RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jordan Hamilton

Posted by rtmsf on June 11th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Jordan Hamilton

School: Texas

Height/Weight: 6’8/224 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round

Overview: Hamilton came to Texas as a five-star recruit out of Compton’s Dominguez High, a school that has produced such basketball luminaries as Dennis Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, Tayshaun Prince, Tyson Chandler and Brandon Jennings, to name just a few. Even back at Dominguez, Hamilton was regarded as a fearsome offensive player, capable of scoring from all over the court, albeit with a tendency to force up wild shots. In his first season in Austin, he lived up to his reputation as a uninhibited gunner – as well as his reputation as an uninterested defender – as the Longhorns limped home to an early NCAA exit. However, as a sophomore, Hamilton took great strides to shore up some of those problems, improving his shot selection drastically (while still taking 33% of his team’s shots while on the floor), and as a result, increasing his field goal percentage by three percentage points and his three-point percentage by two, up to 44% and 38.5% respectively. Along the way, he also yanked down 7.7 rebounds per game and handed out 2.1 assists per game. However, his defense still rates no higher than awful and, while a great shooter with almost unlimited range, he isn’t much of an offensive threat off of the dribble and is prone to turning the ball over too much. Nevertheless, while Hamilton still has a ways to go to make the most of his talent, he is a terrific athlete with the size and strength to become a prodigious scorer at the next level. And given the improvement he showed from his freshman year to his sophomore campaign, he seems to be the type of guy who will put in the necessary work to make the most of his skills.

Jordan Hamilton Could Become an Elite Scorer

Will Translate to the NBA: While shot selection has been a question mark at times, the actual shot is Hamilton’s main strength. He’s got great form, a quick release, range out to well beyond the NBA three-point line and the ever-loving desire to show off that form at a moment’s notice. If Hamilton’s got his feet set, his shot has a very good chance of going in. But better yet, he’s a great shotmaker when he’s not perfectly set and does a great job of making shots that look at first glance to be out of control, a trait that will come in handy when the 24-second clock is waning in the NBA.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Shelvin Mack

Posted by nvr1983 on June 10th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Shelvin Mack

School: Butler

Height/Weight: 6’2, 210 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard

Projected Draft Range: Late First/Early Second Round

Overview: After spending his sophomore season playing in the shadows of Gordon Hayward, Mack emerged as the leader of the Bulldogs along with senior Matt Howard last year. While Howard may have been the public face of the Bulldogs, it was Mack’s stellar play that helped them achieve a similar result to the previous season even without Hayward leading them. As a junior, Mack averaged 16.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.4 APG while directing a Butler team that had suddenly become one of the biggest games on every opposing team’s schedule. However, at the same time he started shouldering a heavier load at Butler, his efficiency numbers also plummeted (FG% down from 45.4% to 40.8% and 3FG% down from 39.1% to 35.4%), which is certainly reasonable, but is still concerning for a fairly short point guard who doesn’t possess your typical one-guard skills. The questions surrounding Mack are ones that dog nearly every college guard that is a hybrid between a point guard and shooting guard but lacks the requisite height and/or athleticism to make the player stand out from about a dozen other prospects in the same year. Mack could be a successful player in the NBA, but that will depend on his ability to learn to play point. 

Mack thrived at Butler, but the NBA may be a different story

Will Translate to the NBA: Mack will have to play the point guard position in the NBA. He lacks the size or quickness to play any substantial minutes in the NBA as a shooting guard, but if he doesn’t adapt he can still get a few minutes here and there but his time at the next level will be limited by the fact that he lacks an elite NBA skill to make him stand apart. While Mack may struggle to adapt to the point guard position offensively he should be a solid defender as soon as he gets to the NBA because he already has a pro-ready body and should be able to defend almost any NBA point guard with the exception of uber-athletes like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. Mack will probably be a career back-up, particularly due to the recent resurgence at the point guard position, but could potentially start in a few years if he finds the right situation on a team that can adapt to not having a strong traditional point guard.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: JaJuan Johnson

Posted by rtmsf on June 9th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: JaJuan Johnson

