Media Day Interviews: Irving, Knight, Valanciunas, Leonard, Burks June 23, 2011
[Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: the 2011 Wing Crop June 22, 2011 Alec Burks unsurprisingly fares much better from a statistical standpoint, where his 0.987 PPP ranks sixth overall, and he uses 19.3 possessions per game, fourth most of all wings. Burks' aFG% of 48.7% actually ranks third worst in the class, but he sports an above average TO% and his 18.8% free throw rate is easily best in the class.
Burks' ability to quickly create shots is evident in his transition numbers, as 21.8% of his possessions come on the break, the highest in the class. Burks is a talented shot creator in the halfcourt as well, with 16.1% of his possessions coming on pick-and-rolls (1st overall) and 19.0% coming on isolations (fourth overall). Burks' 0.897 PPP on isolations ranks dead in the middle of the class at ninth, but given the defensive attention he drew, it's still impressive.
Another interesting note on Burks' isolations is the equal rate he drove left and right, having 53 possessions on the season going right and 54 going left. His PPP was equally impressive in both directions, at 0.849 going right and 0.963 going left.
The area Burks fared the poorest was certainly with jump shots, where his 0.734 PPS ranked dead last, hurt by his poor three-point shooting and reliance on long two-point jumpers. Burks takes more pull-up jumpers per game (4) than any wing player in this class, but converts just 27% of these attempts. He takes far less (1.5) catch and shoot jumpers, but makes these at a 39% clip, which leaves some room for optimism that he can at least develop into a decent set-shooter.
On the other hand, Burks ranked third in the class finishing around the basket at 1.242 PPS, and that doesn't take into account the ridiculous rate at which he gets to the free-throw line, where he gets a ton of easy points with his 82.5% shooting.
All things considered, Burks' virtues as a prospect is represented quite well in this sampling. [Read Full Article]
West Coast Workout Swing Part Two: Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball May 21, 2011 One of the most highly touted players here training at Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball, Alec Burks impressed us with his fluidity in drills, ability to put the ball on the ball on the floor in competitive player, and the improved consistency of his shooting mechanics with his feet set.
Unlike some of the other players here, Burks was the clear-cut star on his college team. Considering his high usage and productivity at Colorado, Burks has been working on adding some moves to his scoring repertoire and polishing the offensive tools he displayed regularly for the Buffalos. We saw some promising strides from Burks as we watched him go through extensive shoot-arounds, participate in two skill development sessions under the tutelage of Chauncey Billups, and play a few games of three-on-three.
Perhaps the most positive sign was the way he shot the ball in drills. Whether he was simply catching and shooting the ball from three or pulling-up off the dribble, Burks made a concerted effort to stay on balance and not fade in any particular direction. His efficiency declined significantly when he failed to do that last season and was one of the main reasons he shot just 29% from three-point range. It will help him immensely if he can bring a more controlled perimeter scoring arsenal to the smaller role he'll play at the next level, and what we saw at Impact was a step towards that end.
In the skill development sessions, we got to see Burks, along with Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Lee, work on a number of different spin dribble, step-back, and aggressive scoring moves under the watchful eye of Chauncey Billups. Burks was the smoothest of the three off the dribble, and while he didn't show awesome explosiveness, he proved in three-on-three competition that he can use his length and skill-level to get to the rim and draw additional defenders to open up easy opportunities for teammates. Unfortunately, the rules of the three-on-three session prevented us from seeing Burks take many jump shots under game conditions, but his play defensively was very solid and he looked good overall.
Amongst all the prospects we saw this week, Burks seemed to be the most comfortable in his own skin. He's not a freak physically, but at just 19 years-old, he's looking to improve his skill level and pack weight on his frame. With his versatility and length for a shooting guard, Burks's ability to translate the work he's done at Impact on his jump shot into whatever situation he lands in next season will be worth keeping an eye on.
