Friday, July 13

Mo Needs to Get Better

The Seattle Supersonics Supercenter Sene?Last Tuesday’s game against the Bucks was a bit of a snoozer (And did anyone else catch the NBA broadcast? What’s up with the lack of commentary? Are you telling me there wasn’t a single guy looking to make a name for himself in that industry that would be willing to call the game for peanuts?). No Durant, no Jeff Green, no Gelabale ... suffice it to say no one will be adding that link to their favorites list anytime soon.

Since there wasn’t much to catch my interest, I decided to take a look at just one player from the game for a mini scouting report: Mo Sene.

Sene’s been a bone of contention in the Sonics’ organization ever since they drafted him a year ago in the first round. After a season where he really should have been playing in the NBDL, Sene saw his name linked to Rick Sund as the reason for Sund’s dismissal. Lenny Wilkens – since departed from the organization – held up Sene’s “wasted” selection as proof of Sund’s ineptitude in the draft.

So it was an interesting year for the young Senegalese center. This summer, Sene and the Sonics hope he will capitalize on his intriguing promise as a mobile big man with a tremendous wingspan. No one’s expecting him to become Hakeem Olajuwon by November, but improvement would be appreciated. It was with that in mind that I watched the Bucks-Sonics replay.

Suffice it say, Mo Sene was not impressive.

Sene continually stood around on offense, rarely venturing to the basket for offensive or defensive rebounds. Sene seemed disinterested, tired, ill, or just plain out of sorts on both ends of the court. His body language resembled that of a teenager avoiding yardwork,

Early in the first quarter, his man beat him on the baseline for an easy bucket, something that a supposedly agile big man with his lengthy arms should never let happen.

Finally, midway through the first quarter, Sene got a chance to score, when he was given the ball near the elbow in a post-up opportunity. Sene – facing a man 5 to 6 inches shorter – backed him down for three dribbles, then abandoned the opportunity and hoisted an ill-advised 15-foot fadeaway jumper, which not surprisingly drew iron.

After a few more possessions that saw him out of the scrum of action, Sene finally looked good later in the first when he spun by his man on the left block, reaching the basket for an easy finger-roll. It was a nice move, and one he should be able to employ often if he looks for it. Since he won’t be double-teamed very often, he ought to be able to use his quickness to get by slower big men.

On the next possession, Sene drew a foul with a jump hook on the right block. His free throw technique was decent enough for a big man (and, to be fair, it’s a lot prettier than Julius Hodge’s – what’s up with that hideousness?). Sene went to the jump hook again later in the first, begging the question – is he afraid of contact, or is he just too timid to go strong to the hoop?

Sene sat down soon after, relieved by Johan Petro for the remainder of the first half. Thankfully, someone must have talked to him about his lackadaisical effort, because he seemed to have much more of a spring in his step in the second half. He blocked one Buck’s shot (called off on a foul), and just went about his business with a little more effort than in the first half.

Still, his defensive energy was sorely lacking, and his inability to grab rebounds points to two things, from my viewpoint: a lack of effort and a lack of training.

Sene desperately needs more practice and game time to adjust to the NBA. I’m hopeful the Sonics don’t plan on keeping him on the league this season, and will let him grow in the NBDL, where he can get more minutes and learn the proper footwork and technique necessary to be a capable big man.

Can you tell from one game if Sene is a wasted pick? Absolutely not. He’s still incredibly young, lacks experience, and, hey, he’s still 7’ and strong. There’s hope for Mo Sene, but not this year, I’m afraid.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the detailed scouting report.

Michael said...

P-nuss, this is the most biased scouting report I have ever read. You are a classic Seattle fan in that you thrive on hope. Sene is a scrub in the worst sense of the word. He can't even make an impact in the NBDL. It is now a full year after his drafting and he has had as his full time job to play basketball and has the best in facilities and personnel to help him to that end and he is still a nobody. Just like in any training the gains taper off so you can expect this years improvement to be the most he ever improves, getting better less and less each year. It amazes me that this guy was picked as early as he was. You said yourself he shows little effort on the floor.

Sene isn't even the whole problem, who was the last draft pick by the sups that contributed AT ALL? Collison was the last one and that was in 2003. The Sonics next three first round picks, NO ONE DOES JACK!