School: Purdue

Height/Weight: 6’10/220 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Late First/Early Second Round

Overview: Perhaps no other senior in this year’s draft class improved his game in four years as did Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson.  Coming out of the prep ranks rated as the 47th best prospect behind such notable other big men as Kosta Koufos, DeAndre Jordan, Herb Pope and Mac Koshwal, Johnson simply put his nose to the grindstone, learning from one of the best in head coach Matt Painter, and developed an all-around game that will ensure he makes a living playing basketball for a very long time.  From an awkward 17-year old contributing a few points and boards in limited action to becoming a dominant senior and joining Purdue’s illustrious history as  a consensus all-american and one of its all-time greats, Johnson arrived in a big way.  His scoring averaged increased by at least two points every season (from 5.3 PPG as a freshman to 20.6 PPG as a senior), and his rebounding average trended likewise (from 3.1 RPG to 8.6 RPG).  He was a career 50.1% shooter as a Boilermaker, and don’t let that number fool you — even as the primary post player in Painter’s system, Johnson developed what was already a solid mid-range game out to the three-point line by the time he finished school.  In other words, he has a proven ability to not only score in the post through a nice fadeaway and a jump hook shot, but  he also can put up points in a more NBA-friendly pick-and-pop situation as well.  Possessing a deft touch and range on that shot will allow him to convert favorably to a sweet-shooting face-up four at the next level — Johnson doesn’t necessarily have to spend his career banging around inside to be successful.

JaJuan Johnson Often Carried Purdue Last Season

Will Translate to the NBA: As discussed in his overview, 6’10 players with the ability to stroke it out to twenty feet are not a dime a dozen.  He has a notably high release on his shot, making it even more difficult for defenders to close out on him (assuming they’ve followed him out that far in the first place).  He also has shown a willingness to improve each and every year, adding additional facets to his game through hard work and dedication in the offseason.  The fact that he comes from a winning program that values defense also doesn’t hurt, although Johnson’s individual defense still needs work. 

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Markieff Morris

Posted by Brian Goodman on June 8th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Markieff Morris

SchoolKansas

Height/Weight: 6’9/240 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round

Overview: Markieff Morris is an intriguing mid-first-round prospect who maintained his defensive prowess throughout college while slowly developing an offensive game for Bill Self’s Jayhawks. Accompanying his brother, Marcus, to Kansas after de-commiting from Memphis, Markieff saw less than 20 minutes per game in his first two seasons, as playing time was hard to find behind his brother and Cole Aldrich. In those limited opportunities, however, he proved terrific defensively, averaging over 11 rebounds per 40 minutes and enforcing the paint with his big body and a mean streak. In his sophomore campaign, his offense started to come around,  learning the ability to finish when his teammates were doubled and boosting his field goal percentage up to 56% in 6.8 PPG. In 2010-11, he impressed with considerably more offensive development, showing range to the three-point line (42%) and solidifying his defensive rep as an edgy rebounding bulldog with a Big 12-leading 8.3 RPG.  He also led the Jayhawks in blocks as a junior, but his improved ability to become a scorer in his junior season helped his team become another #1 seed and a Final Four favorite. At the next level, Morris will need to develop a better one-on-one post game, but he already possesses an effective drop-step move that helps him finish in halfcourt sets.

The Lesser-Known Morris Twin Has Many Talents Himself

Will Translate to the NBA: Morris’ defensive versatility and demonstrated shooting range makes him a very appealing option at power forward, especially with thin big-man competition in this draft class. He has the ability to defend multiple positions and rebound at a productive clip, and those skill sets will always have value to an NBA team. Concerns about his body are non-existent, which can’t be said for other draft candidates at his position like Tobias Harris or Kyle Singler. If given the opportunity, he can show that his gradual improvement in his three collegiate seasons is just the tip of the iceberg.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Josh Selby

Posted by rtmsf on June 7th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Josh Selby

School: Kansas

Height/Weight6’3, 195 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft RangeLate First Round

