Big Padge looks like Huge Padge. Image via Maxpreps
As we close in on basketball season, we here at Testudo Times will be previewing the team player-by-player, starting with the freshmen and working our way up to the seniors. We'll be closing it up November 13 (that is, Maryland's first game) with the final player preview plus a full team preview.
We begin with James Padgett, a Bronx power forward who, for most of his basketball career, has been best known as Lance Stephenson's teammate.
Being the immortal Born Ready's teammate could have one of two possible effects on him: he was seen a lot by scouts, so his ranking was higher than it really should've been; or, because he was playing with Born Ready, he got way too few looks and played second fiddle, so he was ranked lower than he should've been. So he's either overrated or underrated - we won't really know until the season starts.
Either way you slice it, though, Padgett is used to not being "the man", but still being a critical part of the team, and that fits this group well.
His Game: Padgett, shortened to Padge by the internet masses, is the classic second fiddle PF: a gritty, hard worker with a lot of athleticism who isn't afraid to do the dirty work and gets a lot of putbacks when the star misses. In this team, the star is Greivis Vasquez, not Born Ready, so he can expect some more looks, but his mentality still works.
Really, that paragraph tells most of what we know about Padgett. The dude is definitely athletic, but not especially so. He's a good rebounder, but not a dominating one. What he really excels at is cleaning up others' messes and getting putbacks and dump-ins. That being the case, he doesn't have a full arsenal of post moves yet, and is still developing in that regard, so he can't be expected to produce against experienced ACC level bigs in a halfcourt, post-up sense.
Defensively, he's more a James Gist type than a traditional banger. That's not to say he can't stand up against someone the caliber of Dwayne Collins or Trevor Booker at all, but he probably can't on a regular basis. He's more of a leaper and blocker, but if you remember James Gist's senior year, you know that isn't such a bad thing.
Speaking comparatively, he's much more finished than Jordan Williams is, even though he's still not a polished product. Still speaking comparatively, his ceiling might not be as high as Williams', who has the size and pure athletic ability to be a Booker-level impact player.
Baseless Projection: As I've yet to see Padge, I don't know anything about him other than what I've read. And what I've read indicates that he'll be challenging for a starting spot, if he doesn't have it already. That said, he probably won't be a reliable offensive weapon until late in the year.
Here's my take on his stats over the year:
That might be a bit optimistic, but it's what I'm feeling at the moment. Seeing how Adrian Bowie and Sean Mosley will have extended roles, I'm still expecting plenty of misses for him to clean up (I kid, I kid).
Am I being too optimistic? Too pessimistic? Let us know in the comments.