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  • Roundball Classic Practices: Day Two

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  • Roundball Classic Practices: Day One

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  • McDonald's All America Game Practices: Day Two

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  • Las Vegas AAU Summer Tournaments: Thoughts from Day One

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  • Word on the Street: Redick's Back, Trade Speculation

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    Check back tomorrow for part two, featuring in-depth interviews with Adam Morrison, Rudy Gay, Ronnie Brewer, Rodney Carney, Patrick O'Bryant and Cedric Simmons.
  • NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (National Championship)

    Apr 04, 2006, 04:51 am
    Joakim Noah proved his worth as a potential top-3 pick with his overall play in the NCAA tournament. Al Horford shows more of the all-around complete package that makes him such an intriguing draft prospect. Jordan Farmar's team didn't win, but he did show awesome individual and team skills keeping his team in the game. Those and more in our final installment of the NCAA tournament stock watch.
  • NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Final Four)

    Apr 02, 2006, 06:39 pm
    A look at the prospects who helped and hurt themselves the most in the tenth and last day of action in the NCAA tournament.


    Corey Brewer plays outstanding on both ends of the floor, helping his team to the National Championship. Al Horford shuts George Mason down inside and on the glass. Jordan Farmar shows the poise and confidence of a true leader in dismantling LSU. Those and much more in our ninth installment of the NCAA Tournament stock watch.
  • NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Sweet Sixteen, Thursday games)

    Mar 24, 2006, 04:15 am
    A look at the prospects who helped and hurt themselves the most in the fifth day of action in the NCAA tournament.

    LaMarcus Aldridge bounced back to deliver a performance worthy of consideration for the #1 pick. Tyrus Thomas' defensive explosion makes you wonder if there is any player with more upside at the NCAA level. Shelden Williams again showed why he might be the most surefire bet of any player in this draft. J.J. Redick comes up with possibly the worst game of his college career at the worst time possible for him and his team. Those and much more in our fifth installment of the NCAA Tournament stock watch.
  • NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, Saturday games)-- Stock UP

    Mar 19, 2006, 03:35 am
    A look at the prospects who helped themselves the most in the third day of action in the NCAA tournament.

    Joakim Noah has himself another Andrei Kirilenko-type statline in a dominating all-around performance to propel Florida into the Sweet 16. Brandon Roy does the same for UW, but in much more discreet fashion. James Augustine appeared to be on his way to a career night but was stopped short in so small part due to his teammates. The Dukies click on all cylinders and all find themselves amongst many others in the Stock Up department.
  • J.J. Redick NBA Draft Scouting Report

    Mar 03, 2006, 02:36 am
    Strengths
    One of the most dangerous offensive threats the college game has seen in quite some time, J.J. Redick has mastered the art of putting the ball in the basket and has been rewarded by shattering countless team, conference and NCAA records in his four years of college.

    Redick became known on the national scene first and foremost for his perimeter stroke, despite the fact that there is now more to his game than just that. He is legitimately one of the best shooters the college game has ever seen. Redick’s mechanics are perfect, and absolutely identical every time; starting with his outstanding footwork, the way he squares his shoulders and balances himself instantaneously, the lift he gets on his jump shot, the incredible quickness of his release, and the beautiful follow through he puts on his shot every single time. There is absolutely no way to become the type of shooter he has developed into without putting countless hours of hard work based on pure repetition and understanding the physics of what effective 3-point shooting is based on. This will translate into well over 450 3-pointers made by the time Redick is done at Duke, tops in NCAA history. Redick is not only a volume shooter, he’s also deadly accurate, shooting around 41% from behind the arc for his career at Duke despite being one of the most closely guarded players in the country for much of that time. His range extends well beyond the 3-point line without losing much of its accuracy, showing the ability to nail some incredibly contested shots from 28 feet or more without changing his mechanics one bit.

    It’s not just his mechanics and range that make him so dangerous, but also the effort he puts in to utilize them that has made him so prolific in his NCAA career. Redick’s off the ball movement is a thing of beauty. He is one of the tougher players to guard in the NCAA not just because of his outstanding skill level, but also because of how hard he makes his defenders work to defend him. He’s constantly in motion moving off the ball, working the entire 25 foot radius around his basket from sideline to sideline which constitutes the shooting range in which he is virtually automatic with his feet set and an inch of space. He has worked extremely hard on his conditioning level, and is now able to run endlessly around the floor for 37 minutes per game on average without tiring. He uses screens incredibly well (much like Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton) and understands the right angles to take, the sharp cuts he needs to make and having the perfect timing to execute the plays run for him to perfection to free himself up. His specialty is coming off a screen on the baseline, catching the ball from behind the left part of the 3-point line, leaping in the air and turning towards the basket simultaneously while releasing and swishing his shot in one fluid motion. Redick is just an extremely intelligent player who understands the game and has figured out how to maximize his time within it.

