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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC Part One (#1-5)
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations, Kyle Nelson - College Basketball Scout
October 18, 2009
In our first preview of this yearís ACC draft prospects we profile UNCís Ed Davis, Wake Forestís Al-Farouq Aminu, FSUís Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton, and Dukeís Kyle Singler.

As a reminder, incoming freshmen have been excluded from this series.

-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10), Part Three (#11-15)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12, Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10), Part Three (#11-15)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-10 Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#5-10)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#5-10), Part Three (#11-15),
Part Four
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10), Part Three (#11-15)


#1 Ed Davis, 6í9, Sophomore, Power Forward, North Carolina

Matthew Kamalsky

A consensus top-10 recruit, Ed Davis had the attention of NBA decision-makers from the moment he suited up for the North Carolina Tar Heels last fall. Though he didnít display the most polished skill set, after playing a small role for the National Champions, Davis was a potential lottery pick last season based almost entirely on his upside. Wasting no time in voicing his decision to return to school, the freshman positioned himself as a top-10 prospect for the 2010 draft and a player to watch in the upcoming season.

It isnít hard to see what makes Davis such a highly regarded prospect despite his lack of experience. Standing roughly 6í10 and possessing an outstanding wingspan, Davis displays excellent mobility and coordination for a player still only scratching the surface of his remarkable promise. Passing the look-test with ease, the only aspect of Davisí physical profile that can be considered problematic is his lack of ideal strength. Possessing a fairly narrow frame, it wonít be easy for Davis to add weight, but heíll have plenty of time to fill out as his game continues to emerge.

Though Davis averaged a respectable 6.7 points per-game last season, a number that will likely double this season with graduation of Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Ty Lawson to the NBA. Playing a purely complementary role, Davis showed the flashes of brilliance that one would expect from a player with his tools. Creating opportunities for himself by working hard on the offensive glass and being the beneficiary of countless draw and kicks from his teammates, Davis displays absolutely tremendous touch around the basket Ėsomething Roy Williams consistently took advantage of last season.

Though Davis will need to develop his lower body strength to establish position on the block at the next level, he saw almost 40% of his possessions in the post and shot 48.8% when operating with his back to the basket last season according to Synergy Sports Technology. Lacking a great deal of polish or much in the way of counter moves, Davis scores most of his points operating over his right shoulder, displaying good extension on his hook shot. Heíll need to improve his comfortable level with his right hand to avoid becoming predictable, but has essentially no trouble shooting over his defender whenever he decides to elevate. For a freshman post player with a lot of room for improvement, Davis looks smooth and decisive, two things that bode well for his ability to diversify his post game in the future.

While Davis already shows a natural feel for getting his shot off in close, he doesnít display much in the way of a midrange game at this point. Able to face-up and put the ball on the floor for one or two straight-line dribbles, Davis can get to the rim off the bounce when the opportunities presents itself, but he didnít shoot many jump shots last season, and will need to develop better follow through on his jumper to open up opportunities to use his other tools on the next level. Though Davis shoots the ball with an especially high release point from in close, his midrange jump shot isnít nearly as refined, featuring a long and inconsistent release that hurts his efficiency from outside of 12-feet. His ability to become more than just a catch and finish option in his second season will be an important factor in how he is perceived by NBA-types next summer.

Defensively, Davis has already taken some notable steps. Ranking in the top-20 in our database in both rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted as well as blocks per-40 minutes pace adjusted, the activity level Davis displays when working without the ball on the offensive end carries over seamlessly to the defensive side of the ball. Not the most explosive defender laterally, Davisís length is a tremendous asset to him defensively. Staying low and moving his feet well when defending the ball and stepping out on the pick and roll, the young big man still has a lot to learn, as heís prone to over-committing to help his teammates, staring down the ball, and recovering a step slow to shooters out on the perimeter. Still able to bother some shooters with his length even when he doesnít close out in time, Davis will show some good things on the block as well, doing a nice job going straight up to use his wingspan, showing good quickness, and solid discipline. As Davis develops his defensive fundamentals and awareness, heíll become a very solid defender at the NCAA level, but his ability to add weight will be a big factor in how easily he can make the transition to the NBA.

Ed Davis enters his sophomore year with a lot to prove. Though he shows some nice tools, his role last season was limited Ėsomething that will change considerably this season. One of Roy Williamsí top returns, Davis will be looked to for production and clutch play. His ability to deliver on both fronts, coupled with his physical development and ability to diversify his offensive game, will be key to his maturation as a player and 2010 draft stock.

#2 Al-Farouq Aminu, 6í8, Sophomore, Forward, Wake Forest

Having profiled Aminu this summer, weíll wait until the season kicks off to revisit his scouting report.

#3 Solomon Alabi, 7í1, Redshirt Sophomore, Center, Florida State

Jonathan Givony

After missing most of his first year of college basketball with a stress fracture in his foot, Solomon Alabi came back as a redshirt freshman and played an integral role in the excellent season Florida State managed to put together. With some solid experience underneath his belt now, NBA scouts will be looking to see if Alabi can break out as a sophomore and emerge as one of the most interesting long-term NBA prospects in the ACC.

