Tag Archives: Reggie Jackson

Coaches Facing Uphill Battles : Toughest Assignments for 2012

When ESPN and Sports Illustrated start handing out their Coach of the Year awards late in March or April, typically they are handed out to one of two types of coaches: a big name coach leading a powerhouse to an exceptional record or a coach on the rise leading a non-traditional power to new heights. The awards are great recognition for coaches who undoubtedly have done a tremendous job with their respective teams. But more often than not, they aren’t the coaches doing the best job coaching that season. The awards are earned from compiling a couple good years of recruiting together and developing players over time; not for just their successful records that year.

But if you want to really look for the best coaching jobs of the individual season, you need to start looking at the bottom of the barrel. Look at the squads who have almost no returning talent in the power conferences, where legendary coaches are on the opposing bench two to three times a week. Graduation, transfers, and early entrants to the NBA draft can leave coaches with rosters full of question marks. When expectations are at their lowest, that’s when a great coach can really make his mark and show his excellence in his craft. Finishing in with a .500 record might not mean a lot to the national audience, but the basketball junkies will recognize a job very well done.

With that said, let’s look at some coaches who will be trying to prove all those preseason prognosticators wrong.

Steve Donahue, Boston College 

Donahue will have to lead a young BC squad against the heavyweights of the ACC this year.

Here’s all you need to know about the daunting task Steve Donahue is facing this year: his top returning scorer is preferred walk-on Danny Rubin (4.1 PPG), who saw his playing time diminish in the middle of the ACC regular season. With Reggie Jackson’s early departure to the NBA and the graduation of six seniors, Donahue will realize how bare Al Skinner left the cupboard. Along with Rubin, guard Gabe Moton and junior Oregon-transfer Matt Humphrey will be the welcoming seven scholarship freshmen and a few other walk-ons. Although some of the freshmen will certainly be talented, Jeff Bzedlik learned last year how hard it is to compete in the ACC with a young, inexperienced Wake team. If Donahue can get this group to win more than five ACC games and show player development throughout the season, most Eagles fans will be thrilled.

Ed Cooley, Providence

A native of Providence, Cooley will try to resurrect the Friars and make them relevant in the Big East again. Losing first-round pick Marshon Brooks to graduation leaves quite a scoring gap for Ed Cooley’s young team and will be the reason most pundits are down on Providence. Throw in guard Duke Mondy being released from his scholarship and most will expect another bottom half finish for the Friars. But guards Gerald Coleman and Vincent Council have shown flashes of their talent and potential. But the Friars inability to consistently play team defense cost them in Big East play (8-28 Big East record previous two years) and ultimately Keno Davis his job. Cooley will be looking to build an identity that the Friar faithful can rally around and hopefully inject some life into the floundering program.

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NBA Draft: Mock 3.0

The NBA Draft is now less than 24 hours away and we here at Every Month Should be March wanted to take one last stab at predicting this year’s outcome.

After two attempts to lock down this year’s draft class — taking an in depth look at teams needs, player ratings and scouts opinions — we have finally compiled all our thoughts into one Final Mock Draft.

Consensus #1 Overall, Kyrie Irving, leads us off but after that it’s about any bodies guess as who will be taken.

So, take a trip with us here at EMM and find out who our experts are predicting your team will select…

MOCK DRAFT 3.0:

  1. Cleveland CavaliersKyrie Irving, PG, Duke: The rumors have already begun that the Cavs have committed to Kyrie Irving, confirming what the vast majority of draft pundits have suspected. Irving has a lot to prove after missing most of his only season at Duke. Still, most believe that he is one of two players in this draft with any potential to be consistent all-star selections. Irving wins out because the league is becoming a point guard dominated league. (Mayo) 

 2. Minnesota Timberwolves Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona: With Kyrie going 1 overall, it’s pretty much a sure thing that Williams goes to the Wolves here. Long, athletic and good upside he could be a great addition to Kevin Love in the front court. He would also make Beasley an expendable commodity. Any takers? (Luke)

Brandon Knight will be ecstatic if Utah calls his name at number 3.

