Volume 2! JNixon-Iggy9's Countdown to the Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days (60&59)
Back after last year will be the 2011 Draft installment of 60 Prospects in 30 Days! I was patiently waiting for the Draft lotto results to be released so I could officially discuss the draft and its prospects! New prospects and the anticipation of this draft will make this an interesting read to any diehard fans. Without anymore time wasted, here are your 1st 2 prospects!
#60: Jacob Pullen, 6’0 195, PG/SG, Kansas State, SR.
As a fan of Kansas State, I've been fortunate to see Jacob Pullen grow into one of the best players in college basketball and enjoy arguably the best overall career in KState history. Pullen simply matured beautifully, the way you love to see college players grow. He arrived as a thin guy who was about 175 lbs and played little defense and with little discipline, but always having a good scoring instinct, supreme confidence, and a soft shooting touch. Now, Pullen is a 200 lb guy who plays strong and tough on both ends of the floor, while still maintaining the scoring instincts, confidence, and shooting touch.
With those things said, Pullen is probably below average physically for an NBA PG. He has mediocre length, height, and a merely solid frame to make up for it. Pullen also isn’t very athletic, lacking great speed and quickness, and having below average leaping ability. When it comes to his skill set, it’s tough to discuss him without talking about his jump shot. Blessed with a pure stroke, a good release speed and compact form, Pullen was a very confident and effective shooter, particularly for his last 2 years in Manhattan. Has no fear and made numerous big shots over his career. Most effective spotting up, but he’s also a very good shooter off screens. Efficiency drops off the bounce, and he’s not quick enough to get off shots off the dribble in the NBA. As a slasher, Pullen is a mixed bag. Had some nice finishes at the college level and clearly improved as a Sr. at the rim, but struggled a bit overall. Not physically or athletically gifted enough to get to the rim, much less finish with any consistency at the NBA level. It’s also worth mentioning that Pullen is a very mediocre ball-handler for a future PG. Lacks any real advanced moves, and relies on his compact strength and raw determination to get anything off the dribble. He seems to struggle to create lanes to drive to the hoop against NBA-caliber defenders, as his handle and subpar quickness severely limit his slashing game. Another cause for concern is his lack of true PG skills. Early in the season Kansas State struggled badly, and a huge reason for that was due to Pullen’s lack of PG skills and prototypical leadership for the position. Was a SG as a Soph. and Jr. playing alongside Denis Clemente, and saw a great deal of time there as a Fr. too. Not a natural playmaker and isn’t a great drive and dish guy, so most of his playmaking is from around the arc, which doesn’t bode well for the future. It would make his team easier to guard at the NBA level because he won’t pressure the D very well.
The aspect of Pullen’s game that is arguably the strongest though, is his defense. Over the last 2 years, Pullen was arguably a top 3 perimeter defender in college basketball, significantly slowing down some prolific scorers head to head in Jimmer Fredette, Jordan Taylor, LaceDarius Dunn, Jordan Crawford and Malcolm Delaney. Stepped his intensity up whenever he had a big matchup, and flashes a very quick hand, picking up about 1.8 spg in his last 3 years. Has the strength and fundamental footwork to stifle initial dribble drive moves, the hands to pick ball-handlers pocket on crossovers, and the smarts and awareness to know his matchups favorite tendencies to slow them down. However, sometimes trusts his hands too much, gambles, and leaves the team D in jeopardy, as he doesn’t have the athleticism or length to make up for his mistakes. Pullen also won’t affect anyone’s shot in the NBA level as he’s simply not big enough to.
Overall, the charismatic Pullen was a great college player who has some legit concerns about his projection to the NBA, and as a draft pick. He has 2 solid skills in his jumper and tough on-ball D, but is his jumper pure enough for that to simply earn him a niche? Is his physical ability good enough for his tough D to translate against the athletic and quick NBA guards he’ll face? I have doubts even as a fan about his projection, but he’ll certainly have a pro career, whether it’s in Europe, the NBDL, or in the NBA. He seems like a perfect overseas guy though, and he probably will have to try his hand there 1st.
#59: LaceDarius Dunn, 6’3 205, Baylor, SG, SR.
One of my favorite players in the college game as well, Lace Dunn is the most prolific scorer in Big 12 history. Lit up scoreboards from the moment he arrived in Waco. Great offensive player with a game that’s fun to watch. Still, a bit selfish and his ballhogging ways were a huge reason Baylor was arguably the biggest underachiever in the nation in 10-11. Physically and athletically, Dunn is probably slightly below average. About 6’3 and some change, with a solid frame and decent length and strength. Has OK leaping ability, but doesn’t really play a game that relies on athleticism, so it’s hard for the casual fan to see it. Doesn’t have much in the way of explosive speed or quickness, but he’s not exactly slow either. Baylor actually had some backdoor plays for him, and he converted a good deal of them emphatically.
