Have some patience with young big men

Updated: January 12, 2007, 4:16 PM ET
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.com
Here are some things to think about and watch for as you settle into the games this weekend:

The big man is finally coming back into vogue, and there might be no more intriguing prospect out there than UConn's Hasheem Thabeet. The 7-foot-3 Tanzanian freshman has the wingspan of a pterodactyl, and he has great feet. He can run, move laterally and he is a major presence near the goal. I cannot speak Swahili, the national language of Tanzania, but I believe that the translation for "major upside" is Hasheem Thabeet. He has all of these skills and the aptitude to develop them, and as of yet, he has no real clue out there but still blocks and changes shots at a high rate. He is currently averaging 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, and while he is not shooting a great percentage from the free-throw line, he shoots a good ball and shows good touch and a coordinated stroke. When he learns to stay down in a stance on the offensive end and be ready to move, and as he learns the nuances of post play and angles, this kid is going to be a really good one.

Hasheem Thabeet
David Butler II-US PRESSWIREHasheem Thabeet was one of the many UConn youngsters who struggled last season.

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Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst