After a disappointing season, Oklahoma had three underclassmen declare for the NBA Draft – Willie Warren, a projected first rounder when the season started; Tiny Gallon, a 300 pound man-child; and Tommy Mason-Griffin, a freshman point guard. Even more surprising is how far their stock dropped amid rumors of each player being more selfish than the next. So after weeks of camps and workouts, where does each find themselves now, and what can NBA teams and fans expect?
The Good -
The Not-So-Good – Obviously, he didn’t adjust well to being a team leader, openly showing his displeasure and lack of interest on the court when things weren’t going well – which was a lot last season. Life without the Griffins was a lot different. With nobody drawing attention in the post,
The Verdict – The talent is there – he was considered a late-lottery pick at the beginning of the season. If he is able to show teams that the problems of this past season with his attitude was an aberration, then some team is going to get a steal in the late-first or early-second round. For now, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and look for him to be picked by a team with the internal leadership to focus his talents.
The Good – At near 300 pounds, Gallon is a huge space-eater, with the ability to seal off his defender in the post. While his footwork isn’t great, it is very impressive for his size. He shows nice touch around the rim and has shown various moves on the blocks. While I have not seen it, reports are that he is a very good perimeter shooter, though I can’t envision a scenario where he would be in position to shoot from outside. He should be able to power defenders down consistently, but seems to hold back often. On the defensive ends, he uses his size well to force offensive players out of the lane and he also is good at not falling for ball and head fakes, keeping himself out of foul trouble.
The Not-So-Good – In a running theme in this post, attitude and effort just were not there this past season, though in an odd twist, they both seemed to improve a bit once
The Verdict – The physical tools are fantastic, and if his head is in the right place, he should be a double-double guy every night. This should lead to him being an early second round pick. I have a hard time believing that a team would risk a first round pick on him unless they are convinced that he will put in the effort. Even so, I think if he is serious about the game, he can be a very good player.
The Good – Mason-Griffin is capable of scoring lots of points very quickly, especially from long-range. He is also a very good scorer in transition, having the ability to pull up and hit jumpers out to the three-point line. He is good ball-handler and handles pressure fairly well. He gets good penetration in the lane and is capable of making some spectacular passes. Defensively, he can be a pest with decent speed and quick hands and is good at pressuring the ball full-court when needed.
The Not-So-Good – Mason-Griffin’s judgment is very suspect – from his shot selection to his passing (or lack of passing) to gambling on defense. Like Gallon, he seemed to play a bit better once
The Verdict – Mason-Griffin would have been a borderline prospect at best if he proved himself at