RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Kawhi Leonard

Posted by rtmsf on May 30th, 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: Kawhi Leonard

School: San Diego State

Height/Weight: 6’6, 227 lbs.

NBA Position: Combo Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid- to Late Lottery

Overview: In his two seasons under Steve Fisher at San Diego State, Leonard took the Mountain West by storm. He won the MWC Tournament MVP as a freshman after grabbing 21 rebounds in the championship game, then backed that up by notching a second-team All-American spot as a sophomore. Leonard didn’t really bloom until his senior year of high school, and even then was still just the 56th-best prospect in the nation (according to ESPNU), but he averaged over ten rebounds per game in his time on the Mesa and developed into a versatile full-court threat, capable of pulling down a monster rebound over a seven-footer on the defensive end, turning and pushing the ball upcourt and either finishing at the rim, pulling up for a midrange jumper or finding a teammate on the break. Despite measuring out at an underwhelming 6’6, Leonard is plenty long enough to play the power forward in the NBA, with a 7’3 wingspan and a 8’10 standing reach. However, Leonard’s terrific ballhandling skills, ever-improving jumper and ability to defend a wide range of offensive players means he is just as capable of playing the three at the next level. In fact, at SDSU, Leonard was most often seen working out with the guards rather than the big men. Leonard’s athletic testing at the NBA Combine returned some very average numbers (just a 32.5-inch vertical leap and just three reps at 185 pounds), but Leonard’s frame can definitely get stronger and he’s done just fine so far without jaw-dropping leaping ability.

Kawhi Leonard Led SDSU To Its Best Season Ever

Will Translate to the NBA: Leonard’s versatility gives him any number of ways to help out his future team. A tenacious defender, capable of guarding the two, three or four spot, he could develop into a lockdown caliber player. And his rebounding isn’t going anywhere, as he’ll be at least the equal of most fours in the league on the glass, while immediately putting his name in the hat for best rebounding small forward on the planet. Throw in the fact that Leonard is a tireless worker both on and off the floor and he’s got a very bright future.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Darius Morris

Posted by rtmsf on May 29th, 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: Darius Morris

School: Michigan

Height/Weight: 6’5, 190 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard

Projected Draft Range: Mid- to Late First Round

Overview: Few prospects in this year’s NBA Draft pool were virtually unknown commodities this time last year, but Darius Morris is one of those such players.  He entered Michigan not even a top 100 player in the Class of 2009 (according to RSCI Hoops), and after averaging a mere 4.4 PPG and 2.6 APG during his freshman season in Ann Arbor, he was considered a promising player with a steep learning curve ahead of him.  Something clicked much sooner than expected by anybody, though, as the sophomore not only tripled his scoring average to 15.0 PPG and his assist average to a Big Ten-leading 6.7 APG, he also led the Wolverines back to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence, dominating Tennessee before losing a tight Third Round game to #1 seed Duke.  Morris flirted with returning to Michigan for another year, but he instead decided to strike while his iron was hot; at 6’5, he has prototypical size for an NBA point guard and he’s already shown a demonstrated ability to lead a team from that position.  In this year’s draft pool, he falls a notch below the Kyrie Irving/Brandon Knight/Kemba Walker/Jimmer Fredette crew, but with his size and proven ability to penetrate, score and act as a distributor, someone in the bottom third of the first wound will undoubtedly pick him up.

Darius Morris Floored People With His Improvement Last Season

Will Translate to the NBA:  As mentioned above, his size is exactly what NBA general managers love to see in a point guard — he stands 6’5 with a wingspan that ranks among the best of that position.  This size and his innate aggressiveness will translate very well at the next level because he gets to the cup very well and has the length and ability to finish the play in traffic.  There’s also something to be said for his extremely quick developmental arc, suggestive of a hunger to learn and work on his game that usually cannot be taught.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Nikola Vucevic

Posted by rtmsf on May 26th, 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: Nikola Vucevic

School: USC

Height/Weight 6’10, 240 lbs.

