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In Praise of Evan Battey’s Thiccness

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Celebrating the uniqueness of Evan Battey’s game

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This season has taken a curvy path: the fast start in non-conference play, the disaster in Hawai’i, the 2-6 start in the Pac-12 schedule, the 5-game winning streak, and finally the road sweep at Washington. But nothing at CU has been curvier than Evan Battey, and that we need to celebrate.

Battey committed to the Buffaloes when he was near 285 lbs. He has slimmed down considerably in that time, now officially listed at 265. In major college basketball, only Washington’s Sam Timmins (265), Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson (270), Kansas’s Christ Koumadje (270), Georgetown’s Omer Yurtseven (270) and Duke’s Zion Williamson (285) are greater or equal to Battey. Of those, only Wesson is a good comp: Zion is crafted by the Gods, and Timmins, Koumadje and Yurtseven are all over 7’0. Wesson too is more of a rebounder and screener than a playmaker.

The point is: Battey’s frame and game combination is a basketball rarity that must be appreciated.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at UCLA
oh baby
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The thing about Battey’s weight is that he’s not just a big boy to throw out onto the court to set screens and clear out the paint. Battey can do that stuff and he relishes it, but he isn’t just a wide piece of ass.

Battey has legit skills — high-post playmaking, an accurate set shot that will be dangerous in the future, a superb feel for the game, etc. His girth doesn’t impede any of these skills; instead, he uses that wide frame to heighten their effect. If he has you in the post, there’s nothing stopping him from clearing the space he needs to let off a baby hook. With his balletic footwork and wide base, a simple spin move could carve out a canyon. He can operate so efficiently in the high post because no defender can bother him. And when he’s rumbling to the basket, don’t dare step in front of him.

There isn’t a really a point to this article other than dedicating something to Battey. With everything he’s been through, the infectious smile and attitude he brings to the game, and his tangible contributions to the team, the least we can do is appreciate his uniqueness.