This is why the sonics are in such a deep hole right now even with the amazing luck of getting KD. This is why Seattle is three years behind almost all the teams in the west and therefore have no chance of winning a playoff series for at least that long.

Sund was a complete moron. Johan Petro SUCKS. He is so atrocious to watch. NONE of these guys are even basketball players. Swift is the only guy with a drop of potential at this point. But since he plays for Seattle he is cursed because Seattle is never ever allowed to get decent play from the 5 spot.

I wonder if that carries over to Oklahoma, or, if it applies to Oden if the blazers come up.

Nuss said...

Wow. Tell us what you really think of Rick Sund, man. C'mon, don't hold back!

Anonymous said...

Dude, did you even read what he wrote? He spent 1,000 words talking about how crappy Sene is, then you complain that he's too optimistic!

frank said...

Sorry for the OT, but here's a funny quote from forumblueandgold:

"Sam Presti looks all of eighteen. Aaron Afflalo likes a lot of ketchup. Nate McMillan is very, very sober.

I sat right behind the Sonic’s bench for their game against Milwaukee. Robert Swift must have spent the summer with Scott Pollard — has a long red pony tail, tattoos up both arms, and an assortment of lip and ear piercings. He spent most of the game leaning over and whispering awkward jokes to Jeff Green, who tried hard to ignore him."

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2007/07/12/summer-league-first-person/

Paul Merrill said...

Michael, you might have noticed that this is a SONICS BLOG and not the New York Times, so calling us "biased" is about as insightful as calling Jerome James "large". Do you write letters to the P.I. telling them to kindly remove opinions from the editorial section?

If you want dry, scientific sports analysis, please refer to the 98,764,000 other sports sites that cover with that crap. This is Supersonicsoul. Deal with it.

Paul Merrill said...

I love forum blue and gold--we started our blogs around the same time, and back when our teams didn't suck, we used to write scouting reports for each other when we played.

Ah, memories.

frank said...

I'm gonna have to add it to my daily dose of sites. At this rate, I'll never get any work done!

Spending way too much time reading the garbage on realgm this week as well - how many "why won't they trade their star for our garbage" posts can those kids write? Wow. The Celtics forum takes the cake.

opp said...

gotta admit though we haven't drafted very well, of course it was not all Sund's fault but he took the fall.

Don't meant to hijack the thread but...

assuming the team stays in seatown, one thing I am afraid of is that KD will just play out the two years of his rookie contract and will bolt for a larger market team. i am sure his handlers and who ever his shoe company will end up being would love it if he played in ny, la or chicago..

Paul Merrill said...

They said the same thing about LJ in Cleveland and KG in Minnesota. In fact, Chicago wasn't exactly the best basketball town before MJ showed up. I think players of Durant's talent can be successful wherever they are.

Anonymous said...

Don't the Sonisc have the option on Durant's final two years?

I think Durant will get the max after year two and stay.

If the team remains in Seattle, he'll bolt when he reaches his option years in the first big contract.

That's Seattle basketball, baby!

RJ said...

Basketball player development may have a traditional growth curve but Sene isnt a traditional player. The exposure to how to play nba pro game may eventually click this year, next year, the year after that or not at all. It is a bit like roulette in this case. More likely to not fall in right spot than hit the lucky number.

P Nussbaum said...

Maybe it's just me, but Sene reminds me alot of a young Olden Polynice. I'm not saying that Mo is anywhere near Olden's talent level (not that OP was great, but still), but just physically they are remarkably similar. Both 7'ish, both strong, both pretty fast for their size ... it's really amazing how similar they are/were.

JJ said...

I'm thinking SENE's carreer will be determined by his desire & passion & work ethic more than anything else. Good centers are sooooo hard to find. He will never be great offensively but he has a unique body to be a defensive force - Mutombo #2 is best case - but that would be great. He was drafted totally as a "Project' - they knew he was 2-3 years away because he had MINIMAL experience. I agree the future does not look good but I would not give up on him yet. On the other hand - if he is lazy & lacks passion - forget it - he will be useless & out of the league in 1-2 years. There are plenty of 7-foot stiffs & he could just be the next (McCLvaine... Botth... Sene?????)

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