The workout was quite different than the one we watched last year at Speed Strength with Louis Williams, Devin Green, Chet Mason, and Ricky Shields, as 7 hours over the course of two days were spent evaluating the players then. This year however, consisted of a one hour workout of strictly on-court basketball drills. While it was a terrific opportunity to evaluate the three players, its difficult to judge anything more than physical attributes, ball-handling skills, and shooting ability in this type of setting, a problem that NBA teams often encounter as well.
The players warmed up with some impressive ball-handling drills with two basketballs. All three handled the ball very well in these drills, and it was clear that they had practiced two-ball handling drills quite frequently. Donewald then had the group shoot a large amount of mid-range jump shots off the dribble and coming off screens. The ex-NBA coach preached to the players how important it was that they got into their shot quickly, and made sure that they maintained proper form throughout. The players then began shooting the ball from the collegiate three point line, and all shot the ball quite proficiently. Bob finished off their workout with having each player do a dunk and post move routine, simply to show off the athleticism the trio possessed.
There was really nothing negative that can be said about the three from what we saw here. Better conclusions about their in-game skills could be reached through a more intense workout featuring some one on one or two on two play, but the risk of injury is too great at times like these and the players have much more to lose than they have to gain. It was still an excellent opportunity to again see how prospects are being prepared for the tough road that lies ahead of them leading up to June 29th.
Here are our individual player evaluations, along with Bob Donewalds personal synopsis of each player:
Marcus Vinicius Vieira De Souza / Marquinhos
21 years old, 69, 237 lbs, Small Forward
The first thing that jumps out at you about Marquinhos is his much improved body. Coming into Speed Strength, the Brazilian weighed a meager 215 lbs. He has since bulked up to 237 lbs, and there is room for him to add even more weight if need be. His frame is all you could ask for in a small forward, and he even has the bulk to even play a little power forward a la Boris Diaw should his team ask him to.
In the drills, Marquinhos showed excellent ball-handling skills for a small forward. His handle was tight and low to the ground, and it was clear that he had been taught well by Donewald. He showed off a great crossover and inside-out dribble while running full speed, leading to Donewalds mid-range shooting drills, where Marquinhos was downright automatic. The Brazilian was hitting off the dribble, coming off screens, and stepping back. Donewald taught him the Mashburn move, which for those of you who dont remember, is a slight fade away shot along with a high release that is virtually unstoppable. Jamal Mashburn made a living on this one move his entire NBA career, and his personal trainer made sure that Marquinhos added it to his repertoire for NBA workouts.
In terms of long range shooting, we never saw Marquinhos shoot the ball outside of the collegiate three point line. His range did extend to around 21 feet, but we were unable to tell beyond that due to the nature of the drills. Athletically, he looked great in his dunk routine and displayed nice quickness in all of the shooting drills. Attributes such as defense, passing, and basketball IQ were impossible to evaluate in a setting like this, but there really wasnt a whole lot more that you could have asked for out of Marquinhos from the drills he did.
Marquinhos is automatically eligible for this years draft as a 1984 prospect and is looking to come over and play in the NBA next season. We were told that Marquinhos will be working out for 12 teams, all of whom will be picking in the top 20 of this years NBA Draft. His manager, Greg Dole, added that Marquinhos will be working out for 4 teams in the top 10 of this years draft as well.
Workouts will be extremely crucial as to where Marquinhos is selected, largely due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to obtain game film of him from Brazil. After playing (well) in the 2nd division of Italy in the 2004-2005 season, he moved back to Brazil but barely got to play in front of NBA scouts before his season abruptly ended due to difficulties his team was having. Right now, he looks to have all the makings of a first round pick, with the potential to move up with strong workouts. Marquinhos people made it no secret that he would like to go up against the Rudy Gays and Andrea Bargnanis of this years draft in order to prove how talented he actually is. If he does this and fairs well, Marquinhos could definitely be a player who shakes up the first round of this years draft. He will be playing in the Eurocamp in Treviso right after the Orlando pre-draft camp, where NBA GMs will finally be able to watch him play in a 5 on 5 setting.
Bob Donewald on Marquinhos:
Hes 610, 230...235. Hes a kid for me that in Brazil, played the point. I dont think hes a point in the NBA, but hes definitely a skilled kid for his size. He can go down inside. Weve given him a lot of Mashburns footwork down inside where he can come off the back foot and either shoulder down inside. Hes at his best when hes in the open floor. Hes at his best when hes handling the ball making decisions in the open court or coming off screens shooting. Hes just one hell of a shooter. We had an open workout where at one point, I believe he made 18 3s in a row. Hes a kid who can put it in the bucket. As you describe it, hes more of a feel player, more of a flow player. He likes to get guys involved. He likes to make decisions. Thats why I put the ball in his hands. If you come at him, he makes the right decision. Hes a hell of a passer and just a joy to coach.
