H: 7' 1"|
W: 245 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 13||Agent: Mark Termini |
High School: Glen Oak
Hometown: Canton, OH
Drafted: Pick 23 in 2008 by Jazz
Best Case: Mehmet Okur
Worst Case: Esteban Batista
Koufos played much better in his second Summer League contest, making some nice contributions offensively. His jump shot is still a little off, but he got to the line at a high rate today. Koufos seeks out contact at the rim, but isnít strong enough to finish most of the and one opportunities heís presented with. The former Ohio State player did a nice job on the class, keeping possessions alive on a couple occasions by using his length to bat the ball back up at the rim. While heís more of a finesse player, the Greek bigman did most of his damage by being physical today. Defensively, his performance left a lot to be desired. He struggled to keep up with Atlantaís quicker front court, something that will be a concern for him at the NBA level.[Read Full Article]
Kosta Koufosí solid but unspectacular freshman year is near its conclusion, as his team looks like a long shot at the moment to make the NCAA tournament, and he will soon have a tough choice to make regarding his future. While a seven-footer with his tools would warrant a lot of looks in the first round, and heís coming off a decent season production-wise, Koufos still has much development to do with his game, which became apparent over the course of this season.
Looking at Koufosí game, there is certainly a lot to like, starting with some of his abilities in the post, specifically his back-to-the-basket finesse game. Here, Koufos heavily favors a right-handed hook shot and turnaround jumper, or occasionally a shot thatís somewhat a hybrid of both. With his good hands, touch off the glass, size, and ability to establish post position quite easily at this level, Koufos gets a lot of good looks in the 5-10 foot area. Koufosí post game is fairly limited, though, in that his repertoire doesnít extend much beyond here, primarily because he has no left hand to speak of. Koufos will rarely try to turn off his right shoulder, and when he does, it usually results in a turnaround jumper with his right hand at an awkward angle, thatís also prone to being blocked. No matter how close he is to the rim and no matter how obvious it may be that using his left hand is the best option, he simply never does it. This predictability about his post game leads to some problems as well, resulting in some of his right-handed hook shots being blocked by smaller opponents, because most teams know its coming. Koufos compounds things further by sometimes rushing his shots in the post or not fully following through on his moves, not getting full extension on his hook, resulting in some flat-looking shot attempts.
Also, while Koufos has a nice finesse post game, he doesnít have much of a power post game, as most of his moves are fading away from the post, which results in him very rarely going to the free-throw line. Of all the college players in our 2008 and 2009 mock drafts, Koufos ranks sixth from last in free-throw attempts per game, with four of the players behind him being wings and the other being a perimeter-oriented big in Connor Atchley. In that same player pool, Koufos ranks 12th from last in true-shooting percentage, once again with mostly guards and wings behind him. This kind of inefficiency and inability to get to the line from a player who spends most of his time in the post is a serious concern. Koufosí passing is also a concern, as his assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth from last amongst this same player pool.
Moving away from the post, Koufos has a very nice jump-shot from the mid-range, possessing good form and a high release point due to his size. His range extends out to at least the college three-point line, though heís only shooting 33% on 52 attempts on the season. Watching the tape, Koufos appears to be a better shooter than the numbers would indicate, and this is an area he could certainly improve his effectiveness with in the future. As for the rest of his perimeter game, Koufos will occasionally show a brief flash of the ability to face-up from the mid-range, putting the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles, but he struggles doing it when not in space.
On the defensive end, Ohio State plays virtually all of their possessions in a 2-3 zone, with Koufos being one of the protectors of the rim, and this gives him very few opportunities in one-one-one defense. As a help defender, Koufos is attentive and mobile and shows good timing on his shot blocks, where he uses his size well, blocking almost two shots in just 27 minutes per game. In man-to-man defense, Koufos plays solid in the post, maintaining his position and using his length to contest, while doing a good job staying in front of his man. His lateral quickness doesnít get challenged on the perimeter much, but he does a good job running out to contest the spot-up jump shots that OSUís zone defense forces. Koufos is solid on the defensive boards, but excels on the offensive end, where he does a good job getting behind the defense to use his size to pull in boards over the opposition.
Koufos may be tempted to enter the draft early this year, as itís tough to see a big man with his tools falling very far, but in analyzing his game, itíd definitely be best for his development for him to come back to school, where he could more easily improve on many aspects of his game. Among the things Koufos needs to work on are improving his left hand, getting to the free-throw line more, becoming a more efficient jump shooter, and continuing to make gradual improvements in all aspects of his game. Because heís not the most quick or explosive big man in the world, further developing all of these skills will be very important to Koufosí long-term success in the league.
The sizzling play in the U-18 European Championships that made Koufos a household name amongst NBA personnel has carried over to the collegiate ranks, where he has been downright dominant through Ohio Stateís first 3 games. Established as the focal point from the day he stepped foot on campus in Columbus, he has failed to disappoint with averages over nearly 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.
At a legitimate 7í1 and possessing a massive wingspan, Koufos has ideal size for a center prospect in todayís NBA. Although he is not an exceptional athlete, his length and timing combine to equal a nice shot blocking prospect. The frame that the Ohio native owns is perfectly suitable for a player only 19 years old, as he tops the scales at a solid 265 pounds with a frame that has plenty of room for growth, if desired.
Kostaís offensive repertoire is surely his main selling point, given that he possesses skills uncommon for the vast majority of seven footers on this planet. Able to shoot the ball with consistency out the collegiate three point range, he can expose players defensive liabilities through his immense skill set. When playing closer to the rim, Koufos exhibitís a soft touch off of the glass on many of the shots he attempts. He faces the basket and shoots 12-15 jumpers with regularity, semi-reminiscent of those of Spurs superstar Tim Duncan. On the low blocks, he has surely favors a right handed jump hook as his ďgo-to moveĒ. Given the extension that he shows off on his hook, it is no wonder that he is a nightmare to guard in the pivot.
The primary weakness that Koufos has on the offensive end is his inability to go left out of the post. He struggles mightily when turning towards his right shoulder, opting to still attempt shots with his right hand in situations that his left would have been much more appropriate. The former McDonaldís All Americanís lack of a left hand has resulted in his shots being rejected by much smaller players, something that shouldnít be such a regular occurrence for a prospect with such a remarkable skill set. Koufos also struggles a bit on the defensive end when guarding players who choose to face the basket, but this is not as big of an issue due to the fact that the vast majority of NBA cents play with their backs to the basket.
Koufos presently stands as the top center prospect that the 2008 draft has to offer, offering more production and promise then Georgetown mammoth Roy Hibbert. His package of size and skills leaves NBA scouts drooling, imagining how this inside-out big man could fit in their teamís offensive scheme. With the nationís top center B.J. Mullens coming in next season and the stellar start Koufos has had thus far, it appears likely that the Greek big man will bolt for the NBA after his freshman campaign and should wind up as a lottery pick if he continues at this pace.
With just a few days to practice with the team before the tournament started, Koufos made a sudden impact both on the Greek squad and the Championship, emerging as the most dominant player in the competition, a true colossus. He just delivered an unmatched combination of physical superiority and skills, taking an average group of players (not bad players, but neither remarkable) to the final, only to lose against Milan Macvan and the omnipresent Serbians.
Koufos shows an impressive build. He had reportedly been working very hard this summer, losing weight while gaining bulk, in order to show up at Ohio State this upcoming fall in the best possible shape, and you can tell heís done a fine job. He looks very strong, particularly in his upper body, while there doesnít seem to be much fat left and, therefore, barely any room to keep losing weight. As a result, he has showcased significantly better athleticism than advertised in advance. For a 7-1 guy with a great wingspan, he enjoys a very solid athletic profile, with nice leaping ability and footspeed.
The shooting reputation Koufos brought from Ohio was pretty much confirmed here. His jumper looks very solid from the mid-range area, out to 18 feet from the basket, but he seriously struggled throughout the tournament with the three-point shot (2/22 overall). Perhaps the further three-point line compared to the HS/college courts and the little time he had to adapt his game were the reasons, especially since virtually all his three-point attempts fell short.
Regardless, inside the arc he left plenty to drool about. Koufos' mid-range stroke looked particularly intriguing: shooting in turnaround fashion off post positions and going for the bank shot after a hesitation, almost a la Duncan. Heís not much of an off-the-dribble shooter unless heís trying from short distances. Indeed heís neither much of an off-the-dribble player, even if he can put the ball on the floor with both hands and attack his match-ups. Still, he struggles to completely beat his opponents off the dribble, as his first step is average and so is his quickness with the ball in his hands, so those are usually approximation drives that allow him to shoot from shorter distances, often using the glass or trying in hook fashion.
