Blog Entry

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

Posted on: June 16, 2009 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2009 1:18 pm
 

Brandon Jennings: 6-1, 170, PG, (Lottomatica Roma)

Draft Rank: #8

PG Rank: #3

Strengths:

Tremendous quickness and shiftiness to his game. Has a great crossover, which he uses to create space from the defender. Has an array of ways that he can finish in the lane, including a one-handed floater that is very effective. Has a great vertical for a guy his size. Has the hops to take a hit off the defender and still finish. Throws the alley-oop ball as well as anyone in the draft.  His passes are extremely quick. He does an amazing job of splitting the defense on picks and really getting into the heart of the defense. Goes and gets the ball on offense and doesn't struggle to separate from his defender to do so. It is very hard to keep the ball out of his hands. Uses his quickness and ball handling to get to where he wants to go on the floor. Gets very good elevation on his jump shot. Has a quick release on his jumper. Can create for himself by using an array of ball handling moves. He is a handful once he gets a step on his man, which he often does with ease and then attacks the rim with his left. He is extremely fluid and bouncy when he gets a full head of steam and is heading toward the hoop. Does a good job of keeping the ball on his hip and exploding to the backboard as he attacks the hoop. Has quick hands and a sneaky jab that he uses to get steals. Can really get up and down the court quickly and hurt teams in transition by attacking the rim or creating for his teammates. Has very good body control.

Weaknesses:

Very thin. Will try to make the impossible pass and because of that will often force the ball when the play isn't there. Still needs to work on his shooting consistency. Needs to focus more on the defensive end. Needs to do a better job of hedging on screens and closing out on the perimeter as he often plays to far off of his man. Often rushes on pick and rolls and doesn't allow for the roller to get open. When he isn't splitting the defense on picks, he often is not rubbing off of the screener, which leads to him settling for jump shots on the perimeter. Once he gets into the lane he struggles when the defense collapses and he often turns the ball over when looking for his teammates. Often fades back on three-point shots rather than stepping into them, which will become a problem as he tries to extend his range to the NBA three. Sometimes shows laziness with his passes. Definitely favors his left when attacking the rim. Often forces his own shot in transition rather than creating for bigger and better-finishing teammates.

Mental:

The fact he went overseas has a lot to do with him as a prospect. But he has a confidence and certainty about him that you love from a point guard. He believes in his own abilities and I think that will rub off on his teammates. As a point guard I think he can be effective because of his confidence in his game and the idea that he won't back down from other players. Now can that confidence backfire and turn into arrogance? Possibly, but I would rather have a player with built-in-leadership capabilities then someone who is passive. With that said Jennings needs to still prove he is most interested in winning rather than putting on a show. NBA coaches will not be supportive of his highlight attempts when there is an easier play to be made. I also noticed that he often complained about not getting "and-one" calls when he went up,  so hopefully he will focus more on getting back on defense rather than arguing with the refs. Jennings did however show tremendous maturity overseas as he tried to change his game to fit his team needs, so I think that his flashiness will be toned down as he gets older. Overall, I actually like his mental makeup and think he has some of the leadership abilities that all of the great point guards possess.

Comparison: Steve Francis. 6-3, 195, PG

Would be a good fit for: Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks

Conclusion:

Jennings is probably the biggest wild card in the draft. We never saw him play in college and his minutes were inconsistent overseas. However, he does possess a swagger and a star quality that the NBA loves. The guy appears to have all of the moves and game to be a successful guard at the NBA level, but it's still hard to get a reading on it when his minutes were so limited. I was also shocked to see him often playing off the ball in Rome and letting his teammates bring up the ball. In many of his games he would be off the ball and then pop up to get the ball in the half court set, as off guards Kobe Bryant and LeBron James do. I think that this role stunted his development as he is the type of player who loves to get up and down and push the ball after both made and missed baskets. Any team that drafts him will surely give him the keys to the car immediately and wouldn't and shouldn't hesitate to let him bring up the ball in the backcourt, as that is where he excels.

I really look forward to seeing how he does when he is surrounded by athletes. The guy is so creative and so athletically gifted that he would often be by himself in Europe when he tried to make plays. When watching film you could tell that he often made passes to guys thinking that they could get to the spot and instead they were to slow or not athletic to get there. Give Jennings a couple of high-flying wings and he will instantly make them better -- and his game will be better as a result. The wings in the NBA are just so much more athletic then they are in Europe and Jennings will thrive as a result of that.

