Blog Entry

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 3:57 pm
 
By Matt Moore

uk-unc

Well, that was fun.

There are worlds of storylines coming out of college basketball's titanic clash between Kentucky and North Carolina, a 73-72 Wildcats win on the back of an Anthony Davis block. And what could have been more fitting than a block by the projected No. 1 prospect in a game which featured a legitimate eleven first-round prospects between the 2012 and 2013 draft, and potentially more? It gave NBA fans a great look at talent.

It also gave NBA personnel a great look, and they were in attendance. More than half the teams in the NBA had representatives watching this game.

So how did they do? Quick, to the grade book!

(Note: These observations are based on how their performance showed for their draft stock, not necessarily how good or bad a game they had. Example: Harrison Barnes scored 1 bucket that wasn't a three-pointer. He also showed what you wanted to see from a prospect of his ilk.)

Anthony Davis: B-

And really, Davis is only getting the B- based on that final play which showcased the biggest reason he should be the undisputed No.1 overall pick in June. Davis managed to disrupt an entry pass, then recover weakside and block the game-winning shot. As my colleague, CBSSports.com college basketball expert Jeff Gooodman asked after the game, "Who else in the country can block that shot? Nobody."

But that play was an outlier for Davis on a day where scouts also got to see the concerns about him. On the very first play, the Tar Heels posted Tyler Zeller on Davis, and that started a day where Davis' lack of body strength due to his frame was finally shown on national television. Zeller bodied Davis all day, and while Zeller only scored 14 points, he would have had more had the Wildcats not consistantly brought doubles to help Davis. Davis is young, and has yet to grow into the eight inches he sprung into last year. He needs time in the weight room. A positive development was his rebounding: Davis did a much better job securing position and keeping space. 

Additionally, Davis' ball-handling, which was considered a strength thanks to his play at guard prior to the growth spurt, was off Saturday. Twice Davis attempted drives on John Henson and the play was dismantled because of Davis' handle. He attempted a three at one point, who knows why, and did not attempt to play back-to-the-basket.

On the positive side, however, Davis did force enough help on the pick and roll to open up lanes and perimter shots for teammates, and his range help defense continues to be downright terrifying. His and-one finish on a lob from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist showed his finishing ability. It wasn't Davis' best day against elite competition, but the fact remains: he is the No. 1 because no one else can do what he can do.

Harison Barnes: B+

Barnes had a prototypical Harrison Barnes game. He consistantly showed the polish that makes him a top-5 pick. The raw uneveness we saw last year is gone, replaced by a shooter (4-5 from deep) who will make you pay by finding ways to get open and making smart plays. Defensivly, Barnes was in position when he needed to be. His foul trouble disrupted excellent work he had done on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, which allowed for Kidd-Gilchrist's second half explosion.

Barnes still struggles with finishing shot that he creates, most notably a late miss inside of two minutes on a pull-up jumper. It was hero ball, which he'll likely be playing at the next level from time to time. But whereas last year he struggled with finding a quality shot on his own, on Saturday he created those looks, he just didn't knock all of them down. Barnes is not going to be a multi-faceted player, and isn't a playmaker, but the polish and range is more than enough to be considered an elite prospect. We're still waiting to see if he evolves into a complete threat versus being a complete player.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: A+

To start the second half, MKG scored seven points and assisted on a lob to Davis for an and-one. He finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, 4 offensive, with a block and a steal. So yeah, he had a pretty good day. Kidd-Gilchrist is setting himself up as the abject steal of the top ten. The secret lies in his weakness, which is the only reason he will not be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick.

Kidd-Gilchrist's shot mechanics are all kinds of funky. He has trouble spotting up and there's a hitch at his elbow. He needs extensive work to better his jumper so that defenders can't give him room. He also has trouble with defenders who have good ball denial, as Barnes, John Henson, and P.J. Hairston all gave him trouble.

But when he gets loose... Wow. He had several insid moves in traffic to drop jaws and his finish on offensive rebounds was a difference maker. 

Defensively is where he has the most potential. Against North Carolina he did an excellent job when matched up on Barnes. Against UNC he only got caught under screens twice and out of position twice that I saw, not bad for a freshman. He was aggressive in shot defense as well. MKG is the biggest winner of the day.

Terrence Jones: A

Best and worst, as always, with Terrence Jones. Jones had a sequence in which he made consecutive blocks to shut down a UNC possession only to watch the loose ball wind up in Harrison (swish) Barnes' hands. He attacked down low.

