DraftExpress Logo
     DraftExpress Facebook      DraftExpress Twitter    DraftExpress YouTube
 
Loading
 


NCAA Weekly Performers, 3/10/10
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations, Scott Nadler, Joseph Treutlein - Director of Scouting/Analytics
March 10, 2010
Updated scouting reports on Cole Aldrich, Paul George, Charles Garcia and Kenneth Faried.

Cole Aldrich, 6-11, Junior, Center, Kansas
11.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, .9 assists, 1.4 turnovers, 3.5 blocks, 55% FG, 68% FT




Jonathan Givony

A likely top-10 pick last year, Cole Aldrich elected to return for his junior season at Kansas, a move that surprised some considering the obvious risks involved. With the demand for long-armed, mobile 7-foot centers with strong rebounding and defensive skills always being extremely high, though, Aldrich’s margin for error was obviously much greater than that of a prospect like Willie Warren or Craig Brackins, who have seen their decisions back-fire in a major way.

From a statistical standpoint, it’s somewhat troubling to see the lack of progress Aldrich has made this past season. His numbers are down across the board, even when adjusting for the fact that he’s playing 3 minutes less per game. Aldrich is scoring significantly less (16.3 per-40 pace adjusted compared to 19.9 last season), grabbing fewer rebounds, is substantially less efficient (converting 55% of his 2-pointers compared with 60% last season) and has seen his free throw percentage take a dramatic hit (from 79% to 68%).

The only area he’s improved in significantly is in his shot-blocking, as he’s rejecting 5.2 blocks per-40p this season, compared with 3.6 last season. NBA teams always want to see young big men improving year by year, and the fact that he doesn’t appear to have done that is something that will have to research more deeply and draw their own conclusions about.

The prevailing opinion amongst NBA scouts has always been that Aldrich is a likely role-player at the next level—a player who projects as a significant presence in the paint defensively and on the glass, but can’t be expected to score much more than what his guards are able to create for him around the basket.

His age and the production he achieved as a sophomore left at least a glimmer of hope that he can develop into a bit more than that, though, which is what you would hope from a potential top-5 pick. His lack of improvement as a junior may have closed the door on that optimism somewhat in the minds of many decision makers, as it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that he’s taken a step backwards this year.

Offensively, Aldrich’s limitations remain fairly glaring, something that has only been highlighted by the new weapons (mainly Xavier Henry, Marcus Morris) that have emerged for Kansas this season, and are often far more aggressive than him.

Aldrich is the type of player who is best suited for having shots created for him, something that has happened with far less regularity this season according to the data we have at our disposal. He struggles to do much of anything if unable to establish position deep inside the paint, looking fairly mechanical with his movements at times and downright uncomfortable in others. He has a basic spin-move, a raw drop-step and a simple jump-hook in his arsenal, but lacks fluidity in his offensive game, is limited with his left hand and tends to just throw the ball up on the rim at times, hoping for the best.

Aldrich sets terrific screens and is a tremendous finisher around the paint in pick and roll situations and off simple drive and dish plays with his excellent length and solid leaping ability, but he doesn’t seem to be getting quite as many good looks around the rim as he did last season. He’s instead often being forced to create shots on his own in one on situations, which is clearly not his strength, as he doesn’t know how to use his body quite as well as you might hope at this stage, and he possesses just average touch and footwork.

Aldrich has yet to hit the 20-point mark in a single game this year at this point, and has been largely mediocre at times in Big 12 conference play. He doesn’t dominate even extremely weak opposition at the college level, which leaves many questions marks about how much of a factor he’ll be on the offensive end in the NBA. Watching his film, it seems like he lost a bit of confidence at some point in the season, as it doesn’t really seem like he always wants the ball.

The place where Aldrich may have taken the biggest step back is with his shooting. Last year he attempted 57 jump-shots, making nearly 50% of his attempts from mid-range, while this year he’s attempted just 21, hitting about 35% of his attempts.

Aldrich has always sported very unorthodox shooting mechanics, as the violent slingshot motion he shows, cocking ball way behind his back, was never going to be the optimal to get his shot off. While this didn’t affect his effectiveness as a jump-shooter last year, it’s really been a factor this year. His shooting woes have translated to the free throw line as well, where he’s shooting 11% worse (from 79% to 68%) than he did last season. While no one will be drafting Aldrich for his jump-shooting ability, the fact that he could make defenses work a bit more by forcing them to respect his mid-range jumper was an added bonus that he can no longer claim as a part of his repertoire.

As a defender and rebounder is where Aldrich continues to shine as a highly effective and NBA-ready big man prospect, one who could likely already be seeing minutes in most teams’ frontcourt. He ranks as the 5th best rebounding prospect in college basketball on a per-minute basis, at over 14 per-40 pace adjusted, similar to last year. His size and length allows him to go well out of his area at times for offensive rebounds, and he does a fine job boxing out on the defensive glass as well, something that should translate very effectively to the NBA.

Defensively, Aldrich has terrific lower body strength which renders him extremely difficult to back down in the post. This makes him a very useful player to counter against the type of old-school back to the basket centers (Shaq, Yao, Marc Gasol, etc) that are still found in today’s NBA, something that many teams just don’t have. He uses his outstanding wingspan very effectively to contest shots in the paint, being very fundamentally sound in the way he gets his long arms right in his defender’s face to deny good looks at the basket.

Aldrich is a much better pick and roll defender than you might expect relative to most centers in his mold, as he does a tremendous job of stepping out, hedging screens and then recovering effectively, showing nice timing, solid effort and good fundamentals in the process. NBA coaches will love this part of his game, as it’s the thing that most big men tend to struggle with the most, especially early on in their careers. His lack of lateral quickness will get exposed from time to time in one on one situations, especially when forced to switch on the perimeter, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue against most NBA centers.

Perhaps Aldrich’s biggest asset defensively revolves around his shot-blocking ability, where he yet again ranks in the top 5 amongst draft prospects, thanks to his terrific length and timing. He’s the type of shot-blocker who stays out of foul trouble, rarely goal-tends and usually keeps balls in-bounds on top of that, often showing the wherewithal to tip it to a teammate and ignite the fast break, which is a big plus.

While some may balk at using an extremely high pick on a player who projects as a very effective defender and rebounder and limited scorer, big men with Aldrich’s physical tools are very difficult to come by. Even though his upside may not be off the charts, he doesn’t have very much downside either, as you pretty much know what you’re getting here, which is an excellent all-around role-player, and an Academic All-American on top of that. A good NCAA tournament showing will help Aldrich enter the draft process with some strong momentum behind him, but teams should be comfortable at this point with the type of prospect he is.

Paul George 6-7, Sophomore, Small Forward, Fresno State
16.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.1assists, 2.2 steals, 3.1 turnovers, 43 FG%, 36 3P%, 91 FT%




Scott Nadler

Fresno State’s Paul George has steadily been climbing NBA draft boards since he broke out onto the national scene as a freshman last season. We were high on him a year ago and he’s certainly made improvements to his game – living up to the preseason hype that surrounded him in the beginning of the year. His versatility, athleticism and scoring ability are all part of the package of this highly talented small forward, and in a draft class limited with skilled wing players; George could be one of the best options at that position come June.

George has made huge strides from last season to this season, which is extremely encouraging considering the fact that he’s the go-to-guy on a struggling Bulldogs team and the focal point of every opposing defense. Despite all the attention, he’s averaging an impressive 20.3 points per 40 pace adjusted – getting the bulk of his points in transition and in spot up situations.

With a long and wiry frame, George runs the floor well and is good for a highlight reel dunk or strong finish at least once a game – which is one of his biggest improvements from last season. In ’08-’09, George converted a measly 39.3% of his shots around the basket. This year however, he’s finishing at a much higher rate, shooting a fantastic 55.8% at the rim, which dispels some of the questions regarding his lack of toughness.

He’s also increased his free throw attempts a game, albeit not by a considerable amount (3.9 FTA to 4.5 FTA), but it nonetheless shows his attention and focus to better his progress is in the right place. Furthermore, George has made a gigantic leap in his efficiency as a free throw shooter, going from a below 70% shooter from the charity stripe to making 90.6% of his attempts, ranking him 2nd in our entire database.

