19 year-old Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere's struggles this season have been well documented, as his transition to the college game has been very disappointing. Coming into college with almost zero high level experience in actual five on five settings, Labissiere has looked ill equipped for the rigors of high major NCAA basketball, both from a physical standpoint and in terms of his own personal and mental toughness. Skal's confidence seems to have been crushed by the "tough love" he's received from Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who has berated his young big men incessantly and been very quick to bench him after the slightest mistake.
Averaging just 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and a troubling 3.1 personal fouls over 15.8 minutes per game, the long, athletic Haitian has faced consistent criticism in recent months after actually starting off the season fairly well in non-conference play.
With great size, terrific mobility, and a budding skill-level on both ends of the floor, Labissiere has plenty still going for him as a NBA prospect, even if his production has been practically non-existent in conference play.
Last night, Kentucky faced off against Florida in the O'Dome on senior night in front of a number of NBA scouts, and Labissiere played perhaps his best game since December. He made a significant impact in just 15 minutes of action as he found himself in foul trouble as he has so often this season. One has to wonder if his solid showing was just a flash in the pan, or if it is a sign of things to come.
Via Mike Schmitz, here's a video breakdown of some of the more notable things NBA scouts were able to see last night, both good and bad, on either end of the floor. NBA teams will certainly continue to monitor the roller coaster ride that has been Labissiere's season so far, to see whether he can still salvage his college experience with a strong month of March.