  3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky: Everyone has Irving and Williams going 1-2. After that, no one is quite sure yet between Knight and Kanter. I have doubts whether the Devin Harris will actually be anything more than what he is (a starting point guard for a lottery team). Knight is the pick as they try and replace Deron Williams. (Giblin)

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, PF/C, Kentucky, C, Turkey: Kanter gets taken 4th overall but maybe won’t fall this far. Utah is strongly considering him with the 3rd pick. If that is the case, Tristan Thompson may be the pick here (a reach). But for now we are giving the Cavs Kanter. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are considered the only blue chip prospects in this draft, but Kanter is the top player of the next tier. This would be a coup for the Cavs.
(Dalton)

5. Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard, SF, SDSU: Some believe that the Raptors might go point guard with this pick, but I contend that they give Jerryd Bayless a shot at running the show. They have a big need for a swingman who can defend and provide some toughness to a team who definitely was lacking in that category last season. (Mayo)

6. Washington Wizards – Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic: The lengthy swingman is probably the most polished foreigner in this year’s draft class. If Leonard isn’t available here or unless the Wiz move up a few spots, Vesely is the best option and could be tossed into the starting lineup right away. (Luke)

7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker, PG, Uconn: Rumor has it the Maloofs want Jimmer, but Kemba is the better player and can sell tickets too. With Walker running the point, Tyreke Evans can move to the 2 where he’s a better fit. (Giblin)

Long, athletic, everything teams are looking for in a 2-guard, right?

8. Detroit Pistons – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado: The Ben Gordon experiment (and his contract) has not exactly payed big dividends for the Pistons. With a solid foundation of Greg Monroe at the post, the Pistons need to look to get younger. Burks is a good start. (Dalton)

  9. Charlotte Bobcats – Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas: Thompson is one of the better all-around players in this draft. He can guard multiple positions, is a versatile scorer, and hits the boards on both ends. He doesn’t jump out of the gym, but he plays with a blue collar attitude. Charlotte might see higher upside elsewhere, but they can’t afford to whiff on these top-ten picks. Thompson doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game and should provide some stability. (Mayo)

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania: Sure, Valanciunas won’t be playing in the NBA next season, but come 2012-13 Andrew Bogut may also not be on the Bucks roster anymore. He may have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft. Look for a team to grab him in the top-10 regardless of contract issues. (Luke)

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Draft Debates: Reggie Jackson vs. Charles Jenkins

This draft is plenty heavy on point guards and there’s plenty of fringe first-rounders to be analyzed. But, with guys like Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker almost assured of a top-10 selection, there is tons of talent left floating between the mid-lottery and into the second round.

Two of these such “tweener” guards are Reggie Jackson of Boston College and the lesser known, Charles Jenkins from Hofstra. Both point guards are seen as athletic freaks in the eyes of NBA scouts and there is even lottery whispers sprouting up on both guys, mainly due to their potential.

Now, not much is known about the Hofstra product, Jenkins, but he’s got a lot of upside and is firmly on the first round bubble due to a stellar career, averaging close to 20 points and 4.5 assists per game. Meanwhile, Jackson was performing on a much more prominent stage nightly, playing against some of the country’s best teams. The Eagles guard broke out during his junior season, averaging 18 points and 5 assists per, while showing off his drool-worthy athleticism and newly honed ball skills.

The two prospects present much of the same for NBA teams, with a combination of athleticism and instant offense in the back court. In fact the two prospects are so closely rated that ESPN NBA Analyst, Chad Ford, has them rated as the 24th (Jackson) and 26th (Jenkins) prospects respectively on his big board.

Let’s see how the players break down comparatively:

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NBA Mock Draft 2.0

Round two of our mock NBA Draft comes with the NBA less than ten days until the June 23rd draft. We changed the draft order up a bit and added Dalton to the mix. And to the shock of no one, it looks completely different than our first go at it.

After the first two picks, the Luke thinks the Jazz go big and the ripple effect changes everything after…Cavs up first with Giblin making the pick…

  1. Cleveland Cavs – Kyrie Irving, Duke: Dalton explained why he likes Kemba over Kyrie because of experience and production, but he forgot that NBA G.M.s don’t draft based off of your collegiate performances. Kyrie has the skills to be an elite point guard in the league. As talented as Derrick Williams is, Dan Gilbert and the Cavs get their floor general of the future. (Giblin)
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, Arizona: This pick is a no-brainer. Although the Timberwolves seem to only have SFs and PFs (William’s natural positions), Williams is one of the precious few blue chip prospects in the draft. He’s a poor man’s Blake Griffin but, in this draft, that warrants immediate consideration at number two. They could also go PG here, but David Kahn wouldn’t dare try to bring in another first round PG after the Timberwolves have basically said it is a done deal Ricky Rubio is coming over. (Dalton)
  3. Utah Jazz –Enes Kanter, Turkey:  Kanter has been a hot name among Scouts and GM’s over the past few weeks and even with a logjam in the middle for the Jazz, Kanter’s potential is too good to pass up.  A year or two behind Big Al and Milsap and the Kanter/Favors combo could be a force to be reckoned with. (Luke)

    The Turks got some ups, but is it enough to get the Jazz attention at #3?

