Expectations: Akok Akok | The Boneyard
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Expectations: Akok Akok

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I was very close by when the torn achilles ripped the air out of the XL Center that night vs. Memphis. I’ve written about it. It became a play within a play directly in front of the Huskies bench. Lead actor was a young man whose season was lost and future cast in doubt as he crumbled to the floor and time bizarrely quieted. Supporting actor a despairingly sad coach who immediately recognized the severe injury and in a second processed what it would mean to the young man now, his future and his team having to absorb the loss of this highly ranked recruit for maybe forever. The chorus players split, breaking in different directions to help and comfort while some somberly prayed. The audience was stunned silent. This was a night vs. a ranked team in a packed building. Recruits were there for this big game including the captivated now-commit Donovan Clingan and his dad. The love our extended team showed for young Akok Akok was not lost on any of them.

What we had seen to that point of Akok was akin to the smooth young colt. Wonderfully agile but making missteps that are never egregious enough to make you turn away – you are eager to see more. The comeback story is ready to be written. Sure to say there will be plenty of eyeballs turned his way this season.

Five Things we have seen:

* Fire burns for 94 feet. Ready to run at all times.​
* Constantly angling, looking for the spot to do damage.​
* Beyond exploring the ‘3’ hasn’t shown much offensively but hasn’t had much time to discover his chances.​
* Nice shot mechanics.​
* Explosive. Rim protecting already. Peeks at attacking offensively.​

Five Things we expect:

* Slow up-and-down progress. The time off, the rehab and a certain uncertainty. Needs to grow back confidence in his heel.​
* Key protector component in our Blue Dome Defense down low.​
* Outlet for Adama when doubled but depends on his ‘3’ going down.​
* Improved strength given his rehab. Not a stringbean, he has that sinewy strength but is he ready to shed defenders underneath?​
* Freshman year redux. Concentration on defense and the ‘3’ with eyes open for other opportunities.​

Summary:

Our expectations are up knowing what he absolutely can and may do but are tempered by the dicey comeback from an achilles tear. KD looked fantastic coming back, I hope AA watched a lot of Nets last season. His talent level is high but it’s likely to take a while before he starts showing finely tuned skills near the hoop. I do envision the game he provides such a boost that maybe after getting fouled hard the four on the floor each grab a limb and toss him up to a resounding home crowd crescendo.​
 
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I am expecting very little. I can't get my hopes up for anyone returning from that kind of injury. Even if he's physically there, the mental barrier of not playing for two years is tough.

Hurley seems to be tempering expectations. He'll definitely be behind Whaley at the 4, and probably Reese unless Akok's shooting improves.
 
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I am expecting very little. I can't get my hopes up for anyone returning from that kind of injury. Even if he's physically there, the mental barrier of not playing for two years is tough.

Hurley seems to be tempering expectations. He'll definitely be behind Whaley at the 4, and probably Reese unless Akok's shooting improves.
I don’t know. Did you see him at first night the way he came out on stage? looks 100% ;) Hurley gonna have a tuff time tempering expectations now
 

Huskyforlife

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5 ppg, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 44/32/75

Solid backup, back to 90% defensively, hits 3s considerably better than his freshman disappointing 26%. I think the numbers everyone is hoping for might happen his senior year, as a starter with Whaley exiting.
 
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He's still a guy with skinny legs and that makes him fragile. Worry.
 
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He couldn’t guard anyone off the dribble last year away from the basket... his quickness was not there. Need to see where he is regarding his athleticism and quickness before I even guess. Until then he could be huge or just a back up again. Obviously hoping he’s a special bench guy!
 
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Impossible to make anything more than a wild a__ guess. You’re dealing not just with how he recovers mentally and physically from the injury, but how much playing time is available. Is he third in the big rotation? Fourth? Are Sanogo and Whalley limited to 25 to 28 minutes a game, or do they each demand 35 the way Thabeet and Adrien did in ‘09?

As with most of the players individually, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess. We’ll have to see.
 
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Impossible to make anything more than a wild a__ guess. You’re dealing not just with how he recovers mentally and physically from the injury, but how much playing time is available. Is he third in the big rotation? Fourth? Are Sanogo and Whalley limited to 25 to 28 minutes a game, or do they each demand 35 the way Thabeet and Adrien did in ‘09?

As with most of the players individually, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess. We’ll have to see.
Also quite possible that SJ is solidly in the mix at the 4, as well as Tyler Polley.. Small ball lineups may also have Martin getting minutes there. Lots of rotational flexibility and aspects of positionless basketball. If Akok is playing well on both sides of the ball he'll get plenty of minutes.
 
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Looks more and more like Sanogo is gonna be the focal point offensively, which means that more and more, big men minutes outside of him will be reliant on floor spacing, based on what DH has said it doesn't seem like Akok is as much of a lock for as many minutes as we saw previously. (19-20) I think a similar freshmen year stat line on increased efficiency in possibly fewer minutes is to be expected
 
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I can’t believe everyone is sleeping on him like this. He is gonna be very good and was better than Whaley pre-injury. I think he’s gonna surprise quite a few and hoping he does
 
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I can’t believe everyone is sleeping on him like this. He is gonna be very good and was better than Whaley pre-injury. I think he’s gonna surprise quite a few and hoping he does
There are good reasons the expectations aren't very high for Akok. He was never a better player than Whaley was last year, and he is coming off a brutal injury. I hope he exceeds expectations, but I doubt he has close to the impact Whaley has this year.
 
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I don’t know. Did you see him at first night the way he came out on stage? looks 100% ;) Hurley gonna have a tuff time tempering expectations now
Looking 100% and overcoming the mental barriers to go 100% are two different things.
Hurley has no clue what he will do once they blow the whistle. How can anyone? Tempering expectations until then is the tight move.
 
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