RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Anthony Davis

Posted by EJacoby on June 28th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for tonight in New Jersey. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Anthony Davis

School: Kentucky

Height/Weight: 6’11” / 220 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: #1 Overall Pick

Anthony Davis will hear his name first during Thursday’s NBA Draft (AP Photo)

Overview: Believe it or not, Anthony Davis was not even on the radar as an elite prospect in his high school class three years ago. But that was before he grew eight inches in one summer, retained some of his guard skills, and developed elite shot-blocking fundamentals. The rest is history, as we all know his story as the #1 recruit in his class who produced immediately in college. In his one season at Kentucky, Davis led his team to a National Championship as Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament while winning the AP, Naismith, and Wooden National Player of the Year awards. He averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and an NCAA-best 4.7 blocks per game on 62.3% shooting as an 18-year-old freshman. While considered a defense-first asset, Davis also led the SEC in field goal percentage, offensive rating, and free throws made. At nearly 6’11″ in shoes with a 7’5.5″ wingspan, great agility, incredible discipline, and a high basketball IQ, Davis is one of the best shot-blocking prospects the NBA has ever seen. He’s very wiry and must add strength to avoid getting pushed around in the paint at the next level, but he’s such a good athlete that he makes up for any lost ground by swatting away everything near the basket. On offense he can face up and shows a decent jump shot with range or drives by defenders to the cup. He can also play with his back to the basket where he’s an efficient scorer, rarely turning the ball over and drawing fouls at a high rate. But he’s best at cutting to the paint for open looks and lobs at the rim, where he finishes alley-oops with perfect timing and explosion. He’s also a beast in transition with his speed and versatile skills for his size. He shoots over 70% from the free throw line, shows great work ethic, and is an intense leader. What can’t Davis do? He’s still a young kid who’s very raw offensively and needs to add strength. But it’s doubtful he becomes anything but a game-changing NBA force that a franchise can build around.

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Can All Six Expected Kentucky Draftees Find NBA Success? History Shows It’s Unlikely…

Posted by EJacoby on June 27th, 2012

At this Thursday’s NBA Draft, expect to hear six former Kentucky players’ names called. But what are the chances that all six end up having strong pro careers? Four of the UK players are locks to go in the first round while two others are fringe picks, so there are high expectations for this group of newcomers. Has any past college team ever produced four or even five solid pros in the same draft? It turns out that 12 different college teams have seen at least four of their players get selected in a draft since 1989, when the draft shrunk from seven rounds to two. Unfortunately, none of these teams produced more than three successful pros, though the most recent examples include small sample sizes and show some promise. The bottom line is that history is working against the six former Wildcats, and it would be unprecedented for even five of them to pan out. Kentucky basketball has had a way of setting records recently, though, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if most or all of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller eventually become strong NBA players.

Can at least five Kentucky players from the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft end up having strong careers? (AP Photo)

Since the draft shrunk to only two rounds back in 1989, no college team has ever had six players drafted in the same year. It goes to show just how talented the 2011-12 Wildcats were, starting at the top with the expected #1 pick Anthony Davis.  The 2006 Connecticut, 2007 Florida, 2008 Kansas, and 2010 Kentucky teams are the only others to produce as many as five NBA draft picks, so the trend has been pointing toward this day.

Today we’ll break down the teams that have come closest to producing four quality pros, including the most recent teams which still have a chance to do so. In order to qualify as a successful pro, our criteria requires players to have enjoyed extended, productive NBA careers. Career scoring averages of around 10 points per game is a general floor. Statistics don’t always tell the tale, so minutes played and games started are also considered to generally mean that a player was useful to his team. A one-stop statistic is Win Shares, which calculates the value a player adds over accumulated time and can be easily accessed through Basketball Reference’s database. Players who aren’t ranked in the top 20 Win Shares of their draft class generally don’t qualify as contributors. We’ll note if exceptions apply for certain players.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Thomas Robinson

Posted by dnspewak on June 27th, 2012

The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in Newark, New Jersey. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll generally work backwards, so for the next week or two we’ll present you with players who are projected near the end of the first round, and we’ll work our way up into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Thomas Robinson