Alabi stands out first and foremost at the college level thanks to his terrific size and length. He measured out at 6-11 in shoes with a tremendous 7-5 wingspan at the Nike Hoop Summit in 2008[/url], and has the type of frame that should be able to put on a good amount of weight, giving him no shortcomings at all as far as an NBA center is concerned. Heís not what you would call a terribly explosive player, but he is fairly mobile, running the court well and being capable of getting off his feet to finish plays and block shots.

Offensively, Alabi is not a huge scoring threat at this point, but he does show some nice characteristics that leave some room for optimism moving forward. The overwhelming majority of his offense comes within a few feet of the basket, where he is a fairly reliable presence thanks to his solid hands and decent touch, and can score some points with a nice looking jump-hook or just using his length and mobility to finish at the rim. He lacks the type of coordination, polish and feel that only comes through extended playing time over the course of a number of years, but did look more and more comfortable on this end of the floor as the season moved on.

One place where that seemed to show up the most was in his ability to face the basket, where Alabi displayed some small, but encouraging sparks of potential in his ability to step outside and knock down a 15-foot jumper. While no one should be running to call him the next Chris Bosh, it was interesting to see him confidently attempt a jumper from time to time, with mostly positive results.

Alabi is not much of a passer as you would probably imagine, garnering one assist for every five turnovers he commits. Once he makes his mind up about the move heís going to make, he doesnít see much else besides the basket, leading to some awkward moments where he avoids his left hand like the plague or is forced into throwing up a bad shot from a tough angle. Once he improves his lower body strength he should be able to do a better job holding his position on the block, and similarly, better upper body strength will make it easier for him to finish strong in traffic.

Probably the most positive sign about Alabi is that he plays hard and seems to have a pretty good understanding of the game, despite his lack of experience. Watching him play, you canít help feel like he wants to help his team any way he can, which is definitely not something you can say about many big men with a similar profile. The aggressiveness he shows on the court definitely bodes well for his future, and surely part of the credit for that should go to the coaches that worked with him both at Florida State and Montverde Academy.

The Seminoles were one of the best defensive teams in college basketball last season, and having an anchor like Alabi guarding the rim (if only for 22 minutes per game) definitely played a big part in that. His tremendous size and length makes him a huge presence in the paint, allowing him to change and send back shots on almost every possession heís on the floor. He averaged an impressive 3.7 blocks per-40 minutes pace adjusted in his first full season of college basketball, good for 10th best amongst all prospects in our database last season. He shows pretty good timing and patience staying home and not biting excessively on pump-fakes, even if he can always continue to make strides in this area from a fundamentals standpoint. He can definitely stand to get stronger as mentioned already in both his upper and lower body, but already displays a good activity level and a solid understanding of how to operate on this end of the floor. He also does a pretty good job of moving his feet out on the perimeter, looking capable of hedging screens effectively and recovering, which is a nice thing to have from your 7-footer.

As far as rebounding is concerned, its tough to argue with the 10-boards per-40 minutes pace adjusted that Alabi averaged last year, but still, there is reason to expect that he can continue to improve here as well as his fundamentals improve and he learns more about the nuances of going after loose balls. Alabi's disposition as a shot-blocker at times leaves him out of position in terms of securing the defensive glass, but this is a trade-off that his coaches are probably willing to live with. Still, it wouldn't be out of the question to see him raise his rebounding averages closer to the 11-12 rebounds per-40 range this upcoming season.

All in all, Alabi is a pretty exciting prospect who is bound to draw high-level NBA talent evaluators to every game he plays at. Heís nowhere near a finished product at this point, but is already showing enough potential in a variety of different areas, making you wonder just how much more he will improve this upcoming season. If Alabi continues along the same path heís on, itís not out of the question that he develops into a very high draft pick.

#4 Kyle Singler

Having profiled Singler briefly this summer, weíll wait until the season kicks off to revisit his scouting report.


#5 Chris Singleton, 6-8, Sophomore, Small Forward/Power Forward, Florida State

Kyle Nelson

Chris Singleton was not the best or most publicized player on Florida Stateís roster. He was not even the best or most publicized freshman. He did, however, start 34 of 35 games, and prove himself to be a valuable player on both sides of the ball while showing flashes of NBA potential. Now that seniors Toney Douglas and Uche Echefu have moved on, Singleton must distinguish himself on a roster that features projected lottery pick Solomon Alabi and one of the nationís top freshmen, Michael Snaer.

From a physical standpoint, Singleton is an intriguing prospect with the potential to play on the wing or in the post. At 6-8, with great length and a solid frame, Singleton has excellent size for the NBA. He is also a very good athlete, with the quickness and explosiveness to make his mark anywhere on the floor. While he is a combo-forward at this point, he will have no trouble physically adapting to the perimeter at the next level and, in the meantime, he has the potential to be a match-up nightmare this season.

