Dec 28, 2011

Get to Know Him - Norris Cole

In 2008, a school by the name of Cleveland State upset #11 Syracuse on a 3pt buzzer beater.  That team was lead by future 1st round pick Norris Cole.  He dropped 16 points that game while dishing out 6 assists and pulling down 5 rebounds.  He did that against, at that time, top notch PG Jonny Flynn.

From Yahoo
Norris Cole stepped to the foul line with 9.3 seconds left, set to clinch the game as cries of “M-V-P” rained down upon him from the sold-out stands.

No, this wasn’t a scene from his days at Cleveland State.

Taking over in just his second NBA game—and with LeBron James
, Dwyane Wade and and Chris Bosh all on the floor, no less—Cole scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including three huge jumpers down the stretch to save the Heat in a 115-107 win over the all on the floor, no less—Cole scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including three huge jumpers down the stretch to save the Heat in a 115-107 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
Last night against Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics, on national TV, Miami Heat rookie Norris Cole impressed.  Late in the 4th quarter, during a Celtics comeback, the kid out of Cleveland State scored 14 points and drew a charge, stepping in front of Brandon Bass.  Cole finished with 20 points on 8-16 shooting and added 4 boards and 4 assists off the bench.

The Heat did re-sign starter Mario Chalmers in the offseason, but at the rate each PG is playing, Cole will be seeing much more playing and will soon be on the court during tipoff.  Chalmers opened up the second half with 4 straight turnovers before being benched for Cole.  Chalmers is a good 3pt shooter and not much else.  Last season he ranked 45th overall in efficiency rating amongst all PGs in the NBA.

Expect Norris Cole to be a name you hear a LOT this season and expect to see him picked up in your fantasy league.


Looking at the way Cole has improved himself from his sophomore to senior season, what's remarkable is his dramatic increases in production across the board despite relatively static minutes. Increasing his points per game from 13.3 to 21.6 while more than doubling his assists without increased minutes is an impressive feat, and a testament to Cole's coachability and ability to excel in various roles.

The most improved aspect of Cole's game this season would have to be his point guard abilities and overall feel for the game, as he's developed into a complete point guard capable of making all the passes needed in the halfcourt and transition. Cole does most of his damage operating out of the pick-and-roll, where he sees the entire floor at all times, keeps his head up, and frequently makes tough passes out of double teams to open teammates.

Cole is equally dangerous pushing the ball in transition, where he likewise constantly has his head up and eyes scanning the court, while he shows extremely good control of the ball with both hands, even when operating at full speed. Cole relies mostly on subtle changes of speed and direction to get by his opponent, not having a flashy arsenal of advanced moves. He uses his craftiness to compensate for a just-solid first step, as he's not the most explosive player around, but he does have good top speed once he gets going.


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