Early Season, But 10 College Basketball Players Emerging
I talked about some of these guys over the summer, so it's good they are playing good!
1. Reggie Jackson 6'3 185, SG/PG, JR, Boston College- Jackson is a guy I've always felt was an underrated player and an intriguing prospect. He's an explosive athlete with very long arms (looks to have about a 6'8 or 6'9 wingspan), strong speed in the open court, and good quickness and leaping ability. He's been getting to the rim very clearly, and benefitting from Coach Donahue's new emphasis on fast-paced play and from the shooting of combo forward Joe Trapani. While he doesn't play like a natural PG, isn't a truly very good shooter, and is an average defender for his physical tools, Jackson is a name to remember for the 2012 draft. He can score and he takes care of the ball well, so he can at least get a team in their offense. He has some untapped potential and he's fun to watch. (19.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.4 apg/1.6topg, 1.6 spg, 50.8% FG, 47.7% 3FG, 0.7 bpg)
2. Julyan Stone 6'6 195, PG, SR., UTEP- I like watching point guards with wing man size, always cool to watch. Stone is an athletic, 4-year starting, pure PG who likes to look for scoring chances for his teammates before he looks for his own shots. He has been more aggressive about scoring than in the past, but it's clear he's a pass-1st guy. Stone is a very good defender and he defends any perimeter spot at this level, and he rebounds as well as any PG in the nation. His problem is he has a rather broke jump shot, and it makes him easier to defend him than it should, as does his unselfish nature, which sometimes is a fault of his. Still, he has some intrigue and he reminds of former D-League call-up Garrett Temple. (9.6 ppg, 7 rpg, 4.4 apg/2.0 topg, 50% FG, 1 bpg)
3. Darius Morris 6'4 195, PG/SG, SO., Michigan- I mentioned him in my Big 10 prospects post, after he had a pedestrian freshman, and people wondered who he was. Early on, he's played well and is showing why he's a diamond in the rough. Playing for a rather iffy Michigan team, Morris has been allowed to handle the ball alot, as the only pure shot-creator on their roster (look out for Tim Hardaway Jr though). Morris handles the ball well, and has nice agility and quickness, which makes him a threat to get to the rim, and he has enough strength to finish. He's no true PG, but he can create for teammates in dribble drive at times. He needs to work on his shot selection (partly because he's the only consistent scorer), as he gets tunnel vision, and he isn't much of a shooter yet. Still he has some intrigue. (14.8 ppg, 7.9 apg/2.8 topg, 55.3% FG, 2 spg, 3.9 rpg)
4. Quincy Acy 6'7 235, PF/C, JR., Baylor- Building on a busy off-season where he attended various skills academies and impressed a number of scouts, Acy, always an explosive leaper, has become a bit more skilled than in the past. Very aggressive and strong, Acy makes his presence felt on the floor. His blocks and dunks are often momentum changing, and now he's added a consistent jump hook and a 12 foot jump shot. Baylor's "2-man give and go" with him is as nice a play as any in the nation, and allows Acy to finish with a monster 2 hand dunk nearly every time it's run. He plays alot like a mix of Ronny Turiaf and DeJuan Blair. (14.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1 spg, 55.2% FG)
5. Diante Garrett 6'4 190, PG, SR., Iowa State- The son of former NBA big man Dean Garrett, Garrett has always been an intriguing prospect to me. He's finally showing a full arsenal of skills with Craig Brackins gone and still showing the playmaking ability he's been known for in the Big 12. Probably the only talented player on Iowa State's roster, Garrett has been forced to score more than he's probably confortable with, and in turn isn't really efficient. Garrett is possibly the best pick and roll PG in the Big 12, and he is has the height and passing skills to hit open players on the move. A good athlete with nice handles, Garrett moves around the floor very smoothly. He reminds me of Ramon Sessions, and I'm hoping he can show that he's an NBA player, despite have little to no fanfare to the public. (16.3 ppg, 6 apg, 4 rpg, 40.5% FG, 30% 3FG)
6. Kemba Walker 6'0 185, PG/SG, JR., UConn- Obviously the biggest name and most improved player (which is saying something, he was already one of the better PG's in the nation last year), Walker deserves redundant mention. Walker has always been a quick and intense player who makes plays scoring and passing. However, he's been better about using his speed and intensity at all the right times, and no PG at this level has been able to stop him because of it. Another development has been how well he's shooting, which makes him even more hard to defend. I think his shot will prove to be a work in progress in the NBA, but it's good he's shooting it good this year. Walker is average size for an NBA PG, over maybe a little less, but I think he'll be at worse a top notch change of pace backup. He's too competitive to fail. He's very similar to a Darren Collison or T.J. Ford type. (28 ppg, 4 apg, 2.3 spg, 53% FG, 2/1 A/TO, 42% 3FG)
