JPlayer Updates:

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#1
Were about 4 or 5 games into the college season, and I thought it would a good idea to occasionally do updates on the players that could or should be relevant in the upcoming draft. Most of the players today will be frontcourt players with their current stats, and a short description.

Jahlil Okafor: 6'11", 270 Lbs, Freshman, Duke.
So far this season he's averaging 15.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.8 apg. Through five games, he's been as advertised. Very good post player with great footwork, but able to step out and shoot the 15 footer. Reminds me of a cross between Duncan and Cousins. Not quite as smooth as Duncan, and not quite as physical as Cousins, but he's young. He could be the first pick in the draft.

Frank Kaminsky: 7'0", 234 Lbs, Senior, Wisconsin.
Kaminsky just doesn't look the part of a center, but there's no denying what he does on the floor. He had his coming out party at last years NCAA tournament, and he's picked up where he left off. Through four games he's averaging 19.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 apg, and 2.8 bpg. He needs to get stronger, but he's a very skilled big man who can score inside and outside, all the way out to the three point line.

Karl Towns: 6'11", 250 Lbs, Freshman, Kentucky.
So far through four games Towns is averaging 6.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, and 3.0 bpg. Don't be fooled by the lack of scoring. Kentucky is a very unselfish team loaded with players that can score. He's averaging around 4 shots a game right now, but he's been very impressive. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. He's blocking shots at a high rate, and grabbing defensive rebounds. Offensively, he has all the tools. He just needs to refine them.

Myles Turner: 6'11", 240 Lbs, Freshman, Texas.
Turner has gotten off to a very good start and will probably be the best player on the Texas team by years end. So far through four games he's averaging 8.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, and 2.5 bpg. I like what I've seen out of Turner in the one game I watched. He's been solid defensively, but has work to do offensively. His rebound rate is good for the minutes he's playing.

Amida Brimah: 7'0", 230 Lbs, Sophmore, UCONN.
Brimah is developing into a very good defensive player. Although he's averaging 10.7 ppg, most of them come from put backs or alley oops. I doubt that he'll ever be a good offensive player, but he should make a living in the NBA as a defensive specialist. Through 3 games he's averaging 10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, and 3.7 bpg.

Chris McCullough: 6'9", 220 Lbs, 7'3" wingspan, Freshman, Syracuse. McCullough has been a big surprise to me. He's looked like the whole package. It's early, so I don't want to read too much into it, but he's looked fantastic so far. Offensively he can score with either hand around the basket, or he can step out and shoot the ball. Defensively he's been terrific, and I must qualify that with the fact that it's hard to judge a Syracuse player because the only play a zone. Through four games he's averaging 15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.8 spg, and 3.0 bpg. Definitely one to keep your eye on.

Chris Walker: 6'9", 220 Lbs, Sophmore, Florida.
Hey, he's finally on the floor. So far he's only played in one game, which I saw. He only played around twenty minutes if memory serves, and he was just OK. Way to early to make any judgements one way or the other. His stats for the one game were, 4.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, and 1 bpg. He basicly missed his entire freshman year, so he has some catching up to do. He really needs to add some muscle.

Kevon Looney: 6'9.5", 220 Lbs, Freshman, UCLA.
UCLA has themselves a good one if the first three games are any indication. He's been terrific. Through three games he's averaging 16.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, and 1.3 bpg. I've been impressed with his lateral quickness. It's a short sampling, but he looks like a player that can play both ends of the court. Like many he needs to get stronger, but he's been very impressive so far.

Bobby Portis: 6'10", 242 Lbs, Sophmore, Arkansas.
Portis continues to struggle away in the shadows. He's going to be a very solid, but unspectacular NBA player. Only his average athleticism is holding him back. I like Portis a lot. He's one of those players that you know what your going to get on a nightly basis. He'll never be a prolific shotblocker due to his average leaping ability, but he is a presence in the post due to his strength. Through three games he's averaging 16 ppg, 5.7 rpg, o.7 apg, 1.0 spg, and 1.7 bpg.

Chris Obekpa: 6'9", 236 Lbs, 7'4.5" wingspan, Junior, St. Johns.
If your looking for a physical specimen, then Obekpa is your guy. Obekpa is a terrific defensive player, and that's where it ends, because he's a horrible offensive player. The problem is that he tends to forget that at times, and take inopportune shots. Which is probably why his minutes have been so limited. He can have a great NBA career if he can get his head on straight. Through three games he's averaging 8.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1.0 spg, and a whopping 4.2 bpg.

