Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Kentucky basketball fan: DeAndre Liggins, the Wildcat hustle player
On a basketball team, the hustle player is usually the guy who has no game but plays hard. On Kentucky, the hustle player is DeAndre Liggins, but he does have game.
Right now, Liggins' best skill is his defensive intensity. He is one of the SEC's top defenders and is usually matched up on the opponent's best scorer. He has good size at 6'6", a condor-like reach, and is highly motivated.
On offense, Liggins plays out of control at times. He has shown the ability to dish like a point guard, has a decent mid-range jumper, and can draw fouls when dribble-driving to the basket. On the other hand, Liggins needs to work on finishing those drives, find more consistency with his jumper, and use better judgment on his passes. He gets to the rim as good as anybody, but his ability to finish in traffic is still an issue.
Liggins had the best game of his career against Tennessee. He was a force on both ends of the floor. He was 5 for 6 from the field and 7 for 8 from the free throw line. He also picked up five rebounds and five steals. On defense, he got in Volunteer guard Scotty Hopson's head at the beginning of the game and stayed there until the end. Hopson was aggravated throughout and even shoved Liggins under the basket which gave Hopson his fourth foul late in the game.
Consistency is all Liggins needs to get the next level. He also needs to learn when to keep his pie hole shut. In Liggins' next game against Vanderbilt, things didn't go as well. He scored ten points but also was charged with a technical foul. Liggins has a tendency to chirp and it cost him.
Certainly, the NBA took notice after the Tennessee game. In some ways, he reminds folks of Chuck Hayes and Keith Bogans. Bogans has developed into an excellent defender while Hayes is a force on the boards. If Liggins can put up more games like Tennessee, he may get drafted in the second round. Big guards who can defend can make it on an NBA roster.
Back at Kentucky, Liggins has a chance to go down as an all-time fan favorite if he plays all four years. He could be the senior leader and the glue for a title run next year.
Having grown up in Kentucky, Matt David is a life long Kentucky Wildcat fan. Read his article about the top Kentucky Wildcat pros here.
*Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.