We have written and interviewed JUCO standout Corry DeBerry before, but after watching his key play down the stretch in the NCAA tournament, one thing is clear, Corry DeBerry is more than a fill-in bench player. He will be critically important to the success of next year’s squad.
At 6’ 10” and 275 lbs. UC finally has a monster down low in DeBerry. We all heard about Kentucky’s size, but DeBerry actually compared to those freakishly large big men.
Just look at the man’s hand!
DeBerry averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 boards on the year, but played off the bench just 10.6 minutes per game. During the Purdue game he stepped up, even having a ballerina-like reverse layup under the hoop. After Ellis was ejected, he played 26 minutes and added 13 critical points, 2 blocks, and 2 rebounds. We would not have won that game without him. Again, when Ellis was injured in the UK game DeBerry stepped up to the plate with 7 points, 2 blocks, and 6 boards in 17 minutes.
As an added bonus, he can sink free throws, which is always important for big men.
Sure Gary Clark and Octavius Ellis will and should start next year, but DeBerry’s offseason development is huge. He has 50 lbs. on Ellis and 3 inches and 40 lbs. on Clark. DeBerry adds a unique factor off the bench. For next year he will be a dynamic player in AAC play, but most importantly (after witnessing Purdue’s and UK’s size first hand from the sideline this season), he should be invaluable during NCAA tournament play.
By Andy Smith