Most college basketball players who stayed all four years in school are often labeled by scouts as players who don't have much upside entering the league due to their age when they come out. There are some exceptions, of course. So what does that say for 26-year-old Portland Trail Blazers rookie Joel Freeland who is experiencing his share of problems adjusting to the speed, athleticism, and quickness of the NBA game after playing seven years over in Europe? The 6-10 forward has only appeared in 34 games and is averaging 2.2 points and shooting 39 percent from the field. How much of his struggles are lack of NBA experience or simply having reached his ceiling? “You want to just quit living at 26? Sheesh,” Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said. “Everybody has room to grow. I think for him, it's more about improving in the context of the NBA game. He has defined skills, he's a good mid-range shooter, he works hard, he's physical and has good quickness. It's just a matter of him learning the speed and quickness of the NBA game.” Freeland isn't buying that ceiling stuff, either. “A ceiling is what you make it,” Freeland said. “I don't believe in it. Everyone has their limits, obviously. The ceiling for everybody can be anything. You never know what that ceiling is going to be.” Coming into the 2012-13 season, Freeland was expected to be the one big off the bench that was likely to produce immediately. His foot work in the post is polished, his mid-range jump-shot is consistent, he's someone who doesn't back down from a challenge and his work ethic is second to none.
Freeland adamant he hasn't hit his ceiling
CSN Northwest | Mar 8