Goodluck Okonoboh: 6'10", 225 Lbs, Freshman, UNLV
It looks like UNLV has a keeper. So far he's proven to be a defensive stopper. There's no doubt that he's rough around the edges, especially on offense, but he's a very good athlete and he's long. I've only seen him play once, and he sort of reminds me a little bit of Brandon Wright in college. Through four games he's averaging 4.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1 spg, and 4.2 freeking blocked shots per game. Lets see if he can keep blocking shots at that rate.

A. J. Hammonds: 7'0", 278 Lbs, Junior, Purdue.
Hammonds is my most frustrating player. He has all the tools and physical ability to be a starting center in the NBA, but unfortunately he seems to be missing the motor, and the focus. There are times when he looks terrific, and then he becomes a bystander, or a spectator. He's a huge man with wide shoulders and a big wingspan. He's not a freak athlete, but he's an above average athlete. If someone can light a fire under him they'll have a hell of a player. As he is now, he'll be a nice backup center. Through three games he's averaging 5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, and 3.3 bpg. This guy could be a great defensive player. Arrrgh!


More later. Next I'll concentrate on SF's and SG's
 
#2
Did WCS disappoint you? He's still 10ppg(.667FG%)+7rpg+2apg+1.6spg+2bpg in 25 minutes. Body looks improved just a bit more, he's maturing.
I would go mainly for unknown players, who look underrated and might throw their name into the hat this summer:

Octavius Ellis - 6'10", 230, Cincinnati. Cousin of Monte Ellis. Got 12ppg(.580FG%, 14-20 from FT line, so looks like there's a chance for developing a mid-range jumper)+10rpg+1.3spg+3bpg in 32 minutes, but he plays for UC, which always meant slow, deliberate pace. Only 1 apg with 2TOpg and 3fpg are all bad signs. Long, very quick jumper and as all Bearcats is tough and aggressive. As a freshman in Cincinnati had a wrist injury and then was part of the brawl, of which he was named main culprit. Three years later his coach still decided to take him back. Will be 22 by the summer, so he's in.

Jerian Grant - 6'5", 200, Notre Dame, senior, brother of Jerami Grant and nephew of Horace Grant. 18ppg(.560FG%, shot is not falling so far as he entered the season with career .370 from 3 and .810 from FT)+3.5rpg+7apg(only 1.6 TOpg)+2spg in 33 minutes. Long PG, who can run the offense, works on D and can shoot.

Shannon Scott - 6'1", 185, Ohio State, senior.
Another senior, and he started the season with a bang: 12.5apg, 2.3spg against 2.5TOpg in 30 minutes. Not much of a scorer or shooter, which is always a bad sign, but he finishes above 60% around the rim and he make outside shots as so far on the season he's making 44% of his 2pt jumpers and 2-5 from downtown. Pest defensively.

Rysheed Jordan - 6'4", 190, St. John, sophomore. Part of very athletic, but raw and erratic group of players in St. John. After hectic freshman season looks much more confident and composed. 17ppg(.510)+5.3rpg+4.3apg+1.3spg+2.TOpg. Aggressive guy with a very good handle, who gets to the rim with ease, but also looks for his teammates. Works on defense.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#3
No, Cauley Stein played well. His stat line is probably going to be a little different this season because of the platoon system Calipari is using, and because he'playing next to Towns, who is turning out to be quite a shotblocker as well. Sort of like when Evans is on the floor with Cousins. Only so many rebounds to go around. I plan on covering quite few players, some known, and some unkown to the general public. I'm trying keep my comments to players that I've actually seen play. Not so east to do with some of the players, who aren't on TV as much.

But back to Stein. He's added weight through muscle every year, and yet still looks thin. He could easily carry another 20 pounds. I know there's a point of diminishing return, where the weight starts to affect the results in a negative way. But I don't think he's anywhere near that point. He's improved his offense every year as well, but I doubt he'll ever be a good offensive player. And, in fact he doesn't have to be. If he can hit that little 15 to 17 footer consistently, like the one he hit in his last game, he'll be just fine. I think he'd look just fine in a Kings uniform. Of course I can name quite a few players that would.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#4
Funny that you mentioned Ellis. I almost included him in my post. At that point I thought my post was getting too long, and decided to leave him out till a later date, along with a couple of others, like Obij Aget of New Mexico, and Jordan Mickey of LSU. But I like Ellis quite a bit. damm shame he's missed two years of playing time, but he's making the most of it right now, averaging 31 minutes a game. He's only scoring 12 points a game, but he's shooting 57.9% while grabbing 9.3 boards along with 1.3 steals, and 3 blocked shots a game. I'm curious to see if he can keep up that pace once Cincinnati starts playing tougher competition. He's an above average athlete and a good leaper with length. He has a lot to overcome with his reputation, and someone might get a steal in the second round.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#5
Grant had a good game the other night. 20 points on 6 of 13 shooting. He only had one board, but had six assists. Curious to see how consistent he can be from the three all year long.
 

