"I challenged him to prior to the season," Coach Bryant said. I wanted him to dominate on the offensive AND defensive ends. When I say dominate, I didn't mean just scoring. I also meant being a physical presence. I also challenged him to be a leader. He did all of those things and more."
In his senior season, Price improved in every statistical category. He led the Massachusetts Bay League in scoring (24 points per game), rebounding (14 boards per game) and blocks (six per game), while also chipping in with four assists per contest. "He played much stronger," Bryant said. "He was definitely more physical. His number of blocks and dunks per game went up. He had some REALLY impressive dunks for those that pay attention to such things. I don't really get off on that, but he certainly pleased the fans."
Compared by Michigan assistant Charles Ramsey in a recent radio interview to Brent Petway with an excellent jumpshot, Price's high-flying antics were great for his team and the fans. That said, Bryant indicated that his star pupil gave his squad something much more important. "He gave us great leadership this year," Bryant said. "He turned into an excellent team leader. I really saw his make his teammates better."
One area that Price will really have to focus on continuing to improve as he heads to college is his weight. At 6-9, the slender post man played at 195-lbs during his junior season. He did increase his mass heading into this year, but Coach Bryant indicated he didn't keep it on very long.. "I think he had added 10-15 pounds heading into the season," Bryant said. "By the middle of the year, though, I think he had played it all off!" (laughing).
Once Price gets to Michigan, the dedicated strength, conditioning, and nutritional programs that are in place in Ann Arbor should help him increase his size. That will certainly be necessary if he is going to take the pounding that is doled out on a nightly basis in the Big Ten. As he prepares to head to Ann Arbor, Price continues to work on his game. Despite the Wolverines' disappointing year, the sweet shooting big man still relishes his opportunity to don the Maize and Blue.
One of the fears that rose with Michigan's struggles on the court was the idea that the perception amongst recruits might become less favorable. According to Coach Bryant, that is not the case with Price. "It didn't do anything to diminish his excitement," Bryant said. "What I will say is he had mixed feelings. On the one hand, anyone likes walking into a situation where the team is winning and clicking on all cylinders. On the other hand, with things the way they are, he sees a much better chance to play. He knows he will have to work either way though."
If the past is any indicator, Michigan fans can count on Price putting in the work to get on the floor.
Stay tuned to GBW, as we'll have comments form Price himself tomorrow.