David Laury, Iona, 6'9, 245lbs
At Iona, Laury has been that rarest of beasts; a point centre.
Routinely, Laury was given ball handling opportunities, and not because Iona lacked for guards. On some possessions, Laury brought the ball over half court and/or ran the break, and even when not tasked with the job of getting the ball into the front court, he still handled it a lot when he was there. The vast majority of Laury's offensive possessions started from about 20 feet away, and he generally ended them about two feet away. It's an extremely rare skillset, one that this past year he added a (flat footed) three point stroke to.
It mustn't be understated quite how much ball handling Laury does. He handles from all over, has a crossover, collapses a D, uses a LOT of spin moves....all the stuff you want 6'9 small forwards to do, but which not many can. And Laury cannot be confused with a small forward. The generously listed 245lb big man has little in the way of speed or athleticism, has a wide frame and plenty of muscle mass, and is certainly built like a post player. He also does not defend the perimeter at all, camping in the paint. This, then, is a post player. And a post player with a very high skill level.
Be it the handle, the behind-the-back passes, the drive-and-kick, the spins, the one handed skips or the effective shot fakes, Laury has developed himself quite the refined game. He's always going to drive the ball, and he can do so going either way. The defense has to bring help and send him towards it, because in isolation, Laury can expose many opposing bigs. He can also collapse a D, passes from the outside in, pass from the inside out, hit cutters and switch hands with ease. Offensively, Laury is a force.
Laury can also operate in the post, and did slightly more of that this past season than the one before. He likes to go over his right shoulder in post-ups, and although he is not especially poised in post up situations (nor replete with moves other than that one), his strength makes him an option does there. Laury's touch around the basket is not great, especially when contested, but this is much less of a problem when driving than it is when posting, as he can create space via the handle. And now, adding a jump shot with range to that package, Laury's jump shot opens up the drive more. Not that he ever struggled to do it anyway.
The problems for Laury come from his physical profile. He is a wide 6'9, but he is an unathletic 6'9, a below the rim player who lacks for foot speed and has no single advantage defensively. Laury also, inevitably, is guilty of trying to do too much, throwing the ball away at times and over-complicating the handle, finding trouble and trying to wriggle through it rather than reset. In the post, he puts the ball down when he needn't, and can be guilty of not hustling back after his turnovers, of which there are quite a few. Laury's rebounding rate and effort on the glass have improved, yet he can be negotiated around on the glass due to his lack of foot speed and leap, problems which affect his defense. Laury mostly just stands in the paint defensively, and while he gets some blocks, he is not much of a rim protector, which when combined with his refusal to defend outside of the paint is a problem.
Further, Laury's offensive efficiency has suffered as his jump shot has improved. Just because he can shoot better now, Laury needs to remember just how effective he is when driving from the foul line and gaining steps on retreating opponents, selling contact and shifting the defense rather than just trying to shoot over it. He is so very effective in such a unique way, and he mustn't lose sight of that.