Player Spotlight: Aidan Igiehon
Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
Before he ever steps on the floor as a Louisville Cardinal, the “Irish Hulk” is already a fan favorite. Not only does Aidan Igiehon look like he was built in a lab where body fat is unheard of, but he will remind Louisville fans of the Doctors of Dunk along with some Montrezl Harrell with the way he punishes the rim. I mean, that seems like an easy way to get in the good graces of Cardnation.
Ready or not, Igiehon is going to be forced into action right away with Malik Williams being sidelined for what could be the first few games of the season. Steven Enoch appears to be in better shape conditioning-wise this year, but he will obviously still need breaks. And of course, there is always the possibility of Enoch picking up two quick fouls. Either way, the freshman from Ireland is going to get his opportunity to show what he can do.
We already know he can dunk, that’s been established. What I like in the highlight video below is that he can also step out and knock down a jump shot. If all you can do is dunk, it won’t always translate at the college level. So if he can hit the 12-15 foot jump shot just enough to keep the defense honest, it will open things up for him around the rim.
I will really be interested to see how Igiehon matches up against guys his size, or at least close to it. I’m not saying that you don’t face good competition in high school, but now he will be surrounded by other players that were also probably the biggest guys on their teams at some point. He plays physical, don’t get me wrong, I just want to see it translate to this level. I believe it will, and like I said, he will have his opportunity early. If there is a positive to Malik Williams being out for so long recently, it’s that Igiehon has been battling Steven Enoch in practice. If that doesn’t get you ready for the physicality that I was referring to, I’m not sure what will. So my concerns could certainly be alleviated because of the situation he has been thrust into with Williams being out.
I honestly don’t need to see a lot of scoring out of Igiehon early on. I think his role will be to come in and play physical defense and rebound. He will always be one of the most athletic guys on the floor when he is in there.
Think about this. Igiehon didn’t even touch a basketball until November of 2013. In that same year, he grew by a foot. He wasn’t one of those kids that grew up playing the game his entire life. He was more of a soccer guy, as you will hear him say in the video below. He has only been playing for this long and is already this talented? Think of how much room there will be for improvement. And he has guys like Steven Enoch and Malik Williams to learn from. I always said last year that if we could somehow combine those two guys, (Enoch’s offense with Williams’ defense) that would be a heck of a player. Will Aidan Igiehon grow into that combination of those two players?
One thing I feel fully confident in saying is this: if the “Irish Hulk” only plays five minutes at a time while Steven Enoch catches a breather, he’s going to give you everything he has and it will be an entertaining five minutes. There will be no wasted minutes from Aidan. I can’t wait to see what he brings to this team.