School: Kansas

Height/Weight: 6’9”, 245 pounds

NBA Position: Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: High Lottery

Robinson Was a Year-Long NPOY Candidate

Overview: After spending two years as a reserve to the Morris twins at Kansas, Thomas Robinson grew into a Player of the Year candidate and one of Bill Self’s most coveted NBA prospects ever in his junior season. With a motor that never seems to quit and the strength of an NFL defensive end, Robinson bullied his way through elite big man after elite big man. He became a double-double machine in 2011-12, not infrequently finishing with over 17 rebounds in a game and blowing up for 25+ points on more than one occasion. Although his team featured elite point guard Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, and a few other key contributors, Self’s team wasn’t very deep and it relied heavily on its horse. Robinson didn’t disappoint, carrying the Jayhawks all the way to the National Championship game. By the time it was all over, Robinson turned in one of the finest performances of any player in college basketball. On the season, he averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, clearly defining himself as the nation’s toughest, most rugged and most feared power forward. Off the court, his tragic personal life has been well-documented by nearly every major media outlet. So when Robinson left school a year early, it was hard to criticize him after the loss of his mother and grandparents — especially with a young sister to care for and support.

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Assessing The Rising NBA Draft Prospects Who Could Land In First Round

Posted by EJacoby on June 27th, 2012

As part of our NBA Draft series, we have been breaking down in full scouting reports all the top prospects who could hear their names called in the first round on Thursday. Included in our profiles are the 35 top prospects as consensus-ranked back in mid-May. But now we’re a day away from the draft, and there’s been plenty of movement around the bottom end of those consensus rankings. Teams have gotten to see the prospects go through measurements, tests, and interviews at the Chicago Combine as well as individual and group workouts in private practice settings. As always, there are some guys moving up at the last minute who weren’t in the mix six weeks ago but could find their way into the first round. Who will become this year’s Norris Cole, the guard from Cleveland State who shot up draft boards late in the process last year and got selected #28 overall? We’ll detail these rising prospects who didn’t make our original cut and we didn’t get a chance to break down in full.

Athletic guard Jared Cunningham is gaining some first round buzz (Pac-12 photo)

Some of the players we detailed back in May who were fringe first-rounders at the time are now falling as likely second-rounders. Scott Machado, Kevin Jones, and Darius Miller, especially, are all projected outside of the top 35 by Draft Express and NBADraft.net at this time. That doesn’t mean these guys won’t get selected in the first round, but the buzz simply isn’t as strong leading up to draft night as some other prospects that we overlooked. Three names – excluding foreign players – who are now rising above these players in terms of consensus rankings heading into draft night are Jared Cunningham, Kim English, and Miles Plumlee. We’ll detail each prospect with a quick and dirty breakdown, including what has caused each player to rise in the past few weeks.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Posted by EJacoby on June 27th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New Jersey. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

School: Kentucky

Height/Weight: 6’7” / 235 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward

Projected Draft Range: High Lottery

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist plays with a passion that can’t be taught (AP Photo)

Overview: Much like fellow top five prospect Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s NBA intrigues stems from his elite athletic tools and nonstop motor. The heart and soul of Kentucky’s National Championship run, Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t turn 19 years old for another three months, yet displays the maturity and basketball IQ of someone far more advanced in his playing career. ‘MKG’ never quits on a play, locks down defenders for a full 35 seconds, and legitimately thinks he can get every rebound or loose ball during the course of a game. At nearly 6’8″ and an explosive 235 pounds, Kidd-Gilchrist can defend guards on the perimeter and big men in the post with equal success. He constantly attacks, persistent at getting to the rim on the offensive end. He led the NCAA by converting 71% of his field goals in transition situations, nearly unstoppable in the open floor. Despite all of his off-the-charts intangibles and hustle plays, Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t possess the game of a typical franchise player. He averaged just 11.9 PPG in his one-year career at Kentucky and lacks ideal perimeter skills. Though he’ll take and make some outside shots, his jumper has ugly mechanics and he isn’t great at getting his own shot. He’s much more of a weapon off the ball cutting into open spaces to attack the basket. He also averaged more turnovers (2.2) than assists (1.9) and is not very adept as a playmaker for others. That said, MKG finds ways to contribute in the half court, mainly by getting to the foul line at an elite rate and knocking down 75% of his freebies. Not surprisingly, he measured out quite well at the Combine with a 7’0″ wingspan and third-fastest sprint time. Should Kidd-Gilchrist ever fix his outside shot and develop more go-to offensive moves, he’ll have a chance to be a special NBA player given his prototypical athleticism and unique unselfish attitude that leads to doing any and every thing he can to get his team a win.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jared Sullinger

