Palmer Planted in the Post

Iowa Forward David Palmer has focused on improving his post play in the last year, and the sophomore-to-be continues to work down low in the Prime Time League. Senior Writer Rob Howe spoke with the Tennessee native Wednesday night and also filed some observations from the game action. This report is for all visitors of HN.


What are you focusing on improving in your game as you work towards the season?

Scoring on the inside; playing hard down low; do as much as I can down there.

When I talked with you at this time last year, you admitted you needed work on you post game. From then to now, how much have you improved in that area?

I got better, but I was good last year, too, I was just working on different stuff in the summer. Now, I'm trying to work on just staying in the post.

Are you strictly a low-post four or somebody that can take his game away from the basket and create mismatches?

Power forwards can go out on the floor. I'm not really worried about the numbers thing or the position thing. Being on the court is fine.

What is your comfort zone away from the basket?

I can step out as far as I need to. I just haven't shot the ball well this summer. I haven't been working on it as much. I've been working on staying inside. It comes and goes. I can shoot. I just have to get in the gym more. I just work on my post play more often.

You haven't played competitively at the Division I level since March of '05 at Seton Hall. Is it starting be a drag?

People look at it like that, but playing everyday in practice is probably harder than playing in games. I play competitive every day for about a year now, probably harder than everybody else plays because I have to play just in practice. That's my game every day.

How much do you miss the game action, though? Essentially you're practicing and not playing.

It's just a long, tedious process when you have to sit out a year. But I'm ready to play.

How would you describe Coach Lickliter's system from what you know?

There's a lot of motion (offense). I fit into that. I watched Butler a couple of times. I have to do my homework.

What have they given you in terms of individual workouts?

We haven't done much of that. We've been working on conditioning and strength training.

Where do you fit into the mix with Seth, Kurt, Cyrus and the other bigs?

I'm just one of the guys competing for minutes this year.

Are you a guy that can compete for a starting spot? Is that how you approach it?

I'm not too much worried about a starting job. Whoever Coach Lickliter feels is his best five, that's who he's going to put out there. He can go with five smalls or start four bigs with a guard. We don't know yet. I just hope I can make the rotation in some kind of way.

OBSERVATIONS: I showed up on Wednesday looking to focus on David Palmer. His team was facing off with Tony Freeman's squad. It turned into a blowout early and Freeman's team prevailed, 124-97, and it could have been worse had the victors not called off the dogs.

So, I will preface my review of the action by saying that much of the game was garbage time. I'd also like to point out that it's often tough to judge big men in this league because it consists of a lot of jacking up of treys and rarely do teams excel at feeding the post.

OK, I digress.

We'll start with the positives with Palmer. He really has concentrated on playing closer to the basket. Last summer, he drifted out near the 3-point line and avoided mixing it up much. I noticed early on Wednesday that he was determined to stay low.

Down there, he moves quickly when he gets the ball and gets the defender on his hip and out of position. He shows quick feet and is helped by a pretty big body and long arms.

David still is learning to go stronger. When he gets the defender on his hip, he tends to fade instead of power it up. I think he can be taught to go stronger to draw fouls and come up with a few pet shots to use when he beats his man. He tends to throw up some odd looking attempts.

Palmer also allowed his defender, former UNI starter Matt Schneiderman, to push him off the block, so the Iowa sophomore would catch the ball too far out on the floor to make a post move. Schneiderman also tossed in a game-high 39.

I suspect that Palmer really was trying to work in the post because he didn't take Schneiderman out on the floor where he might have enjoyed an advantage. It was kind of like a major league pitcher working on several aspects of his game in spring training without caring about the score.

I still like Palmer, and as I've said in other reports from the PTL, I'm not going to judge him from one night of summer league. I would like to see him attack the glass a little harder and be a little more aggressive.

Freeman looked like Freeman. He definitely was working to get his teammates involved, looking to pass much more than shot on most occasions. He did squeeze off 10 3-point shots and made two.

I got my first look at Kaylon Williams, and I like what I saw. He runs the floor well, and I was really impressed with how he crashed the boards for a guard. Everything he attempted on offense was going to the basket. He did not show an outside game.

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