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Previewing the 2016-17 season player by player, continuing with Ahmad Gilbert

As a freshman Ahmad Gilbert played in 21 games starting six getting his feet wet in the Big Ten. Now he’s a needed sophomore.

Statistically Speaking

The Good

Gilbert started six games and in those six games he played very hard before getting injured and missing several weeks of time.  Ahmad played a very solid 14 minutes each night gaining experience. Gilbert had a nice 13 steals in 300 minutes of play, only had 13 turnovers for the entire season, and rebounded okay for a three man grabbing one every six or seven minutes played.

Finished last season with his first double figure game of the year scoring 11 points in 36 minutes against Illinois. 

The Not so Good

As a small forward Gilbert has to shoot better.  He made 30 percent of his 92 shots last year, 22 percent of his 45 treys, and only five of his 11 foul shots.  He scored 3.4 points per game as a freshman which is okay for a guy playing 14 minutes but his shooting has to get better.

Focus 16-17

With Davonte Fitzgerald going down that opens the door for both Ahmad Gilbert and Michael Hurt to play bigger roles next winter.  Gilbert has the experience but based on past history Hurt has the shooting touch.  Gilbert is a physical player who did a solid job defending last year so between Hurt and Ahmad they both have a lot to give.

I wouldn’t expect Gilbert or Hurt to start seeing as both Amir Coffey and Akeem Springs can play some at the small forward spot but both will play.  Minnesota should be able to get solid defensive work from Gilbert who battled to position, battled to angles, and fought around screens when he started a year ago.  Gilbert brought energy and he needs to bring that again.

Gilbert is about 6-foot-6, 210 pounds so he has good size.  Ahmad will rebound well as he grabbed 11 boards a game in high school and he should be able to score some around the basket. If he wants more time, what Gilbert needs to do is shoot better, plain and simple.  That and keep playing hard as well as make the right offensive decision which he did fairly often last year rarely forcing shots or turning the ball over.

The Stat Line.  The minutes per game should be in about the 17 minute per game area I would guess off the bench.  About five points and three rebounds per contest as well as a steal a game.  Shooting wise you have to believe the field goal percentage will be better. Needs to be at least at 40 percent with foul shooting up from 45 percent to 60 percent and his three point shooting needs to get to about 30 percent.


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