Posted by KDoyle on June 26th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in Newark, New Jersey. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Jared Sullinger

School: Ohio State

Height/Weight: 6’9” / 265 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid to Late First Round

There Are Plenty Of Questions Around Sullinger Heading Into The Draft

Overview: Whether fair or not, much of the attention surrounding Sullinger leading up to Draft night has been on a reportedly ailing back and the fact that he was not invited to the NBA Draft as reported by ESPN’s Andy Katz. Sullinger is not projected to be a lottery pick by experts, and thus did not receive an invitation to the Prudential Center in Newark. Entering his sophomore year, Sullinger was a consensus top five selection in the Draft as he was—and still is—one of the most polished big men in the country. His low post moves and ability to score within 10 feet from the basket is unparalleled, but then his athleticism and health were questioned. Red flags went up back in December when Sullinger was forced to miss Ohio State’s game against Texas Pan American and the following game against Kansas. Despite coping with this hindrance, Sullinger was still one of the top forwards in the nation averaging 17.9 PPG and 9.2 RPG. When at full strength, like he was during his freshman year garnering the USBWA Freshman of the Year award, Sullinger is an immovable force with exceptional hands and the softest of touches around the basket. Not to mention, his mid-range jumper is pretty darned good for a 6’9: guy. But then again, there are the questions regarding his health. One of the most likable guys in this year’s Draft with a smile seemingly always on his face and a jovial manner about him, no one wishes Sullinger to have an injury-plagued pro career that his predecessor at Ohio State—Greg Oden—has had thus far. One thing is for certain, a healthy Sullinger whose skills continue to develop makes for a real steal in the latter half of the first round.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Harrison Barnes

Posted by EJacoby on June 26th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Harrison Barnes

School: North Carolina

Height/Weight: 6’8” / 230 lbs.

NBA Position: Small Forward

Projected Draft Range: High Lottery

Barnes has perfect form on his polished mid-range jumper (AP Photo/G. Broome)

Overview: Harrison Barnes became the first ever freshman to be named on the preseason All-American team back in 2010-11, as the #1 recruit in his class was expected to become a monster contributor immediately for North Carolina. That tells you all you need to know about Barnes’ highly scrutinized career. He had a longer adjustment period than expected, but Barnes had become an easy 15-20 point scorer by the end of his freshman season. As a sophomore, he averaged 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game as a steady contributor on both ends. But he never truly lived up to expectations, as Barnes was not a dominant player during his two seasons, and he struggled in his final run of last year’s NCAA Tournament. Nonetheless, he remains an elite prospect with prototypical small forward size and athleticism. He has an extremely polished mid-range game that features advanced pump fakes, jab steps, and of course a great jump shot. His 6’8” and strong frame allows him to get his shots up over anybody, and he has range out to the three-point line. He’s added 15 pounds since his freshman year and was the best overall athlete at the Draft Combine, recording the fastest three-quarter court sprint and highest standing vertical leap amongst other notable numbers. Barnes does not attack the basket like his physical profile and skill set suggest he can, which leaves reason to believe he can eventually become a more complete offensive weapon. While he may never reach the Kobe Bryant-like comparisons that were made in high school, Barnes is a safe bet to be a consistent scoring threat in the NBA with solid athleticism and a strong feel for the game on both ends.

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Re-Drafting the NBA Draft: Top 10 Players From Recent Years

Posted by EJacoby on June 25th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft takes place this Thursday, June 28 in Newark, and now that the NBA Finals has come to an early conclusion (just five games), New Jersey becomes the center of the basketball universe. No other professional sports amateur draft can have as much immediate impact as the NBA’s, witnessed by Oklahoma City’s rise to prominence with a core consisting of four first-round picks from the previous five years. While we await Thursday’s selections, the words ‘upside’ and ‘potential’ run rampant, as teams are selecting from a pool filled with unrefined prospects. Lottery picks (top 14 selections) are mainly underclassmen who scouts hope evolve into long term superstars, and that’s why the draft presents so many early busts and late sleepers that evaluators miss out on. The NBA Draft is more art than science, and that is no more evident than when you look back at many of the selections made in previous drafts.

