I know we all live in different regions and follow different teams. As much as we all love basketball, we just don't have enough free time to watch every team and every game. I figured i share some scouting reports with some guys I think could get drafted in 2013 outside of Ben McLemore, who gets talked about plenty on this forum.
Elijah Johnson - Comparison: Avery Bradley -
Johnson hasn't quite lived up to the hype generated after his sophomore year when he started completing lobs and showcasing his superb athletic ability as a 6'4'' combo guard, but what Johnson has done is become a very good perimeter defender. He can be smothering at time on opposing point guards due to his long wingspan, strength and explosive athletic ability. Johnson is more of a two guard, but he plays very, in control, at the point, not making mistakes, but not being dynamic offensively either. He has a very nice 3 point shot, especially off the screen, and operates well without the ball. Despite his athletic ability, he isn't great at getting in the lane nor creating his own shot. I think he'll be a mid 2nd rounder, but think he can stick in the league in a role very similar to Avery Bradley, a defensive minded backup point guard.
Travis Releford - Comparison: Danny Green/David Lighty -
I was not sold at all about Releford competing in the NBA until this season. Releford excells in transition and has a nice spot up 3 point shot and mid range game. He's 6'6'', athletic and a very good perimeter defender. He's a guy I think could be drafted in the late 2nd round or be an undrafted free agent but could work his way into a role with an NBA team after a couple years playing at the end of the bench. Travis is just a very smart player, who doesn't play outside his game, but also has the defense and size to play at the next level.
Jeff Withey - Comparison: More athletic Hasheem Thabeet
Jeff Withey is the most dominant shot blocker I have ever seen at the college level. Not just against small teams, but a guy who broke the record in the NCAA tournament last year and held Anthony Davis to 1-10 shooting in the national title game. Withey's shot blocking prowess has just as much to do with timing as it does his 7 foot stature. I think he'll get picked up in the late 1st round, but he could be a guy that could be a very valuable backup center and part time starter who can greatly impact the game, even at the next level. He still needs to add strength, but in the 20 years I have been watching NCAA basketball, I have never seen a more dominant shot blocker, and that says something about what he's good at.
Don't think the Thabeet comparison is a knock, he's finally found a spot, and if he wasn't taken #2 overall, I think he would have found it earlier.
If David Lighty didn't have his injury history and was more athletic he probably would've been drafted. Good comparison. Releford doesn't have those strikes against him so he has a chance. His defensive ability alone should get him a look.
Withey's also more than a shotblocker, which is basically all Thabeet was. Withey has shown good touch and even some flashes of being able to make a mid-range jumper.
Withey is a good free throw shooter, but I've yet to be convinced he can knock down jumpers in game. He does have an evolving post post game, and the ability to shoot hooks with both hands, and he's finally not brining the ball down and just keeping it above his head when he operates on the block.
But you're right, he is more than his shot blocking, I'm just dumbfounded, at times, at the way he effects games by blocking and altering shots. NBA prospects too, he had a great block on Andre Roberton's 2 handed dunk against Colorado. He literally blocks everything and everyone.
Outside of the quick deep post, I don't see Withey being a post threat at all, but I think what he can do is catch and finish with little hooks in the lane, more so than a guy like Omer Asik or guys like him who struggle with touch. His stroke looks nice, so there is promise there. It's not a common occurrence but I've seen him hit jumpers around the elbows and top of the key area.
Also, Elijah Johnson has been pretty mediocre defensively this yr. He has the tools, but he's been getting beat off the dribble with ease.
I think mediocre is a bit harsh. He can be smothering, but he isn't all the time. Bradley wasn't as good as a defender in college as he is as a pro, but Ainge recognized his tools, like Johnson, and helped guide him towards that potential. I could see something similar happening to EJ.
Surprise you didnt mention Perry Ellis....I'm hearing rumors he might declare after the season....
Why would he? He's struggled badly and doesn't project well to the next level given his size and dimensions. He looks like a 4 yr player to me.
Ellis has been a major disappointment...He had so much hype coming out of high school.....He doesnt have a position ,lacks aggression and looks lost on the court at times..I hope he sticks around a few more years...But guys sometimes listen to their family,friends and the media and leave before they should..
Ellis is the most skilled post guy on that squad. The problem is he's just not assertive. If he ever develops a mean streak, he has the potential to be a Marcus Morris type player for KU.
He he lost, and rightfully so, his starting spot to Kevin Young. He is a decent prospect because he can create his own shot on the block at a very young age. Think Sullinger without the wingspan and bulk, but probably a 3 or 4 year player, like Siggy indicated, but very productive by his Jr. Year.
