|Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12 (Part Two: #6-10)|
September 4, 2008
After an excellent sophomore season that put him firmly on the NBA draft radar screen, Kevin Rogers may have taken a step sideways in his junior season, not really capitalizing on the added attention that came his way. Baylor as a team was much better than the previous year, but Rogersí numbers appeared to stagnate a bit in a slightly smaller roleóas his scoring rate fell off slightly and his field goal percentage dropped, but his rebounding improved and he managed to cut down on his fouls and turnovers significantly. All in all, he didnít have a bad season, but you just couldnít help feeling that he could have offered a bit more. Luckily for him, as well as Baylor, he is back for his senior year and will be scrutinized very heavily as one of the top big men prospects the Big 12 has to offer.
Rogers is always going to be fighting an uphill battle as far as earning respect as a serious NBA draft prospect is concerned. Standing somewhere around 6-9, heís not particularly big for a power forward, and he doesnít bring any one incredible skill to the table that truly sets him apart from the pack when looking at players at his position in the NBA.
Thatís not to say that he doesnít have anything to offer, though. For one, Rogers is a very good athlete, quick off his feet, even explosive, showing nice quickness, and capable of making all kinds of plays around the rim because of that. Offensively, Rogers is used primarily as a back to the basket post option at Baylor, which isnít his biggest strength, as he has just average footwork and lacks the size and girth to make much headway posting up inside against other centers, which often forces him to settle for difficult shots. He does do a good job running the floor in transition and cutting to the basket in half-court sets, particularly on pick and roll plays, where he shows good hands and the ability to maneuver his way inside and finish plays effectively thanks to his athleticism and strong overall offensive instincts.
Facing the basket is where Rogers could still stand to improve significantly. Left-handed, he isnít skilled enough to consistently take his man off the dribble from the high-post and make his way to the basketóoften instead just preferring to pull-up off the dribble wildly from mid-range due to his average ball-handling skills. His jumper shows potential, but is still too streaky to be counted on regularly-- he hit just 14 of 37 jump-shot attempts (38%) logged in 20 games, according to Synergy Sports Technology. He does have solid form and touch, though, particularly from 15 to 17 feet, so itís not of the question that he becomes more comfortable with his jumper in time, which heíll surely need to in order to take his game to the next level, both literally and figuratively.
Defensively, Rogers isnít quite as effective as you might hope considering that he will surely have to be a role-player at the next level. His intensity and awareness leave something to be desired on this end of the floor, particularly on the perimeter and defending pick and roll plays, while his lack of size and strength limits his potential as a post-defender inside when matched up against more physically imposing big men. At the collegiate level he is often athletic enough to regardless be able to make plays, but in the NBA things wonít be quite as easy. The fact that heís a very good rebounder statistically will definitely be a feather in his cap as far as scouts are concerned.
All in all, Rogers has some nice tools to work with, and is clearly not a finished product at this point in time. To make himself stand out as a draft prospect in his senior year, though, he will need to show that he has a bread and butter that teams can count on if they decide to take a chance on him. Right now he looks like someone that will probably need to play in Portsmouth and likely the NBA pre-draft camp, but a big season playing for a very good Baylor squad could help his draft stock substantially.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12 (Part Three: #11-#15)
October 13, 2007
An athletic forward from the Dallas area, Kevin Rogers built nicely on his freshman campaign by doubling his scoring average as a sophomore. Baylor will rely heavily on his production this season, due to their lack of experienced front court talent. Rogers isnít the type of player who jumps out as a great NBA prospect at first glance, but he does have the tools to make it worthwhile to keep tabs on him.
Rogers scores many of his points by picking up garbage baskets in the paint. A number of his offensive looks came as a result of offensive rebounds. The junior forward shows excellent anticipation on the offensive glass, and has a very quick second jump that allows him to rebound without the inside position. Physically, he has all the tools to help him as a scrappy player inside. Rogers has an explosive vertical leap, and a well built, but lean body that allows him to be both strong and agile.
As an option in the half court offense, Rogers scores the majority of his baskets by knocking down the mid-range jumper when left open. His accuracy in this area declines greatly when on the move, however, something he tends to try and force too often. Rodgers has yet to develop any type of consistent back to the basket game. On the low block, he tends to use the same spin move and fade-away jumper, which falls at a low rate.
Rogers could make a bigger impact in the paint if he chose to draw contact rather than settle for fade-away shots. The lefty forward seems too timid to aggressively attack the defense, and often loses the ball against bigger players in the post. It would also help if he made a better effort to get up and down the floor. For a big man who runs the court like a guard, Rogers rarely gets out and takes advantage of his natural tools on the break. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that heís in the paint rebounding, but he rarely leaks out when caught on the perimeter on the defensive end.
Defensively, Rogers has the tools to become a capable weak-side shot-blocker, but his anticipation and effort are lacking. To improve in this area, a better understanding of the proper rotations is necessary. As a man to man defender, he could use his body more effectively when fighting for position.
Kevin Rogers has the potential to possibly develop into a complimentary big man in the NBA, with his ability to rebound and face the basket. To reach his full potential, he must focus on tougher play inside and an improved understanding of how to play defense. Baylor should land in the top half of the Big 12 this season, and Rogers will certainly have his chance to shine against some very talented front courts. He has two years of eligibility remaining to prove that he can become a player that scouts must focus on.
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