The Hilltoppers have won nine of their last 10 games and the guard play has been phenomenal. Lead by T.J. Price, the offensive assault in the back court has been out right fun to watch.
But how about the front court? Where have they been?
One man who is undeniably in the middle of one of the best stretches in his whole career while here on the Hill is Bowling Green’s own George Fant. At the beginning of the season, I was tired of Fant. I didn’t enjoy watching him play; He wasn’t physical, didn’t live up to his hype, wasn’t even close to his potential, and I personally felt that someone else could, not entirely replace him on this team, but definitely steal some of his minutes.
Well, George has shut me up, and has became the man we all knew he could be. That being said, George has opened up C-USA play by earning six consecutive double-doubles, averaging 19 points and 11.2 rebounds during that span. While this is good and all, the rest of the front court is practically no where to be found. George has lead this Hilltopper front court here lately, and the big fella is now to the point where he needs some assistance.
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Saturday’s outing against FIU showed the first signs of help for Fant from a few of his teammates in the conference season. The EnglishmanBen Lawson
picked up five points and six boards, while Fant’s fellow KentuckianJustin Johnson
also had six rebounds to accompany 11 points. The rest of the front court, however, has been nonexistent.
One of those guys who needs to be more of a producer is Alex Rostov. I expected some big things for Mr. Rostov this season, and it just hasn’t happened. Alex has failed to get into double figures in any single category so far this season, despite seeing high minutes in most of those outings.
He is joined by Lawson, who prior to the FIU game only saw highs of five points and three rebounds in his last five games. I also expected Coach harper to utilize Rob Marberry just a little bit more than what has been shown this season. But, Rob has seen minimal minutes so far, justifying his lack of production for the front court. Justin Johnson has been consistent, but not to a high extent to truly help Fant out.
Now, I realize that points don’t tell the entire story, and neither do rebounds or blocks. However, those are key points
that story. Guys in the front court’s presence can play a huge role for a team, and I think that that is what we are seeing for this Hilltopper team. George Fant has now established himself as the outright front court leader (while he has always had that position, he is now proving his abilities and issuing his authority on the court), and the other guys haven’t had to produce as much for the stats side of the game. Moreover, they have just needed to be an extra body to create the plays needed else where on the court.
Nevertheless, that kind of play can’t continue. When I say that, I’m not saying Fant has to stop (anyone would be idiotic to even think such a thing). I’m saying the lack of statistical production from the rest of the front court needs to stopped.
Simply, while George may not be currently playing like he needs the help, there will be a time when he will have to take a seat on the bench, whether that come from foul troubles, fatigue, or, knock on wood, injuries. The point is, he will have to sit at some point.
Long story short, someone HAS to step up here soon, otherwise the Hilltoppers WILL lose due to front court issues. While right now that may seem impossible with how much success WKU is having, but if the Tops don’t find another big man to step up then the Hilltoppers will lose.