7. Jordan Williams 6'10 270 C, SO., Maryland- A big body who has soft touch, and is breaking out on a Greivis Vazquez-less Maryland team. He's rebounding exceptionally well early on, and scoring well too down low. His size allows him to seal and get position easily down low. He's not athletic or quick, but he's so big that he'll still get his offensively. He's going to be a work in progress on D until he gets slimmer and/or improves his quickness, as he can allow scoring chances against quick and athletic bigs. His production has been hard to ignore though. (17.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 56.7% FG, 1 bpg)
8. Tyler Zeller 7'0 230, C, JR., UNC- Playing behind Ed Davis and Deon Thompson, and being derailed by injury, Zeller is finally upholding my claim that he is a more talented offensive player than Davis was. Zeller has outstanding feet and touch down low, and he gets great extension around the rim with his length, and he's a good athlete too. Ed Davis provided more on the glass and on D than Zeller ever has, and that's the main problem with him. Zeller isn't tough on D at all, lacks a bit of strength, and he isn't an overly aggressive rebounder either. Still, he's been one of only a select few bright spots on a UNC team at a crossroads. (16.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 53% FG)
9. Abdul Gaddy 6'3 185, PG, SO., Washington- On a team with about 3 guys (Justin Holiday, Matt Bryan-Amaning the others) who could make this list, I had to add Abdul Gaddy. Gaddy was bad last year, plain and simple. He showed no truly good skills, other than being unselfish (to a fault) and having good size and pace for a Fr. PG. He played very weak, timid, and just looked like a HS player trying to play in college. Now, he's been playing more confident early on and raised his production a bit. He's a pure PG who likes to find teammates and isn't a scorer. He plays the game at his own pace, takes care of the ball, makes sound decisions, and while he's no explosive athlete, he has very smooth movements. It's encouranging to see him playing good. To his help, he was the youngest college hooper in the nation last year. (10.3 ppg, 4.1 apg, 56% FG, 60% 3FG, 1.3 topg)
10. Casey Mitchell 6'4 215, SG/SF, SR., West Virginia- After being in Coach Huggins' doghouse most of last year, Casey Mitchell has emerged for a WVU team that lost 2 draft picks in Devin Ebanks and Da'Sean Butler. Mitchell, a well-built wing player with pedestrian athleticism, a very fresh mohawk, and a sweet shooting stroke that can change games, has taken advantage of the increased shots he can attempt. Him, not Kemba Walker, is the most improved player in the Big East (statistically). (19.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 50.5% FG, 36.4 3FG)
Is almost 7 feet. He is not a great shooter,but the rest of his game is very solid I agree he could be a sleeper. Underrated passer,with good court vision.
Peyton Siva has been playing better too, he's finally getting some time.
It's just another player you talked about over the summer
Casey Mitchell has a very fresh mohawk indeed
I watched Siva play today and against Butler, and while he's clearly improved some and is a year older and more experienced, he still is a year or 2 away from taking that next step. He struggled some to get the offense going, was a bit wild and TO prone, and he looks more comfortable scoring than setting up guys, even though he has some unselfishness and instinctive passing skills. I love Siva's flashiness, it makes him fun to watch, but he's rough around the edges and hasn't become the leader of Louisville like he should be (they are Preston Knowles' team, they go as he goes)
yo iggy, what about a Chandler Parson update (not that he belongs on this list). I know you had him pegged as a potential 1st rounder during the summer. He's been disappointing thus far to say the least, to me. He seemed to be really gaining confidence in his game late last year. However, now he's not being the senior leader I thought he would be and isn't taking control of that team. What your thoughts on him?
Chandler Parsons and Kim English have disappointed me after making guarantees about them. I'm doing a "disappointment" post tomorrow.
JNixon-Iggy9, I wrote a haiku for you...
The Forum MVP
He gives so much to us all
He knows everything
You got Kemba Walker but you forgot Alec Burks...
jnixon you gotta include tre'von willis and malcolm armstead on your disappointment list
Rick Jackson = big surprise. 12.8 rebounds a game...didn't see that coming.
Wally Judge = huge disappointment.
What is wrong with that guy?
is that the ship from Flight of the Navigator on your pic????
"You got Kemba Walker but you forgot Alec Burks..."
No I didn't. Burks hasn't improved much at all.
Diante Garrett has a chance to be NBA player, he remind me George Hill maybe a little better passer!
How is Colorado not winning more with 2 first round picks on there team( according to Some NBA scouts)
Burks has improved he is now the focal point of the offense and has improved his decision making, and passing ability. And Higgins is nowhere near a first round pick Q... Colorado got a new coach Tad Boyle and the players aren't playing great defense for him. They are a dangerous Tourney team tho.
I like the list but I still don't think Gaddy will ever play in an NBA game. I think Justin Holiday should of took his spoton the list because he has improved drastically to the point he looks like the 2nd coming of Bruce Bowen.
i don't know if he is or not I'm just going by what some NBA team scouts said about burks and Higgins
Alec Burks hasn't improved more than any player I have listed. And its not even close really.
No Charles Jenkins??? Just saying.