I think Young earned the starting spot in the preseason with his play and due to seniority, but he got injured.
Ellis was highly decorated in HS but I think he always projected to be a core piece of a program, not an early entrant-type player.
I love KY, but his energy is best suited for the bench. Hopefully by mid season Ellis will have the starting spot with Young coming off the bench as an energy guy.
I doubt that. Young earned the starting spot. Plus he's a senior who's paid his dues so I doubt Ellis will take his place this year.
I don't even like Young, but he is more experienced, is longer, better defensively and is the better rebounder on both ends of the floor. He's done nothing to relinquish what he earned.
Elijah will never have an impact on team in NBA that Avery had on the Celtics, if even for a short stint. I doubt he even touches an NBA floor period
Or "the designer" as I like to call him. There is no way I see Perry jump after this year. He needs to hit the weights. He has all kinds of post moves just is strong enough to finish at this level consistently. Kind of reminds me of the morris twins a bit in their first year. He isn't that explosive as a freshman, he gets pushed out of position posting up quite easily. He also like the morris tiwns needs to develop a consistent 15-18ft jumper. Ku has probably the best strength coach in the country and he could use a couple of years to develop which will also will help his rebounding as well. I see him as a 3 year guy, maybe all 4.
He's a 3 or 4 year guy, but not for the reasons most people think. He's a dedicated student and wants to earn his degree (4.0, HS Valedictorian). I could see him earning his degree in 3 years then declaring, a la Kemba Walker.
So if he was good enough to be a lotto pick as an underclassmen, what do you think he'd do?
Good student or not, I doubt he'd pass on the opportunity to declare early if being a lotto prospect was a reality.
He's not that type of prospect though IMO.
lol there is NO way releford will ever put an nba uniform on..i will stop watching basketball
I havent seen 1 game where Elijah Johnson looked like an NBA prospect
At this point, I feel Releford is a better NBA prospect than Johnson is. Releford is a fantastically versatile defender that can defend the 1,2, and 3. He has good size for a 2 or 3 in the NBA at 6'6" and it seems he has a fairly large wingspan. Offensively, he's improved a lot this year. He is shooting 3s at a great percentage and while I don't think he can be consistently great from the 3pt line, at least teams have to respect it. He is fantastic in transition and does a great job finishing at the rim. If he goes to a team that likes to push the ball a lot (D'Antoni would be perfect) he would do well I think. My comparison would be a Bruce Bowen type player. If Kansas does well in the tournament, I could see Releford going mid to late 2nd round.
Withey is really proving last year was not a fluke. He's blocking at a historic rate when it comes to blocks per foul commited (Something silly like 5.5blocks per foul) and 75% of all blocks end up in KU's possession, so he's doing a good job in keeping the blocks in bounds instead of giving it to opponents. I thought he would struggle offensively this year, since Robinson garnered so much defensive attention last year. The truth is, he is actually better than last year. He does a great job of going across the lane and doing baby hooks with either hand. He had a great drop step last night and he is doing a lot better in keeping the ball high. He'll never be an offensive focus in the NBA, but as a defensive shotblocker that does have some offensive skills he'll get a look. A place like Miami where he wouldn't need to score, but just block shots and rebounds would be a nice place for him. I predict he'll be drafted in the 18-25 range.
Johnson is still recovering from his knee injury so I'm taking his performance so far this year with a grain of salt. He's looked better the last few games and actually is distributing the ball well (averaging about 7 assists a game in the last 3). Defensively he has regressed from last year, but I think he'll get it back. My concern with EJ is that his natural position is a SG. He's similar to Shannon Brown in the sense of where do you play him?
I feel Withey might be similar to the birdman Chris Anderson. Great shot blocker, part time starter but mostly off the bench in the nba. 15-20 mins a night 7-10ppg 6/7reb
Might be good for Miami. They will be picking towards the end of the first round and could really use a cheap(rookie salary) rim protector. Was just a thought.
Withey doesn't even have half the athleticism Birdman has
Andersen was a mindless jumping jack who would get faked out of his shoes because he would try to block everything and anything. He also couldn't do anything on offense outside of dunking.
Withey is a smarter defender who doesn't leave his feet unless he has to and also has better touch offensively, but hey they're both white shot blockers so the comparison was expected.
releford is NOT better than elijiah johnson COME ON thats crazy
I like Releford. I remember watching him against Purdue in the tournament last year and he seemed like their best perimeter player back then. He's pretty big and strong, but he's also got a nice outside game, as JoeWolf said, so I like his versatility and I think he's a smart palyer, too, and should have a future in the NBA of some sort
I like you, JoeWolf. You're like IndianaBasketball, but without the name-dropping controversy