The Big Ten is often identified as the conference where the game is slower, physical and even boring for those viewers who do not appreciate the tactical side of basketball. At the top of this year there are seven, maybe eight teams capable of contending for the top spots, then when it begins the season of conference play the balance will be the master. Continue reading
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Before the start of NCAA and Europen leagues, here a very early prediction without taking in account team needs…..and this is the second part (8-14)
1-Rudy Gobert (6’11”,205)Cholet,France.
Adidas Eurocamp, just before this year draft,started the buzz surrounding Gobert after he measured 7′ without shoes with a monstrous wingspan of 7’8,9″. Having a body that could easily add more weight and being already a good scorer near the basket,this guy could end up at the top of this year class.His actual team(Cholet) has a good record for develop prospects (Seraphin and Sefolosha) so Gobert is in a good situation to improve.The gym work he has to do is not small but the potential is immense.
Best case:Mc Dyess on offense,Ibaka on defense Worst case:Brandan Wright (high potential, low production)
2-Cody Zeller (6’11″220)Indiana
Zeller has an advanced offensive game with a proven ability to get and make easy looks near the cup.Has great open floor speed and various sources report that is adding weight with hard workouts during the offseason. Compared to the two brothers has more athleticism and basketball IQ and certainly will have the best career. However, is unlikely to be a super star kind Dwight Howard unless it forms a pair with a guard to be able to develop high-level pick and roll like Stockton and Malone few years ago.
Best case: Gasol Worst case: His brother
3-Shabazz Muhammad (6’6″,223) UCLA ?
The best word to describe his game is physical, he explode at the basket with a combination of strength and badness that are unmatched outside the NBA. Good touch from midrange,with his ultra strong work ethic he can only improve from 3 point land, his minor flaw. A season under defensive oriented coach Howland, if will be cleared to play, will channel his intensity and effort in the right direction also in defense, where Muhammad is already solid.
Best case: Vince Carter Worst case: Matt Barnes
4-Nerlens Noel (6’11”,216) Kentucky
This freak athlete will crack the top five because of his elite defensive skills. Not only he is a super shotblocker from the weak side and in iso situation, he can defend on every type of pick and roll thanks to its speed in sliding all over the floor. On offense is lagging behind Anthony Davis to which is unfairly compared. They are simply two different players with a similar upside on the defensive end but with different skills-set on offense, with Noel who stands much more close to the basket. All the hype surrounding this guy may have created too many and unfair expectations to the point that anything short of double double average will be seen as a failure.
Best case: Alonzo Mourning Worst case: Stromile Swift
5- Tony Mitchell (6’8″,215) North Texas
Without a doubt the best prospects in mid-major conference, he should have erased every concerns about maturity by returning for his second year with the Main Green.Blessed with leaping ability, strength and a long wingspan Mitchell has great upside as a two way combo forward. On offense he is a tough cover for every type of defender being able to explode to the basket with smaller opponents or to shoot from downtown with good accuracy. His instincts on defense are equally impressive; last season he had average of ten rebounds and three blocks while playing under 30 minutes. With a good work ethic Mitchell could end up with the best career of any member of this year draft .
Best case: Shawn Kemp Worst case: Andray Blatche
6- James McAdoo (6’9″,226) North Carolina
After an under the radar freshmen season this year McAdoo will have every opportunity to showcase his various talents. From a physical standpoint he has size length and quickness to play both with his back to the basket than facing up,but to continue this trend in NBA he has to improve in the mid range area and as a shot creator. If from his team roster will emerge a good point guard able to serve him in his favorite spot McAdoo might be a good choice as player of the year.
7-Steven Adams (7’1″,235) Pittsburgh
In NBA there are plenty of spots available to defensive minded seven footer, and Adams fit well in this category. Being from New Zealand he started last season to play at Notre Dame Prep so he will not have a big need to an adjustment period. Adams is a fluid athlete that bring a good effort every game and is a team first player whose upside is on the defensive end where he fight for rebounds and block shots at a good rate. On the offensive end he has a good balance in the paint and a decent mid range shot but he has a long way to go before being able to contribute on NBA level.