Anyway, if weíre talking about a 7-1 dominating center, itís pretty clear he has to display a very solid low post game, precisely what Koufos shows. He wouldnít likely be a top prospect otherwise. How comfortable and confident he feels down low, and how physical he can be there, quickly jumps to your eyes. It was a piece of cake for him to establish good position against his match-ups at this level, only suffering when the opposing team employed various pieces to float around him so he couldnít receive the ball. Once he receives, he loves to draw contact in his moves; actually he was virtually unstoppable spinning off his opponentsí bodies, which ended up sealed and unable to contest his layups. Showing extremely solid footwork, his very nice footspeed allows him to do the rest. He also likes to spin towards the baseline and quickly gain his opponentís back and go for the dunk or the reverse layup. But he doesnít need to completely beat his match-up in order to score; he enjoys a nice right-handed hook that he can deliver over opponents. In other situations, being close enough to the basket, he would just project himself over his opponent looking for a layup, but this is something he will likely not be allowed to perform at a top level. Still, the biggest weakness Koufos faces when trying to score near the basket is his absolute lack of a left hand. He never uses it, which wasnít a problem in this championship playing against kids, but will hamper his effectiveness in the low post down the road. We also have to mention his strong finishes of alley-oop passes. He can easily get off his feet to go for a powerful dunk.
All in all, the big fella shows nice poise and feel for the game on the court. He knows how to attack his opponents, which way to go, he nicely combines his different offensive weapons. As example, he was very smart taking Macvan out of the lane in the final and attacking him off the dribble to exploit his lack of quickness. And despite his huge point production, he passed the ball every time he wasnít in good situation to score, often when opposing defenses collapsed on him, then showing a nice ability to take the ball out of the low post, even using the weak side to find an open teammate, but also delivering some nice dishes from the high post.
Carrying a reputation of a mediocre defender, he made a good case to pretty much erase it, emerging as the defensive anchor for Greece in the paint. For many stretches during the game, particularly when he was fresh, he looked almost unbeatable, a huge wall that any opponent would crash into if he dared to come close to the basket. He showed very nice positioning on the court, always keeping the team defense in mind, with excellent timing and decision making going for blocks, and of course, completely taking advantage of his long and strong body. He was a real intimidator. Still, itís a pity that he never uses his left hand to block shots, which limits his effectiveness, especially once he faces tougher opposition. Anyway, heís a physical guy with enough lateral quickness for a center and a smart use of his athleticism. He was also a force in the rebounding area, using his length and strength to clean the boards. Still, he often wasnít that aggressive and physical to collect boards that werenít falling in his area.
Greece not winning the title was basically because they didnít enjoy a fresh Koufos for the whole game. Actually that was a pretty big problem. Averaging almost 35 minutes, with only 7 minutes of combined rest in the last four games (all against tough teams), he eventually looked completely exhausted. Particularly painful was in the semifinal against Lithuania, where he didnít sit for even a second, and ended up totally burned out and pretty much ineffective on both ends of the court for the last minutes. On a lesser extent (the coach granted him some rest), it also happened in the final. It was pretty usual that his first halves were significantly better than the second ones, greatly affecting the teamís result. Actually, his stamina might not be the best around. He was pretty conscious of this situation, and always saved efforts on fast breaks, using slowly jogging or even walking up to the offensive end. But it speaks volumes that in the meantime, his defensive transitions were always excellent. They guy seemed really committed to the game, a very serious player, a hard worker, and just a fine teammate to play with.
Ten days, thatís the amount of time Kosta Koufos spent with the Greek National Team before the Championship started. Only ten days to get to know his teammates, coaches and playbook and merge with them. And just ten days later, he started collecting the MVP award that credits him as the most valuable player in the tournament.
He's the big story of this championship, the great dominator, a wall in the paint, the kind of player who can elevate a team from average to contender. We're talking about Kosta Koufos, the guy who will have to fill Greg Oden's shoes next season for Ohio State. And while that's next-to impossible, the Buckeyes hardly could have done any better.
After the first two rounds, Greece remains undefeated with a perfect 6-0 record, obviously qualified for the semifinals. In the process they have not only looked like an extremely solid team, but achieved a very prestigious victory against France, in a thrilling game that Greece was losing by 9 points with less than 2 minutes to go. With France failing to control the game (again Antoine Diot disappointed in this regard), the Greeks came back to sail the one-point victory with a phenomenal block by our hero Koufos.
