Thursday, June 28, 2012

Top Departing #7: Derek Selvig

With the throes of the offseason all around us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 20 best players that are departing from the Big Sky, either due to graduating, declaring for the draft, or transferring.

Often it is a slight to say that a 7-footer plays like a guard, so I have to clarify when I say this... I mean this next sentence as a compliment. Derek Selvig of Montana is a guard stuck in a 7-footer's body.

It is not uncommon for a big man to want to take a lot of threes, or dribble too much. Usually though, this is a problem for the offense because that big man is not a good shooter, and does not have good ballhandling skills. That was not the case for Selvig throughout his career. Though it often frustrated Montana fans throughout his career, Selvig was at his best offensively when he was on the perimeter, and it made him a difficult matchup problem for the defense.

Last season, he shot 44% from downtown, and the season before he shot 39%. In comparison, shot 38% from twos last year and 42% the year before... his skillset was simply not meant to play down low, and he was less effective when he tried to. Going along with the perimeter skills, he was a very good ballhandler and one of the best passers in the conference. He posted strong assist rates, especially for a big man. Sometimes people will temper praise by saying things like, "He is a good passer for a big man." In Selvig's case, I stop with, "He is a good passer."

Of course, he did have to pick up some of the slack defensively after the graduation of Brian Qvale, and he did well with that. He upped his rebounding and block numbers last year, which was a huge help for a Montana team that was very thin in the frontcourt.

Derek Selvig's career maybe wasn't what some Montana fans wanted, and he didn't develop a great inside game... but he was very good at what he did. He was a guard trapped in a big man's body, which worked for him because he was such a good ballhandler, shooter, and passer. He will be missed by the Grizzlies.

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