With that said, it would be nice to see George getting to the line more, and there are several reasons as to why he’s not doing so at a higher rate in his current state of development. Most glaring are his limitations as a shot-creator. He has average stationary ball handling skills and is capable of dribbling the ball on the perimeter at the WAC level, but when it comes to exploding by his man and getting into the teeth of the defense – he presently lacks that skill set. He plays a bit too upright and must learn how to play lower to the ground, which should enhance his ability to utilize his athleticism. Tightening up his ball-handling skills and improving his ability to create in the half-court will be a key part of his development moving forward.

Another reason is his love for the 3 point shot. George attempts 5.8 3-pointers a game, 6th in our database amongst all small forwards. At least one or two a night is of the settling nature – either an attempt early in the shot clock or a quick look in transition with no teammates in position to rebound. As his attempts per game have increased from 4.1 to 5.8, his percentage has dipped from an absurd 44.7% last season to 35.8% this season—a pretty dramatic drop-off.

George is not a very good off the dribble shooter at this point in time, but you would never guess that by the way he plays at times. He’s made just 5/28 attempts (a dismal 18%) of that nature in the 14 game-tapes we have at our disposal—showing how far off he is in this area. His talent level as a shot-maker should allow him to improve here down the road, but he should definitely try to avoid falling in love with his mid-range pull-up.

With that said, his shot is still one of his major selling points. He has an effortless stroke and unlimited range and in today’s NBA, teams are always looking for players who can help spread the floor. He doesn’t elevate particularly well on his shot, but with his excellent size, long wingspan and quick release, he doesn’t have a problem getting it off.

Another strong aspect of his game is in his ability to see the floor and his willingness to share the ball. With good size on the perimeter he can see over the defense and make difficult passes in the half court, averaging slightly over 3 assists a game which makes him one of the better passing small forwards in college basketball.

On the other hand, George averages the same amount of turnovers a game as he does assists. He can be very nonchalant with the basketball at times and tries to make spectacular passes on occasion when only a simple pass is needed. That nonchalant nature is consistent with his personality, which has raised questions about his on court effort. He tends to coast at times, just running up and down the court without great energy and not showing a real disposition to dominate the fairly weak competition he plays against in the WAC, something that obviously won’t cut it in the NBA.

As a defender, George has all the tools to be very solid on this side of the ball, but hasn’t fully put it all together just yet. He comes out of his stance too often and is unaware at times of his opponent’s strengths – backing off of a shooter or caroling a driver, suggesting he needs to pay more attention to scouting reports. Despite that, his length, anticipatory skills and quick hands have made George one of the nation’s leaders in steals, collecting over 2 a game.

Projected right now as a solid 1st round pick, it’s not unfathomable to see George creep his way higher up the board when it’s all said and done if he chooses to declare for the draft. Reminiscent of an [url=/profile/Al-Thornton-591/]Al Thornton or a [url=/profile/Wilson-Chandler-505/]Wilson Chandler, George has the talent, look and potential to be a successful rotational NBA player down the road.

Charles Garcia, 6-10, Junior, Power Forward, Seattle University
19.1 Points, 8.4 Rebounds, 1.0 Assists, 4.1 Turnovers, 9.9 FTA, 47.2% FG, 27.7% 3FG, 61.6% FT




Matthew Kamalsky

After causing quite a bit of buzz with his play during the first few weeks of the season, Charles Garcia tossed his name into the NBA draft earlier this week despite struggling to match his hot start down the stretch. Raising questions about both his play on the court and intangibles off it, Garcia has seen his stock decline considerably in recent months, but remains a highly intriguing talent that is worth keeping an eye on during draft season.

Last time we checked in Garcia, he was fresh off a three game stretch during which he averaged a double-double and a shade under 30 points. Standing 6-10 with a great frame, good length, impressive mobility, and solid explosiveness, Garcia’s versatility quickly placed him amongst the nation’s fastest rising prospects. His athletic tools are certainly intriguing from an NBA perspective, but his season has taken downward spiral since our last report.

Much of Garcia’s recent struggles, at least statistically can be attributed to two specific factors: his lack of playing time, his inability to adjust to the additional attention he’s received from opposing defenses. Garcia averaged 31.3 minutes through the first nine games of the season, but only 23.8 during Seattle’s last 22 games. After being relegated to the bench by Head Coach Cameron Dollar for a supposed lack of effort, Garcia’s teammates seemed to play better –the RedHawks went 5-1 in games when he played less than 22 minutes.

