Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Power Forwards to watch in the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NBA Power Forwards absolutely have to be able to rebound the basketball at a high rate. Lately - there is a trend toward "stretch fours" - or Power Forwards that can shoot three-point shots well. That is fine - as long as the player still gets it done on the boards. In my years of observing basketball I have become a huge believer in the benefits of having a team that rebounds the ball well. Teams that rebound poorly do not win many games. ...Let's look at our list of Power Forwards to watch in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

1. Derrick Favors - Georgia Tech 6'10" 246 ... One NBA executive we spoke with said of Favors glowingly, "6'10" and can go get it on both ends!" …Agreed. Favors is a monster prospect that has the potential to be an NBA All-Star. …At 6'10" - he is nimble with long arms and wide shoulders connected to a lively athletic body. ...He has good hands, and he hits the glass hard - often rebounding outside his area. ...He is also a quick and explosive shot blocker. ...His guards are just starting to realize that they are a better team when Favors gets more post touches. For now - he scores 12 points per game on 60% FG shooting while grabbing eight boards per contest. ...He MUST become a better free throw shooter. His present number is just 60%.

2. Carleton Scott - Notre Dame 6'7" 215 ... Scott can shoot the ball (53% FG, 77% FT) while still rebounding at a high enough rate to be effective. He came on late in the 2009-10 season when Luke Harangody was injured. His statistical sample size is still relatively small (696 minutes) but we've seen enough to be convinced of his ability. ...He may be a Small Forward eventually. ...Scott was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after averaging 13.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in Notre Dame's two wins (in early March) over Connecticut and Marquette. ...Right handed. ...Check out video of the clutch three point shot he made that is a huge part of why the Irish are in the tourney to begin with.

3. Draymond Green - Michigan State 6'6" 235 ...One of the most intriguing prospects in the NCAA is Draymond Green. Green is an undersized forward at 6'6" but he makes up for any lack of height with his savvy, and leadership. Known as "the Dancing Bear" to his teammates, Green has drawn comparisons to Charles Barkley from Illinois coach Bruce Weber. You do not see many PF's that own a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. However Green - in his career to date as a Spartan has 128 assists and 79 turnovers. ...He shoots 55% from the field and scores ten points per game. He also will grab eight rebounds each time he hits the floor. ...Led Saginaw High School to Michigan Class A State Championship two straight years as a junior and senior respectively. Here is the article where Weber references Barkley.

4. Luke Harangody - Notre Dame 6'8" 240 ... "Gody" is a strong power player that scores and rebounds with tremendously high efficiency. The nation's second leading scorer at 24.1 ppg - he also brings in ten boards per contest. He was a first-team All Big East performer this season - making it three straight years he was honored as such. ...He owns a deceptively quick and accurate shot that rivals the way that Cleveland Cavs star Antawn Jamison scores. ...Harangody is often picked on by scouts because he has short arms. But - he is a great rebounder with excellent hands. He is efficient due to his ability to rebound at a high rate and because he gets to the free throw line with regularity. ...Uses his body well to shield defenders - allowing him to get off his variety of hook shots. ...2007-08 Big East Conference Player of the Year. ...A better athlete than given credit for - although not gifted as a runner or jumper. He plays hard. …Gets to the line and converts at 78%. …Two-time Post Tribune Northwest Indiana HS Player of the Year, earning the honor in both `05 and `06. …Father Dave also was a tight end on the Indiana Hoosier football team.

5. Trevor Booker - Clemson - 6'7" 230. SR. ...Booker is one of only two players in ACC history (the other is Tim Duncan) with at least 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 blocks and 200 assists in his career. ...A post player that schools other bigs with his quickness around the basket. He scores 15 points, and grabs eight rebounds per game while dishing two and a half assists. Defensively - Booker is good as well with averages of 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. ...Named to the ACC's All-Defensive Team (as voted by the coaches). …Left-handed shooter has soft hands. ...A strong finisher with the basketball - he will dunk with regularity. ...Needs to be a better ball handler and decision maker. More turnovers than assists. ...Also a poor FT shooter at 62% (career). ...In High School: Named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of South Carolina as a senior.

6. Terrence Jennings - Louisville 6'10" 240 ...Jennings is an NBA caliber athlete that provides energy as a rebounder and shot blocker. He is shooting 59% FG for his brief two year career at Louisville. Most impressive are his 93 blocked shots in just 811 minutes! He is a strong finisher even with one hand. …Right handed. …From Sacramento, CA but finished his 2006-07 season at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. ...His cousin C.J. Wallace played for the Seattle Seahawks.

