January 2005: First off, his body looks completely different then it did last year. Bogut started the season last year looking extremely buff, and in result his mobility (especially his quickness and leaping ability) suffered. Over the course of the year he appeared to be losing weight, and it appears that he's now finally found the perfect equilibrium between strength and quickness, as his body looks great, and his mobility is much improved. He's definitely a lot quicker up and down the floor this year, laterally he is moving much better, and he is definitely much faster getting off the floor as well. The biggest change, though, has to be in his confidence level. Suddenly you see him getting emotional after a big play or in timeouts with his teammates, demanding the ball in the paint, not being shy about shooting the three, and even speaking up and voicing his opinions in the press. All great things to see out of such a talented, but sometimes-bashful player.
Skill wise, Bogut is one of the most fundamentally sound players you'll find in all of college basketball. He possesses extremely solid footwork in the post, on both offense and defense. He is smart, strong, very coordinated, aggressive and not soft in the least bit when he's posting up his man in the paint. His gigantic hands and excellent wingspan (he plays more like he's 7-2 with those long arms) make him a constant threat to receive the ball at almost any moment. His teammates can just throw the ball in his general direction, and Bogut will go get it, and then score with either hand. If you double him, he'll use his outstanding court vision and passing ability to find the open man on the wing and pick apart the defense (Bogut is able to see and execute passes that most NCAA PG's aren't able to). Foul him and he'll go right to the line and nail his free throws (shooting 74% from the line so far this year). He's got a terrific touch around the basket and an assortment of post moves he can use, including a very nice half hook shot. Thanks to his strength, magnet-like hands, wingspan and especially his mind, he's now considered one of the best rebounders in the NCAA. In fact, his hands are so big and soft that he can palm the ball in mid-air and pass it to his teammate, all in one fluid motion. His size, excellent reflexes and wingpsan make him a potential shotblocking threat, and he actually displays good timing and solid fundamentals in this area. He sets good solid picks and is a great guy to have on the recieving end of the pick and roll.
Bogut is a threat in the paint, but he's equally dangerous in the high post. He has a very nice shooting stroke with a high release that makes it very hard to block, and range all the way out to the three point line. His mid-range game is quite solid, he can put the ball on the floor and take it all the way to the basket, find the open man with the drive and dish, or pull up and nail the 14 footer.
Lastly, Bogut has a great demeanor and personality both on and off the floor. By all accounts, he is an extremely hard worker, and is always looking for ways to improve his game. He never takes off possessions and always looks like he's giving 100%. He acts as Utah's floor general when he is on the court, directing his teammates on both offense and defense and always encouraging them whether he's on or off the floor. Considering his rapid improvement over the past few years, he appears to be only scratching the surface on his potential at the moment.
December 2003: Despite being only 19 years old, Andrew Bogut is already looked at right now as the best player to ever come out of Australia. Bogut is an excellent rebounder due to his long arms and big soft hands. He really has a knack for getting position in the post and boxing out his man which explains the huge numbers he put up last summer and this season in the NCAA. Bogut is a rare breed in today's NCAA- a true post player who is not afraid to mix it up down low. He is one of those players that always gives 110% and never leaves anything on the court. He is a very unselfish player which may explain his underwhelming scoring average in the NCAA thus far. Once he starts to develop chemistry with his young teammates they will realize that Bogut can make them all better if they play to his strengths. Already has a nice frame and he should have no problem putting on some more weight in the future. Right now Bogut is already one of the toughest matchups in the NCAA and the only way to stop him from dominating the paint (if you aren't Emeka Okafor) is to front him or even double team him. He has a full arsenal of post moves including a gorgeous hook shot that is extremely hard to stop without fouling. Andrew's life would undoubtedly be a lot easier if he had some better and more experienced teammates to feed him the ball and hit their jump shots when he is double teamed. Bogut might not be lightning quick but he runs the floor extremely well for a player his size. His outside shot is still a work in progress but he has a nice stroke and I think it's only a matter of time before he starts nailing the 16 footer on a regular basis. People who have seen him play outside of the NCAA say he can step out and hit the three as he did last summer in Greece, but he hasn't really shown that yet. He's got decent handles and can dribble with both hands and take his man to the hoop. Bogut is a very fundamentally sound player and has a great work ethic and attitude towards the game. He is a true student of the game and turned down big money to come and work on his game in the NCAA with Utah. With his wingspan and hands I could definitely see him eventually becoming one of the premier rebounders in the NBA. He likes to post up his man and he looks good backing his defender down off of the dribble. All in all I would say that he has what it takes to be at least a solid starting big man in today's NBA.
January 2005: Bogut generally needs to become a much better defender in the post to really fulfill his potential and become an outstanding post player on both ends of the floor.
He appears to have some problems recognizing and defending the pick and roll, as well as on help defense, knowing when to rotate and when to get in the air in order to stay out of foul trouble. His man-to-man defense looks OK in the post, but he sometimes uses his hands too much, which gets him in foul trouble as well. It's not rare to see him being burned by quicker players, especially when he is pulled out to the perimeter.
