Monday, June 24, 2013

Top 20 Departing: #17Jeffrey Forbes

I am counting down the top 20 players that are departing the Big Sky via graduation, transfer, or any other way.

In the NBA, guys that can play solid perimeter defense and make threes are paid at a premium right now, because of the way the game is changing. While Jeffrey Forbes was never a true PG or true SG for Eastern Washington, he has been a tough defender and good outside shooter, which made him a valuable rotation piece for the Eagles over his career. He shot 37% from downtown for his career, with the high point being 41% as a sophomore.

When new coach Jim Hayford came in at the start of Forbes’ junior year, Forbes’ role changed but his minutes did not. With more of the offense shifted to the PG, Forbes was more of a role player offensively, as he wasn’t called upon to be a primary ballhandler very often. However, he remained playing a lot of minutes because he was their best perimeter defender, and brought a toughness to a team that sometimes lacked it.

Forbes was also a very good FT shooter, though he didn't get to the line much. He never shot below 80% from the stripe, which helped his efficiency numbers. He also did not turn the ball over a ton - last season his TO Rate was 17.4 (his assist rate was 15.1). He wasn't a guy that was going to get you a ton of assists, but he also took care of the ball.

In conferences like the Big Sky, depth and role players are sometimes hard to find. Forbes was a guy that for four years, did the little things needed to help his team win. His stats don't jump out at you, but he found ways to contribute, which is huge. I will miss watching Forbes, one of my favorite players in the conference over the last couple of seasons.

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