I got the treat yesterday of sitting courtside for VCU Alabama at VCU. For anyone who has not ever watched VCU play, they are one of the most fun and exciting teams in the country not due to flashy dunks or behind the back passes but (gasp) defense. Its truly a sight, Alabama didn't have a field goal in the first 10 minutes of the game. In fact, today's paper said that VCU had 15 consectutive stops defensively which is almost unreal.
Looking at VCU's roster, the only real NBA prospect seems to be Juvonte Reddic, a 6-9 power foward with legit size who has put up games such as 16 pts 13 reb agasint Duke and 22 and 10 against Witchita State. (For what its worth, Reddic played perhaps the worst game of his VCU career, finishing with 4 points and 3 fouls in 15 minutes, including a seemingly on-purpose lack of defensive effort. )
My question for yall is, which of the prospects on Alabama's roster have legit NBA potential? Specfically, Rodney Cooper, Levi Randolph, Trevor Releford, Trevor Lacey, and Devonta Pollard (who is thin as a rail, but has UNREAL bounce). I know most if not all of these guys were Top 50 prospects coming out of high school, and was curious about their status as NBA prospects. Thanks!
The best prospect is Devonta Pollard, followed by Levi Randolph and Trevor Releford.
Devonta's a typical jumping jack 6'8-6'9 raw athlete who doesn't have the skill to define his position. In HS, he did a lot of things across the board due to his athleticism, but he's not particularly good at any one thing yet. He reminded me a bit of Thad Young in HS, but Thad was further along at the same age in terms of shooting.
Levi projects to be a lengthy, perimeter defensive specialist who can hit some spot up shots and be a 2ndary ball-handler. He's a smart player and good defender, but he's really passive offensively. Looks like a 4 yr player. He has until then to figure out how to be a more productive player to complement his defense.
Releford's a small scoring point, with decent defensive ability (Anthony Grant's a good teacher when it comes to defense) and PnR ability. His physical dimensions and athleticism aren't anything special for the point, neither are his playmaking skills, but maybe he can make it as a scoring, change-of-pace sparkplug off the bench.
But he reminds me off Anthony Randolph and I cant decide if thats a good thing or a bad thing.
Other than Pollard, I'd go with Trevor Lacey simply because I've been watching him for years. He was a monster at Butler High sChool in Alabama where he won several State Championships. I remeber him startiing as an 8th grader and droppin 30 one game in the playoffs. He's a baller. I see he's picked on weight since his high school days where he was sort long and lean but very explosive with good handles. I think he still has the skillset and can be an intriguing NBA prospect. He also played on the same AAU team with Austin Rivers and there were several games where Rivers struggled, so they let Lacey run the show.