Clark Kellogg has put together a pretty impressive basketball resume over the years. McDonald’s All-American in high school, All-Big Ten player in college at Ohio State, first-round NBA Draft in 1982, and more than two decades as a college basketball analyst.
Kellogg, in short, has played and seen a lot of basketball.
He’s also seen the game change. Nowhere has that change been more pronounced, perhaps, than in the role and evolution of the big man.
“It’s different,” Kellogg said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s different, guys. The game is a three-point shooting game, a dribble-drive game, a space-and-pace game. But there are some big guys who understand how to get work done down in the low post. I’m thinking of Diamond Stone (at Maryland). Even though he’s a freshman, (he) does a really good job. Good hands, good solid footwork. Matt Costello, a senior at Michigan State, does a really good job – not only rolling out of screen situations, but he’s got a nice jump hook over both shoulders. So that gives you a chance to use your body and be effective catching it there.
“But most big guys now are more valued for mobility and shooting,” Kellogg continued, “and if you factor in some strength and rebounding, that’s a bonus. But now, you see teams wanting more mobile big guys – and that’s fine. The game evolves over time. You don’t have a ton of back-to-the-basket big men, but the ones that are out there are pretty good.”
Kellogg was asked which position player he would pick if he were starting a team. Would he go with the best big man in the country or the best point guard in the country?
“I would probably go hybrid,” Kellogg said. “I would probably go with a swing guy who’s a terrific perimeter defender, a shotmaker and a playmaker. Now if I couldn’t have that, then I would probably have to go point guard because that guy can make it so easy for everybody else at the point of attack. If he’s a good defender, then he can help you with your defense. If he’s a really good point guard, then he’s handling the ball well, he’s a shot maker, he can get to the rim and he can get other people shots. When you got a guy that can do that stuff, it makes your whole offense flow a lot easier.”