The owner of one of the most unorthodox game’s in college basketball over the last 4 years, Dunn’s main weapon is undeniably his jump shot. The strongest part in his game BY FAR, Dunn was unbelievably scary as a shooter in his career. Release is crazily quick, and it allows him to get his shot off even though his motion is a deliberate one (he shoots with the ball in front of his face) and he gets very little elevation. Cash with his feet set, but what makes him special shooting the ball is that he can come off screens, shoot off the dribble with near effectiveness, and he can change his form based on if he’s open or tightly contested. Can shoot in so many different ways that he sometimes will get overconfident and either miss badly, or waste his teams possessions repeatedly like this past season. It’s also very much worth noting that Dunn has a hard time when NBA-caliber athletes and defenders play him tight to make him put the ball on the floor, and he loses effectiveness with his shot, possibly due to the lack of elevation and deliberateness of his shot. That doesn’t bode well for him. As a ball-handler, Dunn is mediocre. Below average 1st step. Has a stepback between-the-leg dribble move that is effective when helping him separate for his jump shot, but outside of that nothing worth note. A straight-line driver who usually only utilizes 2 or at most 3 dribbles, and often those dribbles lead to nothing but a pull-up jumper instead of a solid drive to the rim. Dunn has never really passed the ball much, and shows some selfish tendencies as a player. When he was a Sophomore, despite playing almost 30 mpg he garnered 4 assists total in conference play. There have been questions about his size and if he could play some PG, but he has shown ZERO ability to even consider actually doing it.
Dunn simply is a weak defender. Baylor played a 2-3 zone with some man-to-man principles and also some straight man and he was bad. Played straight in the air and lacked fundamentals, has underwhelming lateral quickness, gives up penetration easily, and has shaky effort. Projects as a weak NBA defender too, as has no qualities that show that he could defend NBA guards. Has to at least show urgency on D, or he won’t see the floor on a team that takes any true pride on D. Hard to even picture him being a threat in the passing lane either, as he’s not very quick-twitch at all.
Dunn, who has an “old man in the YMCA” style game, has a clear-cut strength. He can shoot and is deadly when open, but he has to show that he can create against the man-to-man D he’ll face against the athletic SG’s in the NBA. He’s not the most creative off the dribble and he notoriously has struggled against NBA caliber defenders at the college level, so he has concerns. Add in his struggles this year with Baylor and his selfish play being a huge reason why the team was bad, Dunn has fallen from a possible 1st round pick to a potential undrafted player. Still his shooting skills and efficiency will earn him some looks at the end of the draft.
I agree with basically everything you had to say about both these players accept the part where you said Dunn was the most prolific scorer in big 12 history, lets calm down alil bit i can name 3 quickly of the top if my head in the past like 4-5 years who i know could put buckets in better then him in Kevin durant at Texas, B-Easy at kansas st, and Blake G at Oklahoma, now unless you meant over his four years combined i still think its a lil over the top but still respect your opinion and would like to see your reasons for saying that
JACOB PULLEN- THE ORIGINAL FEAR THE BEARD!
There will be alot of big name players this year that wont be drafted at all..
Its a shame for Dunn,becuz if he had came out last year he might've went 1st round..This year his stock has dropped so much he might not get drafted...But i still think he'll be on some team's training camp roster...
I'm glad to see you're doing this again this year. I know you've seen each of these players a ton over the years and as a result you're spot on.
This is Iggy's trademark... and how sweet is it Iggy that you start with a player from your college team?lol
Iggy......where the %#@$ you been?
Geat work as always.
"I agree with basically everything you had to say about both these players accept the part where you said Dunn was the most prolific scorer in big 12 history, lets calm down alil bit i can name 3 quickly of the top if my head in the past like 4-5 years who i know could put buckets in better then him in Kevin durant at Texas, B-Easy at kansas st, and Blake G at Oklahoma,"
By most prolific, I mean he literally scored the most points in Big 12 basketball history. He obviously isn't the scorer Beasley was at KState or Durant was at Texas, but for him to score the most points in conference history he has the title as the most prolific scorer.
But thanks guys. I'll be back on here ALOT more now, since I'm officially done with school for the year.
What exactly do you mean when you say Dunn has an "“old man in the YMCA” game?
But anyway, I'm not a fan of him at all. He's not a winning player and is a selfish chucker who usually hurts his team by the way he plays. I don't see his game translating much.
You've never played with or against an old man at a park or at the Y or anywhere like that? It's just an example