NBA Position:  Power Forward/Center

Projected Draft Range Late First Round

Overview: USC center Nikola Vucevic may have been the least hyped all-Pac-10 first team center that the conference has ever had.  It’s a guarantee that when his name is called on draft night, most people around the country will assume “another European player” without any knowledge that the athletic 6’10, 260-pounder played college ball in sunny Los Angeles for the last three years.  One of the reasons for that is because the Trojan program has spent the last two seasons recovering from the OJ Mayo/Tim Floyd debacle, and this year, even though USC ultimately made the NCAA Tournament as a #11 seed, they were summarily dismissed in the First Four by a soon-to-be-Cinderella VCU Rams.  But don’t let that fool you — Vucevic was the lone offensive bright spot on a team that scrapped and defended its way to 19 wins and a berth in the postseason that most west coast observers thought unlikely.  His consistent post game, shooting range, care with the ball and knack for rebounding anchored a Trojan team that had little else to hang its hat on; but it could count on a double-double from the big Montenegran almost every night out (22 last season).  He averaged 17.1 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in nearly 35 minutes of action each night, and his efficiency in both shooting the ball (75% of FTs; 54% of twos; 35% of threes) and rebounding (he grabbed 26% of boards on the defensive glass) makes you wonder why a guy with such a nice low-post game isn’t getting more buzz as a sleeper pick this year. 

Vucevic is Fairly Unknown But Showed an All-Around Game at USC

Will Translate to the NBA:  You certainly can’t teach size, and Vucevic has a body built for banging around in the paint at the next level.  His draft measurements put him at the very top of this year’s class in terms of height (just a shade under seven feet with shoes on) and reach (nearly nine-and-a-half feet).  His draft weight is also ideal because he’ll ultimately be asked to hold his position defensively against some of the elite NBA bigs inside, and although he can stand to become a bit stronger, he’s already very far along in this area.  The other area where he’s already at an NBA level is his exceptionally nice touch with the ball in terms of shooting ability.  He has an established and consistent mid-range game and shoots the ball well from the foul line.  After making only eight three-pointers in his first two seasons at USC, he nearly quadrupled that number last season (29).  There’s no reason to believe he can’t become an excellent shooter when he finds openings in the defense.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Reggie Jackson

Posted by Brian Goodman on May 25th, 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: Reggie Jackson

School: Boston College

Height/Weight: 6’3/208 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard

Projected Draft Range: Late First Round

Overview: Reggie Jackson came to Boston College all the way from Colorado Springs as a heralded shooting guard. Making an early impact for former head coach Al Skinner, Jackson averaged seven points per contests in 20 minutes in his freshman season, including a season-high 17 on the road against North Carolina during the Tar Heels’ run to a national title. With surprisingly long arms for someone his size (his wingspan has been measured at seven feet), Jackson pulled down more rebounds than you would typically expect from a 6’3 guard. Juggling an increase in playing time with new full-time starting point guard responsibilities, Jackson improved steadily in his sophomore season, though he struggled shooting the ball (especially from the perimeter) where he failed to crack 30% beyond the arc in both of his first two seasons. His floor general skills shone through, however, as he posted one of the ACC’s top assist-to-turnover ratios in 2009-10. He continued to improve, but few could predict his spectacular 42% performance from beyond the arc in 2010-11, which played a major role in his shooting percentage rising from 43% from 50% last season. With several seniors graduating, Jackson decided to leave school a year early rather than play out the first stage of a massive rebuilding project in Chestnut Hill in 2011-12. Without a strong supporting cast, a return to BC would have spelled a rather strenuous workload as a senior.

