2022-2023 Player Preview: Anton Watson

Entering his fourth year in the program, Anton Watson knows what to focus on. This is what he said about himself in a file Spokesperson’s article: “I think for me, just keep your consistency all season. I had some times where I was playing really well and then sometimes I wouldn’t play well. So I think just focus on consistency and getting into the gym every day. Getting shots is the most important thing to me and boosting my confidence. I think these are the biggest keys.”

“This will be his prime season,” has been the prediction for Anton Watson’s season preview for the past two years. The promise he showed in his freshman season, before his shoulder injury, made Watson’s stock a solid buy. There were flashes of greatness. Double-digit scoring and bouncing games, needle threading assists and opponent passes. There were also cases that, despite the good gameplay, his attack was not present. Take the season-ending loss to Arkansas; Anton had eight rebounds and only one point.

The pendulum swings of Anton’s offensive consistency is best illustrated by the extremes of his offensive ratings in one game: in last season’s loss at St Mary’s on February 26, he had an offensive rating of 15.7. After twelve days against the same Saint Marys team in the Senior World Championship final, his offensive rating was 172.5. Two years ago, in the NCAA Championships against Norfolk State, he had a near-perfect game with an offensive rating of 222.2. Two months ago, back in Moraga, his offensive rating was “0” at 22 minutes. He also had a “0” against University of California Last season. For comparisons’ sake, his front-court teammates’ lowest offensive ratings last year were 71 for Timmy and 73 for Holmgren.

A good argument can be made that citing offensive ratings is not the best way to measure Anton’s value to the team. After all, whenever he entered last year’s match, he was usually the fifth choice to score. His defensive rating of 88.4 over three seasons is his best stretch Any WCC player since 2010 He finished second in Nymbard’s steal (51 to 40) despite playing nearly half of Andrew’s minutes. He has to make his own shots, so offensive productions are just a bonus, right?

While he shouldn’t be underestimated as a defensive stopper or “glue man” whose contributions don’t always pay off the fund’s result, I think he’s short selling it. Anton is just a very talented basketball player with great instincts and a judgmental awareness. Remember, he led Gonzaga Prep to a consecutive 4A State Championship, scoring 33 in the final of the tournament. He ranked highly in the 32 players in the nation. In 14 games spanning the middle of last season, he averaged 10.6 points per game and fired 42% from depth. he can play.

Where and when he will play has been one of the biggest questions off the season. Few like his game, he’s a big player, so it makes sense that he’d be the first in the “4”. It also makes sense for a ‘little ball’ type lineup, which is very successful at 20-21, with Strother starting at a ‘4’. In the latter case, Watson will again be the first big person to sit on the bench. I could also see him playing a 5 in a small lineup that would knock opponents to the ground. With so many potential lineup options, this may change several times before it is finally settled.

I’ve read that Anton is vying with Dom Harris for the best 3-point shooter in practice. It’s time to translate this skill into play. It’s best to make the rise/fall easier with Timme and keep it grounded. As mentioned above, this year’s seat is very talented.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Anton is well aware of his shortcomings and where he needs improvement. Last summer, Anton Drew accompanied Tim to Texas to work on his game under professional coach Tyler Ralph, this year, he has enjoyed the idea of ​​moving to Seattle to train with Nolan Hickman or traveling to Los Angeles to train with Dominic. Harris. Instead, settle onrunsAt John Stockton’s Warehouse with current and former Zags and almost daily practice sessions with his father and brother.

If working out with your family doesn’t seem too difficult, you don’t know the Watson family. Anton’s father, Dion, was a freshman for four years at the University of Idaho and is the school’s record holder Professional bounces, ranked second in blocks. He also played professional basketball for 10 years, including five years in Argentina. His brother Dion Jr., 6’4″ 225 pounds, former football and basketball star Coeur d’Alene, played four years of football at Idaho

I really hope this is the year of Anton Watson. If he can get 20 minutes per game, WCC’s top defensive player is a surefire possibility. Let’s hope that this year’s season preview predictions come to fruition, this will be the year of Anton Watson’s breakthrough.

Diary: Special thanks to Anton’s father, Dion Watson for accepting my phone call and talking to me about his son and basketball in general. I really enjoyed it.

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