Saturday, October 29, 2011
Tilton's Bull perfect fit for '40 minutes of Hell'
By Adam Finkelstein
Missouri's aggressive style of play is a good fit for Tilton (N.H.) guard Domonique Bull, who committed to the Tigers on Friday afternoon.
Domonique Bull committed to Missouri on Friday, reuniting himself with former BABC teammates Phil and Matt Pressey, as well as former Tilton (N.H.) teammate Tony Lester.
Bull, who visited Missouri campus officially last weekend, was previously committed to Rhode Island before re-opening his recruitment last spring.
The Worcester native made a name for himself early in his grassroots career, earning a starring role for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club well before arriving at Cushing Acacdemy as a freshman.
Bull played a pivotal role in BABC’s 2010 sixteen-and-under AAU National Championship, teaming with Georges Niang to lead the team in scoring while Nerlens Noel anchored the team’s defensive efforts.
Following that summer, and three successful seasons at Cushing, Bull made the decision to join Niang, Noel and fellow AAU teammates Wayne Selden and Goodluck Okonoboh at the Tilton School. Six months later and the group would take another championship, this time the inaugural NEPSAC class AA title.
This past summer Bull made his final appearance on the AAU circuit, and he went out in style with yet another championship, taking the title at the Nike Peach Jam, the culminating event of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League.
Ultimately, his role in his teams’ collective success has repaid him with individual accolades, namely the opportunity to play high-major basketball. Now the question becomes what role can Bull expect upon arriving in Missouri.
Fortunately for Bull, Missouri plays with one of the deepest benches in all of college basketball, and while there is a new head coach in town, there doesn’t appear to be a major change in philosophy.
Former head coach Mike Anderson’s "40 minutes of hell" system revitalized Missouri basketball, bringing them to three straight NCAA tournaments, and while Anderson left to take the reigns at Arkansas this spring, new head coach Frank Haith appears content to stick with a similar style. So while Haith has yet to coach a game on the Tiger’s sidelines, all indications are that Mizzou will continue to defend the length of the floor, attempt to create tempo at every opportunity, and play at least a 10-man rotation.
That’s a style of play that suits Bull perfectly. A powerful guard, Bull can make plays on both ends of the floor. Offensively, his bread and butter is his dribble penetration, which allows him to create for both himself and his teammates. Defensively, he likes to attack opposing ball-handlers, using his strong body and aggressive approach to force turnovers.
While Bull’s strength are well suited for a transition game, equally important is the system’s ability to camouflage some of his deficiencies. While his jumper has improved over the years, it’s still streaky. Similarly, while he’s a playmaker who likes the ball in his hands, he isn’t a pure point. Those traits are much more easily exposed when attempting to grind out a game in the half-court, but given the extra space that the open floor allows, they are much easier to mask.
Ultimately, if Bull’s goal was to play high-major basketball there may not be a better place than Missouri where he’ll reunite with former teammates and play a style that suits his skills. That’s a recipe that has led to numerous championships at the high school and AAU levels, whether or not it will do the same in the SEC is a question that only time can tell.
Adam Finkelstein is the founder and editor of the New England Recruiting Report and also covers recruiting in the northeast for ESPN Scouts Inc. Adam has the rare distinction of having coached or scouted at the high school, NCAA, and NBA levels, having worked as a Division I assistant at the University of Hartford and spent three years under the NBA's director of scouting Marty Blake.