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March 29, 2011

Ashton Gibbs Will Test His Worth

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA,Players — Chas @ 7:48 pm

I’ve been running around all day. The wife is now sick. The kids are on spring break. Somewhere in there I still have to work and do everything else. Sorry not to be on this sooner. Judging by some of the e-mails, there is a bit of concern over Gibbs’ decision.

I have no problem with it.

“We’re not sure,” Temple Gibbs said today from New Jersey regarding his son’s draft plans. “From what I know, he was thinking about it. But he wouldn’t hire an agent, without a doubt.”

Gibbs, a first-team all-Big East selection who led the Panthers in scoring each of the past two seasons, has until April 24 to officially declare for early entry into the draft.

Provided he doesn’t hire an agent, Gibbs would have until May 8 to withdraw his name without losing NCAA eligibility.

“It would be to see what it was like,” Temple Gibbs said.

I hardly see this as a panic moment. If you are a junior at a high major program, with aspirations of a pro career there should be a no-brainer. Go through the process. Get the feedback. Find out what your chances are at present. Assuming you come back, you have a better understanding of what you need to improve.

Admittedly, I’m relatively certain that Gibbs is not even a second round draft pick right now.

He shot 49 percent from three this season and he has NBA three shooting range and then some. And that’s about it. He would go undrafted, he needs better ball handling and some penetration to impress scouts. Expect him to return to Jamie Dixon.

I love Gibbs, and there is no doubt if he turned pro early, next year’s club would have bigger holes and forced to rely on and hope freshmen develop a lot faster than desired. It would also free-up one other scholarship, but that’s a dim silver lining when talking about the expectations for the 2011-12 team.

That said, there is nothing in that assessment to disagree. He is an okay ball-handler, but about average. When he tries to penetrate or go to the basket he is not particularly effective. His height makes him questionable as a regular shooting guard in the league, and his defense is about average. He is best as a spot-up shooter on the perimeter. There is a place for those role players in the NBA, but I can’t think of the last one that was drafted as a junior.

When you factor in the rules this year, it really does make sense for Gibbs.

“Nothing has been decided for sure,” Dixon said.

Dixon did say there is more incentive for players to test the waters this year. NBA teams are allowed to pay for players’ travel expenses, a change from previous years. However, the number of teams working out underclassmen is likely to drop because players cannot miss classes to attend workouts. Most workouts for underclassmen likely will take place on weekends, meaning players cannot go from city to city during the week and work out for as many teams.

The way Pitt’s academic calendar looks, Finals take place the first week that the NBA can start working out players. At best Gibbs will have a week to 10 days to travel for workouts and get feedback, before making his final decision. Hardly a situation that holds the program hostage.

Top students with in-demand skills spend summers interning before their final year. Getting wooed by prospective employers. Finding out where they want to go and do. (At least that’s what my sister has told me. I was neither a top student or in a in-demand field of study.)

Now on the speculation side, I’ve seen some tweets, comments and messages indicating that Gibbs might be determined to go pro. That between his desires and the way the season ended, he just wants to move on with his life. There’s still a long way to go before he will make the final call. He also has a strong family that supports and advises him, so if there is an emotional component to this, there is still plenty of time for him to make a reasoned decision.

But even if he does go. I would wish him nothing but the best, and thank him for what he’s done at Pitt.

SOme days I think the team might be better in the next two years if Gibbs took his shot elsewhere.
I have to believe we have better players than Ashton, atleast players who can juke a defender and create at the least a rebound or pass.

Comment by Justin 03.29.11 @ 9:40 pm

He gets an all expenses paid trip(s), he gets to play some ball, and he gets feedback on what he needs to improve to make it into the big league next year. Why wouldn’t he do it?

On the negative side: His championship guarantee and focus during the tourney had to come from the fact that he felt this year was his best shot at a Final Four and NC. He just may want to move on thinking next year will be a rebuilding year that will reap the benefit after he’s graduated.

I think he’ll be back. But I thought Dion would come back too.

Comment by TampaT 03.29.11 @ 10:03 pm

woow, justin, that’s harsh. even if only a spot up shooter, gibbs was the team’s leading scorer, a good defender, a good free throw shooter, and a model teammate. I’m hoping he stays for his Senior year, but if he leaves, I will him the best. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Pittbull 03.29.11 @ 10:06 pm

Justin – way out of bounds. He’s a kid who plays his heart out for Pitt. Pittbull – good defender is pushing it…but he is/was our best player last season. He was the only one who could consistently put the team on his back and carry them to a win. Wanamaker was favorite player but Gibbs was the best.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 03.29.11 @ 10:28 pm

He cant create his own shot is just a spot up shooter that plays good D they will tell him what to work on he will be back next year unless he plays over seas.

Comment by FRANKCAN 03.29.11 @ 10:30 pm

out of bounds okay. if Gibss is relied on as pitts best player i have no qualms losing to a midmajor in the 2nd round. he certainly can shoot the ball. his d is suspect and his penetration non existent. can he carry us to a win in january on the road at Nova probably. can he carry us agaisnt adversity in the dance proly not. not too mention his bravado after the louisville game and going into the tourney were laughable. lots of kids play their heart out for pitt (bull) That doesnt mean they should or will carry us to championships.

