Standing at 6’9″ Pitt forward Jamel Artis can do just about anything coach Kevin Stallings asks of him. He has the ability to play inside, play the perimeter, handle the ball, and even go up against an opposing threat on the defensive side of the ball. From what I’ve seen over his four years with the Panthers, he can easily be one of the best players in the ACC if he wants to be. And that includes being better than another Panther, Mike young.
Since much more is expected of Young, Artis sometimes falls in his shadow. But they both play the same position, are close to the same size, and can do a lot of the same things on the court. I feel like I may be the minority with this opinion, but I feel that if Artis was on a team without a guy like Mike Young, he would be one of the best players in the nation. And that isn’t to say having Young is a bad thing. I believe that having both of these players is a huge benefit to the Panthers and can give them a lot of positives as they head into the second half of their last season with the team.
The reason I feel this way is pretty simple. Artis has a natural ability to be an offensive weapon. He has the ability to shoot, pass, rebound and do anything offensively. And when he plays his best he even seems to be better than Mike young. The only reason that he has not been able to claim the title of the Panthers best player is simply because he doesn’t show the hustle that Young shows out on the court. Yes, he scores points at the same pace as Young and gets the numbers, but when you watch any game, Young is all over the court. And in the college game, hustle wins over pure talent the majority of the time.
One guy I picture when I see Artis is Lebron James. Now obviously he doesn’t have the physical tools or IQ Lebron possesses or even the basketball ability, but when he is playing well, he has that same type of effect on the game and the way that it shapes itself. He plays at his own pace and can control the offensive side at any point. And he also seems to be very confident in his own ability on the court which is another comparison I see between him and Lebron. And while we are at it, I may as well say that I do believe he can make it to the NBA and be a good player at that. If a guy like Steven Adams can make it to the league and perform, there is no reason that in the right system, Artis can’t come in and make an impact on a team that needs some help.
Although the Panthers are starting to struggle lately, Artis has gone on his own hot streak. He is not averaging just over 21 points per game on the season, as well as shooting over 44% from three point range and 50% from the field. But for him to get noticed, he is going to need some help from his fellow Panthers and string together some big wins before the regular season comes to an end.