Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Young players could take a lesson from Kent Bazemore

March 6, 2012 Columns No Comments
olddominion

Kent Bazemore is someone young basketball players could stand to learn from. The Old Dominion guard’s career is almost over, as his team has been eliminated from the CAA Tournament but postseason play should be in his team’s future. As that comes about, looking at his evolution as a player is a nice exercise, as it’s been enjoyable to watch him go from a player who needed to redshirt as a freshman to one of the conference’s best players.

Bazemore knew he needed to redshirt when he first got to Norfolk. He needed to get stronger and develop his offensive game, and it was a new world to him as he came from Kelford, N.C., a small town well to the northeast of Raleigh. As a freshman, he showed promise, and got more minutes as a sophomore. By then, he had established some versatility, as the Monarchs felt they could play him at any of the perimeter positions with some minutes at the point in a pinch. Still, on what had been veteran teams, he wasn’t putting up eye-popping numbers or being thought of as an all-CAA player, although his defense got noticed as he was selected to the conference’s All-Defensive team.

Last year, more was needed from him, although he was a key on a senior-laden team. He had his best shooting year from long range and was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, a feat he would repeat this season.  He was also a second team All-CAA selection and an integral part of a second straight conference championship team.

All of that earned Bazemore enough respect that he was selected as the conference’s preseason Player of the Year, even though he broke his left foot during the summer and it was thought that he would miss at least the first month of the season. True to his work ethic, he was in the gym three times a day with some conditioning at night as well as treatment. With that, he returned much sooner than expected and did not miss a game, although he wasn’t the same player for a while.

By the end of the season, Bazemore had really rounded into form. He scored a career-high 37 points at Drexel in the regular season finale, and in Saturday’s win over Delaware looked like what head coach Blaine Taylor must have envisioned he would be by his senior year. Although he always played with confidence, it was very clear in this game as he took and made shots he would not have attempted a couple of years earlier. He had evolved into a confident, complete player who knew it was time for him to lead his team.

“His development has been gradual, but if you look at it in a five-year capsule, it’s been a metamorphosis that’s been really eye-opening,” said Taylor. “He’s turned into a really good player, even when he doesn’t play his top-notch game, people are very respectful of the threat that he represents.”

That respect was shown at the end of Sunday’s game as Bazemore fouled out late in the second half. Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint got Bazemore’s attention as he headed to the bench and gave him a thumbs-up. When the game was over, he had some kind words for Bazemore as they went through the line.

The respect has been well-earned, and it’s taken a lot to get there. It’s even hit him just how far he’s come, both physically – he came in at 6’4″, 170 pounds and is now 6’5″, 200 pounds.

“My weight coach has before and after pictures, we take one every season,” Bazemore reflected. “It just shows the dedication, the hard work, the crying, the bleeding, the sweating I do every day trying to get where I want to be. My dream is to play at the next level, so I just work hard and try to be the best player on the floor every night.”

What you sense in talking to the young man, who will have two degrees in a couple of months, is that he was patient with his progress and had an idea of what it took. You sense a young man that wanted to be coached and bought into what his coaches taught him in order to get better. He’s always been a nice, engaging young man and one with a good feel for the game as well as where his game is at. Bazemore never got impatient; he just kept working, and while he didn’t become an overnight success story, he is one nonetheless, and that’s what matters.

That’s also why young players could take a lesson from him as his college career draws to a close.

Comment on this Article:







Advertisement

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – February 21, 2015

February 22, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday saw a lot of results that shook up conference standings, including a three-way tie developing in one of them, and some at-large hopes took a hit as well.

William & Mary tries to manage through defensive struggles

February 19, 2015 by

williammary

William & Mary has had to overcome some things to be in contention in the CAA. The latest is some defensive struggles while adjusting to life without a key player for a stretch.

Saturday Notes – February 14, 2015

February 15, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

NBA All-Star Weekend is grabbing headlines, but there were key games on Saturday as several conference races remained tight and a few teams re-asserted themselves as favorites in their conference.

Hoopville Archives

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.