Neal's 'YMCA' Skills
On Monday, Gary Williams said during the ACC coaches teleconference that senior forward Dave Neal utilizes "a lot of, like, YMCA moves." But don't think that was Williams making a subtle jab at his starting big man. Yesterday, Williams clarified his description.
"That doesn't mean they're bad moves," Williams said. "He's got those timing things where he always catches guys when they're not ready to guard and he gets his shot off. If you go up high on him, he can go under you. Kevin McHale had a great up and under move, too. That's what Dave does. He's got a lot of skill and knows when he's open. A lot of guys, you'll see them shoot when they're not open. But Dave always seems to take good shots because he doesn't force anything."
Whether by way of a step back jump shot or an underhanded flip, Neal's YMCA skills have enabled him to score a fair share of baskets this season. He's usually even good for a three-pointer or two per game, which typically catches opponents off guard considering Neal is 6-foot-7, 263 lbs.
Neal will not serve as Maryland's go-to scorer by any means this season, but that doesn't mean he can't be effective around the basket. Neal's craftiness should earn him more than a few buckets.
Really, though, the area in which Neal can make the largest impact is on the boards. Neal likely would be more valuable to his team on most nights if he grabbed eight rebounds and scored two points, rather than the other way around.
So far, Neal is averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. He has started the past seven contests.
"He's been a pretty effective force," Williams said Monday. "Whether he can do it against the teams on a consistent basis in the league remains to be seen."
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