    Beyond just being a threat from behind the 3-point line, Redick has also mastered the art of the mid-range shot which compliments his outside shooting proficiency so well. Because it takes him such little space and time to get his deadly shot off, he’s guarded about as closely as anyone in the NCAA, usually being the focal point of the opposing team’s defense. What Redick will do to counter that is use an impressive arsenal of head, shot and body fakes (which obviously have a ton of credibility) to get his man off-balance and drive right by him. He then is able to stop on a dime, elevate quickly while fading away left, right, backwards, forwards or straight up to knock down the mid-range jumper from anywhere inside the arc. This part of his game has become a deadly part of his arsenal in his senior year, to the point that he has to rely on his outside shot only for about half of his field goal attempts, as opposed to nearly 2/3rds of the time as a freshman or sophomore. His ball-handling has improved enough he can make his way to the basket effectively without much trouble, either to finish himself with a nifty layup off the glass or find the open man on the drive and dish if the paint is too crowded for his liking. In his senior year Redick is shooting an outstanding 50% from the field and 43.4% of his outside shots at the time of this report.

    To back up just how much more versatile Redick’s offense has become, he gets to the free throw line almost 8 times per game, compared with just 3.3 times as a freshman and 4.0 as a sophomore. For comparison’s sake, uber-athlete Rodney Carney goes to the line 3.5 times per game, Brandon Rush is there 2.25 times, and similarly sized Randy Foye is there 5 times per.

    Once he gets to the free throw line, Redick is about as close to automatic as you can get. He will likely finish as the all-time best free throw shooter in NCAA history if he continues at his current pace. At the time of this report (March 1) he was still on track to break Gary Buchanan’s record of 91.3%, with Redick sporting a 92% average himself. His effectiveness from the line has dropped a bit this season as the minutes and attempts have piled up, but at 88% he’s still world-class.

    Redick is a pretty good passer, generally being an unselfish player who knows his limitations and understands his teammates’ strengths enough to not abuse his offense. He doesn’t make many mistakes and has shown the willingness and ability to make the extra pass and coexist within a highly structured offense. You will rarely see him take a bad shot, or at least one that he is not capable of making more often than not.

    In terms of intangibles, you know what you are going to get every night with Redick, and that is maximum effort and consistency. He’s scored 18 or more points a game in all but two games this season so far, and has put up 30 or more in half of his games, hitting 40+ three times on the way. He has an outstanding work ethic and by all accounts appears to be an excellent teammate both on and off the floor. His leadership skills look very strong, leading by example with the impressive way he carries himself, but also not being afraid to get on his younger teammates when they don’t execute. Redick is a clutch player who wants the ball in his hands at the end of games, and his shown absolutely no fear of taking the last shot with the clock running down.

    He shows some veteran savvy that will work well for him once his credibility is established with NBA refs, already using the Reggie Miller trademarked scissor kick leg action to draw fouls when he’s being heavily contested. He is usually the most intense player on the floor, playing the game with a ton of passion, but not letting this allow him to get out of control and lose his focus for getting the win. No player in the NCAA has been more abused in his career both by opposing fans and players who try to get under his skin with insults and cheap shots, but Redick has the mental toughness to not let any of this phase him.

    He plays for who many consider to be the best coach in the NCAA in Mike Krzyzewski, at one of the top programs in the country at Duke. During his four years in college he’s garnered as much experience winning games and playing in pressure situations as a player conceivably can in an NCAA career.
  • Raymond Felton NBA Draft Scouting Report

    May 16, 2005, 04:27 am
    Strengths
    Raymond Felton possesses tremendous speed and quickness. With or without the ball, he is one of the fastest guards in the country, college or pro. His explosive quickness allows him to beat defenders off the dribble and dash past defenders in the open court. He can change speeds in an instant and is rarely caught off balance. On the break, he has the ability to rise above the rim and finish strong due to his great vertical. Felton makes up for any lack of size or strength with his superior athleticism. He has shown during his career at North Carolina that he is extremely tough and resilient and able to play through injuries, which were many. Felton never missed a game in college due to injuries.