7. Patrick Patterson - Kentucky 6'8" 230 ... Patterson is one of three potential first round draft picks that Kentucky has on their ridiculously talented roster. …Patterson is the least spectacular but surely the most steady of the three. ...He plays a mature game and seldom tries to deviate from what he knows he can accomplish. He has recently become a much better perimeter shooter and now extends his range beyond the college three point line. His most dependable look in the NBA will be hitting the face-up 17 footer which he already does very well. His 73% free throw number backs up his nice touch for a BIG. ...Excellent finisher around the basket that shoots a high percentage (59% FG). …Wingspan is 7'1". ...Right handed. ...Good hands but soft touch. ...Patterson is a guy I trust.

8. Al Farouq Aminu - Wake Forest - 6'9" 215 Soph. ...Aminu is a determined rebounder that posted impressive averages of 16 points, and eleven rebounds per game this season. He has great size for the fantastic amount of athleticism he possesses. …Still raw offensively as evidenced by his 48% FG number (I think it should be higher for his athletic ability). He has more turnovers than assists - the result of trying to do Small Forward things. He CAN make plays from 15 feet and in but he is turnover prone - getting himself into trouble in traffic when he starts from the perimeter. He needs to be a better ball-handler. …Has the ability to be special but he needs to be more of a student of the game. ...Can REALLY run and finish. ...Good footwork around the hoop. ...Quick off his feet / NBA athlete. ...A high riser that will finish alley-oops. ...A 2008 McDonald's High School All-American. ...Name Al-Farouq means "the chief has arrived". ...Is the younger brother of former Georgia Tech player Alade Aminu.

9. Jordan Williams - Maryland 6'10" 260 Frosh. ... Williams is a big strong kid that played a big part in Maryland's solid 2009-10 season. He has a body similar to Sean May (at a similar age). ...He runs the floor and finishes. …He hits the offensive glass. ...He has a LONG way to go to be an NBA prospect. He is a poor foul shooter at 53%, and he only has five assisted baskets this season in over 750 minutes of play. …Right handed. May be a Center more than a PF. …Prep Player of the Year in state of Connecticut for 2008-09.

10. Rick Jackson - Syracuse 6'9" 240 ...Rick Jackson is a BIG with good hands. While the guards on his team hog the spotlight - Jackson is in the back doing the dirty work and doing it well. …A lefty, Jackson rebounds well, and recovers quickly defensively. …Controlled tips of the ball at the rim are a specialty for Jackson. …He is shooting 60% FG for his career with the Orange. ...This season, Jackson averages ten points and seven boards per outing. ...What he does not do well is shoot free throws. Jackson is a putrid 51% for his career.

11. Marcus Morris - Kansas - 6'8" 225 Soph. ... Another one of our favorite NCAA players in Marcus Morris. …He is a hard working Philadelphia-raised kid that brings skill and toughness to a team. He is great in transition and can finish plays at the rim. …While not the playmaker that Rodney McCray was - Morris nevertheless reminds me of McCray with his ability to handle the ball or post up. Both are the kind of player that holds a team together with their ability and no nonsense approach. Morris is an excellent rebounder and he shoots 52% FG. ...He can guard Small Forwards but his offensive game is more suited to being a PF. Led the Prep Charter High School Eagles to back-to-back Pennsylvania state titles in 2007 and 2006. In `07 he hit the game winning shot in the state championship game. ...Has a twin teammate; Markieff.

12. Wayne Chism - Tennessee - 6'9" 242. SR. ...Chism is a first team All SEC player in 2009-10. “I was picked on the second team during the preseason, and that really inspired me to work hard and prove I could be a first-team player,” Chism said. ...I like his game. He competes. He takes charges. He is the Tennessee's main man when it comes to rebounding and shot blocking. ...Will knock down a three but he needs to improve his accuracy from deep to be an effective Small Forward. His three-point percentage this season is just 29%. ...He scores 12 points per game and contributes seven rebounds per as well. ...Chism ranks first at UT in games played (135), second in career blocks (147), and sixth in career rebounds (869). ...In 2006-07 he was the SEC Freshman of the Year.

13. Gani Lawal - Georgia Tech 6'9" 229 Jr. ... Lawal is a right handed, active defender. ...Good rebounder. ...Has a nice turn around jump shot where he uses the glass. ...Averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds a game this season. ...Lawal owns a chiseled NBA body but his skills are lacking. He has nearly five turnovers for every assist and his 56% free throw shooting is a liability. …Likes to dunk everything - and that is the best part of his game. His power and athleticism has allowed him to shoot 55% FG for his career. ...He was Georgia's Mr. Basketball as a prep.

Two more worth watching: Matt Howard - Butler, Troy Gillenwater - New Mexico St.

65 players to watch in the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney: Point Guards / Shooting Guards / Small Forwards / Centers

In the NBA, the top five rebounding teams (LAL, CHI, OKC, MIN, MIL) have a combined record of 171-168 (.504 winning percentage) while the bottom five rebounding teams (GSW, BOS, TOR, NJ and POR) have a record of 140-192, a winning percentage of .421.

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