The rookie season of Larry Sanders was a rollercoaster.
In November, Sanders saw few minutes, while in December, Sanders scored 15 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked eight shots in Denver. In March, Sanders saw his VCU Rams make it to the Final Four. And in April, his rookie season came to an end.
Sanders averaged 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. He finished the season with 260 points, 178 rebounds, 72 blocks, 22 steals, and 16 assists.
Sanders showed us from the beginning that he would be a great shot blocker. In the season opener, Sanders had a huge block on then Hornet guard Jerryd Bayless.
Just a few weeks later, Sanders scored in double digits for the first time in his career against the Charlotte Bobcats. He finished the game with 10 points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots. Just four days after his first double-digit scoring game Sanders busted out for the aforementioned 15 point, 10 rebound, eight blocked shot game.
Just couple of weeks later, Sanders had yet another high quality game against the Grizzlies, scoring 12 points, pulling down six rebounds, and blocking three shots.
In the month of February, Sanders did not see many minutes. Only a total of 53 minutes throughout the month. His best game was a six point, three rebound, one assist game against the Chicago Bulls.
When March rolled around, Sanders went on a tear. He averaged 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds for the month. To start off, Sanders scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. Other big games of the month were a 12 point, five rebound game, and a 10 point, four rebound game.
Sanders finished the season off with a 10 point, eight rebound, two block game against his former college teammate Eric Maynor and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Over the season, Sanders showed, over and over again, his shot blocking skills. He also showed a pretty good jump shot that many people underestimated.
If Sanders wants to become an elite force in the paint and a good overall player, there are a few things he will need to work on this summer.
First off, he will need to get stronger. At 6’11" 235 lbs, Sanders can be pushed around by big guys like Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert, who he will play against a lot throughout his career.
Sanders will also have to work on his hands. On numerous occasions Sanders had a wide open shot or driving land, but completely missed the ball.
Sanders has a good jump shot, as I mentioned above, but even the best of the best still work on their shot.
If Larry could become a consistent jump shooter in the NBA, he would be very valuable for Milwaukee. The team shot very poorly this past season, and Skiles will be working with the whole team to improve their shooting percentage.
To become an elite force in the paint, Sanders will have to work on his post play. Too often shots were forced by Sanders, but his post play can easily be benefited by watching film of his teammate, Andrew Bogut, who is one of the top post players in the NBA.
The transition from NCAA Basketball to the NBA is not easy for even the Blake Griffins and John Walls of the NBA.
In my opinion, Sanders transitioned very well and found his spot on a crowded Milwaukee roster. The Bucks had four other big men to hand out minutes to, and the fact that Larry got minutes obviously meant that he worked for them.
I predicted Sanders would have a good season, and I am glad he lived up to the hype I created.
Larry Sanders Season Grade: B
Zach Herring also writes for Wisconsin Sports Talk, don’t forget to check out his work! View It Here!!