Jackson is an Athletic Guard With Substantial Upside

Will Translate to the NBA: Jackson’s appeal stems from his athleticism and wingspan, which makes him a very explosive player on both ends of the court. Once he adds more muscle to his frame, scouts are confident that he’ll be good to go. He’s already a very good finisher on the break and can succeed in half-court sets as well, especially in the pick-and-roll. Jackson worked hard to improve his jumper last season, which will help him get by as he adds the weight necessary to drive and absorb contact in the lane.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Klay Thompson

Posted by rtmsf on May 24th, 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: Klay Thompson

School: Washington State

Height/Weight: 6’6, 206 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: Mid to Late First Round

Overview: Klay Thompson is on the very short list of contenders for the title of best pure shooter in the draft. After shooting 41% from three and 42% from the field as a freshman, Thompson saw his averages dip a bit as a sophomore mostly as a result of a significantly increased role in the Cougar offense, as by last year he used 32% of his team’s possessions (good for 15th in the nation). Thompson led the Cougs in scoring in his final two seasons on the Paloose, and despite leaving a year of eligibility on the table, he comes to the draft as a pretty complete offensive player, with an NBA-ready game and a history of improving every year. As a freshman, he was more or less “just a shooter,” but he has since added a deft mid-range game, has become very comfortable with the ball in his hands, and has shown a crafty ability to get to the line, shooting 185 free throws as a junior, a drastic jump from the mere 31 he attempted from the line as a freshman in nearly as many minutes. Thompson is average at best athletically, and as a result does not project to be a great defender, but his 1.6 steals per game as a junior indicate that he is active enough to contribute defensively. He did get dinged with a possession of marijuana charge at the end of last year that raised some eyebrows, but that is generally just regarded as a minor blip for a good character kid.

Thompson Has Classic NBA Shooting Guard Skills

Will Translate to the NBA: When you can stroke it from deep like Thompson can, you’ve got a spot in the NBA. At 6’6, Thompson has the length to be able to get off his shot with ease, and is just good enough off the bounce and on the move to keep defenders honest and earn him clean looks from three. Thompson shot 39% from three in his career at WSU, and given that he was almost always the focal point of the opposition’s defense, that’s a mighty impressive number.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Charles Jenkins

Posted by KDoyle on May 23rd, 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: Charles Jenkins

School: Hofstra

Height/Weight: 6’3/220 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: Early Second Round

Overview: One of the most explosive scorers in the country who can score from virtually anywhere on the floor, Charles Jenkins has been the face of the Hofstra basketball program for the past few seasons. In fact, the Pride retired Jenkins’ jersey before his senior season was even over. His electric quickness, strong first step, and pure jump shot make him such a potent scoring threat—it is no wonder he is Hofstra’s all-time leading scoring with 2,513 points. His shot from distance has drastically improved since his sophomore year when he shot a paltry 31% to 42% as a senior. One would think that Jenkins would have a rather slim frame for being such a quick guard, but he is built like a Mack truck checking in at 220 solid pounds. Suffice it to say, Jenkins does not shy away from contact and is able to finish in traffic with the best of them. His ability to distribute the ball should not be overlooked either, as he averaged just shy of five dimes a game and boasted a 2.16 assist to turnover ratio. Jenkins is the prototypical “instant offense” kind of player that simply knows how to put the ball in the hole.

Jenkins Had a Spectacular Career at Hofstra

Will Translate to the NBA: Jenkins will be asked to be a scorer, plain and simple. While not a terrible defender, he is certainly no Bruce Bowen that will lock down the opposition’s top guy. The knock on Jenkins has often been his size and whether he will play the point guard or two guard position in the League; both questions we believe are non-factors. First off, there is no such thing as an “undersized” player in the NBA. If you can play, you can play. Allen Iverson never had any trouble playing off the ball, and he was a very generous 6’0. There will always be room for scorers in the NBA, and Jenkins is as good as they come in this department. With that being said, Jenkins would contribute more as a shooting guard thanks to his superior shooting ability.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Chandler Parsons

Posted by rtmsf on May 21st, 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: Chandler Parsons

School: Florida

Height/Weight: 6’10, 215 lbs.

