[Read Full Article] Top NBA Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences, Part 8: Prospects 14-17 November 6, 2014
The Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, Joel Bolomboy was invited to try out for Mike Fratello's Ukrainian National Team for the FIBA World Cup. However, a bone bruise forced him out of training, but will not be serious enough to cause him to miss time for Weber State. Bolomboy returns to the Wildcats fresh off a trip to the NCAA tournament and will look to lead them to a second straight appearance, despite losing their top two leading scorers to graduation in Davion Berry and Kyle Tresnak.
Bolomboy's strengths come from his physical skill set, as he is an explosive, high-flying and quick 6'9” power forward. He has an impressive wingspan, but is still relatively thin, which causes him to be bullied by larger opponents in the paint. He moves around the court well and has a high motor to complement his physical tools. He has a nice combination of length and quickness, which means he could likely hold his own athletically in the NBA.
Although Bolomboy has an impressive arsenal of athletic tools, his skill set hasn't quite caught up through his first two seasons. Bolomboy likes to post up but hasn't demonstrated the footwork needed to score on physically gifted defenders on a regular basis. He also isn't as physical as many players his size, which makes it difficult for him to gain position on the block. This forces him to start his moves from outside the paint, which leads to tough attempts. If he wants to become a better post scorer, he will need to get stronger and start playing more physically, while also improving his footwork.
When Bolomboy gets an offensive rebound, he is usually able to either finish or draw a foul. He converted 55.3% of his attempts around the rim, according to Synergy Sports Technology and was also able to shoot 5.9 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted, an impressive mark for a power forward . He needs to work more on finishing through contact, as his offensive rebounds and put-backs netted him only ten and-1 opportunities.
Bolomboy didn't provide much offensive value outside the paint, which he will likely need to do both as a power forward and someone who may not be able to handle the physicality of most big men at the next level. He attempted only sixteen jump shots according to Synergy Sports Technology and looks uncomfortable shooting with his long arms. While he won't need to become a true stretch four, being able to knock down a mid-range jump shot will help him draw defenders away from the rim and provide further offensive value.
Defensively, Bolomboy has the physical tools to be an impact defender, but struggled on this end of the floor last year against better competition. His court awareness and defensive IQ are below average, which puts him at a disadvantage from the start as he doesn't always see all of the action developing around him. He compounds this by not always being in a defensive stance, which takes away the impact of his physical skills, including his quickness, and leaves him vulnerable to dribble penetration. He only managed to provide 0.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted, very low numbers for a player of his length and quickness, particularly considering the competition he played against in the Big Sky. He did block 3.1 shots per 40 minutes pace adjusted as a freshman, so he did flash some potential in this area in the past. His lack of strength hurts him on this end as well, as he is easily backed down when guarding the post.
Heading into this season, Bolomboy is a player to keep an eye on because of his physical tools and his rebounding ability. However, he will need to show some skill improvements as well as an increased ability to play physical, which he will need in order to succeed at the next level. Bolomboy has a ways to go before he becomes a legitimate draft prospect but he has a nice foundation to build on going into his junior season. [Read Full Article]