  4. Cleveland Cavs – Jan Vesely, Czech Republic: With Kanter off the board, the Cavs have to shuffle a bit, but Vesely is widely considered a top-5 pick and would give Cleveland a versatile wing with size to pair with Kyrie Irving in the rebuilding project. If there was any issue with Vesely’s buyout with his European team, the Cavs should be able to wait a year or two given that this team is very likely not going to be contending for a playoff spot for at least a few years. (Mayo)
  5. Toronto Raptors – Brandon Knight, Kentucky: Many people feel Toronto G.M. Bryan Colangelo wants to go international for this pick; but if Brandon Knight falls out of the first four picks, he won’t hesitate grabbing the gifted Wildcat. He’ll replace Jose Calderon in no time giving Raptors fans a legitimate one in a growing point-guard dominate league.  (Giblin)
  6. Washington Wizards – Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State: Leonard has been falling in many mock drafts, but he shouldn’t be. Leonard is extremely athletic and has the ability to be a Bruce Bowen like defender. I don’t want to continue to disparage this draft, but this year that warrants top ten considerations. Leonard will give the Wizards a tough, defensive presence that they have not had since Deshawn Stevenson left. The Wizards should focus on defense this year then get offensive firepower next year in a loaded 2012 draft. (Dalton)
  7. Sacramento Kings – Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania: Kemba seems to be the popular pick here, but with Tyreke Evans, Beno Udrih and a rising stud in Marcus Thornton all playing a combo-guard role already, taking a big here would be beneficial. Not to mention, the 6-10 Lithuanian teamed with 2010 #1, Demarcus Cousins, in the middle, should help the Kings add to the win column and fast.  (Luke)
  8. Detroit Pistons – Tristan Thompson, TexasThompson provides some toughness and versatility for the Pistons to pair with Greg Monroe in the front court. Thompson can add a low-post scoring threat that Monroe doesn’t quite bring on a consistent basis, and the two could do some great things together. (Mayo)
  9. Charlotte Bobcats – Jordan Hamilton, Texas: The Bobcats need a scoring star for their future. I have heard that Michael Jordan and company have talked about “drafting for doubles instead of home runs.” That doesn’t sound like MJ does it? Bobcats try and find a player that can develop into an elite scorer with improved shot selection. Alec Burks could be the pick here too.  (Giblin)
  10. Milwaukee Bucks – Marcus Morris, Kansas: Morris is a very athletic and skilled big man who should be able to contribute right away. He is not particularly tall, but he is young (doesn’t turn 22 until September), and would give the Bucks a solid front court pairing of Morris and Bogut. (Dalton) Continue reading

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NBA Mock Draft 1.0

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Memorial Day Weekend slowed us down along with the tornadoes in central Massachusetts last night (very weird). Nevertheless…

With less than 22 days until the NBA draft, we throwing up our first mock draft. This one will be quick on the analysis and we’ll go more in depth in the coming weeks. Disagree with any of our picks and think we’re idiots? Tell us.

Irving is the consensus #1 by the experts, but after him this year's Draft is really a crapshoot.