He provisionally leads the scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking rankings, with averages of 23.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. Pretty impressive stuff. He completely determines the game of his team with his presence, being the permanent offensive reference to score and open spaces on the perimeter, while being the defensive anchor in the paint.
Kosta Koufos has an up-and-down game, not really showing off the perimeter shot heís so well known for, and struggling at times with his touch and feel in the post. He did rebound the ball well, though, and his touch game around as the game went on, as he scored 14 points by the time it was all said and done.
In a game where post-up pivots donít usually get to showcase themselves, Kosta Koufos actually got a good share of back-to-the-basket attempts, though his lack of polish was evident on many of them. He missed on his first handful of attempts, sometimes badly, be it on lay-ups or fade-away shots from five feet out. It seems at times that he will just turn around and throw it towards the basket before getting a better sense of where he is in relation to the hoop and concentrating on putting up a more accurate attempt. In one sequence he missed a five-foot fade-away shot off the glass, then got his own rebound and badly missed the putback attempt as well.
As the game went on, Koufos settled down a bit and did a better job in the post, scoring on consecutive and-1ís at one point, one coming on a jumper off the glass from five feet out and the other coming on a lay-up at the basket. He also had one very nice move where he spun into a mini-hook shot from five feet out, doing so off of an offensive rebound. His other scores came on a transition lay-up and a wide-open jam near the hoop in the halfcourt, as well as by getting to the free-throw line on post-up attempts.
Koufos did a pretty good job rebounding the ball, using his positioning and size mostly, and also had one nice transition block where he ran the floor well to catch his opponent from behind. Defensively, Koufos didnít get to exhibit much in the halfcourt in this relatively sloppy game, and there werenít any post-up bigs on the other team that he got the opportunity to match-up with.
Kosta Koufos had a really nice game overall, showing off his inside-out offensive repertoire once again. Koufos started off the game strong, scoring on an easy lay-up in the post when he got good position, making a transition block, and hitting two spot-up three-pointers with ease. He missed his next three-pointer, but came back and made a nice turnaround jumper off the glass from five feet out, drawing the foul on the shot as well. Next he got another easy score under the hoop over the vastly smaller competition, and then put up a nice left-handed mini-hook on his next possession. After that, he got a few put-backs around the basket, but had some troubles when trying to go up with the ball in the post, getting blocked by the 6í8 Kyle Singler on one occasion and the 6í9 Blake Griffin on another. Koufos seemed to think he could just go straight up with his lay-ups around the basket against smaller competition at times, but heís going to need to work in some fakes and misdirection to consistently score around the rim at the next level.[Read Full Article]
Koufos did a nice job displaying his versatility and inside-out offensive game, scoring from in the post and behind the three-point line. He has a smooth shot for a big man, and hit some three-pointers here, but also hit from the mid-range, including on a nice 8-foot jumper with a touch off the glass. He had a bit of trouble in the post here, missing on a mini-hook, a fade-away jumper from 5 feet, a dropstep in the post, and being blocked on a lay-up on another attempt, but Koufos did a good job getting putbacks on his own shot, converting on about half of his misses on the second attempt.[Read Full Article]
While Koufos was not outstanding, he gave everyone in attendance a preview of the role that he will play next year with all of the pick and pop plays that he executed. He shot the ball consistently from mid-range, while knocking down two three pointers as well. He struggled a bit defending quicker power forwards, but he will likely guard opposing centers next year at Ohio State with defensive stopper Othello Hunter taking care of the teamís opposing power forward.[Read Full Article]
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DraftExpress: Glenoak had a bit of an early departure in the state tournament this year, losing in the final four after many had picked you to win the state championship. You had an outstanding year however finishing second for Mr. Basketball in Ohio. How do you think your season went individually?
Koufos: I thought I played pretty well. Obviously I felt like I could have played better. My goal this year was to try to make everyone around me better, which I feel like I did a pretty good job with. We took Glenoak to their first final four appearance in school history. I felt pretty comfortable with my season personally, and couldnít be more happy with the rest of my team.
DraftExpress: Given Ohio Stateís final four run, there is a incredible likelihood that Greg Oden declares for the NBA Draft and the strong possibility of Mike Conley Jr. declaring for the draft, you could possibly have a much larger role next year at Ohio State. Say Greg is goneÖ.what do you see your role being next year at Ohio State?
Koufos: I mean, Greg Oden and Mike Conley are great players, and Coach Matta was really fortunate to recruit such great players. Iíve just gotta do my best and whatever position he wants me to play, I just have to work on and hopefully we can win another national championship.
