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Bouncing Around the Nation (#7)
by: Jonathan Watters - Director of NCAA Scouting
February 27, 2006
Scintillating Sophomore Class holds the key…

As we head into March, expect to hear more and more about how the 2006 Draft is weak, and that 2007 is the year teams will really be cashing in. In general this might be true, as the 2006 draft is without high schoolers or the depth in the international pool we’ve seen in recent years coming in the form of young and unproven players. There are quite a few wing prospects available, but very little in terms of post players or point guards.

However, one look at the DraftExpress 2007 mock should tell you that 2006 being “down” is far from a sure thing. Sophomores dominate the first round, sixteen in all at the moment. The sophomore class is incredibly deep and talented. Not only have we seen plenty of top level talent already jump to the NBA (Howard, Telfair, Jefferson, Marvin Williams, etc), but there is also a very, very deep second tier of players that are talented enough to consider making an early exit to the NBA at some point.



Players such as Jason Smith, Kyle Lowry, Cedric Simmons, and Gabe Pruitt (to name a few) are considered to be a year away at the moment, but given how weak the 2006 draft looks and how loaded things appear in 2007, not too many people would be surprised to see a few of these sophomores (or others) put their names in a year early.

Looking at the current 2006 “first round bubble”, we see players like Hassan Adams, Dee Brown, and Quincy Douby. While the super sophomores in question would be nearly unanimously better served by heading back to college for another season, is there any doubt which group of prospects is better?

There is a definite opportunity for a prospect playing it smart to avoid a 2007 draft that is absolutely bulging at the seams, and start their NBA career a year early at the same time. Don’t think for a minute that people around these players aren’t inundating this super sophomore class with this exact argument on a daily basis.

On the other hand, there is also a certain danger that comes from using up that “draft card” too early. Just ask Brandon Bass, who ended up stuck in the 2nd round a season ago (and is now openly saying he wished he stayed at LSU), or players like Jermareo Davidson and Marcus Slaughter who have shown marked improvements this season but are left with irreversible decisions to make this spring. Should these two declare for a second time, they will be in for good, whether they end up being drafted or not. Any underclassman must carefully weigh whether this is the right time to declare, as it takes away a valuable option down the road.

To be honest, I really don’t get too excited about Richard Roby or Darius Washington as 2006 first round prospects. I personally believe that both would be much, much more prepared for the pros after another year of development. However, I also understand why they are being listed as First Rounders on current mocks.

My guess is that ready or not, a couple of these talented sophomores take advantage of a shallow 2006 pool, and end up staying in the draft. Whether that ends up being a good decision is anyone’s guess at this point.

SEC Standings Shakeup…

Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, Florida was the toast of the SEC. Alabama had just lost Chuck Davis for the season after a horrendous non-conference slate, and Arkansas was busy blowing games to Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Funny how quickly things change, isn’t it?

As we have seen with several of Billy Donovan’s teams in recent years, the Gators are sputtering down the stretch. Florida has now dropped three in a row, and fallen into a second place tie in the SEC East with the once-dead Kentucky. And of course, the Gators will be making a trip to Lexington to end the regular season on March 5.

It isn’t that Florida’s level of play has dropped completely off the map, but it is clear that the rest of the SEC is improving, where the Gators have not. Florida gave up an average of 81 points in the three close losses, and was manhandled in the paint in the second half of Sunday’s defeat at Alabama. I remain in the camp that says Florida can make some noise in the tournament, as these losses have been close and the Gators are a team with a lot of improvement left in them.

Perhaps these losses have more to say about the teams that won rather than anything about Florida.

Arkansas was looking like the Notre Dame of the south less than two weeks ago, after another heartbreaking loss to a poor Ole Miss team on the road. Consecutive wins over Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama, and the Hogs have essentially punched their ticket to the tournament. One trend that I have noticed with this team is that they have a tendency to fall behind early, and pull back into the game at the last possible moment. This has cost Arkansas games all season, but the Razorbacks made the plays down the stretch to come away with big comeback wins against both the Volunteers and the Crimson Tide.

This is a team that can make some noise in the tournament. Ronnie Brewer, despite some inconsistent recent play, is a legitimate SEC Player of the Year candidate. Stan Heath has a legitimate post scorer in Darian Townes, and one of the top shot blocking specialists in the country, Steven Hill. There are also a couple of nice glue guys, in Jonathan Modica and Charles Thomas. So why have the Hogs found themselves down by double digits in so many games this season? This team really struggles to score when Brewer doesn’t assert himself. As late game stretches during the win streak have shown, good things happen when he does decide to take things into his own hands. Hopefully for the Razorbacks, Brewer can start bringing it for a full 40 minutes.

Just as remarkable as the turnaround Arkansas has managed to pull off has been the resurrection of Alabama’s season. The Crimson tide were downright horrible in the preseason, and most people stuck a fork in them the minute Chuck Davis was lost for the season. But after wins over LSU, Tennessee, and Florida, Mark Gottfried somehow has his team back in the NCAA Tournament.

The Crimson Tide have been playing some nasty interior defense, riding the physical frontcourt of Alonzo Gee, Richard Hendrix, and Jermareo Davidson. All three could play in the NBA someday. Just as important has been the remarkable play of point guard extraordinaire Ronald Steele, who is single-handedly carrying Alabama in the backcourt. He doesn’t blow you away with one particular aspect of his game, but he simply makes plays. Whether it is finding a teammate for an easy basket, hitting a big three, or slicing up a press by himself with his masterful ball-handling skills, Steele has come through for Gottfried in the clutch time and time again. He is now making a major push for First Team All-SEC honors.

