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25 - Rakeem Christmas

Syracuse 

  • Birthday: 12/1/91
  • NBA Position: PF/C
  • Class: Senior
  • Ht: 6-9
  • Wt: 245
  • Hometown: Bryn Athyn, PA
  • High School: Academy of the New Church
  • Team Site Profile
  • Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Overall

91

2015
Mock:  36

NBA Comparison: Hilton Armstrong / Cedric Simmons

Strengths: His 7-5 wingspan is just one of several aspects of his terrific set of physical attributes ... At 6-9, 250, he’s very athletic for his size and can potentially add more muscle to his frame without it having a negative impact ... He’s long, mobile, and can run up and down the floor well ... Has great timing on his jumping ability and is quick off his feet, which helps him protect the rim and rebound at a high rate … Excellent shot blocker and defender in the paint...Aggressive man-to-man defender but stays in control ... Knows how to stand straight up and keep his balance when defending in the paint ... Keeps himself between his man and the basket ... Extends straight up when going after shots ... Improving pick-and-roll defender ... Rotates well into position on the defensive end because of his defensive awareness ... Uses his length to extend and challenge shots, and deny low post entry passes ... Does a good job at tracking missed shots and getting into position to grab rebounds (boxes out well) ... Very active on the defensive and offensive glass ... Talks to his teammates and directs them on defense ... Able to move well laterally and cover a lot of space ... Improved footwork and hands ... An effective screen and roller in pick-and-roll situations ... Works hard when establishing himself on the blocks ... Patient and waits for things to develop on the low block ... Has become more comfortable operating in the low post with his back to the basket and outside the post with his face up game ... Has shown he can drive by defenders (over short distances and usually going right) when facing up ... Uses his athleticism to score most of his points around the basket in the half court or in transition ... Creates and finishes through contact...Can catch and finish in traffic ... Explosive finisher around the basket ... Has improved his ability to score with both hands and has develop a few over-the-shoulder moves ... Can make quick moves in the low post with our without putting the ball on the floor ... Has developed a nice hook shot and up-and-under move ... His free throw shooting has improved since his freshman and sophomore seasons ... Has developed a more consistent shooting motion, has better balance and a smoother release on his free throws ... Displays great intensity on both ends of the floor ...

Weaknesses: Tends to camp out in the paint for long periods out time ... At 6-9, he would be considered undersized at the center position at the next level (projects at power forward in the NBA), and his skill set is more condusive to the center position ... It would be tough to guard post players who are bigger, taller and stronger than him ... When he isn't looking to score, he needs to make quicker decisions with the ball on the block ... Average passer out of post and sometimes hold onto the ball too long when approached by double-teams ... Sometimes forces the action while in the low post, which leads to turnovers off bad passes ... Offensive game can still be polished, and is inconsistent at times ... Although he’s proven he can score with his left-hand, he needs to continue working on shooting with it ... Does not have a go-to move ... Needs to develop a package of consistent secondary moves as well ... Sometimes has trouble making decisions when he’s forced too far out of the paint ... Lacks a consistent outside shot and mid-range jumper...Release on his shot can be a bit flat and he sometimes releases the ball in front of his face ... Can add more range on his shot ... Does not have great ball-handling abilities … Sometimes has the tendency to bring the ball down instead of keeping it high after grabbing a rebound ... Can improve the arc on his free throw shooting … Does not use his lower body to seal off his defender as well as he uses his upper body (sometimes throws him off balance) ... Sometimes gets caught biting on too many head and shot fakes on the defensive end, which leads to fouls ... Will need to show teams that he can really defend the pick-and-roll and on the perimeter ... His advanced age (23) may shy some teams away from drafting him because they may feel he has less upside than younger bigs ...

Notes: Christmas, a former McDonald’s All-American, turned in a superb 2014-15 season for the Syracuse Orange ... After three unproductive and underachieving seasons, the 23-year-old senior made significant strides in several areas of his game ... His role as a leader and player increased dramatically, as he averaged 17.5 points on 55 percent shooting (while facing persistent double-teams), 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game ... The 6-foot-9 big man earned All-ACC First Team and All-ACC Defensive Team honors, and was named the ACC’s Most Improved Player ... He was also selected as a second-team All-American, and was a finalist for a host of other awards (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, John Wooden Award, and Oscar Robertson Award) ...

Tajh Jenkins 3/20/15

Strengths:
Long athletic forward who possesses great length with a 7'2 wingspan ... Extremely athletic and explosive ... Has the ability to knock down consistent shots out to 15 feet ... Possesses a good face-up game and a real ability to beat his defender off the dribble with his quickness ... Finishes explosively around the basket with powerful dunks ... Plays with a chip on his shoulder ... No doubt that with his athleticism and steady progression he could lead the country in rebounding and blocked shots.

Weaknesses: Lacks great polish in the paint offensively and a real go-to post move. He isn't necessarily a threat on the block to isolate with ... Hasn't shown he's capable of scoring with his back to the basket and needs to develop better footwork. ... Average free throw shooter ... Defensively, he rarely defends the post in man to man situations given the fact that his high school converted to the 2-3 zone to prepare him for life as an Orangemen ... Questionable motor and displays poor body language at times, has a tendency to appear dis-interested ...

Notes: Has performed well at the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy for the past two seasons and Stoudemire is a player who Rakeem's athletic ability has been compared to. ... Christmas can be an impact player on defense at Syracuse but will need to develop a better motor in order to succeed in the Big East ...

Chris Clayton 1/24/11

June 18, 2015

YouTube Clip - 8/11/2009

YouTube Clip - 8/21/2009

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