Seattle’s success with Garcia playing a smaller role seems indicative of the type of player he’s been all season. Extremely aggressive and never shy about pulling the ball out of the offense and looking for his own shot, Garcia’s weak supporting cast has allowed defenses to key in on the 21-year old forward and exploit his often overly assertive shot selection.

Though Garcia has taken a similar amount of shots per-40 minutes during each third of the season, his free throw attempts have declined precipitously as teams have adjusted their help side defenses to force him into jump shots and challenge the shots that he does take at the rim more effectively. Garcia has shot less than half as many free throws in the last third of the season than he did during the first third, but still manages to rank first in our database in free throw attempts per-40 minutes pace adjusted.

Always in attack mode, Garcia is not terribly discerning when defenses key in on him, leading to a great deal of inconsistency and some problematic habits. Still apt to take a contested jumper with multiple defenders around him, he makes himself a difficult player to play alongside. Creating little within the framework of Seattle’s half court sets, doing the majority of his damage operating one-on-one or in transition, and turning the ball over as often as any player in our database per-40 minute pace adjusted,Garcia will need to improve his ability to function as a roleplayer on the next level. In order to do that, he’ll need to polish his jump shot, be more active moving without the ball, and cut down on his turnovers to be more efficient as a slashes or face-up post player.

Most importantly, he must improve his recognition of things that are happening on the floor, and not just barrel his way into the lane the way he all too often does at the moment. Garcia’s basketball IQ is simply not up to par with his talent-level, something that became more and more obvious as the season moved on.

One thing that Garcia did consistently well this season was rebound the ball. His per-40 numbers have remained largely consistent, and his length and athleticism made him a productive rebounder against the competition he was facing. With a frame that could still get even stronger, Garcia will need to improve his effort level on the glass to have a comparable impact on the next level.

The same can be said about his impact defensively. Garcia already lost ground because of his lack of defensive effort, and while he shows lateral quickness on occasion and appeared to be a working marginally harder after he was benched, Garcia will need to improve defensively to compensate for the challenges he’ll face finding a niche offensively. He shows more than adequate lateral quickness, but his tendency not to get in a stance, lack of discipline when closing out shooters, and lack of effort limit his ability to effectively use his tools.

Moving into draft season, Garcia’s stock will be dependent on what NBA teams uncover when they research his background and how he performs in workouts. After bouncing around considerably before joining Cameron Dollar in Seattle, Garcia’s background may be the limiting factor on his draft position as his intangibles already limited his minutes down the stretch this season. His performance early in the season was impressive to say the least, as is his overall talent-level, but to compensate for his struggles late, he’ll need to show off his versatility and athleticism against his peers in closed workout settings, something that is more than possible.

Kenneth Faried, 6’8, SF/PF, Junior, Morehead State
17.0 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.6 steals, 2.4 turnovers, 57% FG, 58% FT




Joseph Treutlein

Posting very similar numbers to what he did as a sophomore, Kenneth Faried has just concluded another extremely productive season at Morehead State, leading the country in rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Faried also slightly increased his scoring output this season, continuing to show brief flashes of offensive development.

Physically, there’s not much new to say about Faried, an extremely explosive and reactive athlete who runs the floor like a deer and finishes very well around the rim. The majority of his scoring contributions come from his excellent ability to catch the ball in mid air and dunk it, either in transition, on alley-oops, cuts through the lane, or just getting open around the rim. He has excellent hands and the hand-eye coordination to go with it, catching and finishing virtually everything thrown his way.

The other area Faried provides strong contributions on the offensive end is with his unbelievable rebounding ability, as he shows excellent timing, positioning, and leaping ability in that regard. His motor is non-stop both in regards to rebounding and getting open without the ball, constantly moving, reading the defense, and trying to post up his man.

In terms of creating his own offense, Faried is still very raw, showing flashes of post-up and face-up ability at times, but nothing really at an NBA level. Facing up, he can put the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles in a straight line, where he has a good first step and rangy strides for a power forward, but can’t really do much else with it, not really having any change of direction ability with the ball. He’s not a very good handler in the open floor either, lacking fluidity and comfort with the ball moving at such a high speed.

In the post, Faried is incredibly reliant on turning left shoulder, strongly favoring his right hand and a right-handed hook shot in particular. He finishes decently well in the post at this level, but that’s mainly going against undersized fours in mid-major play, and it’s hard to project any of that translating to the next level should he remain a frontcourt player.

