One of my favorite, most pleasant surprises this season is the development of Deandre Liggins. Last year around this time I would close my eyes everytime he brought the ball up court for fear of his infamous “run as fast as you can to the opposite baseline and lose the ball out of bounds” move. But since his return from his mysterious break last semester (I’m going with he was walking the Appalacian Trail), Liggins has really become a huge asset for the team off the bench.
With the batch of talented newcomers that moved into town this summer, it would seem Liggins could have gotten lost in the shuffle. How quickly we forget the season of nerd fights last year about him starting over Porter, and while the kid has been criticized for his attitude at times, his embracing of the support role that Cal has created for him has been really great to see. To me, he seems more confident and relaxed and rather than forcing his offensive game too much (as he had a tendency to do last year), has really been able to find his niche in Cal’s offense.
A quick comparison of this year Liggins vs. last year Liggins:
|3pt FG %||23.5||58.8|
Besides assists, Deandre has improved statistically in every area. To me, the one that stands out the most is the turnovers, because like I said last year could be painful to watch at times.
I’ve said it all along: This team is going to go only as far as the supporting players are willing to buy into the system and elevate the superstars on this team. Liggins is well on his way to doing this.
And read what Deandre had to say to the Winchester Sun about his improvements this year.