Festus Ezeli, Senior, Center, Vanderbilt
Festus Ezeli was a pretty raw player when he started his collegiate career at Vanderbilt. The 6-11 Benin City, Nigeria product had a lot of work to do before he would be able to make an impact. During his redshirt season, Ezeli added some much needed weight and eventually got up to 255 pounds. But even after spending a year on the sidelines, Ezeli was stuck behind A.J. Ogilvy for two years and only averaged about a dozen minutes per game during those two seasons.
It was the 2010-2011 season that would be so telling. Was Ezeli ready to take over for Ogilvy? Those are some big shoes to fill and nobody was too sure if Ezeli’s hard work and potential would result in production. It did not take too long to figure out that Ezeli was the real deal. During his junior season he averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. He developed into a solid post scorer who can also be a specialist on the defensive end.
Ezeli has no outside shot to speak of and he could stand to work on his free-throw shooting since he does get to the line quite a bit, but he still is a fine scorer. On a team that is full of talented wing scorers, Ezeli did not get too many opportunities, but he made the most of those that he received. Ezeli will not be the go-to-scorer during his senior season either with John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor leading the way, but Ezeli will open up space for those two to attack the basket and he will, as always, be a major force on the defensive end.
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