Capt. Factorial

Cantry Member
Staff member
#6
Baja, have you caught junior R.J. Hunter out of Georgia St.? Terribly skinny, but he's got nice size for a wing and has some incredible passing instincts. Smooth, smooth jumper but he seems to have a tendency to not square up. When he's square it looks real good. Any thoughts on him?
 
#7
How do you like the freshmen SFs? There's a good list of them: Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson, Justin Jackson, and Kelly Oubre. The most impressive so far is Justice Winslow. He's a very aggressive player that can score. He's a good defender, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him drafted top 5 this year. Justin Jackson is just as impressive, but he's really raw. I think he stays at UNC for a few more years. Stanley Johnson has been solid. I don't think he's nearly as impressive as the other thus far, but he'll probably end up going top 10.
Kelly Oubre isn't getting a whole bunch of time behind Perry Ellis and their other guards. I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay a few more years, or take the route LaVine did. I think if he enters the draft, he goes in the lottery despite his lack of PT.

Who has been the most impressive to you?
 
#8
Another senior, who might find a place in the league is Dez Wells from Maryland. This guy can be a little wild with the ball, but looks like he made .814 from FT line last season and so far started 5-8 from beyond the arc, so it seems like he's getting his range fully expanded. With his tough, if a little inattentive, defense, I think, he will find a place.
 
#9
I'd also keep an eye on Michigan.. Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin are going to be special NBA players. It really sucks that the Kings do not have a draft pick this year. I think they both might wound up better Michigan prospects than Stauskas..
 
#11
16.8 fta per 100 possessions? Looks like he has the same foul issues on both ends of the floor! :D And those TOs, blocks! Get to work Jaleel! You have a lot of ground to cover to catch up!
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#12
How do you like the freshmen SFs? There's a good list of them: Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson, Justin Jackson, and Kelly Oubre. The most impressive so far is Justice Winslow. He's a very aggressive player that can score. He's a good defender, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him drafted top 5 this year. Justin Jackson is just as impressive, but he's really raw. I think he stays at UNC for a few more years. Stanley Johnson has been solid. I don't think he's nearly as impressive as the other thus far, but he'll probably end up going top 10.
Kelly Oubre isn't getting a whole bunch of time behind Perry Ellis and their other guards. I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay a few more years, or take the route LaVine did. I think if he enters the draft, he goes in the lottery despite his lack of PT.

Who has been the most impressive to you?
If I had to pick one, I'd probably pick Winslow. Terrific athlete with a great motor. Plus, he's putting up good numbers. Shooting around 38 to 39 percent from the three. He's a very good defender. I think everyone you listed is talented. Johnson is a physical specimen. He's built like a PF. He looks like Ron Artest. I've seen Jackson play twice so far. He's really struggling from the outside. I don't know what he's shooting from there, but it can't be good. He needs to hit the weight room. I was expecting more from Oubre, but as you said, he's not getting a lot of minutes. It's still early
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#13
Baja, have you caught junior R.J. Hunter out of Georgia St.? Terribly skinny, but he's got nice size for a wing and has some incredible passing instincts. Smooth, smooth jumper but he seems to have a tendency to not square up. When he's square it looks real good. Any thoughts on him?
Funny you should ask. I've been compiling my list of SF's and SG's that I intend to post in the next couple of days and Mr. Hunter is on that list. Very talented player with good length for the SG position. Good defender with a Kevin Martin body type. Does a Reggie Miller body type sound better? He's having a great year so far and if he keeps it up, I suspect he'll move up the draft boards. Obviously he needs to get stronger and polish up some of the rough edges. He's on my flying under the radar list. As if that's possible today..
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#14
Another senior, who might find a place in the league is Dez Wells from Maryland. This guy can be a little wild with the ball, but looks like he made .814 from FT line last season and so far started 5-8 from beyond the arc, so it seems like he's getting his range fully expanded. With his tough, if a little inattentive, defense, I think, he will find a place.
My problem with Wells is that he's never seen a shot he didn't like. The dude is a black hole. I'll give him credit, he can score, and in bunches. But I'd hate to be his teammate. I'd never see the ball.
 
