Hoo Preview ’09: Sophomore Slump?

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Sylven Landesberg is looking to avoid the supposed “sophomore slump” after winning the ACC Rookie of the Year last season.

There are a number of reasons why Sylven Landesberg might be due for what is commonly referred to as a “sophomore slump” – a down second year after a dynamite rookie season. After winning ACC Rookie of the Year last season, Landesberg is anything but a secret. Teams will be keying on him now more than ever as coach Tony Bennett implements a new offense that faces questions about how well it can operate in the high-octane ACC. Landesberg’s perimeter jumper and mid-range game were nothing to brag about a year ago, and opposing defenses will surely make him prove he can knock down a jumper before they let him even get a sniff of the lane.

Landesberg knows all of this. And that’s why he put in the work over the offseason – so that it can’t happen.

A lot of guys say they worked hard over the summer – but listening to Landesberg describe his workouts, he’s among the easier players to believe. As an example, for the two weeks between summer school and the start of the fall semester, Landesberg went home, and senior Jamil Tucker said he wanted to go with him. Landesberg warned his elder teammate, though, that hanging out in the Bronx, where Landesberg is from, would not be on the agenda.

“I was like, ‘All right, Jamil, it’s not a vacation though,'” Landesberg said. “I warned him – ‘You’re not gonna see New York, you’re gonna see the gym, and my house, and that’s about it.'”

Tucker nevertheless agreed to accompany Landesberg, and when they arrived, Tucker may have thought that it wouldn’t be so bad after all. Landesberg’s father, Steven Landesberg, mandates that his son go through rigorous individual workouts. This time, though, as Sylven put it, “My father said, ‘I’ll give you a little break.'”

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