Player of the Week
[player: Allen Crabbe], Cal Bears
This past week, Crabbe averaged 23.5 points, 7 rebounds and 5.5 assists in two games including an upset victory over Arizona where he scored 31 points on a blistering 12/15 field goals. Crabbe is an excellent shooter coming off screens where he needs little time to set himself and get the shot off before defenders can contest. He also displays an array of mid range runners and floaters since he doesn’t usually get all the way to the rim and finish over defenders. The improved all around play incorporating more assists and rebounds as well as defense is what really stands out and increases his NBA stock of late. Crabbe has shown these flashes of brilliance before so it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up coming down the home stretch of conference play as he tries to lead the Bears into the NCAA tournament.
[player: Dwight Powell] and [player: Josh Huestis], Stanford Cardinal
The forward duo for the Cardinal is coming on strong of late and have Stanford back in the mix for NCAA tournament considerations after a slow start. The Cardinal have gone 4-1 in the past 5 games with the one loss coming to Arizona in a close back and forth game. In that 5 game stretch, the 6-7 junior combo forward Josh Huestis has averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds while continuing to show his presence as the teams best defender where he has gotten over 2 blocks and a steal per in this stretch locking down the other team’s best frontcourt weapon. Huestis has a bit of an awkward skill set for a wing where he can shoot and dribble well but is not great getting a lot of points inside the paint.
Dwight Powell is a 6-10 pf who has put up 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in two games this past week challenging Crabbe for player of the week. He is truly emerging as a go to player who likes to face up his opponents and then either take the perimeter shot if they back up or use his speed to blow by guys. Never much of an inside presence, he is showcasing much improved toughness when attacking the paint this year and making his presence felt down low.
[player: CJ Wilcox] of Washington
Wilcox is normally known as a knock down 6-5 wing shooter who can not be left alone. Unfortunately, he has not been making opposing teams pay as of late and could be seeing his draft stock drop as a result while also seeing any hopes the Huskies have of making the NCAA tournament disappear. Over the past 5 games, Wilcox has averaged more then 35 minutes of action per contest but has only mustered up 11.6 points on 34% shooting from the field including 23% shooting from long distance. His stress fracture is obviously affecting him. The Huskies as a team are 1-4 in that stretch and desperately need the junior scoring threat to get it going.
[player: Brock Motum] of Washington State.
I have long defended Washington State Big man Brock Motum these past few years due to the fact I didn’t think he got his due recognition playing with little help for the Cougars. But the reality is he has slipped a bit in his senior season as he has been asked to carry more of a scoring load. After shooting a blistering 60% from the field last year and 55% the season before, Brock was always considered a very efficient player who could finish down low and knock down the open jumper. But that shooting percentage has fallen by the wayside this year as Brock has failed to hit half his shot attempts in 13 of his past 14 games. In his past 5 games he has shot 38% from the field to get 15 points per and the Cougars have gone 0-5 in that stretch as a result falling to the bottom of the pac 12 conference on the year.
Top 10 NBA prospects
Normally this is where I insert a top 5 list but I had trouble whittling down the list of NBA prospects to just 5 so I give you 10. Keep in mind that I surely do not believe all 10 of these players will enter this years draft.
1-[player: Shabazz Muhammad], (freshman) UCLA
Shabazz is considered a potential top 5 pick. He is an aggressive wing player who is an excellent spot up shooter and does a great job stopping on a dime and shooting the mid range shot rarely finding himself picking up charges in traffic. He seldom looks to make the extra pass and is a below average defender at this point, two areas he must improve. But you have to love his intensity and work ethic. Regardless of time or score, he goes hard for 40 minutes and showcases supreme confidence.
2-[player: Dwight Powell], (junior) Stanford
Powell is a guy I used to compare to Charlie Villanueva. Skilled and long forward who played soft. But this year he has shown increased toughness and is scrapping for loose balls more then in the past and making his presence felt showcasing the ability to be a true pf at the next level to combine with his versatile perimeter skills.
