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Thoughts on 'Bazz?

sammybuckeye13
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Thoughts on 'Bazz?

Sixth months ago, if you told me Bazz would be considered a mid-lotto pick in a weak draft, I would've laughed, but that's where he currently sits. Entering the year he was #1 on my board, he's at once one of the safest picks (strong, physical scorer), and one of the most mysterious ("personality," somewhat selfish). Still, in this draft, probably the weakest since '00, I really think that despite the bumps this year 'Bazz should be a top 5 lock. Considering where he's positioned in most mocks, I see his situation pretty much mirroring Andre Drummond.

Muhammed possesses a trait that only one other elite prospect (McLemore) can claim: an elite scorer with sufficient size and athleticism; if you're a GM and Shabazz being a "6-6 small forward" scares you, I wonder how you got this far in your line of work. Shabazz is 6-6/225 with a huge wingspan, awesome hops, he's strong for a young wing and he's simply relentless. If the issues regarding Bazz, such as his 0.8 apg, early suspension and age controversy, are going to scare you, then you probably can't be convinced about him otherwise. And he absolutely has some weaknesses. Then again, if a center with torn ACL is the frontrunner for the top pick in this draft, isn't potential governing how this draft goes even more so than usual?

In his one season at UCLA, 'Bazz was terrific. He averaged 17.9 points on decent percentages (44%/37), shot just 71% from the FT line but managed to take 5.6 per game, rebounded well for his size (5.2 rpg) and rarely turned the ball over. He notched 14 games of 20+ points, an example of his ability to take over. I admit that he's flawed, but he is also a gem comparable, though not quite equal to, the shooting guard from Kansas. He promises to be an effective scorer at the next level with awesome potential. Where McLemore can be shy and deferential on offense, Bazz is ruthless. My favorite thing about 'Bazz as a prospect is his instinct to attack. Rather than drive the lane as a fallback option when he can't find space to shoot, he first looks to take it to the hole. And he can be a legit terror.

Essentially, I don't view him any differently than I did before the season started. I know he has issues, but nobody's perfect. McLemore -- who, again, I believe should be the #1 pick -- missed his entire freshman season due to problems with his high school transcripts, while his 2.0 apg average doesn't necessarily dwarf Muhammed's total. Not saying that Muhammed is superior, but that in this draft, all prospects should be equally accountable for their off-court issues. When you thoroughly consider how he performed on the court, he did nothing to hurt his stock, let alone slide consistently with no end in sight.

I would like to blame the Bruins' record and Bazz's low assist total on the claim that UCLA was the most dysfunctional team in the country yet again, but it might just be that the guy isn't a great leader or distributor. Like Eric Gordon and Dion Waiters, he's a born scorer who doesn't pretend to be anything but. His evolution as a player will depend on how he's nurtured, though he's as close to a sure thing as a scorer that you're going to get.

If I'm the GM of the Suns or Hornets, picking 4 and 5, he is at the top of my board.


ph90702
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How can you say this is a

How can you say this is a weak draft when none of the players have played a minute in the NBA?

hbomb3300
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Bazz

What suprised me about him this year was his lack of athleticism... he seemed like a great athlete in high school and just didn't show any of that this year. If this regression was just because of the injury before the season or poor conditioning he could be a steal.

lakeshow22
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Shabazz has taken a step back

Shabazz has taken a step back in his athletism and speed

JoeWolf1
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I think Shabazz will have

I think Shabazz will have some success scoring the basketball at the next level, but he's going to have to get in better shape. He does not have "awesome hops" but rather great measurements in the wingspan and standing reach department. Shabazz does have a nice shot, which will translate, what won't will be his bully offensive style. He's not going to be able to power his way to the goal at as high of a level as he did in college. Now, Shabazz is strong and he will be able to do it against some NBA shooting guards, but I wonder about his speed on the perimter containing quick wings.

I think his skill and the fact that he's better defending the post make people want to entertain him playing the three because his wing defense and lateral speed are not great. It's just a way to possibly move him away from his weaknesses into a position in which he may have more success defending.

When push comes to shove, Shabazz is one of the top 10 prospects in this draft and should be drafted accordingly, but there are also a lot of things about his game and the physical condition he was in all year that raise some questions. We all know he was recovering from and injury, but he was really overweight when he suited up for his first game at UCLA. I think how good of shape he shows up to the pre-draft camps will either ease those concerns or justify them. He's also the type of kid who will do well in team interviews. I think Bazz could go 4 or 5, like you think, but I also think he could go 9 or 10.

Regardless, I think he will be an effective scorer ( He could probably get 14 for the Bobcats as a rookie ) at the next level, but I think he won't ever be a star caliber player, just a good one. I think he's a fairly safe pick, past 5 because of his length and shooting touch, but if he doesn't take his fitness to a "professional level" meaning it's his job to be in great shape, it could pose a problem down the line with how good he becomes. That being said, if he does, he could be a career 15 or 16 ppg scorer IMO.

hbomb3300
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Bazz

Getting a career 15 or 16 ppg scorer will be considered solid gold looking back in 5 years at this draft lol.

JoeWolf1
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Haha, your absolutely right.