[Read Full Article] Analyzing the 2011 NBA Combine Measurements May 21, 2011 Alec Burks (6-5 without shoes, 6-10 wingspan, 193 pounds) doesn't stand out in many combine measurement metrics on paper, but isn't below average in any category either. Perhaps the most pertinent comparison amongst shooting guards in our historical database from a physical perspective is former Stanford star Josh Childress (6-5 ľ without shoes, 6-11 wingspan, 196 pounds). Burks is slightly smaller than Childress across the board, but he's certainly in that ball-park, and has the smooth floor game and versatility to match. [Read Full Article]
NBA Combine Interviews: Jimmer Fredette, Alec Burks, Charles Jenkins May 21, 2011
[Read Full Article] Alec Burks Video Breakdown April 28, 2011 Sebastian Pruiti takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Alec Burks, with the help of Colorado game-film from this past season.
NBA Draft Prospect of the Week: Alec Burks March 1, 2011 Alec Burks was largely an afterthought when he committed to Colorado-- a skinny 6-3 shooting guard with limited range on his jump shot. Now he's a legitimate-sized NBA wing player and one of the best scorers in college basketball, not to mention the leader of a team desperately trying to make the NCAA tournament.
As an indication of how much he has progressed, Burks now ranks fourth in scoring on a per-40 minute basis amongst the top 100 NCAA prospects in our database,. It's not just the quantity of points he accumulates that intrigues NBA teams, though, but how he gets his offense.
Burks is a shot creator, a skill that is highly coveted at the professional level. Over two-thirds of his offense is generated by himself, be it in isolation situations, in transition or in pick-and-roll opportunities. He ranks in the top five amongst our top 100 prospects in free throw attempts, and (more impressively) is second overall in makes because of the stellar 82.4% he shoots from the line.
Capable of driving in either direction, Burks is a smooth yet explosive slasher with an outstanding second gear. He has excellent speed in the open floor and the body control and ball-handling skills needed to slither his way around opponents and get to the rim.
Burks is not yet a great finisher around the basket, as indicated by his sub-50% 2-point percentage. He must continue to fill out his frame as he struggles to finish through contact in traffic. He's a scorer through and through, though. He uses the glass nicely with reverses and such and has a knack for finding a way to put the ball in the basket, even in tight spaces.
Unlike most big-time scorers from small(er) colleges, Burks is a fairly unselfish player who is more than capable of making the extra pass. Even if he's often asked to be the one creating and finishing shots for his team (particularly late in the shot clock), he's a nice weapon to have in a half-court offense thanks to his solid court vision and good basketball IQ. When Colorado's starting point guard goes to the bench, Burks will man the position, which is a good indication of the versatility he brings to the table.
Defensively, Burks is somewhat of a mixed bag, but he shows good potential on this end of the floor. With his good size, nice length, excellent lateral quickness and solid anticipation skills, he has all the tools needed to guard his position successfully in the NBA.
He generally puts in a good effort on the defensive end, getting low in his stance and often guarding the opposing team's best scorer—and doing so effectively for the most part. He already ranks as the second-best rebounding wing player in this draft class (after Travis Leslie), which has to be considered a good sign.
With his narrow frame and lack of strength, Burks has some issues fighting through screens and will lose his focus occasionally, but based on what we're seeing there's no reason he can't be a good defender at the NBA level.
One area of his game in which scouts surely would have liked to see more progress this season is his jump shot. He doesn't take (or make) many 3-pointers—he's just 21 of 69 on the season from this range--but he is streaky from mid-range too, a place many Big 12 teams have forced him to operate from by taking away the paint with help-side defense. Burks has converted just 54 of 184 (29%) jumpers this season, largely due to his struggles shooting off the dribble (30 of 118, or 25%).
Burks creates good separation from defenders in the mid-range area, but he has a tendency to shoot off balance. He tends to kick his legs out on attempts and not square his shoulders to the basket. His shot selection also leaves something to be desired—he makes just enough bad shots to lead him to believe he should be taking more off-balance, contested attempts, but not enough to lead his team to a better than 7-7 record in the Big 12 thus far.
With his feet set, Burks shows nice shot-making potential, often just throwing the ball in the rim in difficult situations. The minimal arc he gets on his jump shot doesn't leave him very much margin for error.
This is an important factor in assessing Burks' NBA potential, as it's unlikely that he'll have the ball in his hands quite as often as he does at Colorado. If he can find a way to become a more consistent outside shooter, his transition to the NBA will be much smoother—something Evan Turner has learned the hard way as a rookie this season.
