34 - Hasheem Thabeet

7-2, 267 Center
UConn Junior
02/16/87 (33.7 yrs)
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
High School
Cypress Comm.
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Dikembe Mutombo

Strengths: Jim Calhoun called Thabeet “one of the most dominant players in the history of college basketball,” and it’s hard to disagree … Had Thabeet returned for his senior year, he likely would have broken the NCAA career-record for blocked shots (he left UConn 118 behind the all-time leader, Wojciech Mydra of Louisiana-Monroe)… Averaged 4.5 blocks per game as a junior, but altered about eight or nine more … Has impeccable timing and athleticism for someone 7-foot-3 … Is extremely mobile for someone his size. Often beats guards down the court … Jumpshot improved considerably in his three years at UConn. Towards the end of his junior year, Thabeet began to take—and make—12-15 foot jumpshots within the offense … Has a soft touch and a good stroke. With some polishing, there’s reason to believe Thabeet can be a consistent mid-range shooter at the next level … Shot just 63 percent from the free throw line, but shoots it with confidence and an excellent motion for a bigman and should be able to increase that number to the mid-to-high 70s throughout his career … Has a good nose for the ball on the boards … Tremendous lateral quickness for a player his size. Can guard smaller players out to the 3-point line … Is a bit stronger than he appears. Overall, Thabeet has a scary combination of size and athleticism that doesn’t come along often … Upside is tremendous.

Post game needs refining. Thabeet has not learned to keep the ball high. He puts the ball on the floor way too often instead of going straight up without dribbling. This leads to turnovers and more difficult shots … Though he uses both hands fairly well, Thabeet lacks back-to-the-basket moves and his hands are suspect. Offensively, he relies mostly on alley-oops and offensive rebounds to collect his points … Needs to develop a go-to post-move, whether it be a strong drop-step or jump-hook … Has good body strength, but toughness seems to be a questionmark. Gets pushed around by stronger players and spends more time on the ground than almost any player in college basketball … Looked absolutely helpless against Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair, one of the few players he faced with an NBA-type body … Could beef up about 10 pounds more, but needs to maintain his lateral quickness and athleticism … Needs to work on defending the pick and roll. Gets tangled and confused to easily … Still raw offensively, sometimes struggles to catch the ball … Needs to be able to pass the ball out of the double-team a little better.

Notes: Still relatively inexperienced … Improved by leaps and bounds since enrolling at UConn in 2006. Between his height, athleticism and soft touch, Thabeet has as much upside as any prospect in this draft. Might not make an immediate impact on the offensive end, but Thabeet has the potential to be an All-Star down the road … Has a gregarious personality …

Kevin Duffy 5/21/09

Strengths: For his immense size, Thabeet is an above average runner of the court Does a great job of getting initial post position by using his body wide and sealing off his defender Has soft hands. Rarely does he bobble passes and catches with few problems no matter the distance or speed of the pass Shot blocking skills are top shelf His explosiveness: getting off the floor quickly is mind blowing for a player his size … Physically he has all the tools needed to continue with his long arms and first-rate timing Unlike many young players he has learned to be a very patient shot blocker that rarely bites on pump fakes Has yet to even scratch the surface of his vast potential Although still learning the game, he doesnt have a lot of bad habits Very coachable in that whatever flaws he has in his game can be easily corrected Shows solid outlet passing ability which is rare for a player with his level of experience Although his post moves are unrefined, Thabeet has shown reasonably good touch Above average defensive rebounder Shows decent upper body strength, which should greatly improve and great athleticism for his size

Weaknesses: Offensively Thabeet remains raw and undeveloped Struggles to maintain his position in the post where he tends to get rooted out by smaller players Although as mentioned above he is an above average runner on the court he still could improve his foot speed Like many players his age, Thabeets post footwork is a work in progress although to his credit it has improved since his breakout Global Games performance Should continue to learn how to block out more aggressively when working for the offensive rebound Movements are a bit mechanical but this doesnt seem to affect his coordination right now Free throw shooting is below average, however he does show good form and confidence with repetition he should become solid before the season is over Back to the basket skills are in need of improvement Not much of a face-up player Offensive court awareness is evolving but still is a few steps behind. This is evident when he is finishing around the basket as he loses where he is in relation to the basket or rushes his shot

Matthew Maurer – 11/17/2006

Strengths: A mountain of a player, hes a legit 7-3 with a big body and good mobility Hes still raw offensively but has the frame and body strength to easily put on another 20-30 pounds and retain his mobility It is rare to find a player with his type of size, speed and strength combination Has good coordination Decent touch on his shot, especially considering the amount of time he has been playing organized basketball, so it can improve At worst he will be a force inside as a rebounder and shot blocker

Weaknesses: Still very new to the game, needs flying time Offensively he is still very raw, must learn to play in the post Hes a few years away from being ready to contribute on the NBA level Right now his leg strength is ahead of his upper body strength From Tanzania (birth records are suspect in African countries) so there is some question about his true age. Scouts say he looks young but realistically he could be anywhere from 18-22

Notes: Considered a possible lottery pick based on his size and athleticism Thabeet opened the eyes of NBA scouts at the Global Games in Dallas, Texas in June of 2006 He played last year at Cyress Communty Christian in Houston, Texas. Right now hes a project, but with a huge ceiling Said one scout, Hes getting better every day. If he gets eligible, hes one year and out at UConn and Im calling it right now, hes a top 10 pick.

Aran Smith – 7/12/2006

YouTube Clip – 9/10/2007

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