Returning Players - Mike Talley

By Steve DiMiceli

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Mike Talley (Career Points: 222)

With all the fanfare surrounding other members of the '10-11 Duquesne team, we missed that Mike Talley had a helluva freshman season and plenty to build on for next year. Like most young players, his season was riddled with inconsistency. He scored 17 twice, but put up goose eggs on a number of occasions. The odd thing about Talley is that I never really could to tell how good or how poorly he was playing until I checked the box score. When looking at the stats, there were quite a few occasions where I said to myself  "How bout that? Talley had _______," or "I thought Talley had a better game than that."  The effort was there every game, but the results weren't. Overtime, this should change. He was very efficient with the basketball with a 1.62 assist to turnover ratio and proved to be a very good passer. He cut down on his turnovers in the A-10 season and only coughed it up more than twice at the UD arena.

There were of course some concerns. His 3 point shooting was up and down having great nights like when he went 4 of 5 in Green Bay but 1 of 6 in Happy Valley. What is refreshing though is ended up very close .40% from 3 in spite of yo yo shooting nights. He also got into foul trouble quite often. Teams would rotate offensively to get him into the post against much larger players Talley would be forced to foul. Other times, he would make a needless hand check 35 feet from the basket. This is not to say that he is a poor defender, but he was an inconsistent one as well. I saw plays where he  hung with his man every step and others where he'd make a mistake and foul. FT shooting also needs to get better.

Moving Forward

Like TJ, Talley came in smarter than the average freshman and I will never complain about that. We certainly appreciated his high IQ when he had to feel Evans shoes the first 10 games of the season. With experience, I think he could become a first class A-10 PG, but why is no one talking about him? While it might have a lot to do with his lack of flash and flair, I think it also might have something to do with the fans anointing others as the teams go to players in the future. Could also be that people see it as not quite being Talley's time. I would not be surprised if Talley's minutes get cut slightly next year with a healthy Eric Evans. One thing we need to keep in mind is that Talley was a prolific scorer in high school. I don't think it's out of the question that he can be a big time scorer in college too. Talley was far and away the surprise player of '10-11, but I think he has a few tricks up his sleeve over the rest of his career, too.

As for his grade, Talley blew away my pre-season expectations, but may not have played to his potential. Point is I was way wrong about what he was capable of doing. However, I simply can't give someone whose results were as inconsistent as his an "A" At the same time, I can't give someone that exceeded my preconceived notions, however incorrect they were, as much as he has less than a B.

Grade B

What he needs to do to get the A next year

3.5 APG
+2 A/TO
.400 3PT%
.675 FT%
Fewer than 3 games with 0 points.