Projected Draft Range: Very late first round/Early second round

Overview: Parsons is probably most famous for a couple of buzzer beaters he hit within a 20-day stretch in January 2010. The first was a 70-foot bomb at North Carolina State on January 3 to win by a point, and he followed up that with a more conventional three pointer as the buzzer sounded on January 23 to beat South Carolina. He’s been a fixture on the floor for the Gators since the day they signed him, playing in all but one game over his four years and never averaging less than 21 minutes a contest (his freshman year). His minutes went steadily up each season, topping out this past season at 34.1 MPG; even though his scoring went down this year from 12.4 PPG in 2009-10 to 11.3 PPG in his senior year as he let teammates Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton, and Vernon Macklin handle most of the scoring load (he took a third FEWER shots this year than he did as a junior); his numbers improved in the areas of 3FG%, rebounds (7.8, leading the team), assists (3.8, also leading the team), and steals (from 1.1 to 3.8!). He didn’t lead the SEC in a single statistical category, yet, despite his point production going down, he was named the conference’s player of the year because of the improvement in the rest of his game.

 

Parsons Needs to Find His One Defining Thing

Will Translate to the NBA: Parsons doesn’t have the quickest first step, yet he’s good at driving into the lane and getting himself into a good position for a shot. And if he chooses not to shoot, he’s an exceptional interior passer. He’s also one of those guys who “earns” his rebounds, meaning he understands the value of position and timing when hitting the glass at both ends, and this makes up for his average hops. He’ll be asked to be more of a threat from the outside in the NBA, and Parsons has considerable range when he’s able to get his feet set, not to mention good height on his release. Finally, one of the things we’ve enjoyed most as we’ve watched Parsons over the last four years is how he moves without the ball. If you’re defending him, he’ll always keep you moving. If he can use that skill to get open, get set, and be effective from the perimeter, he’ll find a spot in the league.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Keith Benson

Posted by rtmsf on May 20th, 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: Keith Benson

School: Oakland

Height/Weight: 6’11/230 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward/Center

Projected Draft Range: Early second round

Overview: Not only the top player hailing from the Summit League, but also one of the best mid-major talents throughout the course of the season, Keith Benson led the Oakland Golden Grizzlies to two straight conference championships and a near upset of 4th-seeded Texas in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The ultra-athletic and versatile forward from Michigan posed numerous match-up problems for the opposition this year as he was the main reason Oakland was an offensive juggernaut averaging 85.5 points per game. It is not all too often that the Summit League turns out legitimate NBA prospects, but not too long ago IUPUI also sent George Hill to the League as the San Antonio Spurs selected him with the 26th pick in the 2008 draft. One of the most decorated players in Oakland history, Benson has averaged a double-double the past two seasons averaging 18 and 10 this year, and 17 and 10.5 in the 2009-10 campaign. After Oakland’s upset victory over Tennessee last December—Benson poured in 26 points and corralled 10 rebounds—the Golden Grizz and Benson made a real splash onto the national scene. Even though they came up just short against Texas on the national stage, Benson will have his time to shine many more times at the next level.

Benson is Still a Bit Unknown at This Point

Will Translate to the NBA: Benson is one of the most athletic big men in this year’s draft as he runs the floor like a small forward and has the leaping ability to alter and block shots. He blocked 3.6 shots per game this past season, and no doubt altered many more along the way. Although he was a great scorer in college, his role in the NBA will be more on the defensive and rebounding ends.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Marshon Brooks

Posted by zhayes9 on May 19th, 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: Marshon Brooks

School: Providence

Height/Weight: 6’5/190 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: Late first/Early second round

