Since I live in the Midwest I always watch some Big Ten basketball every year but not a ton. I MUCH prefer the NBA and I don’t have many Saturdays where I have so much free time that I can watch an entire game. That being said, today is one those rare days. I have watched almost the whole Purdue at Northwestern game today. The Boilers have the two best players and need the game for NCAA consideration. That being said, Northwestern has played really hard and pretty well. Especially this guy named Tim Doyle. Yes, he sounds like an NYC cop and maybe he’s Tim Doyle Jr. and his dad IS an NYC cop. I dunno. I, in fact, didn’t know anything about him at all before today. He’s a starting senior in the Big Ten but I didn’t even know his name. But this guy’s my new favorite player in college basketball.
He’s not a typical D 1 star player even though he’s scored 20+ points today. He’s like the Ultimate Y Pickup Player. He moves at two speeds; high and low and there’ll totally distinct. But he shifts between them perfectly and at the appropriate time. He dribbles well with both hands and always changes at the right moment but isn’t a great ball handler technically but he works really hard to keep his body between his defender and the ball. He shoots pretty well but is mostly successful because he does exactly what the situation suggests.
Purdue’s Greg Landry is the dominant post player in the game but has had foul trouble (including a personal assessed for a hanging on the rim tech that was, uh, dubious at best) and when Doyle has him isolated on the wing he simply pushes the ball as hard as he can manage. One of two things will happen, Doyle thinks. Either 1) he will force Landry to back away and allow an easy layup or 2) Doyle will draw contact and pick up an important foul then shoot free throws. #3 happens: Landry moves backwards and keeps his hands up so as to avoid contact but appear to at least acknowledge that he doesn’t want Doyle to score the basket. Foul called. Doyle simply forced a good thing to happen.
That is Doyle’s MO. Forcing a good thing to happen. He backs in as he needs, pushes or hips appropriately, turns left or right, uses the glass and even the does the classic pass while simultaneously turning your body to set a pick. Seriously, this guy is the Ultimate Y Pickup Player.