David Padgett and Juan Palacios will make up one of the most effective 1-2 post punches in college basketball.
They will, that is, assuming
they're both healthy before too deep into
Padgett suffered a broken bone in
his right foot during an on-campus pickup game Monday and the
Palacios hit the injured list first when his right foot (must be contagious) was banged up in a pickup game in mid-July and he isn't expected to return to active duty until November.
When healthy and functioning as a
unit, Padgett and Palacios will give Coach Rick Pitino the most skilled, and effective, pair of post players he's had at
Each of the players can operate just as effectively from the high post or along the baseline as he can from the low post.
I rate the Padgett-Palacios pairing as the fourth best set of posts this season.
Who makes up the remainder of my top half-dozen? Here goes:
6. J.P. Batista and Sean Mallon (Gonzaga): Coach Mark Few has the best collection of post talent of any program in the West. With the departure of Ronny Turiaf, Batista and Mallon are both capable of being all-West Coast Conference selections in March.
But red-shirt freshman Josh Heytvelt, a teammate of Atlanta Hawks rookie Marvin Williams for a couple of memorable springs and summers on the Seattle Rotary traveling team and now listed at 6-foot-11, 217 pounds by the school, could end up cutting into Batista and Mallon's minutes before too long.
And, should Few elect to slide All-America wing Adam Morrison inside for a stretch, how many post guys on the college level can check him straight up?
5. Brad Buckman and LaMarcus Aldridge
Buckman (12.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg) is
among the most underappreciated seniors in the country. As is the case with
3. Chuck Davis and Jermareo Davidson (
That being said . . . will Richard Hendrix, the most heavily recruited freshman in the SEC, ultimately snag as much time on the floor as Davis and Davidson?
Boone (12.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 2.9 blocks per game) will get 30-plus minutes per game – that's a given. We'll give the long and fluid Armstrong the slight edge for a starting nod right now. But one-time ACC Rookie of the Year Ed Nelson could also wrestle his way into the lineup and a freshman, Jeff Adrien, may be the most underrated newcomer in the Big East.
Of course, Calhoun also has another option: Moving sophomore Rudy Gay from a wing into a post position, with Boone, gives the Huskies an inside combo second to none . . . including the duo we're tabbing No. 1.
A strong summer, both with USA
And McRoberts would have likely
joined fellow McDonald's All-Americas Martell Webster and Andrew Bynum as lottery selections in the NBA draft if he had elected to bypass
his freshman season in
An April inductee into the USBWA
Hall of Fame, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's National Basketball Expert
and is also a columnist for the