    Felton is a fantastic ball handler, probably the best in the draft. He can get anywhere on the court at any time. Coupled with his relentless attacking style this puts constant pressure on the defense. Felton has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble either to his left or right and does so often. Once in the paint he can finish at the rim with either hand. His speed and ball handling skills make him almost impossible to press against. He splits defenders with ease, using a low fast dribble to his advantage. He always dribbles with his head up looking for open teammates ready to dish at any moment.

    Felton is a rare breed these days. He is a true pass first point guard looking to get his teammates involved before looking for his own offense. He has incredible court vision and sees things develop long before they are there. On the break he is deadly. He can make difficult passes look easy and is not scared to make those passes, even in traffic. After beating his man off the dribble he does a great job of drawing defenders then dumping the ball off to open teammates in the paint. Despite all his passing skills, Felton is not a showboat and does not make unnecessary, flashy passes. He gets the right person the ball, in rhythm, at the right time.

    When Felton needs to score he can and he showed it throughout North Carolina's title run. His jump shot has improved drastically from last season to this season, going from 31% to 44% (70 out of 159) on 3 point attempts. He is now showing good form with his elbow tucked in, solid follow-through with his hand and good rise and lift going straight up. He has stopped the unnecessary drifting and fading that plagued him during his first two years at North Carolina. Felton is no longer a liability from behind the arc.

    On defense, Felton is a tireless worker, showing great energy, desire and anticipation. He has incredibly quick hands which allow him to get to many errant passes or loose balls. He also has exceptionally quick feet and he knows how to get position, which makes him tough to beat off the dribble. His speed, quickness and athletic ability also allow him to guard opponents far from the basket. Felton is a very aggressive defender, often gambling for steals in the passing lanes, although much of this was due to Roy Williams' defensive philosophy. Despite his aggressiveness, Felton does a good job of avoiding fouls. He only fouled out of one game his junior year. Felton also played man to man almost exclusively at North Carolina, which should give him a head start over some guards.

    Felton has certain traits that you just can't teach. He is a natural leader, he is very competitive and he is a clutch performer, rising to accept any challenge. He's been a winner at every stage in his basketball career. In high school he won back to back state titles. He scored 45 points in the championship game his senior year. Now you can add a college national championship to that resume.
  • Chris Paul NBA Draft Scouting Report

    Apr 16, 2005, 07:45 pm
    Strengths
    Dynamic, Explosive, Electric, Dominantonly a few of the words used to describe Chris Paul's game. Paul is one of the better all-around PG prospects to come along in the past decade, and there isn't much about his game that isn't a strength.

    The first thing you notice about Paul is his explosiveness with the ball. There really isn't anybody that can stop him from getting to the basket, with his dynamite first step and ability to get the ball above the rim before shot blockers can alter it.

    Furthering this strength is Paul's ability to recognize offensive opportunities and exploit them. He understands how to get by defenders on the break, and is relentless at pushing the ball and getting to the basket. If he sees a potential help defender slacking, he will be at the rim before that defender realizes what is happening. Paul is a master of things like splitting defenders, and changing pace to gain that miniscule opening he needs.

    While he certainly has the open court speed of a TJ Ford, Dee Brown, or Raymond Felton, none of those point guards break down the defense off the dribble and consistently get to the basket as effectively as Chris Paul.

    As a floor general, Paul might not quite have the creativity of the truly great pass-first point guards, but he runs an offense effectively and is very efficient with the ball. Paul has incredibly quick hands, as his nearly 2.5/1 assist-to-turnover ratio would indicate. At Wake Forest, Paul ran an offense full of players that needed consistent shots, and always shared the ball quite nicely. He understands tempo, distributes the ball in an intelligent fashion, and always finds the open man.

    Some might question why a player of Paul's obvious talents only averaged 15 points per game, and was so inconsistent as a scorer on a night-by-night basis. Rest assured that this is only because of Paul's role as a distributor, and the fact that he played on a team with numerous other capable scorers.

    In addition to his ability to break down defenses off the dribble, Paul has developed into a great outside shooter, hitting 47% of his 3-pointers this season. He can score in a variety of ways, whether it set shots from the outside or acrobatic, floating drives from the mid-range.

