Before I move on to the graduating seniors in this year’s draft, let’s take a look at some other early entries, starting with today’s announcements Luke Babbitt of Nevada and Samardo Samuels of Louisville.
Luke Babbitt - Nevada – (6’9, 225) – Sophomore – Babbitt is a pure scorer, able to score on the perimeter or in the post, has good range on his jumper, and has the ability to take a game over on the offensive end. He is similar in his style to both Gordon Hayward and Al-Farouq Aminu, though not as polished. Defensively, he needs to improve his foot speed and lateral movement to guard on the perimeter, and become more physical to compete down low. He is a good rebounder on both ends of the floor and is a strong finisher at the rim. I don’t see him improving much more next year, so good decision coming out. Mid-late First Round, 18-25.
Samardo Samuels - Louisville – (6’9, 260) – Sophomore – Samuels is a raw, powerful player who is still developing the skills to become a potential NBA player. He has improved his footwork and his touch from his Freshman year, but there is still a lot of room for growth. Defensively, he needs to become more assertive using his size because he does not have the foot speed to stay with most big men. He also needs to work on becoming a better rebounder, especially anticipating angles and establishing position. Right now he is too much of a project for a NBA team to take on. He should head back to Coach Pitino and aim towards next year’s first round. Undrafted.
And now for a few players I left out of the original posts:
Ed Davis - North Carolina – (6’10, 225) – Sophomore – Davis certainly did not have the follow-up to his freshman year that was expected, but every time he plays, it is hard not to notice the raw talent he has. He is a top-flight athlete and a great leaper. He is far from polished on the offensive end, though he is an effective offensive rebounder and, before an injury ended his season, has developed an effective post moves. Defensively, he is much more of a force. He is a very good shot blocker and rebounder, and has enough presence in the lane to make players think twice before coming up against him. It would have been nice to see him come back for one more year since he missed a bunch of games this season. However, Davis is pretty much a lock to be a Top 10 pick, so there really is no reason to go back to school. First Round, Top 10.
Darington Hobson - New Mexico – (6’7, 205) – Junior – Hobson put up a strong first season at New Mexico – scoring, rebounding, passing, and stepping up as a leader of a NCAA team. Hobson is a strong slasher, twisting his body to get to the rim and finishing strong. His perimeter shot is average, though he has shown good range. What makes Hobson special is his ability to play 3 positions at a high level. While not a starting NBA point guard, he does have enough ability to play some solid backup minutes if needed; he has good size as a shooting guard or he has the all-around game to be an effective wing player. Defensively, he does a good job keeping his man in front of him and is a very good rebounder. He does need to make his effort more consistent. Now that Hobson is on most teams’ radars, it might be best for him to come back for one more year and show the all what he can do. Late First Round, 20-30.
I will add any other players who have declared early after the deadline. As always, for more complete analysis of the players and for the 2010 Mock Draft, head over to DraftSite.com.