Playing the post position in college basketball requires athleticism, skill and most importantly height.
For the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Robert Lewandowski has been that powerful post player in previous seasons, but now a freshman is stepping up in a big way under the basket, while the lone senior struggles to find his grove in a new system.
He stands six foot seven inches, weighs in at 210 pounds, is from Fort Worth and wears No.32 for the Red Raiders, his name – Jordan Tolbert.
Tolbert has come out of nowhere in the past few outings for the Red Raiders, considering the first two games he scored a total of 15 points, but in the three games that followed he lit up the scoreboard going for 48 points.
"He's improved dramatically, I mean I think he really prospers by playing in a system where we're going to play inside – out, " Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie said. "He's learned how to properly put himself in a position to score. The best post players score before they catch the ball, I know that's impossible, but they position themselves so when they catch it, the positioning is difficult, the scoring is easy, because they've gotten an angle to the basket … he's getting much better at that."
In the last game before the Red Raiders broke for a 12-day break before returning to the court on Sunday against Grambling State, Tolbert went off.
The Fort Worth native returned to his hometown to take on TCU, and opened some eyes as he dropped 27 points on the Horned Frogs in Tech's 75-69 loss to TCU.
With that performance, Tolbert has now propelled himself from the bottom of the stat sheet to the top and more than likely his spot in the starting lineup becoming a permanent one.
Tolbert leads the team averaging 13 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game as well. Tolbert is one of two freshmen, joining Toddrick Gotcher as the only freshmen to have started every game this season for Gillispie.
The biggest thing that Gillispie stressed is that with a player of Tolbert's size and skill, the rest of the team needs to improve on feeding him the ball when he is open under the basket.
"Some guys are improving on it, and some guys are not moving forward at all," " And we have to understand who our best player has been, and it's been Jordan (Tolbert). He's been by far our best player. So hopefully you have to understand where your bread should be buttered."