Comment by justin 03.30.11 @ 7:52 am

yuri demetris played his heart out for pitt… lets raise his jersey at the pete.

Comment by justin 03.30.11 @ 8:04 am

FIWI, Bob Smizik, not known for his sarcasm, wrote on his blog today that Gibbs will someday be playing pro ball — in Europe.

Comment by wbb 03.30.11 @ 8:32 am

Seriously Justin?? You are anxious to move beyond your leading scorer, who was first team All Big East and a guy who in spite of his limitations (known quite well by his opponents btw) still knocks down 49% from the behind the arc. Who is this mystery player on the Pitt roster who can bring more to the table than Ashton has?

Comment by The Turk 03.30.11 @ 8:36 am

Gibbs doesn’t handle the ball well enough for the next level. I guess he could be a Steve Kerr type guy if picked by a team with a really good big man.

Comment by Pittastic 03.30.11 @ 8:37 am

Not much to worry about. There is no chance he’ll be told he’s a sure fire first rounder (like Blair was told). Best case, he’s a mid second round pick. With his family background and financial situation, there’s just no way he goes this year.

Now that said, he may cash an NBA paycheck for a bunch of years. As hugh said, he’s a “one trick pony”, but that one trick is a pretty valuable one. I would compare him to Steve Kerr. Great shooter, limited athletically, not too big. Kerr played a lot of years coming off the bench and firing threes. Kerr was also a four year guy at Arizona and a late second round pick.

Comment by boubacar aw 03.30.11 @ 8:37 am

Ha, good one Pittastic, looks like great minds think alike!

Comment by boubacar aw 03.30.11 @ 8:40 am

I can’t imagine that he actually goes pro. Why not take the trip find out exactly what the NBA thinks he needs to improve most so he can concentrate his training and development on that over the next year. Like Chas said there is a place for player like Ashton in the NBA, just not as drafted juniors. It makes all the sense in the world for Ashton to do this, I just hope he doesn’t make any rash decisions that he regrets in the future a la Chris Taft.

Comment by BCPITT 03.30.11 @ 9:26 am

btw I am not comparing Ashton to Taft…Taft was talented, lazy, and heartless….just don’t want Ashton to end up washing out in the NBA like Taft did.

Comment by BCPITT 03.30.11 @ 9:28 am

+1 on defending Gibbs — I look forward to celebrating an outstanding Pitt career at Senior Day next spring. Deeper March runs in BET and NCAA in 2010 & 2011 would have him poised to chase Charles Smith and Clyde Vaughn for Pitt’s 2000 pt club. He’s still likely to reach the top 5 for Pitt’s all time scoring, and he’s also looking at top spots for 3 pt scoring and FT % (even more than Sean Miller — too many on this board’s favorite speculative coach)

on a different note — don’t get the hate on Taft. He was disappointing, but he had a back issue that wasn’t going to get better and he decided to take his shot when he could. Not that much different than Blair on that front, only it didn’t work out for him.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 03.30.11 @ 9:57 am

Great minds do think alike, boubacar aw.

And, I’m never counting out Gibbs. He has the bball smarts and works harder on his game than anyone. I can imagine him playing all summer wearing 20 lb. ankle weights to increase his speed and hops. With his shot, I could see him as a role player in the mold of Steve Kerr.

Comment by TampaT 03.28.11 @ 1:22 pm

Comment by TampaT 03.30.11 @ 10:45 am

And, I’m not saying anyone parroted my earlier post. It’s just funny that 3 people think Ashton has Steve Kerr’s potential as a long-term NBA role player.

Speaking of Kerr: He was on one of the many ESPN shows last week and talked about the impact of early-entry, particularly the one-and-dones, on the overall quality of the NBA product. He feels that most of these kids coming out are not ready and teams draft soley on potential that’s not always realized. In the “old days” that was what playing college ball sorted out. He said it’s a concern and might be addressed in the next NBA CBA. Kerr’s been on both sides of the fence as a player rep and GM, so he should know. Jay Bilas echoed that sentiment yesterday citing Kerr’s comments.

It just shows that many feel Jamie’s way of doing things might be the right way, not just for college basketball but for the NBA as well.

Comment by TampaT 03.30.11 @ 11:12 am

Few thoughts on Gibbs…………

*Gibbs barely leaves the ground on his shot. It is nearly an old-fashioned set shot and I can’t remember any NBA three-point artists who weren’t either big (Miller, Scott) or reasonably quick and agile (Hodges, House. Doesn’t matter how accurate you are if you can’t get it off…

*There isn’t one player in that league he can guard

*The first thing the scouts will test is Gibbs’ range. He has made some bombs, which is encouraging, but he mostly passes up the long ones, so they’ll need to find out if he’s as good a marksman from 23 or 24 feet, where the NBA line is. Plenty of dudes who can hit 40% from 18 or 19 aren’t nearly as consistent a few feet back.

*But I’ll repeat – he works really hard, so I can see him working on his shortcomings enough to play pro ball somewhere

Comment by hugh green 03.30.11 @ 11:23 am

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