But then there's the perimeter shooting. I've made the Josh Smith mental comparison to Jones before, and this game re-enforced it. He hit a three... and wound up shooting five. Jones too often considers himself a perimeter threat instead of focusing on his ability to muscle and score inside. Defensively, he's got everything you want in a prospect, and he's a physical beast after another year. But that obsession with the perimeter continues, and someone will have to work it out of him eventually for him to be successful.

But Jones was still a huge plus for the Cats, and his work on the defensive side continues to impress. His first half was excellent.

John Henson: B+

Henson was given a series of tough matchups and excelled. His worst moment came on a pump-fake up-and-under from the left block resulting in an air-ball layup. But other than that he showed a surprisingly well-rounded offense.

Henson's length is a huge advantage, but the fact that his mid-range shot has come such a long way is a boon for his draft stock. He was limited in attacking at the basket thanks to Davis' length, but made up for it at the other end with three blocks. Henson is a likely top ten pick, based on his combination of size and savvy. His degree of polish helps as well.

Henson's weak point defensively Saturday was on weakside rotations. It's not a skill that's vital in most drafts since college players don't know how to play NBA defense. But in this draft it's crucial, and Henson got caught drifting several times Saturday.

Tyler Zeller: B

If the Tar Heels weren't en fuego from outside, Zeller may have wound up with more than fourteen points. As it was, he impressed with his ability to body the lengthy Davis back into the Kentucky coal mines. If he had a more explosive finish he could have really dominated the contest. But Zeller was also more efficient and kept up his expected level of activity. Zeller projects in the back half of the first round. But Zeller showed some of the skills Saturday that make him a likely long-term pro. He passes well out of the double and has enough touch to score when left open. He's never going to be a franchise player but he's likely to be a guy who can help your team win. Defensively, there's still a lot to be desired.

Kendall Marshall: A

Marshall doesn't have the athleticism. We knew that coming in. But what he does have is the ability to be efficient, to create, and to play within himself. Three turnovers were mostly on account of Kentucky's length, and his 2-4 shooting from deep was part of the Tar Heels' perimeter assault. Eight assists will also stick out in a game dominated by inside-out play.

Marquis Teague: C+

Teague blew the final possession, only to be saved by Davis, and it was coach John Calipari's decision to move Doron Lamb to point that helped steady the ship. On the plus side, his turnovers were down to only one after a rash of hem early this season, and he still has exceptional handle and speed. Teague continues to be the kind of player that right now is not a lottery pick, but you can easily see how he will be by season's end.

Doron Lamb: B+

There are questions as to whether Lamb is a first-rounder. He's not a great playmaker as his 2-4 assist-turnover ratio suggests. But he is an exceptional shooter, as he showed today, especially coming off the curl on the catch-and-shoot. He makes big shots consistently, and has enough speed and ability in the half court, you have to think someone will bite on yet another of Calipari's point guards.

P.J. Hairston: B+

Battling an injury, Hairston played just 14 minutes. But in that stretch he shot 3-4 from the arc and played lock-up defense on MKG. Hairston looks like a quality lottery pick, regardless of whether he jumps this season or next.

James McAdoo: B

McAdoo showed everything Saturday. He's tough. He's agile. He finishes. He's got an NBA-ready frame. He got very little time Saturday with all the other big names, but in 2013, he's going to be a machine. McAdoo has excellent court awareness. He shows all the raw signs you attribute to such players, but even in limited minutes, he looks like a big name to look for.

RELATED: Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com with a UNC-UK game wrap
Comments

Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:56 am
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

I am sorry but you are  complete moron.  I dont think you know a damn thing about basketball, and I doubt you ever played the game.  You expect these guys to look like kobe and lebron and d wade , thats what you are looking at.  Some of these guys you are blasting have more talent at this stage of their careers than players that are in the NBA and are very good and productive.  Are any of these guys a do it all like kobe or lebron, probally not, those guys are not a dime a dozen.  But there is some very good talented players that will have productive and good careers in the NBA.   Dont be a hater all of your life, it will make you look like a fool.  This is a public service announcement TCU cant hang with either of these teams.  Most from texas dont know a damn thing about basketball, and you are no exception.



Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:09 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

I agree with you 100% Schildkrotte!  Although if anything, I think you're being a little too easy on these guys- for the most part, I thought this game was an absolute sham! What a pathetic display of basketball!

Like you, I thought Davis was awful.  Unlike you though, I would give him an F-.  He's too skinny, can't dribble, can't shoot, is just about worthless.  9 rebounds  for his size and playing time- not to mention overblown reputation- is pathetic.  Also, not only could AT LEAST three other guys playing have blocked Henson's shot- I would say a good 7 or 8 or them could've blocked that shot- Vargas, Barnes, Gilchrist, Jones, Zeller, Wiltjer, McAdoo and Hairston- at LEAST.  Plus, Henson's shot was so weak, that really my dead Grandmother could've blocked that shot.  Lame, lame, lame.

