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2008 Basketball Preview: Damir Suljagic

Prior Evaluations:

Damir Suljagic

  • Number: 41
  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 248
  • Year for 2008: Junior
Min. Pts. Reb. Ast. TO Stl. Blk. FG% 3FG% FT%
9.8 1.5 1.9 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.2 .390 .000 .440

The Evaluation

  • Offense: There's not going to be much to say here. Damir was, well, woeful offensively. Unless it was a layup, he wasn't going to attempt it, as he was only going to make it at a 39% rate. Not exactly what you would call an offensive juggernaut. As I recall last season, I struggle think of a game where Damir stepped out of his "layup or death" mantra and actually attempted shots greater than 10 feet from the basket. There is no doubt that Damir's minutes were a direct result of his ability to score. As we'll detail in the next section, Damir can play defense, but when you have 3 players on the court who cannot score on a consistent basis then the entire offense is lacking. If Suljagic could improve his offensive game then I think we could see his minutes increase, however, he's got a long way to go.
  • Defense: Although the numbers will lie, Damir was solid defensively for the most part. By far and away, Damir was Tech's best post defender, constantly moving his feet, and generally being in good position to defend the post. The problem of course is that his contributions were less than impressive in that Damir was only able to manage more than 5 boards twice all year (Kansas St. and Texas) and more or less grabbed one or two boards a game despite the minutes received. Suljagic could have really been an asset had he been able to really go after the boards and be a little more aggressive. I blame much of his inability to do this on his lack of athleticism, but also based upon the fact that he often times seemed somewhat timid last year. I sometimes have to remind myself that he was only a sophomore last year and he does have two additional years to develop. Suljagic doesn't change shots or challenge offensive players, which is certainly a weakness. As stated above, Damir is a solid player, but he's just so one dimensional that it has greatly reduced his effectiveness.
  • 2008 Expectations: Without a doubt Suljagic has got to continue to work on his offensive game. Damir has a decent shot, but he needs to be able to knock down 8 to 10 foot jumpshots. It would be wonderful if Damir could develop some low post moves to compliment his inside play. The offseason list is quite simple:
    • Improve low post moves
    • Be more agressive on the boards
    • Hone mid-range jumper

    My fearless prediction for the year is not very optimistic, I predict an average of 8 minutes a game and 1 point per game. Those figures are based on the idea that Damir has a ton of work to do and he's got to get it done in a very short period of time. I'm once again cheering for Damir and hope that he can do the work, but I think he's got too much catching up to do from an offensive standpoint.