The biggest thing Faried could stand to work on offensively is developing his mid-range jumper, as he rarely puts up jump shots at all, and when he does, it’s often with very poor results. Considering the rate he gets to the free-throw line, that’s even more reason for him to develop his jumper, as he could add more offensive value to a team if he was finishing at a rate higher than 58% from the line.

He’s also a very poor passer statistically, garnering an assist on just 4% of his possessions, which is amongst the worst rates in college basketball at his position. That might have something to do with his role on Morehead State, though, as its unlikely that any NBA team would rely on him anywhere near as heavily on him offensively as his college team currently does.

Defensively, there are serious concerns about what NBA position Faried is going to play, as he plays almost exclusively at the center position in Morehead State’s 3-2 zone, virtually never allowing him to venture onto the perimeter and get into a perimeter stance. Given his athletic abilities, it’s not outlandish to think he could develop the lateral quickness to match against 3’s in the NBA, and that’s certainly something NBA teams will want to evaluate in private workouts, because at 6’8 with a narrow frame, Faried doesn’t project as a great defender at the 4 position.

Even in college, he is constantly pushed off the block by stronger players, struggling to maintain post position, forcing him to overplay entry passes in the paint to try and steal the ball, leading to some easy scores. As a help defender, Faried uses his length well both in the passing lanes and in the paint, blocking and stealing a decent amount of shots, though he doesn’t project as a big-time shot blocker in the pros by any stretch.

Looking forward, Faried probably isn’t going to develop a ton more as a senior, and spending another year playing the 5 position in a 3-2 zone in a low-major conference, giving him no opportunities to improve his perimeter defense, probably isn’t going to help his pro prospects much, seeing how that is the biggest question mark in translating his game to the NBA.

Should he declare, Faried should be firmly in second round discussions, and may even get some looks in the late first, as his ability to catch and finish combined with his dominating rebounding will both be seen as valuable assets, while his extremely high motor and intensity level are likewise appealing. The fact that his mother is battling health problems seems to make it more likely that he will put his name in this year’s draft, and it was reported that she would like to see him declare for this year’s draft (“he's ready to go.”)

Missing out on an NCAA tournament appearance (his team was defeated in the championship game of Ohio Valley conference tournament by a very good Murray State team) does hurt him a bit, as he could have used the exposure of a high-profile matchup to prove that he can compete against the elite teams in college basketball.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com matt.kamalsky@draftexpress.com snadler1@gmail.com joe@draftexpress.com .

 

Cole Aldrich
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 236 lbs.
Birthday: 10/31/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bloomington Jefferson
Previous Team: Knicks , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #11 in 2010 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.0 Pts, 7.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Paul George
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 214 lbs.
Birthday: 05/02/1990
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Knight
Previous Team: Fresno State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #10 in 2010 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Charles Garcia
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 232 lbs.
Birthday: 10/13/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dorsey
Previous Team: Seattle University , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
1.8 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Kenneth Faried
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 11/19/1989
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Newark Technology
Previous Team: Nuggets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #22 in 2011 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
22.0 Pts, 17.0 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


Willie Warren
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Birthday: 10/22/1989
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: North Crowley
Previous Team: Szolnok , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #24 in 2010 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
10.6 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 4.5 Asts


Craig Brackins
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 229 lbs.
Birthday: 10/09/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brewster Academy
Previous Team: Eskisehir , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #21 in 2010 Draft
by the Thunder
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
23.3 Pts, 5.3 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Xavier Henry
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 03/15/1991
23 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Putnam City
Previous Team: Lakers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2010 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Marcus Morris
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 09/02/1989
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Pennsauken Apex
Previous Team: Suns , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #14 in 2011 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
21.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Marc Gasol
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 265 lbs.
Birthday: 01/29/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Grizzlies , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #18 in 2007 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
32.0 Pts, 9.0 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Al Thornton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Birthday: 12/07/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Perry
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #14 in 2007 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
22.6 Pts, 7.4 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Wilson Chandler
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 05/10/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Benton Harbor
Previous Team: Nuggets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #23 in 2007 Draft
by the Knicks
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


© 2014 DraftExpress LLC All rights reserved.