3-[player: Allen Crabbe], (junior) Cal
Crabbe has good size and length for an NBA shooting guard and he has always been an excellent shooter. He works well off the ball, coming off screens where he can shot from distance or in the mid range area. He is a good competitor who will force his will on opponents even if the defense has the edge which occasionally leads to off shooting nights. He will also need to work on his ball handling. But he has shown improved rebounding and passing skill this season showcasing better all around team leadership.
4-[player: Kyle Anderson], (freshman) UCLA
Kyle is unique as they come. He handles the ball and passes like a pg but doesn’t have the speed to play in the backcourt at the next level. He rebounds well but doesn’t have the strength or toughness to play inside in the NBA. He must improve his outside shooting to play on the perimeter. So he has the skills to do many things but is probably best suited to play another year of college ball. An excellent decision maker where he reads the entire court before making his mind up which slows his pace down from the typical NBA caliber wing who concentrates on athleticism and attacking first and foremost.
5-[player: Spencer Dinwiddie], (sophomore) Colorado
Dinwiddie is a long armed guard who runs the point for Colorado while standing 6-6. He is a very good ball handler and passer, but will more then likely find his role at the next level as a sg who likes to create for others, similar to how Evan Turner approaches the game. Spencer can shoot it from deep but is still developing in terms of consistency overall. He doesn’t have a real go to move which allows defenders to often dictate what he does instead of forcing his will.
6-[player: Grant Jarrett], (freshman) Arizona
I have kept my eye on Jarrett every time I watch the Wildcats play and I lohe displays a lot of long term potential. Grant doesn’t have great athleticism, but he does have great length and does a good job moving around the court without great bounce in his step. Jarrett relies heavily on his outside shooting where he has nice form and takes over 2 threes per game. If Jarret falls in love with his jumper, he could be similar to former NBA player Brian Cook.
7-[player: Andre Roberson], (junior) Colorado
Roberson is an athletic wing who makes his living running the court and crashing the paint. Offensively he is pretty much limited to catch and shoot on wide open shots where his teammates set him up as he can not be relied on off the dribble or creating for himself. But if he can guard the other team’s best wing and make a living doing the little things that keeps a guy on the court hustle wise, he has a chance to be a contributor in the NBA.
8-[player: Brandon Ashley], (freshman) Arizona
Ashley has been a very solid starter who brings a combination of toughness where he bangs down low and enjoys contact combined with elite level athleticism that allows him to run the court and cover lots of ground on defense. He will need to continue to improve his face up skills because his back to the basket game is poor and at 6-8, its doubtful that it ever really becomes a strength of his. But with all the other tools and physical abilities at his disposal, Ashley can be a face up PF who causes havoc with his athleticism.
9-[player: Jahii Carson], (freshman) Arizona State
Carson has been an absolute stud for the much improved Arizona Wildcats leading them back into the conversation for a NCAA tournament birth. Carson is only 5-10 which is the first thing scouts will notice and be alarmed with. But Carson has great explosive quickness and can attack the rim hard and posterize guys with his above the rim finishing ability. Carson must improve as a shooter from deep though. Already being short, it is tough enough to get shots up over taller defenders, but to add to the issue, he has a bit of a set shot with little lift off the ground and he starts it at a low spot below the shoulders making it extra difficult to get off against defensive pressure. But Jahii does too many things well to dismiss his NBA chances.
10-[player: CJ Wilcox], (junior) Washington
This last spot could have gone to a number of different players. But despite his recent struggles(read who’s cold above), Wilcox is an excellent shooter with quick catch and shoot abilities. He wont bring much else to the table besides shooting, but he has the athleticism to keep up with NBA wings both on defense and getting up and down in transition. Jodie Meeks is a solid comparison here.
Jordan Adams, Travis Wear, Justin Cobbs, Josh Huestis, Chasson Randle, DeWayne Dedmon, Jordan Bachynski, Carrick Felix, Solomon Hill, Nick Johnson, Mark Lyons, Kaleb Tarkzewski, Kevin Parrom, Norman Powell, Josh Scott, Jordan Loveridge, Aziz N’Diaye, Abdul Gaddy, Brock Motum, Damyean Dodson, Tony Woods, Arsalan Kazemi, Dominic Artis, Carlos Emory, Eric Moreland, Devon Collier