As we learned with Turner, whichever team drafts Burks will need to put him in a role that suits his strengths, alongside teammates that complement him. The learning curve Burks has shown over the past two years is intriguing, though. There's a pretty good chance he's nowhere near his full potential at the moment, especially given his late growth spurt and the fact that he's one of the youngest members of his draft class, not turning 20 until July.
In a draft that looks increasingly shallow at the wing position, Burks stands out with his shot-creating skills and scoring instincts. If he can convince a team that his long-range shooting won't be too much of an issue in the NBA, he'll be a popular name during the pre-draft process. [Read Full Article] adidas Nations Highlight Reel: Alec Burks September 3, 2010 Highlight Reel
NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/10/10 February 10, 2010 Matthew Kamalsky
An unheralded recruit from Grandview, Missouri, Alec Burks has been one of the biggest revelations of this season’s freshman class. After signing with Colorado in the November signing period back in 2008, Burks went on to win the Gatorade Player of the Year Award in Missouri, and has parlayed the development he showed that season into an extremely productive rookie campaign for Jeff Bzdelik’s Buffaloes. Not ranked by any of the major high school recruiting services, Burks is amongst the leading freshman scorers in our database and has emerged as a legitimate long-term draft prospect.
From a physical standpoint, there’s a lot to like about what Burks brings to the table. He stands 6’6 with a rangy frame that complements his long strides and solid leaping ability extremely well in the open floor. An exceptionally smooth athlete, Burks definitely needs to add some weight to his still skinny frame to improve his defensive potential, but already shows some promising physical tools that will only improve if he takes the time to develop his explosiveness during the offseason.
Burks’ physical profile and ability to play with pace have helped him make an immediate splash in fast break situations. With nearly 30% of his offense coming in transition according to Synergy Sports Technology, Burks’ combination of length, assertiveness, and ability to side step defenders make him adept at filling the lane in transition, creating an angle, and initiating contact. Burks gets fouled quite a bit in transition, and his willingness to take contact at the rim despite his skinny frameranks him 25th in our database in free throw attempts per-40 minutes pace adjusted.
When he isn’t leaking out to exploit defenders in transition, Burks finds his way to the rim in a variety of other ways. Capable of putting the ball on the floor in one-on-one situations to position himself to jump into his defender and get to the line, Burks needs to shore up his ball-handling ability to better exploit his body control and natural scoring instincts in the lane. He’s good at using subtle changes of pace and direction to create scoring opportunities, but needs to add some things to his game to prepare himself for the next level. A capable one-on-one player, Burks doesn’t work extremely hard moving around the perimeter on a play-by-play basis, but seems to understand spacing, crashes the glass well, and often finds himself in the right place at the right time around the basket.
While Burks has found instant success scoring at the rim, as evidenced by his 27 and 21-point efforts against Missourri and Texas respectively, he lacks the outside shooting ability that would make him a truly dynamic offensive threat. Capable of hitting shots when he can string together a few rhythm dribbles in place, Burks lacks fluidity in his long, slow release, doesn’t elevate well on all of his attempts, and subsequently isn’t a major threat to attempt or make many three pointers, hitting just 31%. Though he does show a high release point and compensates with a decent floater, which he often turns to in favor of stop-and-pop jumpers from the midrange, his ability to improve his shooting form will be key to future success.
Defensively, Burks is able to help his team on the glass and in the passing lanes with his big wingspan and pesky hands, but is very much still learning the game. Clearly not well versed in the aggressive type of defense Jeff Bzdelik wants from his players, Burks doesn’t get low on the defensive end, fails to make crisp rotations, and lacks the physical strength to keep his man away from the basket consistently. Burks definitely has his moments defending the ball one-on-one, flashing some lateral quickness on occasion, his fundamentals limit his ability to make the impact that he’s capable of having on the defensive end.
Displaying excellent body language on the court for a true freshman, Alec Burks has come a long way from the days when he was struggling to garner high major attention as a prep. If his improvement in the last year and a half is any indication of the trajectory of his career, there’s no question that he’ll improve his outside shooting and defensive intensity. If Burks can shore up his scoring from the midrange and perimeter, he’ll have the chance to climb up draft boards. Considering that he’s a true freshman, he’ll have all the time in the world to take those steps, making him a player worth keeping an eye on for the future. [Read Full Article]