The big orange hat heralded an entrance seldom seen at Oklahoma State. The anticipation of what Le'Bryan Nash would bring in the 2011-12 season was off the charts.
Here were my comments regarding Nash from last season...
"Nash needs to learn how to play when he is not the center of attention, both on offense and defense;" Nov 15, 2011
"Nash says it is "Upset Saturday." Our star freshman tweeted that comment this morning. Really? On the road at #4 Baylor….
I replied "One possession at a time. 110% every possession. GO GET ‘EM!"
My unheard comment…"If you are going to call for Upset Saturday, then I better see you flying around the floor like this is your last game of basketball EVER."
With all the drama of departing troops creating a manpower shortage, this was a fairly brave comment from someone who has yet to play at full power for the entire time he is on the floor. We have seen flashes, even some sustained production, but then again we still see periods of uninspired play, and noticeable absences at the end of games when the result is still in question." Jan 14, 2012 prior to the road game at Baylor
For me, the only memorable moment for Nash from last season was the game winner against Iowa State in GIA.
So, going into this season, I had this assessment
of Nash's outlook as part of a 5 question post (see my responses to #1 & #2) with Kyle Porter at Pistols Firing and Brendon Morris from the O'Colly...
And so far, other than pretty good back to back games against Tennessee and NC State, while scoring points, he is having so little impact on the game it is mind-boggling. I commented in a recent podcast that I can't recall a player of such talent posting a more invisible 15-18 points per game. He has admitted that he "plays down to his opponent."
Don't get me wrong, 15-18 points per game is not invisible, it definitely makes a difference. But it needs to make a difference EVERY single night. Bad game is 12 points, but a good game is 27 points, and you need to show that dominance against inferior opponents.
Tennessee Tech was the perfect example. Five points. No impact.
Nash is becoming a role player, and not a very significant one at that, at least not on the offensive end.
Defensively, he is contributing quite nicely. If he wasn't, it would be obvious. But since the loss at Virginia Tech he has been a non-factor on the offensive end. If the flow doesn't go through him, or he doesn't get some love from the officials, he disappears.
I'm beginning to think that if this is the Le'Bryan Nash we are going to get, with the bouts of non-existence, then fine, jump to the NBA. Ford seems adept at finding guys with motors, so I don't mind sacrificing potential for intensity. There is absolutely no reason for a player of his "ability" to completely disappear on a regular basis.
Not sure what is going on with him. Is he just lazy on the offensive end? Can't grasp having to work so hard for a basket? Or is he really just not that overwhelmingly good?
Here's hoping we get "good" Le'Bryan for Gonzaga and the Big 12 schedule to follow...or does it really matter?