Delbert Love|#3 | 6’0” | 185 | Sophomore | Combo Guard | St. Edward HS | Cleveland OHFollow @KSUOwlHowl
Delbert Love is a 6’0″ 185 pound sophomore combo guard returning to Kennesaw State after his excellent freshman year. “Delbert brings with him a lot of great qualities, both on and off the court. Most importantly, he approaches both academics and athletics with a passion, work ethic and winning attitude that has been embraced at St. Edward. We are confident that he will continue to blossom here at Kennesaw State,” said Owls Head Coach Lewis Preston after Love signed his Letter of Intent to play for Kennesaw State.
Love was also named one of three team captains last season.
Here is what ESPN said last year before signing with KSU,
Strengths: Love is a terrific shooter, especially off the catch. He is good off the dribble and a solid shooter to the 3 point line. Delbert has tight form on his jumper with limited movement. He sees the floor and displays good court vision on both ends. Defensively he applies pesky ball pressure.
Weaknesses: He needs to improve his left handed dribble drive and his passing ability off the dribble. He can create for himself and others but is best when in attack mode.
Bottom Line: Love had a terrific ESPN/iScore tournament as he was the catalyst for St. Edwards run to the semifinals. The strength of his game is his outside shooting. He can rise off the dribble and nail the 3-point shot or take it to the rim and drop off the assist. He is one of Ohio’s better unsigned seniors.
Now onto his freshman campaign at KSU…
He exceeded expectations in year one and there really isn’t much to be critical about relative to his experience. Love mentioned in our exclusive interview that he is looking to cut down on his turnovers, but besides that, only his percentages are areas that could use improvement. He played in every game last season and averaged 37 minutes, which is a big transition for a high school player (high school games are 32 minutes). Love scored in double digits in 16 of the final 20 games which was good for 13.9 PPG.
He thrived vs some of the top competition in the country. The Missouri Tigers were ranked 3rd in the nation in the Associated Press Post-Season Top 25 (Mar. 12) and the Ohio Bobcats surprised the nation by making the Sweet 16 before falling to North Carolina.
Look for Love to have a more efficient year in 2012 due to playing less minutes and gaining more experience at the point guard spot. He should average around 30 minutes per contest but with more talent around him don’t look for his scoring numbers to change drastically.
Love came into Kennesaw State last year and caught everybody by surprise as he took sophomore Nick Turner’s starting spot and relegated him to spot minutes off of the bench (Turner has since transferred to DII). Even though he was a freshman, his understanding of the game and ability to play within himself as a member of the team was outstanding. He proved to be the most balanced member of the squad, displaying a “does everything well, but nothing great” skill set. He also earned the respect of his teammates and developed into a team leader by season’s end.
His biggest strengths are his three point shooting and quick release. He possesses NBA range and is not afraid to put up a three, judging by his 6.1 attempts per game last year. Look for his 35% three point percentage to approach 38% this year as he has improved his conditioning in the off-season.
He has average dribbling ability for the combo guard spot, but won’t blow anybody away with his quickness. He is crafty enough around the basket to finish at the rim, and uses his body well to shield off defenders but his size and lack of athleticism left him susceptible against solid shot blockers. He has spent the off-season working on his first step and has put on ten pounds of muscle since last year to improve his athleticism/quickness. Look for him to take the ball to the basket more often this season and to cut down on his turnovers because of it.
Defensively, he is very feisty and plays the passing lanes well (averaged 1.7 steals per game). His size gives him limitations but overall he is more than adequate.
We feel that Love would be best coming off of the bench and filling in at either guard spot to add a scoring punch as the sixth man. However, playing behind freshmen may not be the best option to begin the season with. Look for him to improve on his percentages, cut down on turnovers and to truly develop into an unquestioned leader of the team.Follow @KSUOwlHowl