But back to Davis- in a nutshell, he's incredibly over-rated.  I am flabbergasted that all of these NBA GM's, NBA Scouts, players, coaches, media, former and current NBA players are all VIRTUALLY UNANIMOUSLY naming Davis the #1 pick.  Are you kidding me?  What do all of these NBA people see that you and I don't??!!?  Just absurd.  (I also happen to believe that Davis' last game vs St John's of 15 points, 15 rebounds and 8 blocks was handed to him by biased, cheating UK stat guys.)

Moving on, if there was a grade lower than an F- I would give it to Henson.  He's just like Davis but a couple years older.  He can block a shot here or there, but that's about it.  I cannot fathom how he managed to have so many double-digit scoring games this year- other than the terrible competition.  He shouldn't even be drafted.

Harrison Barnes should get an F+. He can shoot little jumpers and that's it.  There are TONS of players like him.  He doesn't have a chance, he won't last 2 days in the NBA.  Again, all of the unanimous lottery pick talk about him is absolutely ludicrous.

Gilchrist is ok, with an ok game. He hustles, but he can't shoot. I would give him a C. No lotto pick here either.

The only decent player was Tyler Zeller. A+!  That kid can BALL!  Tall, strong, shoots, rebounds, and is possibly the greatest college defensive center I've seen since David Robinson.  I'm not even kidding. If all of those NBA people had any sense, Zeller would go #1 not just this year, but pretty much every year!

Well, that's it.  Again, thank you Schildkrotte, I'm so glad someone else had the courage to say what so many others are thinking.  An overhyped game with overhyped players.  Our basketball players from Texas Christian University would wipe those posers butts off the floor! 



Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:05 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

I agree with you 100% Schildkrotte!  Although if anything, I think you're being a little too easy on these guys- for the most part, I thought this game was an absolute sham! What a pathetic display of basketball!

Like you, I thought Davis was awful.  Unlike you though, I would give him an F-.  He's too skinny, can't dribble, can't shoot, is just about worthless.  9 rebounds  for his size and playing time- not to mention overblown reputation- is pathetic.  Also, not only could AT LEAST three other guys playing have blocked Henson's shot- I would say a good 7 or 8 or them could've blocked that shot- Vargas, Barnes, Gilchrist, Jones, Zeller, Wiltjer, McAdoo and Hairston- at LEAST.  Plus, Henson's shot was so weak, that really my dead Grandmother could've blocked that shot.  Lame, lame, lame.

But back to Davis- in a nutshell, he's incredibly over-rated.  I am flabbergasted that all of these NBA GM's, NBA Scouts, players, coaches, media, former and current NBA players are all VIRTUALLY UNANIMOUSLY naming Davis the #1 pick.  Are you kidding me?  What do all of these NBA people see that you and I don't??!!?  Just absurd.  (I also happen to believe that Davis' last game vs St John's of 15 points, 15 rebounds and 8 blocks was handed to him by biased, cheating UK stat guys.)

Moving on, if there was a grade lower than an F- I would give it to Henson.  He's just like Davis but a couple years older.  He can block a shot here or there, but that's about it.  I cannot fathom how he managed to have so many double-digit scoring games this year- other than the terrible competition.  He shouldn't even be drafted.

Harrison Barnes should get an F+. He can shoot little jumpers and that's it.  There are TONS of players like him.  He doesn't have a chance, he won't last 2 days in the NBA.  Again, all of the unanimous lottery pick talk about him is absolutely ludicrous.

Gilchrist is ok, with an ok game. He hustles, but he can't shoot. I would give him a C. No lotto pick here either.

The only decent player was Tyler Zeller. A+!  That kid can BALL!  Tall, strong, shoots, rebounds, and is possibly the greatest college defensive center I've seen since David Robinson.  I'm not even kidding. If all of those NBA people had any sense, Zeller would go #1 not just this year, but pretty much every year!

Well, that's it.  Again, thank you Schildkrotte, I'm so glad someone else had the courage to say what so many others are thinking.  An overhyped game with overhyped players.  Our basketball players from Texas Christian University would wipe those posers butts off the floor! 