  1. Cleveland Cavs – Kyrie Irving, Duke: The Cavalier staff is apparently in love with Irving and sees him as a likely superstar in the league. The Cavs need some star power to not only get buts in the seats but to rebuild after the Debacle; a flashy young point guard, a Chris Paul clone in some ways,seems to be the likely remedy for many of Cleveland’s basketball woes. (Luke)
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, Arizona: David Kahn still runs this team and there are rumors out there that he’s looking to move this pick; but if he can’t find a suitor, he should draft Williams. The former Wildcat is one of the few prospects who has the chance to be an annual All-Star that can carry a team in the playoffs – you can’t pass on that. But David Kahn will. How’s Rick Rubio doing? (Giblin)
  3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, Kentucky: Everyone is touting Knight to the Jazz, which almost makes me nervous making this pick. The Jazz wouldn’t mind moving apparently, but if they stay at 3 they need to address their backcourt, and Knight simply is the best guard available here. Knight is young, but he won’t have to play big minutes immediately with Devin Harris currently in the fold. Or, he might make Harris expendable. (Mayo)
  4. Cleveland Cavs – Enes Kanter, Turkey/Kentucky: They say you need a point guard and center to win in the NBA, well the Cavs filled both of those needs in the first 4 picks. The year away may hurt Kanter, but his potential is through the ceiling. Dan Gilbert would be stupid to not take the Turk here. (Luke)
  5. Toronto Raptors – Kemba Walker, Connecticut: If Bryan Colangelo picks another European, the Raptor faithful are gonna lose it! But in all seriousness, Toronto needs some star power and Walker has it. He’ll be an instant fan favorite and will bring some excitement to a franchise that hasn’t had it since the Tracy McGrady/Vince Carter days. (Giblin)
  6. Washington Wizards – Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State: The Wizards have plenty of needs, and an athletic, hard-nosed swing man would certainly be one of them. They might try to trade up to snag Derrick Williams or possibly Enes Kanter, but if they are unable to do so they’d be pretty happy snagging Kawhi Leonard at number six. Their track record with drafting European players hopefullypossibly scares them away from the overseas prospects here. (Mayo)

    The Czech forward is drwaing a lot of comparisons to Dirk, but will Vesley's game translate over to the NBA as well?

  7. Sacramento Kings – Jan Vesely, Czech Republic: At 6’11”, 240, the Czech forward has the size of an impact forward in the league. Agood jump shooter and great finisher at the rim, he possesses the look and skills to be a Dirk clone.  Give him a few years to learn and slap some muscle on him, Vesely could be a steal at this point in the Draft. (Luke)
  8. Detroit Pistons – Bismack Biyombo, Congo: Joe Dumars can bring in Biyombo to be the energetic shot-blocking forward that the Pistons need. The next Ben Wallace who can’t possibly be as abysmal on offense. Let’s hope. (Giblin)
  9. Charlotte Bobcats – Jonas Valanciunas,  Lithuania: The Bobcats need everything, and Valanciunas may not be available for a year, but they should have the time to wait given their rebuilding status. Valanciunas could very well become the best international player in this draft. At 19 years old his upside is huge, and he could become a premiere center in this league in five years with the right development. (Mayo)
  10. Milwaukee Bucks – Tristan Thompson, Texas: Larry Sanders was a solid pick last year but the Bucks are still in need of a stud at the 4. Thompson is a terrific rebounder and a versatile offensive player, with a developing jumper. There are tons to like and not much to hate about Thompson, so there’s not as much risk as with some other players on the board. (Luke) Continue reading

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Early NBA Prospect Thoughts

Thursday’s Twithitters has arrived and we’re talking NBA prospects for these former college stars (and a dude from the Congo). Mock drafts are all around here, here, and here. All of them seem to agree with our lottery sweepstakes projection with Kyrie going number one to Cleveland. Yay us!

But we also looked at some of their mock drafts and decided who we thought were the most underrated and overrated prospects in this year’s draft. We start with the guys we think are undervalued…

Most Underrated Prospects:

Giblin

  1. Reggie Jackson, Boston College – Yes, I am a homer. Jackson’s freakish 7-foot wingspan and ability to get to the rim are not being valued enough. His outside shot improved every season at BC and he’s got a good feel for the game. He’s only going to get better at the point. Some team’s going to luck into a great player late first round.
  2. Keith Benson, Oakland – Why is Benson not getting more love? Are guys like Kenneth Faried that much better? He’s got NBA size and athleticism and has some good inside skills. He could be better than both Morris twins.
  3. Isiah Thomas, Washington – Everyone is pointing out his lack of size. We get it. But look at J.J. Barera and his contributions in the NBA playoffs. Thomas’s lightning fast quickness and ability to get in the lane will make him a great bench player for many years in the league. And of course he’s COLD BLOODED!

Mayo

  1. Tobias Harris, Tennessee– Harris is solid in all aspects of the game and has great basketball IQ. His play during his freshman year wasovershadowed by the chaos of Tennessee’s program because of the Bruce Pearl circus that unfolded throughout the year. He probably won’t be picked until the later first round, if not the second, but can really be a legitimate starter in the league.

    Is Faried one of the safest selections in this years draft?

