The Kenny George Effect

By Ian Guerin - October 09, 2007

CONCORD, N.C. -- The biggest player in the Big South Conference isn't at today's Big South Media Day.

But sure enough, questions about 7-foot-7, 380-pound Kenny George have already begun for UNC-Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach.

The Bulldogs have made considerable strides to get George healthy. The redshirt sophomore missed several games last year with knee injuries -- an obvious plight for a man that big. As the year progressed, though, George found himself in more and more games.

And for longer periods of time.

As the 2007-2008 season is less than a month away, people want to know if man who dwarfed North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough on national TV a year ago is going to be an impact again.

"He's light years ahead of where he was before," Biedenbach said Monday just before the start of the media day festivities. "But he's never out of danger. When you have bad knees, you have bad knees."

Biedenbach's biggest problem has been keeping George in relative shape. Simply put, George can't haul all that weight around for very long.

The Bulldogs have turned mostly to the swimming pool, the place of least resistance for the big man's knees. Other considerations for George -- who averaged 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 23 contests as a freshman -- have included constant supervision from the training staff, removing the seat in front of him in the team bus and even changing around what most college basketball players at the smaller levels have to endure.


"He had two roommates," Biedenbach said. "If he leaves out five pairs of shoes, there's no room [for the roommates]."

If the end of last season was any indication, Bulldog fans should expect more progress this year. George recorded his first career double-double in UNCA's Big South tournament, first-round victory over Coastal Carolina on the road. George was unstoppable on both ends of the floor.

The question remains: Can George be healthy enough to become a dominant player on more than a few games a year?

"I don't know if he will," Biedenbach said. "But he can."

Posted by Ian Guerin at 11:43 AM on October 09, 2007
Comments (1)


You're absolutely right, Ian. Health is really the only question for George. His incredible size means he should be able to simply over power everyone he comes up against but also puts him at a big risk just by walking around every day. It is pretty fun to see someone that large play in person too.

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