After slipping on draft night, Tony Parker has led the Spurs to multiple championships (AP Photo)

Today we take a look at four recent NBA Drafts to give you a clear idea of how difficult it is to nail the top picks. We wanted to choose mostly older drafts whose players’ careers have longer sample sizes to evaluate, but also included a more recent draft since the implementation of the current ‘one-and-done’ rule that disallows high school players from the pool. Here are our revised top 10 picks from 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006, with each player’s original selection in parentheses. Who ended up becoming the best players from drafts of the 2000s, and where were they selected?

2001

  1. Tony Parker (28, San Antonio)
  2. Pau Gasol (3, Memphis)
  3. Joe Johnson (10, Boston)
  4. Zach Randolph (19, Portland)
  5. Gilbert Arenas (31, Golden State)
  6. Gerald Wallace (25, Sacramento)
  7. Jason Richardson (5, Golden State)
  8. Tyson Chandler (2, LA Clippers)
  9. Shane Battier (6, Memphis)
  10. Richard Jefferson (13, Houston)

A fairly strong draft, 2001 is also scarred by the fact that #1 overall pick Kwame Brown was an enormous bust. Brown, selected first by Michael Jordan out of high school, is a great example of why it’s risky to draft young, unproven bigs. But that was also during the era when high school players were eligible for the draft, which is no longer the case today. Even though the current ‘one-and-done’ rule makes it difficult to assess young prospects, at least we get a full season to watch players compete at the highest level. The 2001 draft was full of quality sleepers late in the draft, highlighted by the three-time All-Star, Arenas, and three-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star, Parker, both falling past pick #27. Parker likely fell because he was such a young, foreign player; yet Gasol was a similar prospect who scouts nailed with the #3 overall selection. The 2001 draft proves how difficult it is to differentiate players of varying positions, ages, and levels of play.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Bradley Beal

Posted by EJacoby on June 25th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Bradley Beal

School: Florida

Height/Weight: 6’4” / 205 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: High Lottery

Beal has a complete offensive arsenal at his disposal (AP Photo)

Overview: Bradley Beal is the 2012 draft’s top guard prospect due to his ability to score from anywhere on the floor as well as his elite athletic tools that can make him an impact player on both ends. He averaged 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game during a solid freshman campaign for Florida, finishing as the top rebounding guard in the SEC. He’s a thick, athletic guard with a beautiful outside stroke which should produce far better than the 33.9% he shot from deep last season. For someone who draws comparison to a young Ray Allen, Beal’s three-point and free throw (76.9%) shooting numbers are not yet on that level, though he displays terrific mechanics and was just 18 years old playing over 34 minutes per game in the SEC. His Combine test results did not stand out from the pack, but remember that he won’t even turn 19 years old until draft night and already displays ideal strength and speed for his position with above-average explosiveness. He has NBA-plus range on the shot, really excels as a mid-range slasher, and already draws fouls at a solid rate. He hasn’t mastered how to score efficiently with all these tools and he doesn’t yet display crafty finishes around the basket, but he’s great in transition and displayed decent playmaking ability for a two-guard. It’s the full package with Beal. Defensively he has solid strength and lateral quickness and appears to show a terrific work ethic to improve. He can block shots and rack up steals with his great anticipation and athleticism – plus he was a fantastic defensive rebounder for a guard. There’s much to like about Beal but he has not yet stood out as a dominant player in workouts or in games, so he’s still going to need proper development to reach his potential.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Andre Drummond

Posted by EJacoby on June 24th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Andre Drummond

School: Connecticut

Height/Weight: 6’11” / 275 lbs.

NBA Position: Center

Projected Draft Range: High Lottery

Andre Drummond has elite athleticism for a center but must refine his offensive game (AP Photo)

