When the Memphis Tigers take the floor this season, they will be loaded with talent. With the return of veterans like Chris Douglas-Roberts
and Robert Dozier
, and the arrival of new prospects like Derrick Rose
, John Caliparis squad is armed for a deep run into March. One important cog on this team that cannot be overlooked on such a star-studded team is senior power forward Joey Dorsey
. Aside from incoming freshman Derrick Rose
, there may be no more of an intriguing pro prospect in Conference USA than Dorsey.
Dorsey possesses the physical tools to succeed at the pro level; despite being a little undersized at 69. He has a very wide frame, one that packs 260 pounds of muscle. Aside from freshman phenom Greg Oden
, Dorsey didnt meet a single player last year that could stand up to him in terms of raw strength. His mass though is deceiving in that he has tremendous upward explosiveness and the ability to elevate with anyone in the country. Often last season defenders would have to deal with Dorsey skying over them for a thunderous alley-oop. His open floor speed is also above average for a player of his size, but his poor ball skills prevent him from being a threat to do anything but catch and finish around the basket.
For a player as physically gifted as Dorsey is, his 8.5 points per game last season doesnt seem to add up. There are two reasons behind his low offensive output. First, Dorsey has a severely underdeveloped post game. Against smaller opponents, Dorsey simply tries to outmuscle them on his way to the basket. While this works sometimes, it results in a fair number of offensive foul calls against him. He occasionally shows flashes, able to drop step and elevate over defenders, but these are few and far between. In general , he doesnt have much touch around the basket, and often will attempt to dunk the ball rather than go for the easier finish. The other reason for Dorseys lack of scoring is in that he simply isnt a major focal point of the Memphis offense. The senior only attempted 5.3 shots per game last season in 25 minutes of playing time.
The majority of Dorseys shot attempts come from his tremendous hustle on the offensive glass. An amazing 42% of his shot attempts last season came from offensive rebounds, according to Synergy Sports Technologys quantified stats. While for many players this would be a problem, Dorsey is still able to be a scoring threat because he is such a workhorse down low. He averaged 9.4 rebounds per game and 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. These averages when adjusted to 40 minute averages are 14.9 rebounds (6.9 offensive rebounds) per game, first in the country amongst returning prospects receiving substantial playing time. Dorsey is able to rebound at such an incredible rate on both ends of the floor thanks to his sheer mass and his tremendous leaping ability. It is very hard to keep him from establishing position to go after rebounds because he is so strong; it isnt unusual to see him come down with a one-handed rebound while holding off an opponent with the other arm. On top of that, he is able to come down with many balls that he shouldnt be able to since he can out jump most players he goes up against.
Another major benefit of Dorseys offensive rebound prowess is it equates into frequent trips to the foul line--he averaged more than four attempts from the line last season. While this is an encouraging statistic; his 47% percentage is not. Dorsey has awful shooting mechanics and non-existent touch, which explains why he almost never attempts any sort of a jump shot.
Defense is where Dorsey is going to really make or break his pro chances. He is an absolute disruptive force in every sense of the phrase. His rebounding prowess alone would make him appealing, but he has great reaction time as well, which further adds to his appeal on the defensive side of the floor. Dorsey averaged 2.2 blocks and 1.4 steals last season thanks to his ability to his instincts and athletic ability. His deceptive quickness allows him to intercept a fair number of passes, and his freakish leaping ability lets him get a hand on some shots that he has no business blocking. Even when he isnt blocking shots, he alters a lot of shots that are taken in his area.
While he isnt tremendously quick, Dorsey still does a fairly good job when he is asked to play perimeter defense. He guards the pick and roll fairly well, something scouts love to see with the way todays NBA works. Dorsey does need to improve on his abilities to close out on perimeters shooters.
Despite how much he needs to improve his offensive game, Dorseys athleticism and stellar defensive play will be enough to have him playing at the pre-draft camps and likely hear his name called on draft night. Should we see a big improvement in his scoring ability this year though, Dorsey could possibly even crack the first round. Its pretty clear that there is a role for him in the league somewhere, at the very least as a Reggie Evans