It’s been a rough week for Skal Labissiere. For the second game in a row, Skal was non-existent on both ends of the court, finishing with only six points and one rebound against UCLA. His total for two games? Eight points and three rebounds.
A lot of people are drawing comparisons between Skal’s struggles and Karl Towns’ struggles early last season. Karl only had two points and two rebounds in Kentucky’s win over North Carolina last year, a similar stat line to Skal’s this week. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish makes that argument in his column today, telling fans to “chill” with the Skal criticism for now:
As for Labissiere, undeniably, he’s struggled the past two games. He only had six points and one rebound in Thursday’s loss at UCLA. He got two points and two rebounds earlier this week against Illinois State. But the 6-foot-11 forward has also scored at least 13 points in half of UK’s contests, and he had a 26-point performance in last month’s win over NJIT.
In other words, chill.
I can’t promise Labissiere is definitely going to breakthrough, start playing tougher, began to rebound better and actually become a top-three pick like Wiggins and Towns. But what I can tell you is that it’s too early to speak definitively on the subject, one way or another. That’s something everybody should’ve learned from Wiggins two years ago, then again from Towns last year. And it’s something everybody would be wise to remember now.
I agree for the most part, but the only part of the comparison between Skal and Karl that I have a problem with is their frames. Karl was big enough to hold his own in the post; Skal is not. There isn’t a quick fix for that, which means he’s going have to try even harder to maintain position or Cal will have to tinker with the lineup to try him at a different position. Regardless, can we get this Skal back?