Summer is for improving one’s game. That applies to high schoolers, pros and even out-shape adults like me. Get on the court, shed some pounds, work on the jumper. You know the drill.
It obviously applies to every college player, too. Even the best ones.
That’s why Mike DeCourcy came up with a list of five guys – Duke forward Mason Plumlee, Louisville guard Peyton Siva, Florida center Patric Young, Indiana forward Christian Watford and UCLA center Joshua Smith – who could thrive during the 2012-13 season if they amplified their skills in certain areas.
For Siva, that means perimeter shooting. Plumlee and Young must improve their post games. Watford needs to rebound.
And Smith? His is the easiest. Just stop eating. From DeCourcy.
Underneath the 50-75 extra pounds he carried through last season is a low-post scorer who Pac-12 coaches genuinely fear. Smith hasn’t enjoyed talking about his weight, but he did admit to the Los Angeles Times that he was supposed to enjoy a “breakout year” as a sophomore and it hadn’t developed.
“I know what I have to do to become a better player,” Smith said. “I don’t have to feel like an Army workout every day. I just do what I have to do, watch what I have to eat. I’m working on it.”
There are plenty of healthy dining options for Smith. After all, it’s California. There are more than a few restaurants that don’t put cheese sticks on the sandwiches.
What’s ridiculous is that this was true for Smith last summer as well. You’d think the second time around might provide better results, but we’ll see.
Smith’s not the first guy whose weight prevented him from being a dominant player and he won’t be the last. Perhaps this is the summer he drops some weight and enters the season as a player who can’t be stopped.
If only L.A. didn’t have so many tasty places to eat …