While it's not as obvious as it was last year, Bogut isn't a freak athlete and will have to work just a little bit harder and use more brain cells then the average NBA player because of that. He most likely will never be an outstanding shot blocker because of his average vertical leap, but still has some potential in this aspect because of his hands and wingspan. Most people are going to make a bigger issue out of this than it really should be, because they probably don't understand that Bogut is a 7 foot center and not a 6-5 shooting guard.
December 2003: Bogut isn't the most athletic player in the world. His speed leaves a lot to be desired along with his jumping ability. You would expect him to be a intimidating shot blocker in the paint with his wingspan but so far he hasn't quite shown that. He holds his own in the post but might have trouble with some of the quicker 4's in the league. His freethrow shooting is hovering around 50% right now which has to raise some eyebrows amongst scouts. Bogut has struggled defensively against some of the stronger and more athletic NCAA bigmen like Jamie Lloreda and Emeka Okafor but fared well against David Harrison and Colorado.
December 2003: Bogut played against some of the best players in the world for his age group last summer in Greece. In the final three rounds of the tournament on the way to the title he played against and beat- Paul Davis (MSU), Dee Brown (Illinois), Mustafa Shakur (Arizona) from the US, Linas Klieza (Mizzou) from Lithuania, and Roko-Leni Ukic (Split), Damir Omerhodzic and Drago Pasalic from Croatia. Bogut matched up with Emeka Okafor of UConn in the NIT tournament in New York at the beginning of the season and did not look very impressive (4-12 shooting, 10 points, 7 rebounds). He was clearly intimidated by Okafor's presence in the paint. In what was possibly his best game of the season so far, Andrew Bogut stepped up big time against one of the premier big men in the country, Rafael Araujo, who plays for Utah's arch-rivals, BYU. He had a career high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and managed to hold Araujo to a season low 8 points on 3-15 shooting. Bogut did not let Araujo get inside the paint, using his body extremely well to deny him position. He came up with two huge weakside blocks on Araujo in the first half and came up with a big three pointer as well.
January 2005: 14 months later, Bogut looks much more confident and mature. He's a top 10 pick without a doubt if he indeed decides to come out (all signs indeed point to that) and a legit candidate to become the #1 pick in the draft.
December 2003: Bogut is not yet polished enough to come in and get big minutes in the NBA, but the question is whether he would be better off learning on the job playing against NBA bigmen, or continue to get playing time and possibly dominate next year in the Mountain West Conference. This will probably be a tough decision for Bogut. Don't rule out the option of him going to Europe for a year either. If he decides to come out this year, Bogut will likely be drafted anywhere from the late lottery to the mid-late part of the first round.
January 2005: Last year we thought Bogut would eventually become a Power Forward in the NBA. But judging by his physical attributes and skill set, and especially the lack of Centers in the league at the moment, there is no reason why Bogut can't play as a modern Center, like Brad Miller or Vlade Divac. You really get the feeling that he's getting the short end of the stick playing in the NCAA sometimes. Every time he tries to make an aggressive move to the basket he has some overeager 6-1 kid sliding in front of him to take an iffy charge, and whenever he puts a body on someone on defense he gets called for a ticky-tack foul, that would never be called by NBA refs. Utah's offense looks infinitely better then it did last year under Rick Majerus, but they still have problems getting the ball inside to Bogut sometimes, as they lack a great post-entry passer. Bogut would probably be averaging double the assists he has at the moment if he actually had some better shooters around him to feed off his passes when he gets double teamed, Marc Jackson aside, no one on that team is averaging more then one three pointer a game. There's also something to be said about the amount of shots Bogut is getting. While he isn't being ignored the way he was last season, he is still shooting a ridiculously high percentage from the field (62%) and it seems like Utah would benefit from pounding the ball to him inside even more and making sure he gets more looks. The problem is that the strategy of many teams when going up against Utah is to double and triple team the kid and make the rest of the team beat them instead. So far, this strategy has been fairly effective. We can only wonder how much better Bogut would be if he had some more talent surrounding him.
December 2003: While most people have cooled off on Bogut after all the hype he recieved over the summer, I was not as disappointed as most. I see in him a very young talented big man who is going through a tough transition from Austrailian and International basketball to a completely different style of ball in the NCAA. I think the talent and mental/physical toughness is there and to me he is a legit lottery prospect whenever he decides to come out.
December 2003: Named MVP of the 2003 FIBA Junior World Championships in Greece, leading Australia to the title. Bogut put up unreal numbers in the tournament, averaging 26.3 points, 17.0 rebounds 2.5 assists and 1.5 blocked shots per game. He shot 61 percent from the field and 74 percent from the line. Turned down a 2 million dollar offer from Cibona Zagreb (Croatia) after the tournament to come and play in the NCAA, citing coach Majerus and his parents as the main reasons for that. Parents are of Croatian heritage. Says Drazen Petrovic is his favorite all-time player.