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Old 04-20-18, 08:30 AM
PF_Flyers PF_Flyers is offline
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Originally Posted by Brambleberry View Post
I understand stats don't tell the whole story. I have seen St X twice this year and Pung has not played up to his high standards. By my eye test, McCarthy has been St X best player with Huber, Pung, and Hilvert close behind.

Even last year, St X relied more on Pung yet he was more effective. Look at the stats on the league website to compare. So far this year he is 10th out of the 11 players in Kill Efficiency for St X.
This year, he is 3rd on the team in total attempts. Last year, he had almost double (725 vs 398) to attempts than anyone else on St X's team.

I understand that teams are keying on him, as teams ALWAYS do against other teams best players, but this year unlike last year he hasn't risen to the occasion YET (keyword: YET).
I think it's more that the other top teams have figured Pung out. He never hits line and he never looks to bounce balls straight down, regardless of the block or the set. He either bangs hard cross, splits the hole and aims for deep corner, or just aims for high hands to tool the middle. The better teams have been keying on Pung for years, as he's been a focal point of X (and his club teams, for that matter) for 3 years now. In the Elder match, the defenders in 1 played Pung almost at the end line and completely took away his high-hands tool shot. Kastner doesn't deliver him the ball fast enough to prevent the defenses from shifting entirely to defend his limited shots, so he's got much tighter windows than he had a year ago.

McCarthy and Hilvert have a lot more unorthodox swings and have more shots in their respective repertoires, so they're able to be more consistently effective against top-tier competition. McCarthy gets 2-3 kills per match on crafty tips off the blockers hands alone. Pung gets up higher, hits harder, and obviously has the much higher ceiling going forward; but his present game is better suited to beating up on weak competition than it is being effective, much less dominant, against good players that know how to defend him.

That being said, Pung's defense is on a whole other level. As others have pointed out, his passes are almost always in system and his digging out of 6 has been the key to X's defense. His serve receive is arguably better than Huber's at this point. I think McCarthy for sure, and potentially Hilvert and Mauch may have passed him by in terms of "effective hitters against the top teams in the state", but his defense alone keeps him in the 1st team all-state conversation. He's still one of the best 5-10 players in the state, no matter what criteria you choose.
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