#15
When your first option is also your most efficient player, you can give him a pass, especially when his USG% is in mid-twenties - he's forcing, but not really ball-hogging.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#16
When your first option is also your most efficient player, you can give him a pass, especially when his USG% is in mid-twenties - he's forcing, but not really ball-hogging.
I will do my best to shove my bias aside, and give him another chance. This isn't my first dance with this guy. Right now, to me, he's a more skilled and taller verison of Marcus Thornton. If he can engage his brain a little more, he can be pretty good. But hey, I'll wipe the slate clean and see what he does this year.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#17
Finally sat down and watched the UCLA/Long Beach St. game last night. It was recorded on sunday. Great game by Powell. The guy is making a statement. Still not sure what to make of Bryce Alford. Up until this year, I looked at him as a SG. This year they have him playing PG, and I've got to admit that he's doing a darned good j0b. So far this year he's averaging just under 10 assists a game, while shooting lights out. He didn't shoot well from the three in the Long Beach game, but he's over 40% from there for the year.

Just took a peak at the Kentucky/Tex-Arlington game. Yikes, the wildcats are leading 44 to 12 at the half. Karl Towns has something like 7 boards and 3 blocks at the half. We need to kidnap this kid.... I'm recording the game, but not sure its worth watching.
 
#18
Combing through statistics noticed a few big guys, playing ok at the start of the season:
Octavius Ellis, who had another solid game vs cupcake NC Central, is partnered with a freshman Gary Clark, whose per 40 pace adjusted stats look rather spectacular: 13ppg(.587TS%)+14rpg+3,3apg(2,5TOpg)+2,3spg+3,3bpg(just 3.3PFpg). And those assists and steal numbers are very good markers along with great 20% off.rebounding rate (that's Boogie's level, while the level of defensive rebounding in college doesn't say much about player's ability and is often a by-product of system). Also he had quadruple double as a senior in HS adding assists to obvious other 3 categories. He hit 2 out of 3 jumpers and all his FTs as another encouraging factor so far.
Still he's certainly under radar as
1. He's already turned 20 in November, while some guys enter the draft as 18 y.o. still, so he's 1-1,5 year older than your typical freshman. It means, if he continues this type of production into the stronger part of schedule, there's a good chance, he will throw his name into the hat. Though Cinci guys usually stay for a while, him being productive, but older freshman changes things.
2. DX have only his measurements from 2012, when he was 6'7", 195 with 8'8.5" length. This year he's listed at 6'7", 233, so he clearly added weight, but more importantly, he needs to be closer to 8'10" in terms of standing reach to have a shot at being NBA big. We'll see, if he grew since then.
3. As most solid, but not elite teams, who were not picked for preseason tourneys, Cinci played cupcake schedule so far. They start playing serious teams in the middle of December, but those still can't boast having long frontcourts. Only real NBA length on their schedule is 2 games vs UConn in January. Still I would take a look at the games vs Nebraska, SDSU and VCU in the middle of December.
http://www.downthedrive.com/2014/3/...just-the-man-to-give-bearcats-offense-a-boost
By all (however biased) accounts Clark seems to be skilled, tough player with great motor and good understanding of the game.

This guy I managed to see already. Chinanu Onuaku plays like he's overdosed on sugar, has great stats, but those are in part a result of his over-aggressiveness, that produces a lot fouls. DX have him as only #73 freshman, but this guy is fun to watch and his per 40 pace adjusted stats: 12.6ppg(.711TS%)+15.6rpg+1.1apg(3.7TOpg)+2.6spg+5.6bpg(5.6PFpg). A center project at 6'10", 230, that will probably stay in Louisville for at least a sophomore season as he clearly needs to slow down, so maybe he shouldn't be in this thread, but guy like Steven Adams looked like barely serviceable college player this time of the season. 6 out of 10 from FT line is an encouraging sign, that he might be able to develop some sort of jumper, plus not be "hack-a-" target in crunch time. Also in this video
he has a few good passes, plus shows soft touch around the basket.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#19
The comparison between Adams and Onuaku isn't a bad one since both came to basketball late, and therefore are a little behind the curve. However, I think Adams is a better athlete than Onuaku, and has a more consistent motor. To me, Onuaku is either going at top speed or he's standing around. He looks lost at times, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But there's potential there. I do think knowing the back story of any player is important when comparing them to other players. I mean its fair to compare what your getting right now, but not what their final ceiling might be based on their current skill level. A player that's been playing basketball since he was five years old is likely to be far more skilled, than a player that's been playing for only 4 years. But that doesn't mean, that at some point in the future, the player that's been playing for just four years won't be the better player.