Overview: A lightly recruited swingman from Georgia that played sparingly as a freshman at Providence, Brooks gradually improved his game over the course of a college career that ended in all-Big East honors following a record-breaking senior season. Mired on mostly irrelevant teams in the loaded Big East, Brooks became a familiar name around the college ranks after scoring 52 points on Notre Dame in February that shattered a conference record. Brooks dropped 10+ field goals in nine games during that remarkable final season on campus, finishing at a hair under 25 PPG to go along with 7 RPG and a respectable 48% FG even while the main focus for all opposing defenses. Despite a slender frame, Brooks’ rebounding prowess also resulted in seven double-doubles last season. His ascension from playing 8.8 MPG as a freshman to concluding his career as the leading scorer in a loaded conference spells out just how much dedication, hard work and commitment Brooks poured into constantly improving his overall repertoire. Aiding the cause was playing the fullcourt breakneck pace favored by former Friars head coach Keno Davis, allowing Brooks the freedom to improvise in the open floor, push tempo and create shot opportunities for himself. Brooks also showed the ability to excel in the halfcourt, using long strides and a tight handle to slice and dice his way to the rim and live at the free throw line where he shot over 77%. Other than BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and possibly UConn’s Kemba Walker, Brooks was the most unstoppable 1-on-1 scorer in the collegiate game last season.

Brooks drives to the basket against Seton Hall

Will Translate to the NBA: In the pick-and-roll, isolation-heavy professional game, there’s always room for a player with the scoring acumen of Brooks. Although the freedom he was granted under Davis won’t continue to the next level, Brooks has a multitude of experience basically operating on his own in a halfcourt game while his teammates observed, so the former leading scorer in the Big East won’t be intimidated when asked to make shots. Despite a wiry frame, Brooks has exceptional height and a phenomenal 7’2 wingspan for a guard, leaving erratic effort as the only lingering reason why he can’t be an asset as a defensive presence on the perimeter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jordan Williams

Posted by rtmsf on May 18th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 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 Williams

School: Maryland

Height/Weight: 6’10/260 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward/Center

Projected Draft Range: Late first round or second round

Overview: Jordan Williams came to Maryland from Torrington, Connecticut, in 2009 as the 16th-ranked center in the country. Though he wasn’t heavily recruited (only two other power conference schools offered Williams a scholarship), Wiliams made an impact right away, averaging 9.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest (second in the ACC) in 24.8 minutes per outing. Posting eight double-doubles in his freshman year, he was named to the ACC All-Rookie team. After the Terrapins’ top four scorers graduated, Williams’ role increased dramatically last season, and he lived up to the pressure. He shed 25 pounds during the summer and was an absolute force in the paint for Gary Williams last season. Jordan averaged a double-double in 2010-11, and was automatic from the lane. He displayed tremendous efficiency as a big man, with an eFG clip of 53.8% and a 12.5% offensive rebound rate.  Recognized as one of the nation’s most improved players as a sophomore, Williams came up especially big in conference play, and the highlight of his season may have been a late February game against UNC. Matched up against North Carolina’s NBA-caliber frontcourt, Williams plowed his way to 16 points and a career-high 19 boards. Though the Terps would miss the NCAA Tournament, Williams’ sophomore season garnered AP Honorable Mention All-American status.  Williams declared for the draft after the season, but did not immediately hire an agent. However, as the declaration period wore on and many players took the safe route of returning to school amidst NBA labor uncertainty, Williams took the plunge and announced his intention to stay in the pool, hoping to take advantage.

Jordan Williams Provides an NBA-ready Frame and Rebounding Prowess

Will Translate to the NBA: Williams’ best asset at the pro level will be his knack for rebounding, but he should be able to exploit offensive mismatches as they come for easy baskets. He also shows a great motor, and though he won’t play major minutes from the get-go, that style should make him a very good spark from the bench. Williams’ frame at 6’10 and 260 pounds is very close to NBA-ready, though he can stand to lose some baby fat. He can be flat-footed, and as a result will have trouble scoring against comparable and bigger competition down low despite having a solid frame. The knocks are that he’s a touch slow for the next level and is limited in range, though both areas can be improved once he catches on with his new team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Malcolm Lee

Posted by rtmsf on May 17th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 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: Malcolm Lee

School: UCLA

Height/Weight: 6’5/175 lbs.

