The Long Lost Art of Hustle

A good basketball player is formidably known as someone who can create his own shot and score.  Arsalan Kazemi is changing this notion.  Unlike most, his game is different; he is not flashy and is anything but flamboyant.   Kazemi’s hard work and hustle on the court can sometimes go unnoticed since his main job is boxing out, getting rebounds and moving his feet on defense.  To most fans these terms mean nothing, and all they are concerned about is how many points you scored.  To Dana Altman and the Ducks, this cannot be further from the truth.

Arsalan Kazemi, left, doing what he does best, boxing out and rebounding the ball

Kazemi, the first Iranian-born player in college basketball, is king of efficiency on offense.  When he goes for the hoop, it is almost a certainty he will score.  The Iranian forward is 2nd in the PAC 12 only to Washington Husky Aziz N’Diaye in field goal percentage with .607.  This is a very impressive stat considering that, offensively, four other players on the court are looking to shoot the ball before he does.

So what explains such a high field goal percentage for Kazemi?  Aside from being top five in field goal percentage, he also ranks 3rd in both rebounds and steals in conference play.  This is a huge reason why he is so efficient.  Offensive rebounds lead to easy put backs while steals are bunny layups waiting to happen.

When watching the game tonight versus Cal, take a play or two and focus solely on Kazemi.  You will notice how rarely he shoots the ball on offense, but when he gets a rebound or steal he becomes one of the toughest players to stop in the PAC 12.  The things he does on the court might go unnoticed, but without Kazemi the Ducks would not be the team they are today, perhaps even peering in from outside the tournament in March.

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