Last year, as a freshman, Lamarr Kimble showed flashes of great potential for the Hawks. Sharing minutes at the point guard position with Shavar Newkirk, Kimble played 18 minutes per game. In his freshman campaign, Kimble averaged 6 points, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds per game. He really came on the second half of the year as well, scoring in double-figured in five of the Hawks' final 10 games. One of those games was a significant win over nationally-ranked Dayton, in which Kimble had a season-high 13 points, including 2-3 from downtown.
Kimble shot the ball well as a freshman, finishing the year shooting 41% from the field, 37% from three, and 74% from the free-throw line. Now, with the departures of DeAndre Bembry, Isaiah Miles, Papa Ndao, and Aaron Brown, Kimble, Newkirk, and company will be looked upon to shoulder a much larger role.
Kimble arrived on Hawk Hill last year with a reputation as one of the best players in the prep ranks in Philadelphia. He was also widely considered one of the most well-liked players in the City of Brotherly Love. That's continued on Hawk Hill. "He's just a guy you love to be around," Dave Duda began. "Fresh has that 'it' factor that all coaches know and desire...an infectious personality among his teammates."
A year ago, Kimble split minutes at the point with Shavar Newkirk, averaging just 18 minutes a night. That number will jump this year as the Hawks play lineups where Kimble and Newkirk are on the court together. Duda's comments regarding the difference in approach this year mirror those that he made for Shavar Newkirk. "How he handles being a main guy will be a challenge," Duda explained, "but it's also one that he cherishes. Similar to Shavar, he must take care of the ball on a team that will be challenged on the offensive end. We've got to get a quality shot each time down. Really looking forward to his development into a top tier guard.
Shavar Newkirk saw his scoring jump from 3.3 points as a freshman to 8 points per game as a sophomore. James Demery saw his scoring jump from 6.7 to 8.1 points per game. With a bump in minutes, an offseason where he has continued to transform his body and get stronger, it's not a reach to say that Kimble will see his numbers jump across the board. This year's team will rely on strong guard play, and that all starts with Kimble and Newkirk.
Tomorrow, we will swing to the wings and begin that position with junior James Demery