In Part 1, we looked at the our first group of big men who have declared early for this year’s draft, and looked at how smart their decision was. Now we will look at the remaining big men before we hit the guards and wing men.
Herb Pope – Seton Hall – (6’8, 236) – Sophomore – Pope was one of the better stories in college basketball for 90% of the season. Then in a matter of 2 weeks, he seemed to blow up all his goodwill. The end of his college career came in 2 groin punches in a NIT game against Texas Tech. While his attitude will need some adjusting to play in the NBA, I have little doubt that he can be an effective role player. His primary strength is his rebounding on both ends of the floor. He has a wide base and he uses it well. Offensively, he has the beginnings of a decent move-set. He has a quick first step to the basket and he is aggressive going after the ball. Defensively, he uses his body well in the post and he boxes out strongly. Again, if he can get the chip off his shoulder and just play the game, he can find a spot in the League. I think he had worn out his welcome at the college level, so a smart move coming out. Mid-to-late 2nd round, 40- 60.
Patrick Patterson – Kentucky – (6’9, 235) – Junior – Often overshadowed by his new freshman teammates this season, Patterson showed great maturity letting them get the press while he put up a solid season and acted as de facto leader of the team. With DeMarcus Cousins playing in the middle, Patterson was able to work on playing out on the perimeter. He has a solid jumper out to 15 feet, is a strong offensive rebounder and has a nice set of post moves. He still is a bit unsure when he tries to take the ball from the perimeter to the basket, but that can improve over time. Defensively, he has the ability to guard either power or small forwards, is a solid rebounder and is a good help defender. He has nothing left to prove at the college level, so a good choice coming out. Late lottery pick, 10-15.
Daniel Orton – Kentucky – (6’10, 255) – Freshman - Somewhat a surprise coming out, having averaged under 4 points and 4 rebounds a game this season, but in his time out on the court he showed an excellent understanding of the game and a pro-sized body to go with it. Orton is a tenacious rebounder, gets good position in the post, and has a quick first step to the basket. His touch around the basket needs some improvement, as well as his stamina. Defensively, he has the potential to be a force down low, forcing players off the block and solid rebounding fundamentals. He probably could use more time in college, especially with Cousins leaving, to see how he handles being the man down low. Late First Round, 20-30.
A.J. Ogilivie – Vanderbilt – (6’11, 250) – Junior – Ogilvie had a somewhat disappointing season, and probably would have been a late first round pick last year. He is uses his body well in the post and has nice touch around the rim. He knows how to draw defensive players in the air and can finish strong at the basket. His footwork can use some improvement as he tends to make his moves very methodically. Defensively, he does a good job altering shots in the lane, though he should be a better rebounder for his size. He can’t risk playing worse than he did this year, so good decision to come out. Late First – Early Second Round, 25-40.
Alex Tyus – Florida – (6’8, 220) – Junior – Tyus needs to work on getting stronger and becoming a bigger force down low. We will see him back at Florida for his Senior year.
Adnan Hodzic – Lipscomb – (6’9, 255) – Junior – Solid body, though he has to play against some stronger competition. Will come back for his Senior year.
Tomorrow we will get to the rest of the Early Entries. As always, check out more about these players, along with the Mock Draft at DraftSite.com.