  2. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State– Faried got his name out thereby leading Morehead State to a first-round upset of Louisville this past tournament but still isn’t a household name. He is built like a brick house and might be the best rebounder in the draft. He likely won’t go until the later lottery but could be the perfect complimentary player for a potential contender. Think Joakim Noah.
  3. Jordan Hamilton, Texas – Hamilton has great size and athleticism, and he is one of the most versatile scorers in the entire draft. Yet, you don’t hear his name too often when it comes to lottery picks. I see him as a bonafide starter and potentially a great number two option offensively.

Hughes

  1. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State – NCAA’s All-Time leading rebounder, of course I’ll take him. His game reminds me a lot of Ben Wallace. A tad undersized and still developing offensively, but in today’s game how often do you find a guy who puts defense and rebounding ahead of all else?
  2. Chris Singleton, Florida State – Defense is becoming even more of a fad than the 3-pointer in the NBA and Singleton brings it better than anyone in this draft. At 6’9 and 225 and with elite athleticism he could effectively guard each of the Heat’s Big 3 at different points in a game. Give his offense some time but at the very least you’re getting a great wing defender for years to come.
  3. Josh Selby, Kansas – He had his struggle while in Lawrence, but the upside is too good to overlook. A bad year doesn’t necessarily mean a bad career. If you need any further proof, see: Brandon Jennings. Sure, there is a lot of risk in the pick, but with terrific guard fundamentals and a developing shot how could someone rightly pass him up in the 20’s.

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Draft Deadline Decisions

Second edition of Twithitters where we’ll be looking at the best and worst NBA draft deadline decisions. Short and sweet thoughts from our writers all Twitter-style.

2011 NBA DRAFT 

BEST DECISIONS:

Giblin

Jackson's athleticism could see him shoot up Draft boards come June.

  1. Tristan Thompson, Texas – With Jared Sullinger and the Carolina front court staying put, Thompson’s potential and athleticism will likely make him a lottery pick. Tough to question that decision.
  2. Reggie Jackson, Boston College – Pains me to say this, but Reggie made the right decision. Major roster turnover and a weak draft could make RJ a lottery pick. Can’t argue that he should have stayed.
  3. Tu Holloway, XavierAnother year at Xavier will not only make Chris Mack happy, but also allow Tu to show scouts that he can be an effective floor general for two straight seasons and that last year was no fluke.
Mayo
  1. Perry Jones, Baylor – Jones would have been a top-five pick, if not better, but he knew his game wasn’t ready for the next level quite yet. Yes, he risks injury next year, but barring that, if he puts in the work he will seriously be considered for the first overall pick next draft.
  2. Alec Burks, Colorado – Nothing but production his first two years at Colorado, and Burks stock probably isn’t going to get too much higher than where it is right now. It’s not like he’s going to have much to come back to next season. Good choice.
  3. The Morris Twins, Kansas – Marcus and Markieff established themselves nationally this year, and, short of winning a championship, they accomplished about as much as they could have wanted to at Kansas. Their only challenge now is adjusting to probably not playing together at the next level.

    Could Terrence Jones decision to stay in school ultimately backfire?

Hughes
  1. Brandon Knight, Kentucky –The freshman point guard lit it up in the tournament and solidified his stock as a Top-10 player. Staying at Kentucky may have only opened up more criticism and with a weak draft class as it is, bolting for the league was his best move.
  2. Terrence Jones, Kentucky – From one Wildcat to another. With the impending lockout and seriously raw talent, Jones made the right decision in staying another year in Lawrence. With a dominant season in the post and some signs of maturity we could be talking about the #1 overall pick in 2012.
  3. Klay Thompson, Washington State – Thompson’s stock is as high as it ever may be and staying another year may just expose more holes in his game. The lengthy guard has lots of potential and could sneak his way into the lottery with some solid workouts.

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Pro-or-No Episode 7, ACC Volume 2

Reggie Jackson, Boston College, Jr.- PG/SG

Overview: Jackson quietly had a break-out year in 2010-2011, averaging 18.2 ppg, 4.3 apg, and 4.5 rpg, and was the driving force behind a BC team who, quite frankly, overachieved by winning nine games in the ACC. Jackson is listed at 6’3″ but he plays much, much longer than that with a seven foot wingspan. I’ve seen people putting Jackson anywhere from the lottery to the mid-second round, which is a large product of people not seeing him play as BC flew under the radar for most of the year. The guy can really play, and as we move closer to the draft, expect Jackson to get some love as a sleeper.

