UofL Basketball has successfully dipped into the grad transfer pool before. First, Damion Lee and Trey Lewis joined the flock; two players that turned out to be transcendent. Last year, Furman grad transfer Christen Cunningham and Richmond grad transfer Khwan Fore joined and helped the team arguably overachieve due in part to their talents. Now they have dipped into the grad transfer market again and grabbed St. Joe’s grad transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble.
— Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble (@0seconds__) April 11, 2019
The 6’0 197 lbs PG is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He chose St. Joe’s over offers from Drexel, Creighton, and UMass, among others. He was a 3 Star prospect coming out of high school per 247sports.
Kimble was somewhat marred by injuries during his St Joseph’s career per St. Joe’s Athletics website. Towards the end of what had been a successful sophomore season in which he averaged 15.5 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, and 4.5 assists per game, he broke a bone in his left foot forcing him to miss the final 7 games. The next year he played in the opening game and re-injured the same bone in his left foot and was forced to miss the rest of the season.
This past season, he missed some time due to a hand injury. However, he still played in 23 games and started 18 of them. He averaged 15.6 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, and 1 steal per game for the Hawks. He was also named a team captain for an unprecedented 3 years in his time there.
Now that he’s going to be a Card, here are some highlights of Kimble. I’ll break down some of what I saw of his game after you view them.
These highlights are from Kimble’s most successful season, the 2016-2017 season, at St. Joe’s before the plague of injuries began to hamper him. Here are some of the key things Fresh brings to the table here at UofL.
As a 6’0 PG, Kimble plays much bigger. He is so strong, able to go in among the 6’8 and above players and get layups. He also plays tough. He almost seems to relish contact and seeks it out. This may be why during his best seasons at St. Joe’s, he averaged nearly 5 free throw attempts a game. He’s very reminiscent of Chris Jones in this regard.
Scoring/Shooting/Finishing at the Rim
Kimble shows his ability to score at all three levels: from the three-point line, from the mid-range, and at the rim. His shooting stroke is consistent and smooth.
He can hit shots off the dribble by pulling up and using step backs both from beyond the arc and from the mid-range. This is maybe the strongest part of his game. He is a shot maker.
However, an equally as strong part of his game his getting to the rim. He can either use slick moves to get by defenders or flat-out bully opponents and force his way to the rim. Once he is there, he finishes from all kinds of angles. He possesses excellent strength for a guy his size and that allows him to finish a lot through contact. This was the one weakness of our guards last year. Hopefully, this year Fresh and others can make it a strength.
Kimble is very good at hitting shots off the catch. He knows how to move without the ball and get open. And when he’s open he can knock the shots down.
Kimble is a strong ball handler. He does not get rattled when defenders pressure him. He possesses a nice crossover that gets him by opponents. This is a guy that you can give the ball late and expect him to be able to handle pressure and not get the ball taken from him or inextricably lose possession.
Nice Shot Fake
Kimble is shown using a beautiful shot fake. He gets guys to go flying right by like Maverick did when he hit the brakes in “Top Gun.” In one particular part of the highlight video, he uses a shot fake twice in a row and the defender bit on it both times.
Excellent Passer/Excellent Court Vision and Awareness
There’s an entire portion of this video dedicated to Kimble’s passing ability. It’s no wonder either as he shows he can find the open man consistently. The pass I love most is his lob pass. It is a thing of beauty. It’s perfectly placed every time; never too high or too far in front or behind. Our bigs are going to love him.
His ability to penetrate the lane and dish pinpoint passes to shooters on the wing is something I thought we lacked a little last year as a team. Kimble should definitely help revitalize that part of UofL’s offense, as he is adept at getting in the lane, knowing where the open man will be, and giving him a nice rhythm pass for a shot. He also is able to drive and dish to interior players for layups and dunks; always seeing where his interior player is and if the defense helps off of that guy or gets lost even for a split second, he passes a crisp pass to them for a bucket.
Speaking of knowing where the open man will be, Kimble is very good at recognizing what a defense is doing and seeing his options when looking to pass. For instance, there are a few times teams try to double him after a pick. Kimble doesn’t panic, is able to find the open man and deliver a pass for an easy bucket or open shot. He instinctively knows where to look first and then second; almost like a QB on a football field.
While Kimble occasionally shows a penchant for a spectacular pass, he is more likely to deliver a simple, effective pass. He’s not necessarily as much a showboater as he is a surgeon.
Chris Mack likely just found his starting PG for next year. Fresh Kimble has a fresh game. He’s a strong, smart young player. He can score from all 3 levels, he can be the primary ball handler, and he can orchestrate the offense and get himself and others shots. He plays very tough and smart. In some ways, he reminds me of former UofL Gs Chris Jones and Terry Rozier. A smaller G that plays bigger.
This is a big pickup as many UofL fans and media wondered who would be the primary ball handler and PG next year. Even if Darius Perry improves and earns the nod as the starter by the beginning of next season, it will be nice to have a backup of Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble’s quality and experience.
*all stats courtesy of www.sports-reference.com