Tag Archives: freshman

Duke is (lightly) underrated?

Despite this problem for coach K, the Blue Devils seem the Blue Bloods nobody is talking about…. My preferred blog list them N.16 in their Preseason top 25 , with good arguments. But I’m a big believer of coach K and I think that his team has a much higher potential, also without Andre Dawkins Continue reading

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Breakout players (and some player to watch and follow) : Big East edition.

safe choice for breakout player of the year in the Big East

In the last season before major changes, there are many players that could be household names when it’s all said and done….. Continue reading

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NBA 2013 mock draft(1-7)

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.

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under hyped freshman…..

Outside of top 30 in this class there are some hidden gem, guy, as Otto Porter last season, that with a good year should be targets for NBA scouts:

Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott: two top 100 players without a doubt, both are able to make a good impact for Colorado, a program headed in the right direction.I expect both to get starting five minutes before the end of the season, Johnson has a well-rounded game and a nice stroke that will serve him when coupled with Andre Roberson, while Scott has made great improvements in the last year and is at least a good  Pac 12 caliber frontcourt player. Tad Boyle this year will have more expectations for this bunch, especially after the great final of last season.

Aaron Thomas and Montay Brandon: behind Snaer and Miller the Seminoles doesn’t return proven backcourt players. Brandon and Thomas will have good minutes cause they seem tailor-made for the style of Hamilton. Both have good size and athleticism, Thomas is  the better shooter, while Brandon is more versatile and take pride from defending multiple positions. I expect Brandon to play a little more this season thanks to its defense, while Thomas will have a full year to learn from Snaer before getting  his starting job next year.In the long run they have several area of their game to improve, but with the hard work that Hamilton will ask them, both could have a nice career and make a living thanks to this game.

Nik Stauskas: he isn’t highly touted as the other members of the class  headed to Michigan, but  Stauskas will be part of the rotation from this season, having solid size for the wing positions and a skill set that fit in with the style of coach Beilein. With the departure of Douglass and Novak there will be many minutes for Nik, that will show his unlimited range on his shot while providing good defense and a better than advertised all around game.

Ricardo Gathers: coach Drew has a good one in Gathers, a former St.John commit. He is ready to play in the starting five from every standpoint. He is a monster on the glass and play  both facing than with his back to the basket. He is the most ready to play between Baylor’s  freshman and there will be a point when Drew will have to pick him ahead of Austin to share the frontcourt with Cory Jefferson(my choice for breakout player at Baylor).

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera: this Indiana product is a do it all  comboguard with good size and a skills set really impressive. Coach Thompson has a good record for find these type of  players (Clark,Freeman) and Smith-Rivera could have a similar impact, maybe starting from day one. He is ever in control, never hunting shots, and fit very well in this system. If he will be able to improve his body especially from an athletic standpoint, Smith-Rivera should draw many NBA scouts to scout his talents.

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