Best Case: Jackson has the chance to be an above-average player at the next level because he is really the total package as a basketball player. He can handle the ball, he’s very athletic, he can shoot off the dribble because of his length, he can play without the ball,  and he demonstrated this year that he can shoot the three. I see an ideal situation being Jackson narrowly misses getting picked in the lottery but goes to the Knicks at number 17. The Knicks decide not to pick up Chauncey Billups’ big-money option because they believe in Jackson’s ability to play both guard positions, and he delivers and becomes option number three on a contending team playing at MSG.

Worst Case: Jackson can’t really handle the NBA point guard position and is handcuffed as strictly a tweener two-guard. He slides a bit in the draft and a team that doesn’t really need another guard takes him on value alone. He doesn’t get the minutes he needs early and loses focus. Think Joe Forte, here. People forget that Forte was the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2000 and followed that up with an ACC Player of the Year award in 2001. He was a guy who was a 6’3″ shooting guard who proved that he couldn’t play both guard positions in the league, and that ended his career several years earlier than it could have gone.

Jackson is a different player than Forte was, though. He is much longer, for starters, and is a much better ball handler. Still, he needs to prove he can run the point at least for stretches of games at the next level. My ties to BC make this difficult to say, but I’d be absolutely shocked if he was back in Chestnut Hill next season. Not only is he already getting some love from the draft experts as a “sleeper”, but he doesn’t have a whole lot to come back to next season. He looked like he connected well enough with first-year head coach Steve Donahue, but don’t forget he came to BC for Al Skinner.


Chris Singleton, Florida State, Jr. – SF

Overview: Singleton is never going to be a team’s number one option on offense, but he brings a combination of size and athleticism that is coveted in the NBA. He has the potential to be one of the better defenders in the league if he brings the focus and passion of a professional. That intensity has been questioned with him before, though. Singleton really improved his shot this past season, but teams would probably like him to score inside more frequently. Still, a very good chance of being a first round pick, if not the lottery.

Best Case: Singleton wows teams in his workouts with his unbelievable athleticism and goes toward the end of the lottery to a team that has an established number one and two options on the offensive end. His coach understands how to motivate him and unleashes him on the defensive end and tells him not to worry about offense except for getting fast-break dunks and putbacks on the offensive boards, while he continues to work on his offensive game to at least become a reliable knockdown jump shooter. Singleton becomes a Durant-stopper because of his size and quickness, and his addition becomes a major reason that his team who was drafting in the lottery becomes a contender.

Worst Case: Singleton becomes the reincarnation of Al Thronton, who coincidentally also went to FSU as well. He doesn’t bring the same intensity every night and his basketball IQ doesn’t progress to an NBA level (much like Thornton). He isn’t a complete bust because teams give him a few too many chances hoping that he reaches his very high potential. His offensive game doesn’t improve like they hope it will, and his defensive game is slightly overhyped and can’t quite make up for his being lost on the offensive end. Singleton’s career will be an interesting one to follow.


Kyle Singler, Duke, Sr. – SF

Overview: Singler probably would have been drafted higher if he came out last year with his stock as high as it was ever going to get after Duke’s championship run. He had a solid senior season but his production was definitely cut into a bit with the arrival of Kyrie Irving, even though he only played a handful of games, and the emergence of Nolan Smith as a real offensive thought. At 6’8″ 230 pounds, Singler has pretty good size for an NBA swing man, but he’s not a great athlete. He’s right on the edge of not being quick enough to play the 3 but not big enough to play the 4.

Best Case: A veteran team recognizes Singler as an extremely smart and coachable player who will fit in well with their second unit because he plays hard and is an excellent mid-range shooter. He sneaks into the latter part of the first round and can play decent minutes right away because he can quickly pick up the offense and defensive principles. While he may never be a great on-ball defender, he plays good enough team defense that he can stay on the floor for 20-25 minutes per game when need be, and he carves out a nice little eight to ten year career and even wins a championship or two.

Worst Case: Singler draws too many Gordon Hayward-comparisons (Hayward was very underwhelming as a rookie) and slides down the draft board into the second round. He gets picked up by a young team and gets stuck behind younger, more athletic wing players with higher upsides. So often a guy’s career can be linked with what kind of fit he has with his team. Singler is going to be a guy who can be a productive player on the right team, but in the wrong situation we might not see him in the league for very long.


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