November 19, 2008

Balbay makes a good first impression

On Monday, Dogus Balbay was swarmed by reporters who were all eager to find out several things about him:

• What feelings of nervousness did he have?
• What will he bring to the team?
• How different is it playing in college than playing oversees and even professionally?
• How does he feel about being off of the suspension?

There were many more questions where those came from and I must say he handled himself pretty well. A lot of guys can be camera-shy and tongue-tied, but Balbay seemed pretty comfortable, so that made me very eager to see him on the floor in game situations.

I had a few questions of my own as he went into his first game:

• How would he run the team?
• Would he play at a positive pace and try not to do too much in his debut?
• How good of a defender is he?
• How good of a shooter is he in a game?

Balbay stated that a few players he pays close attention to in the NBA are Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Tony Parker, not bad guys to study. I think we all will agree with that.

Watching him last night I didn't see a future NBA All-Star just yet, but I did see a guy who knows the game of basketball. Balbay is not blazing quick, but very heady, intelligent and fast enough to break a defense down. As a former point guard and coach, I can tell you that a point guard that has a head on his shoulders can be just as effective as a lightning quick point guard, whose legs moves faster than his brain.

Balbay will be a work in progress but I do feel the progress will be a fast one and I can see him becoming a fan favorite and a very good college point guard. I feel Balbay handled himself very well, although his emotions probably got the best of him on his breakaway lay-up that he missed.

Been there, done that. I can't explain it but for some reason it happens to at least every basketball player once.

I will say I was very impressed with his on-the-ball defense. He got a little anxious at times, but for the most part I liked his footwork and the ability to keep the ball in front of him.

Balbay's debut wasn't mind blowing, but very positive, I look forward to following his career as a Longhorn. On Monday, Balbay told reporters that he wanted to take his experience at The University of Texas and share that with the youth back in Turkey.

He should have a lot to show and tell when it's all said and done with.


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