I fear that Clark may be one of those guys that's a great college player, but never makes it in the NBA. Unless he can turn into another Draymond Green. And unfortunately, he's shown no ability to shoot the ball from the outside. I just can't see him as PF in the NBA, but hey, who knows. I thought the same thing about Kenneth Faried. I just loved him in college, but thought his height would ba a huge issue in the NBA. So never say never.

Of the big names, the most impressive to me has been Karl Towns of Kentucky. He's been rebounding, playing outstanding defense, and shooting a high percentage on the few shots he's taking. Okafor is putting up more points, but he's getting more minutes, and a lot more shots. Another kid on the Kentucky team that's starting impress after a slow start, is Devin Booker the 6'6"SG that's currently coming off the bench. He's averaging 11.2 PPG while shooting 52.3% overall, and 46.4% from the three. That's after a zero for six start in his first game. He's been lights out ever since. To top it off, he's playing very good defense and is a very good passer who doesn't turn the ball over very much. Only five turnovers in six games.

Here's a comparison of Okafor and Towns.

Jahlil Okafor: 27.8 mpg, 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg, he's currently taking 12.3 shot attempts per game.

Karl Towns: 18.3 mpg, 7.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.5 bpg, he's currently taking 6.0 shot attempts per game.

Towns also has some game away from the basket where Okafor is mostly a low post player. I'm not knocking Okafor at all. He's going to be a hell of a player. My point is, that if your looking for player that can be a good offensive player, but be a very good defensive player, you might want to look at Towns.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#20
Even though it's early, I think Towns has passed up Okafor on my (admittedly shaky) draft board. He's a much better defender than I thought he'd be at this level and his considerable offensive prowess is being reigned in by Calipari's system in which his bigs are pretty much chained to the paint (Boogie and Randle in particular had similar things happen to them with Kentucky).

I actually think he'd be a good fit next to Boogie (although lateral defense would certainly be a potential problem) but that'll never happen barring insane blockbuster trade.
 
#21
Myles Turner is actually a guy, who would make most sense next to Boogie. Usually you hear about a 6'11" guy in college, who wants to play as Lamarcus Aldridge, and immediate reaction is "Are you kidding me? Get inside and dunk on these small guys!" But thing is there's already a couple of guys on that team, who are doing inside stuff in Holmes and Ridley, so having a big kid, who can pepper out of the paint shots at .625FG% (11-17 on long 2s and 4-7 on college threes over 5 games), plus posting Boogie would certainly appreciate this kind of delivery.
Plus he controls the rim and defensive boards...
Towns is probably more skilled, but Turner is a bit quicker (he's still adjusting to his late growth spurt, and will probably move even better, once he gets used to his body), so he's better suited to defending perimeter vs PF mobility.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#22
Well we can debate all day about who the better athlete is. Most scouts seem to think that Towns has the edge, but lets be honest. Neither is a freak athlete and neither is thought of as above the rim players, although both are good athlete's and can play above the rim. I'll take either of them and won't *****. I still think the Cauley Stein may be the best overall fit next to Cuz. Doesn't need the ball, but has improved on the offensive end of the floor. He's a better athlete than either Towns or Turner. I mean it you just looking for a defensive presence, then Stein is your man. He's the only one of the three that has the quickness to guard on the perimeter and still get back to defend the basket. I think all three of these guys are likely lottery picks. It's going to be a good draft for Bigs. At least on paper.
 
#23
I think there's an intangible quality with Stanley Johnson that goes beyond just his skillset and his athleticism. This draft has a lot of impressive talent at the top, but none of it comes with quite the same resume. He's the first player in history to win four state titles in California and already, just two weeks into his college career, he was the MVP of the Maui Invitational leading Arizona with 18 and 9 in the game against San Diego State. I also like his progression from playing mostly in the post his freshman year to eventually leading the team as de facto point guard his senior year. He strikes me as a player who's always been willing to put the team ahead of himself. There are a lot of players in this draft I'd love to have on my team, but right now Stanley Johnson is my favorite player in this class. That's not to say I'd pick him over Towns, Okafor, Turner, or Mudiay though.
 
