Eleven Fighting Illini #9: Mike Shaw November 1, 2012
6′-8″, 215 lbs.
De La Salle HS / Chicago, Illinois
What I Know About Him:
I remember hearing the name Mike Shaw really early when the gurus started talking about the 2011 class. I want to say one of the early lists in 2008 had Shaw as one of the top-10 class of 2011 players in the country (as a high school freshman). He never lived up to that overhyped hype, but he was an RSCI top-100 guy (#65) with several high major offers.
He appeared in 20 games last year (139 minutes total), scoring 17 points and pulling down 37 rebounds. Using the powers of math and taking his “one rebound every 3.7 minutes” statistic, I have decided that by the time he’s a senior playing 30 minutes per game, he’ll average 8 rebounds per game. Seriously, rebounding – that needs to be his thing. He needs to use all of that athleticism to become a rebounding and shot blocking force by the time his upperclassman years arrive.
What I Expect From Him:
Shaw is the biggest wild card on this team. Wait, that’s not true – Myke “will he start at the four or sit the bench at the three” Henry is the biggest wild card on this team. But Shaw is second. You watch him in warmups, and you think he has to be the best rebounder on the team. Long reach. Nimble for a big guy. Bounce for days. He has the physical tools to be a big-time high major power forward. He could contribute a lot this season.
But then you see him get lost on a defensive assignment and wonder how long it will be until the game slows down for him. At times he reminds me of early Robert Bennett out there – great leaper who also has jumping in his game and leaps well. Can he round into form and become the true 4 this team will need? Hope so.
It’s not a big deal if he doesn’t reach that level this year (although it would be nice). But next year is when we’ll need him to take a big step forward. Tyler Griffey and McLovin graduate, leaving us with Egwu, Henry, Shaw, and Djimde at the forward positions. We might only need Shaw for 4-8 minutes this season, but next year, we’ll need 20+. Here’s hoping he puts it all together by then.