Wendell Lewis, Alabama State, 6'10, 260lbs
After being dismissed from Mississippi State, Wendell Lewis transferred for for his senior year at Alabama State, a team in a mid-major conference that was supposed to give him an opportunity to be more of a focal point. He did indeed get much more offensive opportunity as a Hornet. But with the increased responsibility came more pronounced weaknesses in his game.
Entirely a post player, Lewis is self-evidently strong, but also not athletic. And for all his size, he does not exactly use it. Lewis is too easily screened for a player his size and does not fight for position on the glass, and with very little lateral quickness, nor does he step out to defend the perimeter well. This lack of speed also weakens the big man's presence as a weak side shot blocker, an area in which he shows potential when he is in the right position, but in being rather flat footed, it is hard for him to get into such positions. Without much length or speed, Lewis is not all that disruptive of a presence around the basket, nor is he able to rebound over people or chase down long caroms. When he plays with some urgency, does his work early, gets position and uses his strength, he is a considerably better player for it.
What Lewis does do is camp in the post and create an offensive option. Using hook shots with both hands, Lewis aggressively looks for his shot, a bit too aggressively at times (2.0 turnovers per game in only 22 minutes) but aggressively nonetheless. He is in to score, and some offense can be run through him. Lewis struggles with double teams and sometimes takes too long to make his move, thinking rather than reacting, but when he goes quickly he has a decent touch around the rim and does a decent job of passing back out of the post. Lewis floats shots over the defending big men rather than taking it at them, and demonstrates little in the way of a jump shot, yet his offensive finesse is tough to match up against, especially in a frame that size. Lewis can also be employed in some pick-and-roll action, utilising a spin move that belies his slow footwork on perimeter D, albeit with the occasional travel thrown in. Even in this half of the game, though, Lewis's lack of toughness, speed and hustle can be a problem. Lewis is too easily stripped in his post possessions by guards dropping down to help, and doesn't go up strong enough around the basket if contested. His lack of explosion is again a problem here, as Lewis does miss quite a few close range looks and looks too casual at times. When he plays with some urgency, does his work early, gets position and uses his strength, he is a considerably better player for it.
It is entirely deliberate that those two paragraphs end of the same note. They speak to a common theme - Lewis has to want it more. To play with some fire. To loaf less on the court, to show some aggression and use his strength, to fight for position on every trip. He'll be a considerably better player if ever he does this.