Wednesday, October 31, 2007
#31 Rob Kurz- 6-9 / 232, Lower Gwynedd, PA-
Tom Noie stole my idea for an article, so I'll just have to wing this one.
The Irish have one returning senior this year, two-time captain Kurz. Rob went from talented, but little known forward to one of the best players in the Big East with a quality season last year. Kurz averaged 12.6 points and 8.0 rebounds in 28 minutes per game in 06-07.
Kurz's main contribution this year will be his presence in the paint. He must work with Luke Harangody to create scoring opportunities inside and spread the defense. In addition, his rebounding ability will end scoring opportunities on defense and help create second chances on offense. As the tallest starter, even undersized at 6'9", Kurz must be physical enough to deal with must taller opponents such as 7'2" Georgetown center Roy Hibbert. Coach Brey will have to drop into zone defense to make up for the overall lack of height in some instances, but the emphasis will be on Kurz in man-to-man.
In addition to his inside game, Kurz is an accomplished shooter from outside. Last season he made 21 of his 49 attempts from beyond the arc. While he may not get lots of opportunities, Kurz has shown the ability to make the big three when asked. His overall game is the most polished on the team, fitting for the lone senior, and he will be required to play to the best of his ability in order for the Irish to win some big games this season.
Tomorrow I'll preview the season as a whole. Friday the Irish open with an exhibition game against St. Ambrose. It's not top-notch competition and it doesn't count, but it will certainly be exciting to see the guys in a game for the first time this year. Until then, have a happy Halloween.