#24
Stanley is just so impressive from physical standpoint as he looks like Artest with better hops. He carries 240-245 and doesn't look mechanical. Add the fact, that he has better floor skills...Artest was producing better defensive stats though, and being able to win DPOY from perimeter position just shows, how great a defender he was.
Watched pieces of California-Texas game week ago, and yesterday was able to watch it online on youtube. Two more things about Turner: he's a vocal defensive captain, directing his teammates to spots he sees plays unfolding to (clearly saw it 3 times) and at two times in this game he stood motionless and relaxed doing nothing, while his teammates were scrambling on the weak side, trying to start a play off the ball, and the moment that shoving ends and his teammates started moving, he did too - kid clearly understands plays and their timing; both times Felix, Texas PG, didn't clearly called a play, so it was either communicated in signs or Turner recognized combinations.
That said, there's no doubt, Towns is a superior talent. KAT has better dimentions and bigger body. He looks slimmer, than in Hoops Summit, but doesn't look lighter - a clear sign of weight program in work. Towns also has much more polished post game.
P.S. This year is the first one I actually root for Calipari and his team, since that Cousins-Wall team. The reason for that is Kentucky teaching their youngsters, how much more team play and defense means for team success, than offensive stats. All the guys play unselfish and absolutely enjoy it. That said, offensive stats for some of the guys are just atrocious. :rolleyes::D
Same actually goes for Turner as he came to an upperclassmen program, plays his role, and enjoys team success.
P.S.2 As for WCS he obviously looks polished next to kids, and though his touch on around the basket shots is non-existent, he can dunk , and even started showing some mid-range jumper.
 
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bajaden

Hall of Famer
#25
Stanley is just so impressive from physical standpoint as he looks like Artest with better hops. He carries 240-245 and doesn't look mechanical. Add the fact, that he has better floor skills...Artest was producing better defensive stats though, and being able to win DPOY from perimeter position just shows, how great a defender he was.
Watched pieces of California-Texas game week ago, and yesterday was able to watch it online on youtube. Two more things about Turner: he's a vocal defensive captain, directing his teammates to spots he sees plays unfolding to (clearly saw it 3 times) and at two times in this game he stood motionless and relaxed doing nothing, while his teammates were scrambling on the weak side, trying to start a play off the ball, and the moment that shoving ends and his teammates tarted moving, he did too - kid clearly understands plays and their development over time; both times Felix, Texas PG, didn't clearly called a play, so it was either communicated in signs or Turner recognized combinations.
That said, there's no doubt, Towns is a superior talent. KAT has better dimentions and bigger body. He looks slimmer, than in Hoops Summit, but doesn't look lighter - a clear sign of weight program in work. Towns also has much more polished post game.
P.S. This year is the first one I actually root for Calipari and his team, since that Cousins-Wall team. The reason for that is Kentucky teaching their youngsters, how much more team play and defense means for team success, than offensive stats. All the guys play unselfish and absolutely enjoy it. That said, offensive stats for some of the guys are just atrocious. :rolleyes::D
Same actually goes for Turner as he came to an upperclassmen program, plays his role, and enjoys team success.
P.S.2 As for WCS he obviously looks polished next to kids, and though his touch on around the basket shots is non-existent, he can dunk , and even started showing some mid-range jumper.
Actually Stein has surpirsed me a few times with some nice dropsteps and spin moves around the basket. The problem is, he'll look really good on one play, and then trip over himself on the next. But hey, that's progress, sort of. I agree with you on how Kentucky plays. Calapari always tells his young players that he'll prepare them for the NBA, or the next step, whatever it is. They play mostly man to man on defense, and they share the ball extremely well. No hotdogging allowed. Another kid on the Kentucky team ( I hate to keep talking about Kentucky players, but they have so many good one's) is Devin Booker. He's really been playing well after a slow start. He shot horribly his first two games, but since then, he's been on a rampage. Be interesting to see if he can keep it up.

I love Stanley Johnson, and I think I remarked in an earlier post that he reminded me of Artest physically. He was a great player in highschool, and he's picked up right where left off. He was a great pick up for Arizona which already had a loaded team. Arizona could be the second best team in the nation. Not sure exactly what Johnson is, but it doesn't matter. Just put him out on the court and let him play.
 
