There is no doubt that Draymond Green's leadership ability has surpassed that of any MSU basketball player since Mateen Cleaves.
In my opinion, what makes Draymond's leadership so dynamic is three-fold:
1. Ability to run the offense - Draymond has taken on the role/position of point-forward the past two years. He is Izzo's go-to guy in crunch time. What differentiates Green from other players is that he can shoot a jumper, leaner, hook shot, runner, turn-around, layup, dunk, three-pointer, or pass the ball. Talk about a coach's worst nightmare.
2. Defensive stopper - A big man that can defend the perimeter is priceless. Day-Day is a multi-tool defensive specialist that can guard 3-4 different positions depending on matchups in any given game. Blocks. Steals. Rebounds. Nuff said.
3. Single-mindedness with Tom Izzo - I don't mean that the two don't disagree or get into arguments; they fight nearly every game. What Green and Izzo share is the same toughness, will to win, energy and passion for MSU basketball. If there was one player that best defined the program as a whole it would be Draymond Green by a long shot. It has been said many times before because it is so accurate...Draymond is an extension of Tom Izzo on the floor.
With Green graduating this year, who will step up to the plate and be the leader of the 2012-2013 team? Four options with their respective pros/cons are after the jump.
(A) Keith Appling
PRO - experience running the offense, one of the best backcourt defenders in the conference, gets to the free throw line.
CON - sophomore slump from 3-point range, dependence on Green to make plays in 11-12.
(B) Branden Dawson
PRO - offensive rebounding ability, cleans up the trash around the rim, physical defender at the wing.
CON - JUMPSHOT, lack of offseason (and tournament play) to develop skills due to rehabilitation.
(C) Derrick Nix
PRO - (will be) sole senior on team, post moves that defy his weight class, tournament experience.
CON - prone to turnovers, low stamina, free throw percentage
(D) Adreian Payne
PRO - freakishly athletic, monster play connoisseur, length
CON - underdeveloped/incomplete repertoire of post moves, strength
Your thoughts? Feel free to agree/disagree in the comments with any of these assessments. Also, in no way am I giving up on the current team. They have much yet to accomplish. GO GREEN!