I remember having a conversation with a co-worker when Coach Rose announced that Alan Hamson would be walking on. It went something like this.
Co-worker: "Why would you want to take a kid who only averaged like 10 points a game in high school?"
Me: "Have you ever seen someone who is a legit 7 feet tall?"
So the question still stands: Have you ever seen 7-foot-tall person? They are huge. And Alan looks even taller because of how thin he is (he is listed at 215 pounds). Now, if you can get a legitimate 7-footer on your team, and you have some post depth allowing him to develop, and he is a walk-on, why wouldn't you want someone like him on your team?
Now, before I make it seem like Hamson is just a tall kid, let's make sure we point out that he is skilled. He has a nice touch around the basket and he can even shoot it to about15 feet. I watched him in high school multiple times and the one thing I thought every time was, "If he could just gain some weight, he would be a very, very good college player." He was limited in his scoring ability because he was so easy to push around. Even when he would try to elevate and finish over defenders, shorter players were able to push on him and disrupt his shot — but the potential is there.
Now, his elite skill is shot blocking. He averaged 6 blocks per game his senior year. Most people would think that was the byproduct of playing against shorter kids, and while that is true to a point, the reason I called it his elite skill is in the way he blocked shots.
When people think about blocked shots, most of the time they think of the big wind up arm motion that sends the ball flying out of bounds. Alan doesn't do that. He keeps the ball in play, which allows his team the opportunity to possess the ball and start a fast break.
Not only does that skill become valuable in the number of blocks he could get, but once you get a couple, people just start avoiding you. Or they become so worried about where you are they will start to adjust even if the shot blocker is not around. This is what is meant when analysts start talking about "altering" shots. You don't actually have to block a ton of shots to really affect the game defensively.
Hopefully Alan can still gain more weight, allowing him to actually get some playing time. While that won't happen a ton this year, it could prove very valuable his junior and senior seasons when BYU will need to have some quality back-up post players coming off the bench.