Overview:  It was perhaps the most anticipated debut of the 2010-11 regular season.  On December 18 against USC, Josh Selby made his long-awaited appearance in a Jayhawk uniform.  The nation’s #1 recruit according to Rivals had spent the regular season to that point on the bench as a result of a nine-game “improper benefits” suspension meted out by the NCAA.  In that first game, Selby immediately appeared to be the best player on the court, going for a game-high 21 points and five rebounds, including a couple of late-game treys (of five makes) that salted the game away.  Those 27 minutes of action were the peak of Josh Selby’s collegiate career.  Through a combination of nagging injuries and Bill Self losing confidence in his talented freshman guard, Selby’s minutes and production steadily declined to the point where he rarely logged 20+ minutes and never saw double-figure scoring in the last thirteen games after Valentine’s Day last season.  His season averages of 7.9 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG on 37.3% shooting (36.2% from three) shouldn’t impress anyone interested in spending millions of dollars on a young player, but in the modern era of potential over production, Selby will still end up an NBA Draft selection later this month.  His physical tools, athleticism and a sense that the free-flowing pace of the NBA will suit his game better than it did at Kansas ensures that, and it’s not unprecedented.  Several players who had average freshman seasons and declared for the draft later become productive NBA players — Gerald Wallace and Jrue Holiday come immediately to mind — and it’s instructive that both of those guys, like Selby, had exceptional athleticism at their disposal.

Selby Was a Bust at Kansas: What Does That Mean?

Will Translate to the NBA:  The reasons he’ll get drafted are these three numbers:  195, 42, and 3.20.  Even though only one year removed from high school, Selby is a solidly-built 195 pounds.  He’s muscular without being bulky, possessing exactly the kind of guard’s body built to withstand pounding in the lane en route to the hole.  The second number is Selby’s ridiculous vertical jumping ability, best in this year’s draft class.  He doesn’t have unbelievable length, but his hops more than make up for it (his jumping reach maxed out at 11’8, well above the rim).  Finally, his 3.20 speed in the three-quarter court sprint was also among the best in the class — Selby can get up and down the court faster than just about anyone.  Will these physical tools mean Selby becomes a good NBA player — nobody knows for certain, but someone will be willing to risk a pick on him.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Tyler Honeycutt

Posted by rtmsf on June 6th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Tyler Honeycutt

School: UCLA

Height/Weight: 6’8, 187 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward

Projected Draft Range: Late First Round

Overview: In his two seasons at UCLA, Honeycutt showed a little bit of everything. He led the Pac-10 in blocked shots as a sophomore, he proved a solid man defender, he’s a capable scorer with a good-looking jumper, he improved his three-point range, he can get in the lane and score, and he’s got great vision and passing ability for a player of his size. Still, Honeycutt leaves Westwood as something of a disappointment. His field goal percentage dropped drastically as a sophomore (from nearly 50% down to almost 40%). His assist-to-turnover ratio fell drastically as well, mostly due to his tendency to turn the ball over way too much (he had eight games with five or more turnovers). And he built a reputation among Bruin faithful as a guy who was more interested in impressing the NBA scouts than he was in winning games. A closer look at some of the numbers shows that Honeycutt’s FG% dropped so precipitously due to the fact that he was taking a lot more perimeter jumpers – after shooting just 29 threes as a freshman, he shot 152 as a sophomore, making 36% of those. And, as a result, his true shooting percentage (taking into account his three-point percentages and his free throw shooting) only dipped from 55% to 52%. But his ballhandling, his decision-making, and his aggressiveness did not improve correspondingly as a sophomore. He turns the ball over both as a result of his clumsy handle and his propensity towards making unnecessary passes, both areas of his game that will need to be shored up before he can contribute at the next level. And, the fact that he is a rail-thin 187 pounds means that until he adds strength, he can be easily overpowered by a large percentage of NBA small forwards. Nevertheless, he is a skilled and talented player who can develop into an NBA player with time and hard work.