#26
While Cinci's big pair continues their good play, two guards I monitor, and watch, if there's a chance, are senior Jerian Grant(Notre-Dame) and freshman Wade Baldwin IV from Vandy (HS teammate of Towns). Grant can't miss from anywhere on the floor (92% !!! at the rim, 50% on 2pt jumpers, 40% on 3s, most of which are pullups), except from FT line, where he's below his career 82% (at 75% right now). Jerian is coming off a 27 point effort in home win over Michigan State. He's penetrating to pull-up or dish, but looks like he got stronger with all the extra time from his academically-induced free time. Will probably struggle to stop smaller speedy guys.
Baldwin is just a stat-stuffer: 9ppg(.695TS%), 5rpg, 6.2apg(with just 1.7 TOpg), 1.7spg. Ridiculously long at 6'3" with 6'10" wingspan (this measurements are from two years ago!!!). Has good handles, but without explosive first step, he has to rely on P&R game, that he executes pretty well with his combination of passing and ability to shoot over his defender. He is still flying under radar as he was projected as strictly an SG, but with him showing versatility he will certainly get on NBA radar really quick. Was actually watching Vandy game to take a look at Damion Jones, an athletic 6'10" PF, but noticed his smaller teammate.
 
#27
While Cinci's big pair continues their good play, two guards I monitor, and watch, if there's a chance, are senior Jerian Grant(Notre-Dame) and freshman Wade Baldwin IV from Vandy (HS teammate of Towns). Grant can't miss from anywhere on the floor (92% !!! at the rim, 50% on 2pt jumpers, 40% on 3s, most of which are pullups), except from FT line, where he's below his career 82% (at 75% right now). Jerian is coming off a 27 point effort in home win over Michigan State. He's penetrating to pull-up or dish, but looks like he got stronger with all the extra time from his academically-induced free time. Will probably struggle to stop smaller speedy guys.
Baldwin is just a stat-stuffer: 9ppg(.695TS%), 5rpg, 6.2apg(with just 1.7 TOpg), 1.7spg. Ridiculously long at 6'3" with 6'10" wingspan (this measurements are from two years ago!!!). Has good handles, but without explosive first step, he has to rely on P&R game, that he executes pretty well with his combination of passing and ability to shoot over his defender. He is still flying under radar as he was projected as strictly an SG, but with him showing versatility he will certainly get on NBA radar really quick. Was actually watching Vandy game to take a look at Damion Jones, an athletic 6'10" PF, but noticed his smaller teammate.
I thought for sure last year that he would leave ND and go to the DL like PJ Hairston. But he didn't, and decided he was going to come back the year he'd be legible again. Grant will be a lottery pick if he continues his play.

What bothers me a lot is that some people will write him off because they believe his ceiling is too low. Or perhaps his potential is not as high. Or he's older than other PGs who can jump high but don't know how to dribble a ball. Grant has been playing very well this season. I was hoping the Kings would find a way to draft him last year. I hope we can this year.. somehow.. someway..
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#28
I thought for sure last year that he would leave ND and go to the DL like PJ Hairston. But he didn't, and decided he was going to come back the year he'd be legible again. Grant will be a lottery pick if he continues his play.

What bothers me a lot is that some people will write him off because they believe his ceiling is too low. Or perhaps his potential is not as high. Or he's older than other PGs who can jump high but don't know how to dribble a ball. Grant has been playing very well this season. I was hoping the Kings would find a way to draft him last year. I hope we can this year.. somehow.. someway..
While I share your admiration for Grant, I think the Kings have greater needs than at the PG position. Considering that if we keep playing the way were playing, we may not be drafting anyone since we would lose our first round pick, and we currently don't have second round pick. But that's a long way off and things could change by then. At the moment Grant is projected to be a second round pick, so he has a way to go to make it into the lottery. Unfortunately his age is working against him. Which I've never understood, since I think you get a more ready player when you draft a senior, and in his case he'll technically be a five year player. Plus, the fact that he's not considered a top athlete also works against him. Someone is going to get a very good player though.

If I had to choose a PG it would be Tyus Jones from Duke. I watched the Duke/Wisconsin game the other night, and he was just outstanding. Wisconsin is a very very good defensive team, and Jones pretty much did whatever he wanted against them. By the way, I've seen a lot of PG's that couldn't shoot, but not many that couldn't handle the ball, Jimmer aside. Jimmer was a surprise to me. I never thought he was a great ballhandler, but I didn't think he would have the problems he had. Can't get them all right.... By the way, it was nice to see Sulaimon have a good game. He looks like a different player this year, after taking two steps backwards last season. Okafor had a decent game, but he's a little foul prone when having to deal with another talented big man like Frank Kaminsky. He also looks a little lost when forced out to guard on the perimeter. He's pretty much a post guy right now. Plenty of time to develop.