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2011 5:21 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

A) How does this guy determine grades?  He admits that Davis got schooled all game, is too weak to compete with serious wide-bodies of the NBA type, and didn't even demonstrate his supposed "strength" (handling the ball well for a big man) when he attempted to, yet the guy gets a B-?  Heck, for the #1 prospect (if, indeed, he is such), that was a pretty weak game.  Yeah, he made one play at the end, but that was a D performance, even if he is a freshman.  Potential?  Sure; but he didn't show many signs of growing into it during this 40 minutes. 

Likewise, Henson.  "Displayed surprisingly well-rounded offense" is being quite generous indeed.  I counted at least five occassions where he put up weak, inaccurate, or frankly ridiculous shots because his footwork was so bad it left him off-balance, out of position, and (though uncalled) traveling.  He made two, maybe three nice offensive moves, only one of which resulted in a bucket.  The rest of his points, from what I saw, came on spot up jumpers and put-backs.  And, to top it off, he got his last spot-up jumper blocked.  By a freshman.  Frankly, everything they said about Davis goes double for Henson: he lacks the body strength to play inside offensively, and the kid was basically clueless defensively.  UNC got abused inside in the second half, largely because Henson wouldn't put a body on anybody. D+/C- for the guy, at best.  Whoever drafts him based on "polish" and "potential" is in for a rude awakening.

Zeller, OTOH, who played impressive D and showed enough inside to command double-teams the entire second half gets a B?  Those grades are ridiculous.  The only one this guy got right was Gilchrist, who demonstrated he can do a bit of everything, and has the drive to succeed that guys like Barnes and Henson may be too cool to show.  Barnes demonstrated he can shoot, but not finish inside.  How is that a B+, for a guy who is supposed to be a Top 5 pick?  He hit a bunch of 15-foot jumpers; it's a lost art, I admit, but the NBA wants guys his size to slash and finish at the rim, which the author points out Barnes didn't do.  C/C-

B) Attention to detail, or lack thereof, makes me wonder how closely this guy watches games.  2 assists to 4 turnovers is not a ratio; 1:2 is the ratio, and it is not just questionable, it stinks.  Not a great playmaker?  How about, not a playmaker, period?  Not yet; the only plays he can make are for himself.  To say that an improved ability is "a boon for his draft stock" is really not using the word "boon" correctly; nor is "abject steal of the top ten" proper English.  Please look up words before you use them.  Finally, I can think of three other guys who could have blocked that shot, and that's just from the selection on the floor: Henson, Jones, and Zeller.  It wasn't that great a play; Henson went up predictably and soft, and got what he deserved.



Since: Feb 5, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:40 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

You do realize that your so called assist to turnover ratio actually isnt a ratio dont you?? hit actuall assist/to ratio is 1.52 which isnt that good. that is one and a half assists to every turnover.  Not trying to rain on your argument at all just trying to help you not sound like a complete idiot




Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:40 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

i agree with most of this.
i think teague would enter his name right now if he could. i hope im wrong and he developes into another great point gaurd through the season, but it looks to me like he has one thing on his mind. i was nervous when the ball was in his hand at the end of the game. i had no faith in him hitting that free throw. davis saved his butt. the ball should have been in dorons hands.
like i said hopefully he developes into a better, team minded point gaurd, but i see him hurting us atleast a couple times this season late in the game. its not like it was with knight and wall when the game was on the line. teague shoots to flat and the ball is off the back of the rim. he looks capable of getting to the rim most times, but hes not consistently finishing at the rim. and when he draws the foul, hes lucky to hit one of the freethrows. and if its one and one, its not the first.

i really like mkg


kooplink
Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:56 am
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

Harrison Barnes is proving to be no more than a spot up shooter at the next level. He has yet to show an ability to beat a defender off the dribble. He was 1-7 from 2 point range. He's stiff and lacks creativity.



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:10 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

First things first, i want to see Harrison Barnes as a Bobcat. i dont care if he's the 1st or 3rd pick, i want him in Charlotte. i think Charlotte needs him because they are a team that isnt much of a ticket seller and needs a star to sell tickets. Barnes would do that, plus he would be "the guy" there.



Since: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:17 pm
 

UNC-UK NBA Draft Prospect Grades

Sorry.  Sorry.  I got Lamb's stats wrong.  He actually shoots 49% from downtown.  My mistake.  What's that team he plays for again?  The one with less stars than UNC.  Well if you leave out Miller anyway and you claim shooting guards are point guards.  We all know what Twain said about stats.  There are lies, damn lies and statistics.  Some people try to make them prove something that can be proven.  Like Jones can't shoot 3's (he most certainly can) and that Lamb has a screwed up assist to turnover ratio - horribly wrong again.  You're so pathetic with your slobbering UNC coverage.  Don't you know people really don't like you because of that?  I guess some people are willing to sell out and others aren't.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com