Heading into February, who would have thought that we would be talking about Arkansas and Alabama in such glowing terms?

An early All-America Ballot that doesn’t count…

G Randy Foye, Villanova
SG J.J. Redick, Duke
SG Brandon Roy, Washington
SF Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
PF Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

Others deserving consideration: Shelden Williams, Duke; Mike Gansey, West Virginia; LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas; Rodney Carney, Memphis; Glen Davis, LSU

Updated NCAA Top 25

1. Duke
2. Connecticut
3. Texas
4. Villanova
5. Memphis
6. Gonzaga
7. Ohio State
8. George Washington
9. Pittsburgh
10. Washington
11. West Virginia
12. Illinois
13. Georgetown
14. Tennessee
15. North Carolina
16. LSU
17. UCLA
18. Florida
19. Boston College
20. Kansas
21. Marquette
22. Oklahoma
23. Iowa
24. Wisconsin
25. NC State
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan.watters@draftexpress.com .

 

Marvin Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 228 lbs.
Birthday: 06/19/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bremerton
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2005 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
5.6 Pts, 5.9 Rebs, 2.1 Asts


Jason Smith
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Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 233 lbs.
Birthday: 03/04/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Platte Valley
Previous Team: Colorado State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #20 in 2007 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
5.0 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Kyle Lowry
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Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 03/25/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cardinal Dougherty
Previous Team: Villanova , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #24 in 2006 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
12.7 Pts, 3.6 Rebs, 4.7 Asts


Cedric Simmons
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brunswick West
Previous Team: N.C. State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #15 in 2006 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
3.8 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 0.1 Asts


Gabe Pruitt
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 04/21/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Westchester
Previous Team: USC , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 2007 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
13.8 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 2.4 Asts


Hassan Adams
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Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 06/20/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Westchester
Previous Team: Arizona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #24 in 2006 Draft
by the Nets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
0.9 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 0.1 Asts


Dee Brown
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Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 179 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Proviso East
Previous Team: Ploiesti , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #16 in 2006 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
16.0 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 10.0 Asts


Quincy Douby
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 05/16/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Thomas Moore
Previous Team: Zhejiang C , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #19 in 2006 Draft
by the Kings
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
20.5 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 2.8 Asts


Brandon Bass
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Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 246 lbs.
Birthday: 05/01/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Capital Hill
Previous Team: LSU , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2005 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
10.1 Pts, 3.8 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Jermareo Davidson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 11/17/1984
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Wheeler
Previous Team: Alabama , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #6 in 2007 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
16.7 Pts, 7.3 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Marcus Slaughter
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Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 03/18/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: John W. North
Previous Team: Real Madrid , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Richard Roby
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Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 203 lbs.
Birthday: 09/30/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lawrence Academy
Previous Team: Colorado , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
16.4 Pts, 4.8 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Darius Washington
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Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 12/07/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Edgewater
Previous Team: Nymburk , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
10.0 Pts, 5.5 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


Chuck Davis
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Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 04/20/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Selma Southside
Previous Team: Banvit , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Billy Donovan
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Physicals
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 05/30/1965
49 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Agnes
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 3, Pick #22 in 1987 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
2.4 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Ronnie Brewer
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Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 03/21/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Fayetteville
Previous Team: Arkansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #14 in 2006 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
0.3 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Darian Townes
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Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Birthday: 07/31/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Hargrave Military Academy
Previous Team: Arkansas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 6.8 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Steven Hill
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Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 248 lbs.
Birthday: 11/14/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Branson
Previous Team: Arkansas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Charles Thomas
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Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 10/03/1969
45 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Everett
Previous Team: Eastern Michigan , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
1.3 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Alonzo Gee
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Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 05/29/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dwyer
Previous Team: Alabama , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
5.3 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Richard Hendrix
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Birthday: 11/15/1986
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Athens
Previous Team: Kuban , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #19 in 2008 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
10.0 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Randy Foye
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 212 lbs.
Birthday: 09/24/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Newark East Side
Previous Team: Villanova , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 2006 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
6.9 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 3.4 Asts


J.J. Redick
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Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 06/25/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cave Spring
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #11 in 2006 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
12.7 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


Brandon Roy
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 207 lbs.
Birthday: 07/23/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Garfield
Previous Team: Washington , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #6 in 2006 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
5.8 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 4.6 Asts


Adam Morrison
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Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 198 lbs.
Birthday: 07/20/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mead
Previous Team: Gonzaga , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #3 in 2006 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.2 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Tyler Hansbrough
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 11/03/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Poplar Bluff
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #13 in 2009 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.1 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Shelden Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 258 lbs.
Birthday: 10/22/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Midwest City
Previous Team: Chalon , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 2006 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
22.0 Pts, 11.8 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Mike Gansey
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthday: 12/21/1982
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Olmsted Falls
Previous Team: West Virginia , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
6.1 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


LaMarcus Aldridge
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 07/19/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seagoville
Previous Team: Texas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
15.4 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 3.4 Asts


Rodney Carney
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 204 lbs.
Birthday: 04/05/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Indianapolis Northwest
Previous Team: Memphis , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
5.0 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Glen Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 298 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: University
Previous Team: LSU , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2007 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


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