Have a happy and safe Memorial Day. Stay safe, stay very, very safe.
- Number: 3
- Position: G
- Height: 6-5
- Weight: 202
- Year for 2008: Senior
The Evaluation: Before we get started here, I have a confession. Martin Zeno is one of my all-time favorite players to wear a Texas Tech uniform. This review will be admittedly biased.
Offense: Zeno is an incredibly versatile player and as the season progressed he became a player who could then stretch the floor. It seems like Zeno has always had the ability to drive to the basket, create his own shot and finish. It's the "finishing" part that always impresses me as Zeno has an uncanny ability to make those difficult shots.
I also love Zeno's ability to create offense within the flow of Knight's motion offense. For the most part his contribution makes the offense seem seamless because he can do so much without taking away shots from other players. Evidence, Zeno averages 1.50 points per shot. That's amazing. For comparison purposes, Durant averaged 1.40 points per shot. Of course, Durant had more opportunity to shot, but the bottom line is that Zeno is efficient and effective.
By the end of the year Zeno added a 3-point shot to his arsenal. Starting against Baylor, Zeno made 6 of 11 3-point shots.
The worst part of Zeno's game are the mental mistakes and turnovers. There seemed to be too many times where Zeno lost concentration for a second and the ball dribbles out of bounds. I never mind the turnover where a player is attempting to make something happen, but all too often were the times where Zeno had a silly turnover.
Zeno led the team in free throws with 28 more than Jackson. There's no one more than Zeno to this team, despite Jackson's presence last year. I believe that there are few players who can show the offensive versatility that Zeno does. Most players in college are fairly one dimensional and Zeno is a sweet combination of a being able to drive while having an excellent mid-range game.
Defense: There are few defensive players who are also as versatile as Zeno. Zeno typically guarded the opposing team's most gifted scorer. The defining moment for me was when Zeno guarded Oklahoma State's Mario Boggan in the 2nd game of conference play. Zeno was just too quick and strong for Boggan and Zeno was able to out-maneuver Bogan for most of the game. I know that limiting Boggan to 17 points and 8 rebounds is still a pretty good game for Boggan, but it was the effort and Boggan was clearly frustrated.
Zeno is better than most on the wing and is an excellent man-to-man defender. Additionally, because of his long arms and athletic ability he is able to block a few shots.
2008 Expectations: The one true deficit in Zeno's game is a reliable 3-point shot. Zeno always reminded me of Scottie Pippen in his prime. Martin has an excellent mid-range game which allows him to do quite a bit. I have a hard time being objective about what he needs to improve, but here's my list:
- Improve 3-point range.
- Be able to create off the dribble.
- Work on 1 or 2 low post moves
I really love Zeno and am a little saddened by the fact that this will be his last year. Despite that I am looking forward to an incredible senior season from Martin and am predicting a slight increase in his point production at 17 points per game.