Sep 13, 2011
NBA Comparison: Cliff Robinson
Strengths: Early is a versatile combo forward with a natural inclination for scoring (16 PPG) … He’s a terrific athlete at 6’8 with clean movements, good quickness and explosive vertical bounce … An active mover without the ball, he uses that athleticism to slash & finish around the bucket … While offensive rebound output is down (2.3 to 1.4), it’s unquestionably an area he can impose his presence … Early is comfortable receiving the ball with his back to the basket where he can elevate over defenders (high release) or utilize a quick spin baseline … He’s advanced his shooting range – 1.7 makes and 3.5% jump in accuracy – but still a mid-range weapon first and foremost … 85% free throw shooter. No apparent fundamental flaws in his release, but does bring the ball from low to high … Most effective off catch & shoot, can serve as floor stretcher off pick and roll … He’s playing with improved confidence and game in, game out consistency as a senior (two single-digit efforts, both in blowouts) … Possesses all the tools to be a solid perimeter defender when fully engaged; moves well laterally and doesn’t gamble … Product of a winning program and coached up right by Gregg Marshall … Early raised his game under the bright lights of the Final Four, posting a 24/10 (zero turnover) line against Louisville’s elite frontcourt.
Weaknesses: To occupy the 3-spot at the next level, Early needs to beef up his off-the-dribble dimension … Ball handling and willingness to attack are on the incline, but he’s far from secure … He avoids dribbling into tight quarters and creativity is lacking … Not the best decision maker with ball in hand (2 TO); lacks a feel for passing. Range shooting is steadier at 35%, but he shouldn’t be attempting 5 three’s per game in college. At 220 pounds (tops) with a 6’9 wingspan, defending against NBA 4’s is a bit of a pipedream … He’s bulked up some since arriving from JC – particularly core and lower body strength. More hard yards are required in order to stand firm in post defense … Tendency to get caught watching the action (when not the primary defender) is disconcerting. Awareness and focus can be suspect. Early has a plethora of skills, but a few major limitations have earned him the label of tweener … He’ll turn 23 in April putting a cap on his physical upside. Nevertheless, as Wichita keep winning, Early keeps climbing draft boards.
Adam Ganeles 2/17/14
Notes: Measured 6’7 (in shoes) 207 lbs, with a 6’9 wingspan at the 2013 Kevin Durant Skills Academy