Honeycutt Showed Good Upside in His Sophomore Season

Will Translate to the NBA: Despite the fact that he was called upon to handle the ball on a regular basis at UCLA, Honeycutt is comfortable playing off of the ball on offense. His jumper is a finished product – although his percentages haven’t yet peaked – and he is equally proficient as a spot-up shooter or running off of screens. This will make him a viable offensive player in the NBA even as he works to hone his ballhandling and decision-making. Throw in the fact that his long arms and defensive timing should allow him to continue being a shot-blocking threat at the next level and Honeycutt could earn minutes early in his NBA career.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Tobias Harris

Posted by jstevrtc on June 5th, 2011

Player Name: Tobias Harris

School: Tennessee

Height/Weight: 6’7, 225 lbs.

NBA Position: Small/Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid to Late First Round

Harris Can Put It On the Floor, But Needs a Jumper

Overview: In his single season at Tennessee, Tobias Harris ended up as the second leading scorer (15.3 PPG) on a squad that had only two players average double figures for the year (Scotty Hopson, 17.0 PPG). He was the Vols’ most efficient player, posting a 14.4 rating, far ahead of Hopson’s 10.7. His 7.3 boards per game was second on the team by a mere tenth of a carom and ranked him seventh in the SEC. Even though he led his team in blocked shots, he averaged less than a single rejection a game (0.9). He impressed with his handle and especially his strength for such a relatively young player, and he showed an ability to finish in the lane that was better than expected. His biggest drawback, though, was his lack of a formidable jumper, and in his short stint in Knoxville the improvement in his back-to-the-basket post game never materialized.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Nolan Smith

Posted by nvr1983 on June 4th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player NameNolan Smith

SchoolDuke

Height/Weight6’4, 190 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Projected Draft RangeLate First to Early Second Round

Overview: After spending much of the first three and a half years of his time at Duke in the shadows of more prolific scorers, Smith stepped up in the second half of his senior season to become the Blue Devils’ leader while picking up some pretty significant individual hardware — AP 1st team All-American and ACC Player of the Year — along the way. The son of the late Derek Smith, a star at Louisville in the early 1980s, Smith started to show signs of becoming a potential first round pick as a junior when his production jumped from 8.4 points per game as a sophomore to 17.4 the next year while seeing his playing time increase significantly. However, even at that point he was often in the shadows of All-American Kyle Singler and senior Jon Scheyer. He started to show signs of becoming the team’s leader with a series of scintillating summer league performances a year ago that had the nation buzzing, but found himself in a secondary role when the season started thanks to the arrival of Kyrie Irving, the likely #1 pick in this year’s draft. To his credit, Smith continued to play well while not creating too much attention even when Irving dominated the ball. Smith finally got to show his full repertoire when Irving went down with a toe injury early in the season against Butler. From that point forward, he asserted himself as one of the premier guards in recent years and has turned himself from a player that many considered a fringe NBA candidate to one who has a legitimate shot at being a first round pick.

Smith Will Face a Difficult Transition at the Next Level

Will Translate to the NBA: Smith is a prototypical combo guard. He probably won’t become a star, but should be a solid role player for years because of his ability to score in spurts and fill in as a point guard in spots. Smith will struggle to start in the NBA because he isn’t quite a good enough scorer (mainly due to his erratic outside shooting) to compensate for his lack of size as a shooting guard and isn’t a good enough distributor to be a starting NBA point unless he winds up in a situation like Miami where a ‘point forward’ is dominating the ball and distributing. Smith’s solid defense should be effective when defending point guards, but his lack of size will become an issue when he is forced to defend taller shooting guards; that might be ameliorated by the fact that most NBA shooting guards have an annoying tendency not to take smaller guards into the post, preferring to stay on the perimeter despite their obvious advantage.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Chris Singleton

Posted by Brian Goodman on June 3rd, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Chris Singleton

School: Florida State

Height/Weight: 6’9/230 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward/Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round

