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.
There were very few bright spots for Northern Arizona last season, but Durrell Norman was one of them. By trade, he is a 6'4''' combo wing man, but that is not the role he played for the Lumberjacks. Because they were so desperately short on big men, he was often the guy asked to play the 4 or 5 spot for NAU last year, and he did the dirty work thanklessly.
He posted the best rebounds rates on the team, finishing with 5.8 boards per game. He also averaged almost in double figures, shooting over 50% from inside the arc (and 72% from the stripe). He was very good at drawing fouls, and took 114 free throws on the season.
But, of course, it was not his numbers that made him one of my favorite players to watch in the conference last year, it was that he was willing to do whatever the team needed him to do to give them the best chance to win. If it was to guard the opposition's best post player, he would do that. He got better as the year went on, scoring double figures in his last eight games (not counting a game against PSU where he played two minutes). He was a pleasure to watch.
Jack Murphy would have had a big rebuilding job whether Norman had more eligibility or not, but NAU will certainly miss his toughness.
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