    Paul has developed a reputation as a clutch player, and always steps up against big competition. He scored 50 points in two games against Duke this season, and had 27 against UNC and Raymond Felton early in the ACC slate. Paul seems to understand when his team needs a big scoring performance, or even simply a big basket. He will always step up his scoring output in these situations.

    While his team ended up losing, Paul's performance down the stretch against West Virginia in the second round of the NCAA tourney typifies the kind of player that he is. While the Mountaineers kept finding ways to hit big shots, Paul nearly single-handedly matched them, basket for basket, before he fouled out.

    Finally, Paul is the consummate competitor on the floor. While this desire to win sometimes causes him to take things too far, he leaves it all out on the court every time, and oftentimes simply wills his team to a victory.

    It's hard not to get excited about a player that is so complete in doing what he can to get a win.
  • Draft prospects in the Albuquerque bracket

    Mar 14, 2005, 04:09 am
    The tournament field is set, and Draftcity is here to tell you all you need to know about the top prospects in the Albuquerque region, where they rank in the eyes of the scouts and what they need to do in the tournament to improve their stock. Washington, Wake Forest and Gonzaga headline this bracket.
  • Alan Anderson NBA Draft Scouting Report

    Mar 13, 2005, 04:32 pm
    Strengths
    Anderson is a physical, strong SG/SF that likes to post up and can defend with toughness. He is very good at scoring in the post for a guard, thanks to a very solid back to the basket game, and a surprisingly effective short hook shot. He is a strong finisher close to the hoop and knows how to use his physical strength to his advantage.

    He has improved his outside range over his career and is a moderately good outside shooter at this point. He's not a great shooter, but he can shoot from deep and usually makes them if he is left open. He has a very good touch around the basket and in the post is where he is most dangerous on offense.

    Anderson has very good hands; if he gets position down low, he just vacuums the ball into his grasp. He usually makes good decisions and if he has the mismatch against a smaller guard, he will take advantage of it.

    On offense, Michigan State sometimes uses Anderson as the PG and that shows that he has some versatility and can handle the basketball. He is not a true PG, but he does have ball-handling skills and can set up his teammates if asked to.

    Anderson is a very good leader as well; he has been one of the hardest working players on Michigan State over the past four seasons. He is an intense, fiery competitor that gets along with his teammates but also expects the best out of them as well. He has a history of making big shots throughout the season and is not afraid to take the big shot if he needs to.
  • Brandon Bass NBA Draft Scouting Report

    Sep 12, 2004, 03:39 pm
    Strengths
    Brandon Bass is considered to be one of the premier Freshman Power Forwards coming into the NCAA this year. He has all the skills you could ask for out of a PF and he is developing other skills that could make him more of a perimeter threat as well. He has a very bright future ahead of him and if he continues to work hard he will be a first round draft pick when he decides to come out. The first thing his coaches will tell you about him is that he's an extremely hard worker and a very motivated young man. Everyone that's worked with him agrees that he is a very coachable player and strives to do all he can to get better as a player. He takes his academics very seriously and was named student athlete of the month in December. You would never guess that he is only 18 years old. He has a solid NBA body, big soft hands and a nice wingspan which allows him to play bigger then his height. He's getting a ton of minutes and playing a big role in LSU's offense already in his freshman year. He has no problem playing 30+ minutes a game because he keeps himself in excellent shape. He rarely gets more then 5 minutes of rest in an entire game and he seems to have no problem with that whatsoever. Bass made a name for himself in high school mostly by being a force in the paint. He blocks a lot of shots and rebounds extremely well. He knows how to establish position in the paint and box his man out for the rebound on both ends of the court. He's very hard to move out of the low blocks once he's established position. Very good upper body strength. Even though he is very big and bulky he is a mobile player, runs up and down the court extremely well and can get off the floor in a second to catch the alleyoop pass and throw it down. He's a very good athlete and he uses his skills well. Bass was a late bloomer, started growing pretty late and you can tell that he was used to being more of a perimeter type player up until his final years of high school. He'll sometimes step out of the paint and attack the basket off the dribble or pull up for the 15 footer. His jump shot is getting better everyday, if this trend continues he will be an extremely tough player to guard on any level. He is already an excellent free throw shooter by all standards and that might imply that he has what it takes to become a solid outside shooter down the road as well. We're not talking 3 point range here but more of a 16-18 foot jump shooter like Chris Webber or Jermaine O'neal. We'll see how that comes along. He's got a beautiful shooting stroke for a big man right now and all it will take probably is a lot of hard work to get where he needs to be.

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