Overview: Few, if any, collegiate draft candidates possess the defensive acumen that Chris Singleton exhibits. Singleton arrived in Tallahassee from Canton, Georgia, with McDonald’s All-American honors in tow. He played 26 minutes per game as a freshman, and after his 17-rebound debut against Jacksonville, it quickly became apparent that defense and tenacity would be his hallmark. While he only tallied eight points per game in the 2008-09 season, he averaged 6.8 rebounds and altered numerous shots as the Seminoles scored an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 1998. As a sophomore, his performance increased with more playing time, averaging over 30 minutes per contest, and he flashed surprising range for a player his size, nailing 35 threes. While he never evolved into a major offensive threat in Leonard Hamilton’s methodical system, he averaged ten points per game, second on the team, while continuing to polish his defense. That year he garnered the first of two consecutive ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors while leading the Seminoles back to the NCAA Tournament. His junior year saw gradual improvement on offense, and with the ‘Noles turning heads towards the hardwood, Singleton scored 18 points in a January upset over #1 Duke. His value was further realized when Florida State went 3-3 while Singleton spent much of late February and March recovering from a broken foot. However, he would return in time to lead the Seminoles to the Sweet Sixteen, where they were dispatched in a thrilling overtime loss by VCU.

Singleton Is a Very Intriguing Prospect to Many Teams

Will Translate to the NBA: While Singleton may have to move down to the small forward position, there’s no doubting that he has all the tools to handle the challenge. At 230 pounds, he already has terrific size and strength to impede any path to the hoop, and that’s without considering the incredible instincts that make him a lockdown defender. His athleticism and length will allow him to corral rebounds at a decent rate and while he won’t be counted on to provide much offense, he can hit jumpers out to the collegiate three-point line and beyond if left open. Singleton can also finish in transition due to his ability to run the floor with the agility of most guards.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Travis Leslie

Posted by jstevrtc on June 2nd, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player name: Travis Leslie

School: Georgia

Height/Weight: 6’4, 205 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: Early to Mid-Second Round

Overview: Travis Leslie logged three fine years at Georgia playing a combination of shooting guard and small forward, and it’s the common practice, by reflex, to assume a guy will play down a position as he moves from the college to professional ranks. This is especially easy when you notice a player with dimensions like those of Leslie, meaning a fellow who checks in anywhere from 6’4 and 205 pounds. Leslie is significantly more physically imposing than his frame indicates on paper, though, and along with his advanced phyiscal condition he brings incredible quickness. He’s also one of the best offensive-rebounding guards in this year’s group, and for all of these reasons he’ll probably see more time in the NBA as a small forward than he will at the two. He might be severely undersized as a three, and even moderately so as a two, but he has other gifts that — cliche’ alert, here — help him to play bigger than he is. In fact, let’s just get this bit of video out of the way early, because it’s not only impressive on its own, but it serves as a fair reminder of the type of athlete we’re dealing with:

Will Translate to the NBA: As far as quickness, physical condition, and killer instinct are concerned, Leslie is NBA-ready. You’ll never have to tell him to get on the glass, as this seems to come instictively to him. He will happily (and easily) blow by you with a preposterously quick first step. Once he’s by you, he can either finish at the rim with ferocity (as Mr. Cousins, above, can attest) or finesse, but if he chooses to pull up and shoot, his jumper is reliable out to about 15 feet. On the defensive side, his quickness will allow coaches to use him to cover opposing ones, twos, and threes, a quality that endears him to many teams looking for a sneaky second-round pickup. He was second in scoring (14.4 PPG) for the Bulldogs last year, but was also second (as a guard, mind you) on the team with 7.2 boards per contest. His 49.2% from the field and 16.3 efficiency score were both team bests, indicating that he can be trusted to make good decisions whenever the ball’s in his hands.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Kyle Singler

Posted by nvr1983 on June 1st, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Kyle Singler

School: Duke

Height/Weight6’9, 225 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward/Power Forward

