Last night, we had the opportunity to watch Guy-Marc Michel and his North Idaho College teammates play live at the MAC. While NIC was taking an incredibly over-matched opponent in the Community Colleges of Spokane, it was still a good chance to watch Guy-Marc closely and get a feel for the type of game he plays. In this game, Michel ended up with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots. We'll get another chance to watch Guy-Marc play on January 30th, when he will go one-on-one with fellow Gonzaga recruit, Daequon Montreal and the College of Southern Idaho.
Positives: The first thing that you notice when watching Guy-Marc is that he is very fluid for a 7'1 athlete. He runs the floor with ease, and I even it even looks like he is gliding when he runs the court. This was a pleasant surprise, as many guys his size tend to labor when they are forced to run the court. With the up-tempo system that Gonzaga employs, he would be able to get many easy baskets in transition. The area where Guy-Marc really thrives is on the defensive end of the court. He uses his great size and tremendous wing-span to guard every shot that is taken. He also possesses excellent timing on his shot-blocking which allows for him to deflect many shots that other players his size wouldn't. It is clear he is most comfortable on this end of the court, as he is very vocal with his teammates, and controls everything in the paint. Michel is also a fundamentally solid rebounder. Immediately after any shot goes up, he locates a body and boxes out the man. I believe that just based on his defensive ability, Guy-Marc could contribute solid minutes to the GU team this season.
Negatives: While there is no denying the tremendous force that Guy-Marc is on the defensive end, his offensive game is about as raw as I have seen. While he is vocal and confident with his teammates on the defensive side, Michel appears to be timid and doesn't demand the ball in the set offense. The NIC was frustrating to watch, because many times, Michel would only receive the ball at the top of the key, where he was clearly uncomfortable. The interesting aspect of Michel's offensive game is that he actually has a decent post game. There were two separate occasions where NIC was able to get Michel isolated with his back-to-the-basket, and both times he was able to finish with ease. I was most impressed by a beautiful baby hook he was able to score over his defender from the left block. It seemed that he could hit this shot any time he wanted, but instead he allowed himself to be a bystander in the NIC offense.
Conclusion: It was clear to see why the Gonzaga coaching staff is so interested in Guy-Marc Michel for the class of 2010. He is a 7 footer who is blessed with great athleticism and lots of natural ability. In the stands tonight was Gonzaga coach Tommy Lloyd as well as Austin Daye and Ira Brown, and you better believe that Lloyd was scouting every move that Michel made. He would be a tremendous asset to this program in the class of 2010, and along with Sam Dower, Andy Poling, Rob Sacre, and potentially Daequon Montreal, there would be tremendous depth at the PF and C position. The games against CSI on January 30th and 31st should be a great opportunity to see how Michel matches up with one of the top JC bigs in the country.