So I am from Ames, Iowa (home of the Iowa State Cyclones) and graduated from their in 2009. I follow NBA basketball an unhealthy amount and I'll admit when talking about Iowa State players like Craig Brackins (and formerly Wesley Johnson) I am a little bias.
With all of that said I can't believe people are sleeping on Brackins! He is an offensive beast with a great shooting stroke and a solid post game. He is a very good athlete with a 40" vertical. I know I will get a lot of flack for this but at ISU he recorded a 40" vertical and Chad Ford's Insider blog had him at posted at the same 40" (http://www.otrbasketball.com/forums/topic/11722-2010-nba-draft-combine-t...). I have seen that he jumped 35" at the combine and if that is true it is a bad jump for him.
He struggled this year after being projected as a lottery pick the year before. This is due to Iowa State's weak roster especially at PG. A lot of people who only watched ISU play a couple of times said they like Marquis Gilstrap better has a draft prospect. Gilstrap can handle the ball better (he is a SF) and can drive to the basket and create for himself, regardless of the rest of the team's talent. ISU's coach wanted Brackins to focus more on posting up this year instead of stepping away from the basket. Our PG's couldn't feed him the ball and when they did he was always met with a double team.
Brackins needs to bulk up for the NBA he had an unimpressive 6 reps in the bench at the combine. He needs to improve his rebounding and defense. Really he just lacks focus in these areas. He has the athleticism and length (9'1" standing reach and 7'0" wingspan) to be very effective in both these areas. When I say focus I don't mean to imply that Brackins has an attitude or an unwillingness, as a matter of fact he has a really good head on his shoulders and is a very smart player. I simply think that the coaches didn't challenge him in these areas.
I believe Brackins is a lottery talent that a good team could steal late in the first round. I think of him as a poor man's Chris Bosh and I think he will be a solid starter in the near future in the NBA and have a 10 year career. He is a better prospect than: Trevor Brooker, Gani Lawal, Larry Sanders, Daniel Orton, Ekpe Udoh, and Patrick Patterson. I also like him better than: Ed Davis and I feel he could rival Greg Monroe with how affective an NBA career they will have.
I can tell your bias he is not on same level as Monroe, Patterson, and Udoh. Some oof the other guys you mentioned I would take before him as well.
I completely agree with you about Brackins. I thought he was a lottery talent last year too. I have never heard of the comparison to Bosh but I like it. He has great post moves and also a face up game from the perimeter. This clip is all you need to know about him.
Brackins is far more perimeter oriented than Bosh and has a better jumper, but I' questioned that 40" vertical as soon as I saw it. He's a good athlete, but he doesn't appear to be an elite athlete.
it's about 35 not 40, sorry
I think he'll be effective in the NBA. He has a nice offensive game is a matchup problem. Gilstrap wasn't that good to me, Brackins was easily the best prospect on that team. I think he can be a Charlie Villanueva type in the NBA. Never has made sense to me why he's gone from a lotto pick to a 2nd rounder, just for returning to school (even though there was no reason for him to return to school). His stock fell because he was less productive due to the double and even triple teams he saw. He faced all kinds of gimmicks he won't ever see in the NBA. He's definitely a sleeper.
I know the Bucks really like him - in fact it wouldn't surprise me if they were to deal for a late first round pick and snatch him up.
Thanks for all of the comments. I just wanted to thank tcox314 for posting the video. I haven't watched Brackins play since the end of college basketball this past season. Watching that confirms my belief that he is a lottery talent.
Also bucksfan74, I hadn't heard that the Bucks were interested in Brackins but I am glad and I think that is the ideal destination for him. I know this gets used a lot but Milwaukee is a "young up and coming team". They made the playoffs this year as the 6th seed and took Atlanta to 7 games without 2010 All NBA third team center Andrew Bogut. They have several key young players coming back next year: Brandon Jennings 20, Luc Mbah a Moute 23, Ersan Ilyasova 23, and Andrew Bogut 25. Brackins could compete for the starting PF position right away. He could run the court on the fast break along side Brandon Jennings (a quality PG something Brackins hasn't played with before) and could use his athleticism to finish plays. His face up game would spread the defense allowing Bogut to work inside and Jennings to penetrate and kick it out to Brackins for a jumper. Finally, Scott Skiles is a hard nosed coach that would push Brackins to his full potential on the boards and on the defensive end.
Craig Brackins is one of the prospects that I am hoping the Magic look at with pick 29. He is very versatile in his offensive game being able to hit deep and mid as well as having some good post moves. What I really like about Brackins are his handles which is pretty good for a bigman. This just adds to his offensive game being able to step back and step his game up with his handling ability. He needs to show up more on the boards and defensive end but he is a steal in the late first or even in the second round IMO.