DraftExpress: Tell me a bit about the role that Coach Matta has specifically told you that youíre going to play as a Buckeye. Are you going to be more of a pick and pop guy, or more of a traditional low post center?
Koufos: More of an in and out guy. If I see mismatches that are going to utilize me that way. If I have a smaller guy on me, Iím going to take him down low and vice versa. Iím just going to try to cause mismatch problems in the college game.
DraftExpress: So Ohio State will probably run some high low schemes with you in the high post and Othello Hunter down low?
Koufos: I donít know. Weíre going to be running the four out, one in most likely. Itís a great offense and Coach Matta is a great coach, so Iím really looking forward to seeing what the college game is like.
DraftExpress: Tell me about your plans for the summer?
Koufos: Well, Iím playing in the McDonaldís Game and then the Jordan Classic. Then Iím going to do training with a couple of pro players like LeBron. Then Iím going to Greece to play with the 20 and under national team, and hopefully work my way up to the senior team.
DraftExpress: Now are you going to be with Greece for the U-21 World Championships as well?
Koufos: Coach Yannakis came over and saw me play. The head coach of the Greek National Team came over and saw me play. You canít jump. Iím an 18 year old right now and you canít jump all the way up to 21 and over. Youíve gotta be able to prove yourself, so I think Iíve got a pretty good chance of making it.
DraftExpress: So then this summer you will be playing with the Greek Under 18 National Team?
Koufos: Yes sir.
DraftExpress: Have you had the chance to meet any of your prospective teammates on the Greek National Team?
Koufos: No sir. I just read up on them, on the players on the Greek national team. Iím just going to go over there and try to make as many friends as possible.
DraftExpress: Now once youíre done with your time in Greece, are you going to head down to Ohio State early to try to get in the last session of summer school and begin training down there?
Koufos: Well in June Iíll probably go to Ohio State just to get a feel for it first and then Iíll go to Greece. Iíll probably be back in late in late August or so, and Iíll just go down there and start training.
Koufos yet again displayed his vast array of skills in a huge win over a tough Houston Hoops squad containing bigtime recruits Gary Johnson, Jai Lucas, and Isaiah Rusher. He was plagued for the large part of the game with foul trouble, but displayed many of the skills that have him ranked as a top fifteen player by virtually everyone in the country. The Ohio State recruit made countless excellent passes that coaches only dream of their 7'1 big men making, whether it be passing out of the double team or driving and kicking the ball out to open shooters. He showed off his sweet looking outside jumper, knocking down three or four from the fifteen foot range. The Greek big man has picture perfect form on his shot, and possesses footwork that most seven footers could only dream of.
Unfortunately however, conditioning seemed to be an issue with Kosta for the second day in a row. Multiple times throughout the game he looked awfully winded, and didnít run the floor anywhere near as well as he did in the opening minutes of the game.
This game also served as a nice test for Koufos, as he was forced to go up against the athletic duo of 6'7 Gary Johnson and 6'10 Isaiah Rusher. He went through the game without having his shot blocked, and played the best defense of anyone on the floor against the unstoppable Johnson. All in all, this was a solid performance for Koufos as he was able to hush critics who doubted his ability to score/defend smaller, more athletic big men.
The Greek big man had a pretty typical performance late Saturday night, scoring absolutely whenever he wanted, but having very little presence on the defensive end. Although he recently measured 7'1 barefoot (with a 7'5 wingspan), Koufos possesses the shooting touch of a player seven inches smaller. He showed off a wide array of soft jumpers off the glass, floaters in the lane, and sweet looking three pointers from the wing. The Ohio product also ran the floor incredibly well, resulting in a few easy buckets for the PF/C.
The three main things that Koufos must improve on were evident today, with those being his athleticism, conditioning, and defense. It is clear to any observer that the Ohio State recruit is an average athlete, although he owns outstanding coordination for a player of his size. Kosta seemed to be a bit winded at times, which hindered him on the defensive end. While he will never be a great defender, he still has a long ways to go before he is able to consistently defend power forwards (his eventual position) at the next level.
With that said, it is very rare that we see a big man as skilled as the big Greek product. His package of size, outside shooting ability, and ball handling hasnít been displayed at the American high school level in recent memory. With improvement upon his low post game and his defense, we will certainly be seeing Mr. Koufos shaking Commissioner Sternís hand at the NBA Draft by the time it is all said and done.