Monday, March 14, 2011

Players to watch in the NCAA Tournament. ...The Power Forwards

Derrick Williams - Arizona 6'8" 241 Sophomore - Williams is a strong one-on-one player that can score and get to the free throw line with regularity. …He is too quick to be guarded by Power Forwards yet too powerful to be guarded by small forwards. …He doesn't pass the ball much. …Mostly a determined, confident scorer. He has an uncanny ability to make three point shots. He is shooting 60% from THREE POINT RANGE! ...He has a quick second jump. 

Jared Sullinger - Ohio St. 6'8" 262 Freshman - Sullinger has been an impact freshman for the #1 ranked Buckeyes. He is a big, wide bodied low post scorer that entered college prepared to be a BIG man. He is remarkably fundamentally sound for his age. This season his averages are 17 points (53% FG) and ten boards. ...While there is considerable hype around Sullinger - one must keep in mind - this is a down year overall for talent. The truth is - Sullinger's game is below the rim and he turns it over more than he assists. His free throw percentage is 70%.  

Thomas Robinson - Kansas 6'9" 237 Sophomore - Robinson is a hyper-athletic front court playmaker that has the athleticism necessary to compete on the NBA hardwood. He is a fantastic offensive rebounder and energy guy. His efficiency in limited minutes translates well to the NBA. On the downside, most of Robinson's success comes from his athleticism and power rather than from skill. He is a poor free throw shooter at 50%, and he also has more than two turnovers for every assist. ...Sadly, Robinson's mother died January 22nd. Read an excellent feature here.

Kenneth Faried - Morehead St. 6'8" 225 Senior - Faried is among the greatest rebounders in the history of the college game. This season he scored 17.6 points while snatching 14.5 rebounds. He is a good athlete but his rebounding is more about his determination than some 'out of this world' athleticism. There have been Dennis Rodman comparisons but I don't see the same degree of track-star speed, hops, and energy that "The Worm" had. ...Faried finishes ally-oops and rebounds outside his area.  ...Good shot blocker. ...Poor FT shooter (57%) with more turnovers than assists. ...If you would like to CARE about Faried - read this.

Laurence Bowers - Missouri 6'8" 210 Junior. ...Bowers is that guy in the paint that seems to make plays that matter. He has good instincts and good hands. He is solid in several areas. He rebounds, defends, runs the floor, and also has just enough passing ability to fit into a team concept. His career field goal percentage is 54% and he shoots a very nice 75% from the line. He sometimes gets lost amid the up-tempo, guard dominated Missouri offense but Bowers is a legitimate complimentary player that makes any team better. ...He is known to be a tough kid. ...Right handed. 

Markieff Morris - Kansas 6'10" 245 Junior. ...Markieff is the less ballyhooed of the "Kansas Twins" but he is a formidable player himself. He scores 13.6 ppg, and grabs 8.2 rebounds each outing. Morris is shooting 60% from the field this season and also has the skill to stretch the defense with spot-up three point shooting (40%). He could be a better free throw shooter and he has more turnovers than assists but Morris is nevertheless as solid as they come. 

Gorgui Dieng - Louisville 6'10" 215 Sophomore. Dieng popped up on our radar due to his efficient play in limited minutes. While the sample size of data on Dieng is small - he shows as much potential as any young raw BIG. ...From Senegal - Dieng is shooting 60% from the field and he has shown the ability to hit the offensive glass with ferocity. He impacts the game by blocking shots. 

Tobias Harris - Tennessee 6'8" 226 Freshman. ...Harris is a right handed forward that has a knack for being in the right position despite his freshman status. He is presently more of a FOUR than a THREE. …He has a post-game but he also has the ability to handle the ball a bit and go "coast-to-coast". ...Was a McDonald's All-American. …Suffered a broken foot in Spring 2010 during the McDonald's game. ...High school: 2009-10 New York’s Mr. Basketball. His grandfather is a Lt. Col. ...Cousin of Channing Frye. 

Terrence Jones - Kentucky 6'9" 230 Freshman. Jones has an NBA body and he plays above the rim. …Wide shoulders. …Lefty. …A superior athlete than almost every opponent he faces. His shooting numbers however are not good (43% FG, 66 % FT, 30 % 3-pt FG), which is why I rate him lower than most who are ranking players. ...He defends on the ball well - easily blocking shots of smaller SF's. …He will finish ally-oop plays. ...McDonald's All-American.  

Sam Dower - Gonzaga 6'9" 248 Freshman. ...Dower shoots the ball at impressive percentages (57% FG, 80%FT).  He is a lefty that will rebound in traffic and provide some scoring in the low post due to his impressive footwork. He blocks shots at a high rate (in a small sample size). Dower was a red-shirt last season. 

Terrence Jennings - Louisville 6'9" 220 Junior. ...Jennings is an NBA caliber athlete that provides energy as a rebounder and shot blocker. He is shooting 57% FG for his career at Louisville. Most impressive are his 154 blocked shots. 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. 

Rick Jackson - Syracuse 6'9" 240 Senior. ...Rick Jackson is a BIG with good hands. He was the 2010-11 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. …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 59% FG for his career with the Orange. ...This season, Jackson added the ability to get assists, showing that his game is still evolving. He averages 13 points and nearly eleven boards per outing. ...What he does not do well is shoot free throws. Jackson is a putrid 50% for his career. 

Trey Thompkins - Georgia 6'9" 247 Junior. ...Thompkins has an NBA body and a high ceiling. We rank him lower than most due to his inconsistent shooting. He scores 16 points per game while snatching 7.5 rebounds per contest. He hits mid-post jumpers and has the inside-outside versatility of a young Lamar Odom. …Thompkins is right handed. ...Soft touch. …Hits the offensive glass. …Helps from the weak side as a shot blocker. …Reacts quickly. 

Ricardo Ratliffe - Missouri 6'8" 240 Junior.  - Ratliffe is a rugged power paint player that landed at Mizzou after being the most sought after juco recruit of 2010. He was rated as the top junior college player by as a sophomore. This season Ratliffe is averaging 10.5 points per game on 57% FG shooting. He also grabs over six boards per game. He has more assists than turnovers (slightly) which is a good quality for any player.

Carleton Scott - Notre Dame 6'8" 218 Senior. ...Scott can shoot the ball (49% FG, 84% FT) while still rebounding at a high enough rate to be effective. He has some ability to make plays off one or two dribbles either by scoring himself or setting up a teammate. ...He has a nice turn around mid-range jump shot as well as the ability to hit a three-point shot. ...He uses the ball-fake well. 

See our Point Guards list
See our Small Forwards list. 
See our Shooting Guards list...

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