Player Spotlight: Diamon Simpson

Diamon Simpson has been one of the import finds of the season. Despite his size, Diamon has managed to overpower and outwork many of the league's bigs. He's been a regular double-double threat and a very efficient scorer.....until recently.

Stories started to surface late last year about Diamon's conditioning and this began to explain the lack of minutes fans were screaming about. I'd noticed him breathing hard pretty early into some games but thought surely a minute or two off and he'd be ready to roll again. Unfortunately he often was off for long stretches and most noticeably in the last quarter. In the Feb 5 game vs Townsville (read review here) he called for a sub due to fatigue and the Crocs went on an 11-2 run. On the regular 36ers spot on 5AA more reports have emerged, backing that Diamon rocked up "fat" and not in game shape. 

Of greater concern of late has been his drop in numbers. Look at these stats.......

2011 Stats
22.73 min/gm
10.4 FGA
64% FG
4.4 FTA
45.6% FT
8.6 REB
1.3 BLK
15.4 PTS

2012 Stats
25.05 min/gm
8.4 FGA
48.8% FG
5.9 FTA
57.6% FT
7.6 REB
11.6 PTS

Last 4 Games
23.89 min/gm
8.3 FGA
45.5% FG
8.25 FTA
57.6 FT%
8.5 REB
2.25 BLK
12.3 PTS

What does that tell us? He's getting a few more minutes a game and......

-Less field goal attempts, partly because he's being fouled more
-FG% noticeably down
-Getting to the line more and hitting a better % (up 12%, but still not good enough for a pro)
-Rebounds are down
-Blocks are up
-Points are down

*Bear in mind if he was getting 32min a game he'd be averaging around 18pts and 11 boards on season averages, assuming he didn't pass out from exhaustion.

It appears teams are making him work harder to get as deep as he likes, and if he gets there they are more likely to give up a foul and make him earn his points from the line. Wollongong played him well, fouling him 5 times inside where he returned 5/10 free throws. They also gave him two short-mid range jumpers which he clunked.

I see the tools there and have seen enough to make we want the team to bring him back next year but he must assure the team he'll do the following in the offseason

-Come back super fit
-Work on his free throws
-Work on a mid-range jumper.

The team should get Mark Davis to work with him regularly. "Pud" went from being an inside bully to also becoming a dangerous outside threat as his career evolved. His inside game game is the closest we've seen to Davis's from a 36er and surely Davis could give him some great help.

If he can convince the team he'll do all of that, we should sign him ASAP.

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