On where Marquinhos will be selected in the draft:
In my opinion I dont know the draft from the standpoint that I wasnt here. I dont know college basketball as well as I need to. From what Im gathering from the teams that are interested, I see him going anywhere from as high as 10 to no lower then 18. I think hes going to be in that range from guys that are not only looking at him, but guys that have seen him play.
Leonardo di Pacce dos Santos / Morro
21 years old, 611, 235 lbs, Power Forward
In the ball-handling and shooting drills, Morro went through the drills with the fluidity that most 611 players dream of having. He seems extremely comfortable facing the basket and handling the ball, and really shot well all the way out to the collegiate three point line. The lefty has nice lift on his shot and gets it off in a hurry.
Although he could easily add more weight, Morro has a great frame and possesses a massive wingspan, which is supposedly 73. He uses this wingspan to his advantage, as both Donewald and Dole told me that he is one of the better defenders in the Brazilian league. Unfortunately however, we were unable to see Morro in action to judge for ourselves, but his length and leaping ability definitely make him pass the look test of being a good defender.
Morros biggest knocks are reportedly his lack of a low post game and that he is a bit on the soft side. Of course we were unable to come to a conclusion on either of these areas due to the nature of the workout, but we did see him show off hook shots with either hand about five feet away from the basket. Obviously this is not enough to develop an accurate evaluation of his low post game, but Morro looked good in the moves that he did show us.
I personally feel that teams in the second round are going to have to take a look at Morro due to his combination of size and skill. Hes talented enough that he could really shock some teams at workouts and wind up getting picked in the second round. Workouts are going to be extremely critical for Morro, because like Marquinhos, its nearly impossible to obtain game tape on him from the Brazilian league. Unlike Marquinhos, though, he did not play in Italy to give NBA scouts a chance to really give a feel for the type of 5 on 5 player he really is.
Bob Donewald on Morro:
Hes a big kid that we found. Hes a left handed kid. 611, 230..235. He could get stronger, but hes one heck of an athlete. Hes a very good shot blocker, especially on the ball, which is definitely a skill that not a lot of guys have. He can guard on the ball and block shots on the ball. Hes a rebounder. Hes a guy in the NBA that can pick and pop and stretch the defense. Down inside, he can go to either hand with his hooks. Hes a skilled big, and I dont know how many skilled bags there are in this draft. The thing I like is that when we played against him, hes mean. Hes not afraid to throw his body around. Hes got a great motor. He goes hard all the time. Hes the first one down the floor. Hes knocking people over. Hes going to be really interesting as people start to figure out and watch who he is and figure out how he plays.
South Carolina; Senior, 66, 189 lbs., Shooting Guard
Kinsey is the type of player who looks much better in a five on five setting then in an individual workout. His basketball IQ, leadership, and other intangibles were impossible to gauge in a workout setting like this. The Gamecock senior showed off good ball-handling skills for a wing, and was downright automatic from mid-range. While his form was a little bit awkward, he really got into the shooting motion quickly and shot an extremely high percentage throughout the drills. What was most impressive was how fast Tarence came off screens, leading Bob Donewald to call him a Poor mans Richard Hamilton. Kinsey indeed has the body and style of play similar to that of the Pistons star guard. Athletically however, the South Carolina star possesses leaping ability that Rip can only dream of, as he threw down windmill dunk after windmill dunk with ease. Kinsey was dunking so hard in fact that I thought he was going to hurt his arm on the rim from dunking with such ferocity and power.
The biggest knocks on Tarence are his small frame and inconsistent three point shot. Although he has pretty narrow shoulders, one could still imagine Kinsey being able to add more strength and weight before he beings playing professionally. In terms of his outside shot, we were unable to see him shoot the deep ball much because of the nature of the workouts, so we cant comment one way or another.
NBA teams are surely going to be calling Mr. Kinsey in for plenty of workouts in the month and a half leading up to the draft. His productivity this past year at South Carolina in combination with his prototypical size for a SG makes him the type of player teams will want to look at. While it appears that Tarence is on the outside looking in right now, mainly due to his very average showing at Portsmouth, he is the type of player who has the potential to make a roster as an unsigned free agent if placed in the right situation.
Bob Donewald on Kinsey:
I was shocked. When you first take a look at him, you say hes a little skinny, but weve had him in these workouts and weve had him playing. His size and body have not bothered him. Hes got some core strength to him. Hes an exceptional athlete. His jumping ability We saw some highlight reel stuff today. Hes a good shooter. His shot coming off screens is fairly quick now. His footwork is cleaned up. Hes going to be an interesting prospect. I could definitely see him on somebodys roster next year. Again, Im not a guy who knows the draft. I know there are a ton of teams bringing him in for workouts looking at him probably in that second round. And if not, I could definitely see him sticking to a roster by the way he plays on both ends of the floor. I think hes a mini Rip Hamilton, and I think thats who hes going to develop into.