Kaminsky is an interesting prospect. Seven footer with a lot of skills. Decent athelete, but nothing to write home about. He defends well, and is a pretty good post player who also rebounds. Where he gets interesting is when he moves to the perimeter. He's a deadly three point shooter with NBA range. Some of his shots are a good five feet behind the line. What I like is that he doesn't live out there. I think he'll have to add more muscle to play center in the NBA.
 
#29
This game will appear on youtube in a few days, and it's totally worth watching. Two teams full of future NBA players, Kentucky and Texas, and it allowed a good glimpse into the future.
For Kentucky WCS put in a great performance. You often hear "defend with your feet, not with your hands". Well, WCS does both and does really well. He's a constant threat to complete a lob due to his lateral and vertical quickness. Most FTs, rebounds, steals and blocks in a statement game and most of them were strong pro-level plays.
Andrew Harrison showed patience, ability to create, when there's an opening. With him not forcing anymore and knocking down long shots he might play himself back into the lottery or at least at mid-teens. His brother OTOH can't buy a bucket, and with that being his main skill, they might return for their junior season.
Lyles defended, fought for rebounds and knocked a mid-range jumper. Can contribute to an NBA team right now. Same for Dakari, who can also provide inside scoring. Probably worse defender in space among all Kentucky bigs, but with his trimmed body he's doing a good job this year and is close to not being a liability. Towns got fouled a few times, but overall game was too physical for him.
For Texas the biggest winner of the game is doubtless Demarcus Holland. Coming into the game he's a defensive specialist. Texas struggles and Holland responds with penetration into the teeth of great defense to get 5 assist(most by any Kentucky opponent and probably as many as most teams had as a whole, when game was still on the line vs Wildcats), 3 trips to the line, including tough inside finish for And1 with no TOs. And excellent defense on top of that. He's now 20-24 on FTs and 5-11 on 3s, so he learnt to shoot this summer. With Felix returning for senior season and Taylor likely return for his junior campaign there's no chance to get a shot at try out as a PG, so Holland might just as well turn pro. He will certainly get a spot all the way to the training camp for some team, and someone will pick him up as situation defender. Holland can easily do, what Canaan does for Houston with better defense and penetration, if this game is any indication.
Poythress looked solid with nothing impressive, but just competing on D and finishing inside.
Jonathan Holmes struggled against an army of long guys, but he still has a fit as a role playing forward like Morris brothers. No one will make him a focus of their offense, and Holmes showed an ability to improve and expand his game over his career in Texas, so he will be fine in the pros. Tough guy who can play anywhere on the floor will find a spot in the league despite some defensive struggles.
Cameron Ridley was completely shut down and lost among Kentucky trees, unable to get a rebound. Not looking good for his NBA prospects.
Turner was patient just moving the ball taking good shots outside of one NBA long three. Again vocal and physical on defense, but he's a little light right now, so was moved a few times.
P.S. Just heard, that Florida is playing a guy, who was first hired into an organization as a team manager and then tried on one day. :D
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#30
Watched the game, and don't disagree with anything you posted. Cauley Stein was terrific, and on both ends of the floor. Kentucky's length up front was too much for Texas, who usually has that advantage over other teams. Always interesting to see how a team reacts when faced with opposition that's different from what they usually face. Wasn't one of Towns better games, but one game does not a season make. He still needs to get rid of some of his baby fat and add some muscle. On the Harrisons, maybe the best thing that could happen is for them to be split up. Andrew looks the most ready, so your scenario of him declaring and his brother staying might be the best thing for both of them. I'll be surprised if that happens, and if not, then the Suns should draft both of them since they seem to love brothers.

Right now, it I could just hand pick the player I wanted for the Kings, without being greedy, I would take Cauley Stein. He would be the perfect fit next to Cousins, unless the team is totally sold on the stretch four concept. Even then, he could be our backup center, and play along side Cousins when defense is a priority in the game. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the stretch four idea. I understand it, and at times there's a place for it, but in the grand scheme of things, just give me blue collar, down and dirty, grind it out, execute in the half court players. In a seven game series, that's the kind of team that wins.

I also watched the Florida/Kansas game. More on that later. Today, UCONN/St. Johns should be a good match up, and Gonzaga/Arizona is the other muxt see of the day. Both on national TV. Side note on Kentucky. Besides beging ranked as one of the top defensive teams in college, they're number three in offensive execution. That's a hard combination to beat.