|DraftExpress: Top NBA Prospects in the Big 12 (#11-15) http://t.co/x5RlpmOK - Cameron Clark, Jeff Withey, Kourtney Roberson, Melvin Ejim, David Loubeau|
Iowa State, Senior
H: 6' 6"|
W: 220 lbs
(23 Years Old)
|Rank 24 in NCAA Seniors |
Rank 86 in Top 100 Prospects
High School: Brewster Academy
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
Player Page  | Player Stats | Related Articles  | Add to My Draft Express
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12, Part Three (#11-15) |
October 4, 2011
Though Toronto native Melvin Ejim was not a very highly touted recruit coming out of high school, he made an immediate impact for a rebuilding Iowa State program as a freshman last season. The young forward started nearly every game, finishing 5th on the team in scoring and 2nd in rebounding while shooting a respectable 49% from the field despite some extended bouts of inconsistency as he adjusted to the level of competition in the Big 12. With an infusion of transfers becoming eligible for Head Coach Fred Hoiberg this and next season, Ejim will need to carve out a niche in what will be a very interesting ISU frontcourt, while continuing to develop as a prospect.
Though it is far too early to label him a tweener, Ejim was clearly stuck between positions from a NBA perspective as a 20-year old freshman. Standing just 6'6, Ejim has less than ideal size for a four at the next level, and did not show a refined skill set in the post or out the perimeter while playing the power forward position extensively last season. The young forward could conceivably blossom into an inside-outside threat and see time at the three down the road as he played the small forward position in high school and spent a considerable amount of time roaming the perimeter in his first season in Ames.
Apart from his lack of size, Ejim has a fairly impressive physical profile. He has long arms, broad shoulders, and a strong frame that appears to have excellent potential for improvement. The Brewster Academy product shows great explosiveness off of two feet around the rim and excellent straight line speed in the open floor, but lacks a degree of fluidity when changing directions that limited his ability to use those tools to get to the rim as a slasher.
Ejim's lack of a clearly defined position is more a symptom of his raw offensive game than it is of his height. Lacking the ball-handling ability to create his own shot, refined footwork in the post, or a consistent jump shot, Ejim has a lot of physical tools to work with, but just as much room to improve his skill set. He was still able to muster some strong scoring efforts last season getting most of his looks in catch and finish situations, which he converted at an exceptional 59% rate according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Throughout his rookie campaign, Ejim struggled with his decision-making when forced to make plays for himself. Like most freshman, he appeared a bit green and tried to force the issue when challenged. He was at his best when he was aggressively crashing the offensive glass, getting up the floor in transition, and flashing aggressively to the rim when his defender rotated to help on one of his teammates. His jump shot seems to have some potential and he used his strength well when putting the ball on the floor, but it is clear that Ejim is still learning how to make things work on the offensive end.
Defensively, Ejim has just as much room for improvement. Lacking a degree of lateral quickness, he shows solid intensity and uses his physical strength well on occasion, but is prone to using his hands when beat and is still developing his fundamentals both out on the perimeter and closer to the rim. He doesn't help himself by overcommitting to whichever direction his man makes a move, and should improve dramatically on this end of the floor as the game slows down for him and he learns to go straight up in the post.
At this point, there is little we can definitely say about Ejim's NBA potential. He has a lot of things to work on, but was one of the more productive freshmen in the Big 12 despite his underdeveloped skill level. His athleticism is his best asset at this point, and he made some truly incredible plays above the rim last season, but he'll need to learn how to use it to his advantage in one-on-one situations to help define himself as a player and prospect.
[Read Full Article]