Projected Draft RangeLate First Round

Overview: Although he was unable to lead the Blue Devils to a repeat national championship, Singler leaves Duke as one of the most decorated players in the school’s history. Throughout his four years in Cameron, Singler put up solid if not spectacular numbers. While he doesn’t have a single skill that jumps out at you as being “great,” he does possess a solid overall game that will attract no shortage of NBA scouts and executives. One of the more interesting aspects in evaluating Singler is that while he has puts  up good numbers in all four years at Duke, he never really took the next step as his production appeared to level off around his sophomore season. Prior to his arrival at Duke, Singler was a highly recruited prospect out of Oregon whose team actually beat Kevin Love in the state tournament in their senior year. To his credit, unlike many highly recruited prospects, Singler lived up to the hype although he never developed into a dominant superstar that many had earlier hoped for. It is true that Singler has improved certain aspects of his game (most notably his free throw shooting), but at some level it is also concerning that Singler’s game hasn’t progressed as one might hope. Some of this may be attributable to the improvement in the players around him with Kyrie Irving arriving for Singler’s senior season (albeit briefly) and Nolan Smith showing a dramatic improvement at the same time. This leads to the obvious concern that despite playing for one of the greatest college coaches of all-time Singler’s game may have plateaued and he may not demonstrate the improvement that many players show after making the transition to the NBA. Of course, it could also just be a case of Singler needing to get into new surroundings and playing in a different system that utilizes his all-around game more than was done at Duke.

Singler Has a Lot to Offer an NBA Team in Versatility

Will Translate to the NBA: Singler’s function in the NBA will be a role player. While this might concern some fans, it is also about the risk/reward of a draft pick at the point in the first round that a team would be considering Singler. It is extremely unlikely that a team would be able to land a franchise player in the late first round particularly in this year’s weak draft. On the other hand, it is unlikely that Singler will be a bust. Out of any player in the draft pool, Singler may have the most defined role on his future team–that of a solid rotation player who might start for a team that doesn’t make the playoffs or come off the bench for a playoff team. Obviously there will be some overlap there, but don’t count on Singler being the star of a NBA championship team any time soon. He will probably end up being a solid role player who does a little bit of everything well and becomes a fan favorite because of his fundamentals and willingness to give up his body for this team even if he won’t be putting up many 20+ point games.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jon Leuer

Posted by KDoyle on May 31st, 2011

Player Name: Jon Leuer

School: Wisconsin

Height/Weight: 6’10/ 228 lbs.

NBA Position: Small/Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Late First/Early Second Round

Overview: As a freshman playing for Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers, Leuer often times looked lost on the floor—nearly a “deer in the headlights” type of lost. He is not one of the more athletic big men in this year’s draft—this was especially apparent during his early years as a Badger—but his flawless shot and ability to create his own shot developed into the best parts of his game during his junior and senior seasons at Wisconsin. Standing just shy of seven feet, Leuer plays much closer to a shooting guard or small forward than a center. For his size, he is a below average rebounder—probably because he spends a good deal of time outside of the painted area—but he can tickle the twine with the best of them at his size and position. He has always shot a high percentage from the field (48.2%) and from three (37%), but it is free throw shooting that has markedly improved throughout his career. Leuer will be drafted for his offensive capabilities, so the drastic improvement on his three-point shot and performance from the charity stripe has really improved his stock. As a freshman, he shot a paltry 48% from the line, but this number improved every year (60% as a sophomore, 72% as a junior, and 84% as a senior). When scrutinizing Leuer’s ability to venture beyond the arc and hit a three regularly, he has become a much more polished shooter. During his first three years he was a combined 46-126 (36.5%) from behind the line, but in his final year he significantly upped his output from distance, hitting eight more treys than the previous three seasons combined (54-146 for 37%). The ability to stretch opposing defenses beyond the arc, as well as being able to create his own shot off the dribble (he is quicker and has a better handle than you’d think) makes him a very appealing draft candidate for a team looking to stretch defenses.

Leuer's Size and Skill Set Makes For an Intriguing Prospect

Will Translate to the NBA: Known more for his offense, Leuer will be asked to extend defenses and add a “European-type” offensive flare to his future NBA team. When studying his game, Leuer plays like the traditional European big player would as he is an excellent shooter, a sound defensive player, and has a fundamentally strong understanding of the game. There is always room for shooters in the League—especially big men—so Leuer will have little trouble finding his niche.

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