Welcome to our 2011 Villanova basketball season preview. We're going to be previewing a player per day from here on out - which will take us right up to the first exhibition game against New York Tech. Today, we preview junior Mo Sutton.
Villanova hasn't been known for producing successful frontcourt players in recent years, other than current NBA player Dante Cunningham. Mouphtaou Yarou looks primed for a breakout season, but after him there's only freshmen Markus Kennedy and JayVaughn Pinkston - or so most would have you believe.
The forgotten man is all of this is redshirt junior Maurice Sutton, the longest tenured member of the Villanova Wildcats basketball team. At 6'11", Sutton provides a long presence in the paint which he has used effectively when given the opportunity in his first few years. The knock on Mo has always been a lack of strength and a lack of an offensive skillset that will allow him to become a post-presence.
After The Jump I'll take a look at what Mo can provide to this year's team.
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This team is YOUNG. Have we mentioned that yet? Maurice Sutton has only played 2 years of basketball having redshirted his freshman season, and he is the oldest guy on the team. Mo hasn't exactly been a mainstay on the court, but having averaged about 10 minutes per game each of the last 2 years, he's not unfamiliar either. He's also the only remaining
cheer squad member of the 2009 Final 4 team.
Sutton typically gets called into action when the Villanova frontcourt gets into foul trouble, or when opposing teams decide to go big against our typically smaller lineup and we're getting killed in the paint. Sutton's 6'11" frame allows him to be an exceptional shot blocker. He's got good help instincts in the lane and at the very least, he's very good at altering shots around the rim. We don't need him to be Emeka Okafor for us, but having a good defender in the post will take some pressure off of Yarou.
I'm not going to sugarcoat his offensive game - it isn't good. Sutton does one thing extremely well, and that is crash the boards. I think he's the only Villanova player to successfully execute multiple tip-slams over the last couple of seasons. He hits the boards hard and he's a natural finisher above the rim with his above-average athleticism.
Best case scenario this year for big Mo is that he becomes our defensive menace in the paint and can give us a few points a game on the offensive end. The offense thing is one of those 'nice to haves' whereas the defensive presence is surely needed considering past Yarou, we don't have much.
What are your expectations for Mo this year? Is he just an energy big man that will get minutes as needed or can he step up and be more?
When we're back tomorrow, we'll preview the big man, Mouphtaou Yarou.
Previous player previews:
- Dallas Ouano & Nick McMahon
- Achraf Yacoubou
- Darrun Hilliard
- Ty Johnson
- Markus Kennedy
- JayVaughn Pinkston
- James Bell
- Dominic Cheek