Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Player Profiles: #41 Andrew Lovedale

The Big Cat. Kleenex. Anthony…Andrew Lovedale was called all of these things over the course of his sophomore season. The 6’8” forward emerged as one of Davidson’s premier big men with his knack for cleaning every rebound off the boards (hence, “Kleenex”) and elevating to block shots in the paint.

Lovedale finished this season with 199 rebounds, 17 blocks and an average of 4.9 points per game. Without much experience from his freshman year to build upon, Lovedale came out of the blocks strong and was never a liability when the coaches brought him in off the bench.

Like his towering counterpart in Meno, Lovedale has been able to produce thanks to his long arms and incredible leaping ability. Some of his most memorable plays of the season include a highlight reel block on the SoCon player of the year Kyle Hines, several huge swats at the end of the first half of Davidson’s NCAA tournament game against Maryland, and a transition slam dunk after which he was “T”-ed up by the infamous Teddy Valentine for hanging on the rim. However, even more infamous was the Davidson’s section cheer as the Furman player shot his free throws down by double digits with little time remaining: “it was worth it.”

Lovedale came to Davidson from Manchester, England where he played for the Manchester Magic. A native of Benin City, Nigeria, Andrew has an impeccable singing voice and an incredibly talented pair of feet. He was a member of the intramural soccer championship team last year. Truly the well-rounded individual, Lovedale is well-liked around campus for his big smile and booming friendly voice. He says that if he didn’t have all of the demands of basketball practice and schoolwork, he would join the gospel choir and sing about the joys of his Christian faith.

Despite his incredible work ethic and rebounding prowess, Lovedale still lacks a consistent offensive attack. Although his natural shot is a turn-around fadeaway in the middle of the paint, Lovedale realized this season that D-I forwards can alter that shot, and that getting to the middle of the lane is not always possible.

If Lovedale is to develop into “one of the best forwards in recent history” as many of his fans believe he is, the big man will have to find his natural comfort in the 5-10 foot space around the basket. If he can find a way to consistently finish and then combine that with his incredible rebounding ability, Lovedale very well could live up to the billing as one of the best of his time. For now, we’ll just call him the Big Cat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work, Will! Some of us out here love to read your player profiles. What a great idea!