While Singleton is better than his numbers suggest, he is anything but efficient on the offensive end at this stage and has a long way to go before being able to contribute at the next level. Singleton is at his best when he is shooting the basketball from the perimeter. Despite his mediocre percentages, he is a solid, albeit streaky, spot-up shooter, particularly comfortable in catch-and-shoot situations. He has a quick release and solid shooting mechanics, though he fades away after shooting the basketball. He shows good poise under pressure, but his range is questionable and his form gets worse as he gets farther away from the collegiate three-point line. According to Synergy Sports Technology, 58% of his offensive possessions in half-court situations were comprised of jump shots, and 84% of his jump shots were three point attempts. He must become a better perimeter shooter next season, which means that his form, range, and shot selection must continue to improve.

Outside of his perimeter jump shot, Singleton is very limited on offense, most notably because of his extremely poor ball handling ability. He has a quick first step, which combined with his athleticism and size makes him a very difficult match-up for collegiate post-defenders, but his inability to dribble the ball severely limits his effectiveness in this area. Similarly, he can only drive to the basket when he has a clear, straight path to the hoop. Next season, he should look to his slashing game more as scouts will look to see if he can better incorporate his physical advantages into his offense.

Also intriguing are the flashes of a mid-range game that he showed at times last season, including a pull-up jump shot that would be a very good addition to his offensive repertoire. Needless to say, however, his extremely shaky handle hurt him in this area, as does what looks to be an average basketball IQ, both of which are largely responsible for the 2.9 turnovers that he averages per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Singleton must continue to improve, though he is just a freshman and he has plenty of time left to prove that he can score efficiently and in a variety of different ways at this level.

On the defensive end, Singleton has tremendous potential, but still has some work to do. Considering his impressive defensive numbers, 2.3 steals per 40 minutes pace adjusted and 2.0 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted, it is remarkable how raw he is on this end of the floor. While his size, length, athleticism, and better than average lateral quickness allow him to guard players on the perimeter and in the post effectively, his lack of fundamentals and unrefined defensive awareness hurt him significantly. Most notably, Singleton bites for a tremendous amount of pump fakes, inside and outside, which compromises his defensive position as well as puts him in jeopardy of getting called for cheap fouls.

Similarly, it is important that he maintains his awareness on the floor and improves his understanding of Florida Stateís defensive rotations. Far too many times last season, he was out of position and left his man with space on the perimeter. He also is not nearly as good of a rebounder as one would expect a player with his physical gifts to be and developing his fundamentals, including blocking out his man when a shot goes up, is essential. Singleton does bring some very nice skills to the table, however, primarily his quick hands, quick feet, and good timing. He has the potential to develop into an even better shot blocker at this level, as he is a threat on the ball, from the weak side, and even while trailing his man. Next season, he must show scouts that he has improved on the defensive end because he has a tremendous amount of potential in this area.

Singleton was just a freshman last year, but he showed enough flashes to suggest that he is a legitimate NBA prospect. It will take time for him to develop his skills, primarily his ball handling abilities, but if he continues to improve, his name will begin to emerge in draft conversations. The key is consistency and efficiency on both ends of the court, and last year, he showed very little of either. This season, Singleton has the opportunity to legitimize himself as a leader and assume more responsibilities on both ends of the court. Scouts will be watching Singleton next season to see if he can improve upon his inconsistent freshman campaign and realize his potential with more touches and against stiffer competition.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com matt.kamalsky@draftexpress.com kyle.nelson@draftexpress.com .

 

Ed Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Birthday: 06/05/1989
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Benedictine
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #13 in 2010 Draft
by the Raptors
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
9.8 Pts, 7.9 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Al-Farouq Aminu
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 216 lbs.
Birthday: 09/21/1990
23 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Norcross
Previous Team: Wake Forest , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2010 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
7.2 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Solomon Alabi
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 237 lbs.
Birthday: 03/21/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Montverde Academy
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #20 in 2010 Draft
by the Mavericks
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 5.5 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Chris Singleton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 11/21/1989
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dunwoody
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #18 in 2011 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.0 Pts, 2.2 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Kyle Singler
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 228 lbs.
Birthday: 05/04/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: South Medford
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2011 Draft
by the Raptors
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
9.4 Pts, 2.6 Rebs, 1.0 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:
9.4 Pts, 5.1 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Wayne Ellington
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 202 lbs.
Birthday: 10/29/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: The Episcopal Academy
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #28 in 2009 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
3.2 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Danny Green
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Birthday: 06/22/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Mark
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #16 in 2009 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
9.1 Pts, 3.4 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Ty Lawson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 197 lbs.
Birthday: 11/03/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Oak Hill Academy
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #18 in 2009 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
17.6 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 8.8 Asts


Chris Bosh
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 03/02/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lincoln
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 2003 Draft
by the Raptors
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
16.2 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Toney Douglas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 183 lbs.
Birthday: 03/16/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Jonesboro
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #29 in 2009 Draft
by the Knicks
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
4.2 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 1.8 Asts


Uche Echefu
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 02/11/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Montrose Christian
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
8.1 Pts, 5.2 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Michael Snaer
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthday: 06/21/1990
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rancho Verde
Previous Team: Florida State , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
7.6 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


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