Haha, your absolutely right. I think a best case for Bazz would make him a great pick in this draft. I just think if he shows up to the pre-draft events heavy then that could be an issue down the line as far as how effective he is from a speed standpoint.

lakeshow22
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Why would shabazz come to pre

Why would shabazz come to pre draft work outs heavy after all these months off?

JoeWolf1
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Why would he start the season

Why would he start the season so heavy? Health and fitness require dedication. I understand he got hurt, but getting hurt doesn't mean your going to get heavy unless you have poor eating/ traing habits a slow metabolism or a combination of those. Not saying he will, but he's done it before.

lakeshow22
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Wolf you never saw shabazz

Wolf you never saw shabazz play at Gorman if you think he is only an average athlete

JoeWolf1
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So you want me to ignore the

So you want me to ignore the athletic ability he showcased in the 10 or so games i saw him play this season in favor of what he did 1-3 years ago? There are guys way more qualified me to scout basketball players making similar observations. Maybe he's lost some lift because of his injury or maybe it's cause he was out of shape, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. He looked to me like a guy who's length gives the illusion of a more athletic player.

lakeshow22
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I'm talking about less than a

I'm talking about less than a year ago when he was a senior he was an elite athlete to most scouts and analysts who saw him play. There has been numerous people have stated that shabazz looked nothing like he did in high school. Grant rice his high school coach who watched him play during the PAC 12 tournament in Vegas stated that he needed to shed more weight and get back to his old work outs.

strobox88
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My problem with Bazz is he

My problem with Bazz is he has regressed sometime between his high school senior year and beginning of his freshman season. A lot of people give him praise for scoring 18ppg, but to me that is average for someone of his talent and athletic ability. He would easily have been a 20ppg+ scorer if he was a better one-one-one player. The motor and killer-instinct is there, but the skills needed to dominate haven't developed yet. The kid can get you buckets as a catch and shoot guy, but when it comes to one-on-one play, he settles too much for contested floaters instead of being crafty and taking what the defense give him. He only got this far in college through bullying/overpowering players as opposed to blowing past them/jumping over them. At the next level, Bazz won't have that luxury of doing so at the SF position, so SG seems more likely due his height (6'5"-6'6").

What I like about Bazz, though, is his work ethic. He's one of few prospects in the draft that are most likely to reach or come close to their potential through practice alone. The motor and killer-instinct will allow him to make strides in his game.

On a last note, Shabazz is underrated on the NBAdraft.net mock draft right now given some of the players that are projected before him though I'm assuming once the combine starts he will rise back up.

strobox88
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I encourage everyone who

I encourage everyone who negged me above to watch his draft express video on YouTube and tell me I'm wrong. Can't lie if it's right there for your eyes to see...

FastAndFurious
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Ima keep it 100...........

Ima keep it 100........... Shabazz remins me of a player I liked alot in last years draft, not game wise just how their first year in the NBA might turn out, after all the hype and a good freshman year.

He gives me two different types of feelings, he could be good or he could come to the NBA and not be so good his first year.

The player he reminds me of is Austin Rivers.

@activehustle
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Verdict is still out on

Verdict is still out on Bazz..It's hard to judge anyone who comes out of that Ben Howland system..I felt like Jrue Holiday was weak at UCLA and now he's a stud..We just have to wait and see what he does in his workouts.

NYFLAVA2K9
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Bazz doesn't slip past the

Bazz doesn't slip past the top 7... If Dion Waiters can put up 15 a game as a rookie, Bazz can do it as well given he's in a similar rebuilding situation... That alone right there warrants a top 5 pick for this year...

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The more I watch Shabazz and

The more I watch Shabazz and read his scouting reports the more i think of JERRY STACKHOUSE. Stack was never really looked at as anything more than a volume scorer, but when he was on he could carry a team. Like Shabazz, Stack didn't have the greatest handle and got the majority of his points spotting up from 3, bullying weaker perimeter players, and being quite athletic. I think Shabazz is starting to be underrated by many people. UCLA was a terrible fit for him and he showed a lot of flaws, but still still put up 18 & 5.

Shabazz will never be Kobe, but i can certainly see him having a career quite similar to jerry stackhouse

@activehustle
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If Bazz would of went to

If Bazz would of went to Kentucky we wouldn't be having this discussion..He would of been a lock for top 5.

strobox88
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I highly doubt that

Maybe, but his stats wouldn't be the same and someone of his nature simply couldn't be on a team like Kentucky. He can't play with a lineup full of great players; he has to be the man.

aaucoach
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i dont really understand how

i dont really understand how he could possibly be #1 on anybodies draft board while in h.s.even there he had 3 huge holes in his game.lack of a right hand,cant create off the dribble,and he wasnt a freak athlete.thats not a recipe for a top pick.athletically he was always average,but it wasnt glaring because he was bigger and stronger than most.but in college once size catches up,you start to notice more things.i dont think he has 1 memorable dunk in college.

aaucoach
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i dont really understand how

i dont really understand how he could possibly be #1 on anybodies draft board while in h.s.even there he had 3 huge holes in his game.lack of a right hand,cant create off the dribble,and he wasnt a freak athlete.thats not a recipe for a top pick.athletically he was always average,but it wasnt glaring because he was bigger and stronger than most.but in college once size catches up,you start to notice more things.i dont think he has 1 memorable dunk in college.

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