise over everyone but maybe Grady. Very confident and secure. Passing ability will be interesting to see, but everything I've seen/heard is positive there. Maybe a few games where he gets adjusted to game speed, but overall turnovers should theoretically decrease.

As far as layups goes - He can dunk! :)


December 10th, 2008 at 3:48 PM ^

Good point about the defensive impact. While our 1-3-1 is vastly improved over last year, our man-to-man D has been a sore spot at times, especially in the two Duke games. If he can get out and provide tough on-the-ball D, that would be a huge boost.

Interesting that he's been practicing with the starters even though he can't play. That makes you wonder just how much of an adjustment it's been having to play someone else at PG during the game. That average of 13 turnovers a game, while better than under Amaker, is still not all that great. I definitely look for further improvement there.


December 10th, 2008 at 5:01 PM ^

The most visible person (at least for me) in the 1-3-1 is the shooting guard, who is out there at the top of the key (I hope I'm using the right terminology) and close to the ball, so I'm watching him all the time, and he's actively jumping into the passing lane or jumping at the guy with the ball. It seems to my completely untrained eye that Novak does a better job out there than Douglass. Am I right to think that? Will LLP be out there, too, and will he do a good job (the post talks about him as the point on the baseline, but I would guess he'd be out on top of the key, too)?

Is there someone who would care to put some effort into explaining the role of the guards in the 1-3-1 so I can tell whether Novak or Douglass (or LLP) is the better defender in this zone, and also so every once in a while I can look at the point guard along the baseline and figure out if he is doing a good job? Or perhaps point out a good explanation/analysis of the 1-3-1 on the internets so I can feel a little smarter when watching us on defense.



December 10th, 2008 at 5:39 PM ^

The two guard/shooting guard (which, yes, is played by Novak and Douglass so far this year) is at the top of the key. I think their main job is to prevent side-to-side movement, either passing or a dribbling player. They also combine with the 'wing' outside players to try and trap the ball along the sidelines or if someone has picked up their dribble. The also pinch in/over to try and prevent dribble penetration. Depending on how aggressive the defense is, they start picking up the ball at half court and try to contain to one side.

Yes - Novak is a much better defender overall (a lot of it is technique, length and toughness - stu is much to upright/bent over at the waist instead of getting his butt down with the weight over the balls of his feet - Novak is longer-armed and bigger in general too.)

LLP's quickness will definitely improve the 'top man' in the 1-3-1, but probably not as drastically as man-to-man defense, or at the point/baseline position in the 1-3-1 since Novak is already pretty big and does a decent job up there.

The main job of the point guard is to hang out near the baseline and RUN corner to corner if the ball is successfully rotated around to the other side via skip pass (in which case he most likely won't get there in time to prevent a shot) or a couple swing passes. However, the defense is designed to prevent quick swing passes.

So...look for the point guard near the baseline defending the three point line, occasionally trying to defend big man near the paint by himself, helping swat at the ball/harrass big guys that catch it down low and are posting up and they will be most visible flying at open guys shooting threes from the corners.

While Grady/Merrit/Lee are all quick to really quick, they aren't as intimidating as LLP will be flying at people because of size and ability to get up to block a shot.

Here's a link to UM Hoops, where Dylan provides another link and some 1-3-1 discussion/breakdown.