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2008 Basketball Preview: Esmir Rizvic

Prior Evaluations:

Esmir Rizvic

  • Number: 34
  • Position: Center
  • Height: 7-0
  • Weight: 252
  • Year for 2008: Sr.
Min. Pts. Reb. Ast. TO Stl. Blk. FG% 3FG% FT%
14.8 3.8 2.6 0.5 1.2 0.6 0.2 .462 .000 .500

The Evaluation

  • Offense: I was a little puzzled by Knight's fascination with Rizvic last year, but as the year continued, I began to understand that Rizvic had value on this team, especially considering the other frontcourt options. It's been well documented that Rizvic only played 16 games last year due to a fractured orbital bone which was suffered in against Oklahoma on January 6, 2007.

    Offensively, Rizvic is a real work in progress. Esmir is uneven offensively, but like most European players established that he has a decent outside shot, but rarely shot anything outside the lane. The nice thing about Rizvic is that there are few teams with 7-footers who have the length to be much of a detriment to Rizvic. The method by which teams can combat this is to out-muscle Esmir, which can be very effective, but length is still something that few teams can match.

    Rizvic was actually averaging almost 18 minutes a game before the Bucknell game which means that he was essentially playing an entire half. I think Esmir can be an effective player on the offensive end of the floor, and unless he really is working on expanding his game with various low post moves, I would expect more of the same, which is a lot of "near the basket" plays, and not stepping out to do too much.

    As with the other players on this team, Rizvic has to be more competent on the offensive end of the floor. There will not be two main scoring threats like last year and I think that at least 4 of the 5 players on the court at any one time needs to be a threat. Just a threat.

  • Defense: This is where Rizvic adds the most value to the team. Rizvic has the ability to be a dominate player on the boards, which is exactly what Tech lacked last year, but hasn't show the desire to do this. I would love it if Esmir was just a monster on the glass, but I just don't think it's in his temperament.

    Although Rizvic didn't have many blocked shots, he definitely can effect a game by simply standing in the lane and creating issues for those opposing players who drive into the lane. Rizvic was somewhat foul prone, but I think that more of a direct relation to Rizvic's being an immobile player.

  • 2008 Expectations: I certainly think that Rizvic has value on this team, but you can't over play him and I think that Knight knows that. I think it can be very useful starting a guy who's so big that teams have to adjust, that they're forced to think from the beginning of the game that this guy can change the way we play. Of course he has his limitations as well, Rizvic has got to do a better job rebounding the ball. If Esmir does a better job rebounding then he'll see his playing time increase dramatically. Ideally, I'd love to see Rizvic work on the following over the summer:
    • Improve back to the basket scoring.
    • Be more agressive on the boards.
    • Overcome orbital bone injury so that this does not affect him mentally.

    I like Rizvic, I just like him in small doses and think that Tech will be better off with more athletic players. My fearless prediction is that Esmir averages 15 minutes a game and 3 points a game. I know it's not an improvement on what he did last year, but I think that Tech has more talented frontcourt options than last year and I see Knight allowing Rizvic to be an asset rather than a liability and that means limiting his minutes to maximize his effectiveness.