Overview: Andre Drummond is an unreal athletic specimen whose NBA intrigue stems from his unique physical profile, but not so much from how he performed as a freshman at UConn. The second youngest player in this draft, Drummond was a last minute re-classification to the 2011 high school class and joined the Huskies late, taking awhile to mesh with the defending National Champions. The 18-year-old had a rollercoaster season, dominating certain games and showing extended flashes of greatness while at other times looking lost on the floor without much to contribute. He averaged 10.0 points and 7.6 rebounds for the year on 53.8% shooting, getting most of his points on dunks from lob passes, putbacks, or cuts into the paint. He shot an unfathomable 29.5% from the free-throw line and yet finds the 15-foot jumper as one of his potential go-to scoring moves because he lacks post skills. On defense, though, Drummond was a consistent game-changing force, evidenced by his 2.7 blocks per game. Not only is he huge (6’11”) and strong, but Drummond is agile on his feet with a quick second-jump, all adding up to an elite post defender. He could even get out to defend high pick-and-rolls well and close out on perimeter shooters, results of a truly one-of-a-kind athlete. Drummond runs the floor with the speed of a swingman, and he finished with the 10th-fastest score at the Combine’s agility test drill, finishing behind mainly small guards. He also has an insane 7’6.25” wingspan, the best of any prospect. It’s easy to see Drummond’s massive potential, but he’s a project that needs time to refine his offensive skills and find ways to score besides dunks. He showed some refreshing personality during Combine interviews, but his drive to be great remains in question based on his in-game body language and passive nature.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: John Henson

Posted by EJacoby on June 24th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: John Henson

School: North Carolina

Height/Weight: 6’11” / 215 lbs.

NBA Position: Power Forward / Center

Projected Draft Range: Late Lottery Pick

John Henson has insanely long arms that help him block shots at a high rate (AP Photo)

Overview: John Henson is long, and John Henson is skinny. These are two things we’ve known since the top five recruit stepped on campus as a Tar Heel in 2009-10, but we’ve also gotten to see him grow significantly as a player for three years in a North Carolina uniform. Henson led the ACC in rebounds and blocks in each of the last two seasons, putting up total averages of 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in 2011-12 on 50% shooting from the field. He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons, as well. He has insanely long arms, posting a wingspan of 7’5” and standing vertical reach of 9’4” – by far the best of any prospect. He’s eight inches from the rim when he extends his arms, which is why he can swat away anything near the basket. But he’s also quite mobile moving in and out of the paint, and he’s a really smart player. Henson shows refreshing personality in interviews and is a leader on the floor as the chatty anchor of the defense. Offensively, Henson remains a work in progress but has improved exponentially since his early days at Carolina. He can now keep defenses honest with a decent mid-range jumper, and he has go-to moves in the post that he’s comfortable with. He uses both hands very well on offense as well as defense, so he presents some different, crafty looks to opponents. Henson is painfully skinny but continues to put on more weight, really filling out better in the past few years. Despite his thin frame, he still challenges every shot at the rim and attacks defenders at the basket with vicious dunks. He knows what he can’t do, but he’s quite good at the things he can do on the floor.

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jeremy Lamb

Posted by AMurawa on June 23rd, 2012

The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.

Player Name: Jeremy Lamb

School:Connecticut

Height/Weight: 6’5”, 179 lbs.

NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Projected Draft Range: Mid-Lottery

Lamb Had An Enigmatic Sophomore Campaign

Overview: Coming out of high school, Jeremy Lamb was something of an afterthought in Connecticut’s 2010 recruiting class. While guys like Shabazz Napier and Roscoe Smith were expected to make an immediate impact with the Huskies, Lamb arrived in Storrs at the 43rd ranked shooting guard in his class, according to ESPNU. And really, as the calendar flipped from 2010 to 2011, while Lamb had turned in some nice performances, he had done little to change that perception. But then, in the middle of January, he turned in a streak of eight straight double-figure scoring efforts (averaging 16.7 PPG over that stretch) and presented himself as a significant second option to alpha dog Kemba Walker. He faded back into obscurity down the stretch of the Big East schedule, but once the Huskies got into elimination basketball, he was excellent, scoring in double figures in each of his Big East and NCAA Tournament games as the Huskies swept to a national title. Along the way, Lamb displayed an excellent shooting touch in a variety of areas, posting a 62% eFG while scoring 15.3 PPG and grabbing a hold of the attention of NBA scouts. But last season, in the absence of Walker, the Huskies struggled with team chemistry as an arguably more talented Husky team struggled home to a mediocre 20-14 finish and a first-round NCAA loss. Lamb’s numbers looked much the same across the board (great offensive efficiency numbers, excellent shooting percentages, few turnovers, and fewer assists) albeit with a bump up in usage, but the team chemistry issues are of concern, as are Lamb’s limited trips to the free throw line and occasionally poor shot selection. Still, with an absurd seven-foot wingspan on a solid 6’5” frame, Lamb’s scoring ability and excellent athleticism make him a highly-regarded NBA prospect.

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