Monday, June 23, 2008

TKR Breakdowns: Grant Gibbs

Kicking off our series of player breakdowns is incoming freshman Grant Gibbs. A 6'5'' guard from Marion, IA, Gibbs is one of the three members of Gonzaga's talented 2008 recruiting class. He is coming off a nasty wrist injury during his senior campaign but is having an excellent recovery and the injury should not affect his career at Gonzaga University. Here is a little more about Grant Gibbs from the eyes of The Kennel Report.

One of Gibbs' greatest assets is his size. Gibbs is currently listed at 6'5'', 190 pounds. He was a point guard during his time at Linn-Mar high school but is expected to make the transition to shooting guard upon his arrival in Spokane. His size for a guard is well above average and that is promising for Gonzaga and should fit well into the system. Gibbs, like Bouldin and Pargo will be able to most smaller guards up and present a great deal of mismatches. Another strength for Gibbs is his basketball IQ. Gibbs is a very tough-minded, smart basketball player. His physicality on the court and his basketball savvy are going to be welcome additions to the Zags, especially during practice. Gibbs will have no issue with roughing it up with his teammates and will definitely push them to the max. Court Vision and Passing is another skill Gibbs has taken to another level. In Gonzaga's offense, interior passing and ball movement is crucial and Gibbs' size gives him the ability to see the court very well. The Zags struggled with turnovers last year and Gibbs will be able to offer a steady hand to help reduce that number greatly.

Room for Improvement:
Although Gibbs was a high school point guard, he still has to improve his quickness. Many believe that Gibbs is deceptively quick on the drive but his lateral quickness needs improvement for the next level. This will directly affect his ability to come off of screens as well as defending smaller, quicker, point guards. Defending Jeremy Pargo in practice should help this. Not so much a room for improvement but a cause for concern is Gibbs' lingering affects from his injury. Grant suffered a wrist injury from a nasty fall during a regular season game that sidelined him for quite some time. Gonzaga has had experience with this sort of injury with Steven Gray but Gibbs' appears to be more serious. Even though it is not a major cause for concern, their is a great deal of mental and physical issues associated with this sort of injury. Gibbs can also improve on his shooting. He is excellent from the free throw line but has not really developed a consistent catch and shoot type shot. Improving his quickness and getting better looks should help out with his shooting.

Projected Role:
Gibbs' greatest impact may not be on the floor during his freshman season. He is expected to bring a tough attitude to the program and will test the wills of the returning players. Expect Gibbs to increase the toughness in Gray and Bouldin and should see some minutes on the court. He will backup Bouldin and Gray at the shooting guard spot unless Gray and that could mean quite a few minutes of Gonzaga returns with the three-guard lineup.

Summer Workout Plan: Gibbs will be in Spokane for the summer and will benefit from being around two of the most physically strong guards in the nation in Matt Bouldin and Jeremy Pargo. He will learn from them in the weight room and improve on his skinny frame. As I mentioned, his quickness should get boosted by guarding Pargo in practice but will still need to work on his speed. Expect him to gain some weight this off season and be very similar to Bouldin.

Gibbs will be a force for Gonzaga during his tenure. He has all the physical and mental tools. Gonzaga hasn't seen a player as tough as him since the arrival of Pargo. He will instantly impact the attitude of this historically "soft" team. He's also a die-hard Gonzaga fan and respects the history of Gonzaga and knows what comes with putting on the uniform. His impact will be outstanding this season and for his four years in Spokane.

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