NBA Position: SG

Projected Draft Range: Late first round/Early second round

Overview: Malcolm Lee is one of a handful of early entry candidates who are looking to take advantage of a weak draft (made weaker by the surprising return to school of some lottery-level players) and sneak into the back end of the first round. And given the success of recent UCLA guards in the NBA, he’ll likely be worth a flyer late in the first thirty selections. Lee came to Westwood as a highly regarded wing and was a solid contributor for the Bruins the last two seasons, finishing second on the team in scoring in both years. However, the two years were very different. As a sophomore, Lee was called on by head coach Ben Howland to take on much of the point guard duties as the Bruins struggled out of the gate. He stepped up and did a fine job, averaging over three assists per game and adding 4.4 rebounds per outing while still providing a scoring punch. As a junior, Lee was called on much more for his defensive abilities, as he was repeatedly charged with checking the opponent’s best scorer – guys ranging from Klay Thompson to Jimmer Fredette – and partly as a result, the Bruin defense bounced back from a bad year in 2009-10 to lead the Pac-10 in defensive efficiency last season. While Bruins fans would have liked to see Lee come back for one more season and improve his offensive game, he does leave UCLA after spending the last two of his three years doing whatever was asked of him by the coaching staff.

Lee Molded Himself into a Typical Howland Guard at UCLA

Will Translate to the NBA: Defense. Lee bought into the role of UCLA’s defensive stopper as a junior, and that’s the strength upon which he’ll hang his hat in the NBA. His combination of length and quickness will allow him to match up with both guard positions at the next level although he still needs to add some bulk and strength. While Lee doesn’t post huge steal (or block) numbers, he is an instinctive team defender who doesn’t back away from a challenge and doesn’t need to have his offensive game going whole hog in order to play with energy and emotion on the defensive end.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Iman Shumpert

Posted by rtmsf on May 16th, 2011

Over the course of the five weeks 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: Iman Shumpert

School: Georgia Tech

Height/Weight: 6’5/210 lbs

NBA Position: PG/SG

Projected Draft Range: Early second round

Overview: Shumpert has dealt with a difficult time at Georgia Tech that eventually led to Paul Hewitt’s dismissal despite having several future NBA Draft picks over the past few seasons. While he lacks the definite NBA appeal of a Derrick Favors, he does possess a skill set (primarily size, athleticism, and solid defense) that a number of NBA teams will find intriguing. Shumpert has shown flashes of brilliance like his 30-point performance in a win against UNC or a 22-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist (with just one turnover) and 7-steal performance in a win against Virginia Tech, but that has been tempered by inconsistency and downright poor performances such as his 1-assist, 4-turnover performance in an embarassing loss against Kennesaw State. The junior has also struggled to find the balance between being a point guard and a scorer. By the end of his time at Georgia Tech he had emerged as more of a scorer (up to 17.3 points per game from ~10.0 in prior seasons) and less of a passer (down to 3.5 assists per game from 5.0 as a freshman) although it may reflect the drop in the talent of his supporting cast. At the college level he has shown the ability to get to the basket, but instead he often settles for jump shots, an ineffective area of his game (a career 30.5% shooter outside the arc, averaging almost four attempts per game). If he ever learns how to utilize his skills by going to the basket and focusing on becoming a lockdown defender Shumpert could eventually be a solid NBA player.

Shumpert Has the Physical Tools For the Next Level

Will Translate to the NBA: The best case scenario is that Shumpert becomes a sixth man on a good team where it can utilize his defense and athleticism filling in for a starting point or shooting guard for short bursts. It is more likely that Shumpert will struggle reining in his game to focus on his strengths (defense and athleticism) and minimizing his weaknesses (shooting from outside). Shumpert will probably be a player that teams will want to add at the trade deadline, but most likely won’t be the centerpiece of a team over the long run.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story