I think he is a better passer than Francis was, but I see him as a similar type of player. If Jennings can really focus on passing and getting his teammates going rather than scoring then I really think he will be a special player in the NBA. I also believe Sacramento should roll the dice and snag him up at No. 4 in the draft. Jennings would instantly give that city a player who they can be excited about and Sacramento has the time to let him develop. Furthermore, if you had an athletic wing then all of the sudden the Kings would have an intriguing and young starting lineup of Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, Kevin Martin, Jennings and whichever athletic three they go after (maybe a Trevor Ariza type?). Finally, like Ricky Rubio, the upside on Jennings is extremely high. If a team is patient with him and lets him grown into a starting point guard then I believe they will be happy with the results.
Comments

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2009 10:48 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

Yup, the way I hear it is 5'11'' is about right, and 6' is generous. They guy is tiny but people forget that he might have been the best player in the NBA for a 3-year stretch. His Philly teams were not very good, but he made them champhionship contenders the way Lebron has done the last three years. I don't want to get ahead of myself on Jennings. And there is a concern that he might have actually been harmed by his year abroad. No one else has done waht he did before, and his blog indicated he really didn't like or get much out of his year sitting the bench. You can only put on your speculative psychologist hat and say maybe it did good for his sense of humility and entitlement. What's the deal with his workouts? Is he not working out now? I'd love to hear how he looks against other first round prospects.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:08 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

AI is "listed" at 6'1".  The man is probably 5'10" and a buck 50 wet.



yeah, why is it customary to list players 2 inches taller then their actual height? Can somebody enlighten me as to why they do this? Hell I am 6'1", so if I were playing college basketball,  I would be listed as 6'3"?



Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2009 4:35 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

AI is "listed" at 6'1".  The man is probably 5'10" and a buck 50 wet.



Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2009 12:40 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

A tall Allen Iverson?  Aren't they both 6'1?



Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: June 22, 2009 8:51 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

Could be a difference maker one day in the NBA but as of right now I think he is a young kid with a huge upside playing overseas did not help his case statistically but I think playing against professional athletes for a year will definitely help him.  Some teams seem very very high on him and are willing to spend a high draft pick and some cash on him.  Also he has a little bit of a mouth on him which may scare teams away on top of that he did not qualify for the NCAA last year with poor SAT scores.  As far as ability he has it all if you read the ESPN.com article on him in the NBA tab about point guard showcase with the Bucks, it seemed by far he was the most athletic and skilled PG there, I guess time will tell with Brandon Jennings.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2009 5:15 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

I really look forward to seeing how he does when he is surrounded by athletesBud, The european league is just SLIGHTLY lower then the NBA, and much more athletic then college ball! You need to put that crack pipe down! They let you write? where do I apply?



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2009 2:01 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

Watching everything on YouTube, Jennings looks amazingly talented. He outshined Tereke Evans and everyone else out there. I'm thinking a tall Allen Iverson. A vintage Steve Franchise isn't a bad comparison if you recall that at one time he was a top-4 guard in the NBA. Trouble with guys who dominate high school with athleticism is ou don't know if they can ever learn to play the game as a team player. Thnk Sebastian Telfair. I'm a little wary of guys who have crazy playground moves. Fun as they are to watch, you can only playground so much in the NBA. Steve Nash makes the playground passes work, but J Williams did not, put it that way. If slips, Jennings might bring some sizzle into NY.

Hard to call Rubio an unknown. He's played meaningful minutes against high level pros throughout his teens. Dude is an amazing looking player, youtube him. He's skinny, but he can jump as well as pass and dribble like Pistol Pete, and he has a nice, effortless shot that flicks out of his wrists. Former Seattle fan here, and Rubio's the second best player in this draft, a potential game changing PG. Let Westbrook play off the ball and take the Rubio.



Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2009 1:29 pm
 

What about Rubio?

Rubio could also be a boom or bust. He was playing as well as Chris Paul and Deron Williams were in the gold medal game in Beijing, but we do not know if he can transfer that over to the NBA and its 82 game grind. If he can, he will be worth the top 5 pick, if not, I would say he'd be a bust if picked in the top 20 players.



Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: June 19, 2009 8:38 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

I think you are exactly right, he is one of those players that can be a boom or a bust. I don't know if he is going to be able to be a pure point guard in the NBA. I think the team he would fit on the best would be Golden State because of the run and gun style.


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