The junior college transfer from Eastern Utah last played on Dec. 21 at Hampton, scoring 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes. Neely started nine of the 12 games he played this season, averaging 7.9 points, 2.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds in his first year for the Lumberjacks.Neely was a shooting threat, having hit 35% of his threes, though really struggling inside the arc. He was not necessarily a natural PG, with a 19.1 Assist Rate vs a 24.2 TO Rate. Still, the Jacks were excited about him before the year, and this really hurts depth.
As the article notes, sophomore guard Chris Miller transferred a couple weeks ago, and NAU is slowly running out of bodies.They only played seven guys against Portland State yesterday, and eight against Sac State on Thursday.
One guy they will need to step up is freshman Tate de Laveaga, who had hardly played (save for a game against San Diego Christian) before Saturday. Against PSU, he played 21 minutes and did well, scoring five points, grabbing two rebounds, and not turning the ball over. He is a 6'3'' guard that in time will be a good shooter and also be able to create his own shot. Jack Murphy and NAU will need him to contribute sooner than they probably expected.
Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball
Big blow for NAU's depth, but may end up being a good thing in the long run. NAU hoops has a strong future and getting valuable minutes for the young guys will pay big dividends in the end for NAU. The loss of Miller and Neely will likely impact NAU's chances in conference this year, but next year things will line up nicely with Yanku to run point, an experienced de Laveaga at the 2, Kaluna who should be the league's premier scoring big man by next year, and the glue of the team Martin at the PF, add to that 5 of the better recruits NAU has ever seen coming in behind them, including Green who is may be one of the most athletic the conference has seen aside from Arcenaux and Lillard, and NAU sets up as a powerful challenger next year and probably the team to beat in 2016.ReplyDelete
Agreed 100%. They have done a great, great job on the recruiting trail, and their future should be extremely bright. I'm really curious to see de Laveaga over the rest of the year.Delete
My take on de Laveaga is that if he can shoot the 3 at a 40% or better clip, he will fill an important role on the team and will create other opportunities for himself in terms of distributing the ball on overzealous defenses and perhaps open up the short drive and mid-range jumper. He does not appear to be anything more than average in athleticism. #1NAUFanReplyDelete