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NBA Draft Watch- The FRESHMAN

Posted on 03. Nov, 2009 by Justin Shulman in NBA Draft

In the modern world of NCAA hoops there are now a few different classifications of players. You’ve got the “One and done”, the kids who stay a couple seasons to polish their game, and the 4 year seniors. Although we have seen NBA all-stars come from all three categories, it’s always fun to project the incoming freshmen. The kids listed below will have an immediate impact at their schools and on their respective teams. These guys are going to make waves, not ripples throughout their respective conferences. They are players who have yet to make a bucket at the collegiate level, yet in time will be getting love from Dickey V, and stealing the girls from upperclassmen at the party.

John Wall
6’4/175- Kentucky
(Word of God Christian Academy)

The unanimous top ranked point guard in the 2010 draft class, but also the #1 prospect overall, John Wall has a lot to look forward to and live up to this coming season. Many freshman sensations walk onto to campus and are not only expected to be the face of their team, but keep the possibility of a deep post season run alive. Wall isn’t expected to keep it a possibility, but rather has to deal with the pressures of a deep post season run being the only result that’s acceptable. Playing for Kentucky, under a high profile coach, and a freshman class that is suppose to rival Michigan’s famous fab five means that unrealistic expectations are part of what Wall signed up for. That being said, he’s the kind of kid who takes a challenge head on, and up to this point has past every test with flying colors. Think Derek Rose in Calipari’s dribble drive offense, but a little further along in his development. His ability to attack the paint and create easy baskets both in transition and in the half court make him a prospect that will live his freshman year under the microscope. Watch Wall while you can Wildcats, this is a one year viewing. Unless John Wall falls in love with college and out of love with the opportunity to make money, he will be the #1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

DeMarcus Cousins
6’9/245- Kentucky
(Le Flore HS)

After just 5 weeks on the job, coach Cal had already landed all the big fish for his first season in Lexington. Joining John Wall at Kentucky is our #4 ranked center and #15 ranked overall prospect, DeMarcus Cousins . Cousins is a complete beast in the paint. With back to the basket post moves beyond his age and an emerging face up game, Cousins is a true matchup nightmare. DeMarcus will likely start alongside Patrick Patterson to form the most talented starting frontcourt in the nation. With plenty of media exposure, scouts at every game, and the opportunity to flourish playing alongside Wall, Cousins is going to play his way up draft boards. Expect to hear his name called in the late lottery on draft day.

Avery Bradley
6’3/175- Texas
(Findlay Prep)

Bradley should step right in and be the little engine that could for Ricky Barnes’ Longhorns. Bradley displays a number of impressive tools, but his mid-range game is what makes his game stand out offensively. Where Bradley really impresses scouts is with his defense. It is a safe bet that the two-guard will be a force from day one in the Big 12 conference. Bradley should make Texas fans forget about AJ Abrams and lead this loaded Texas team on one of their deepest March runs in years. Bradley has been compared to Monta Ellis with a little more defensive swagger and Flagrant Fouls has him rated as our #3 shooting guard and #14 overall prospect in the 2010 NBA draft class.

Derrick Favors
6’9/220- Georgia Tech
(South Atlanta HS)

Favors enters college as one of the most athletic big men in the country and his presence should immediately put Georgia Tech into contention for an NCAA Tournament berth. He has a frame and a build that was unlike any other player at the high school level. Derrick is tall, well defined, has broad shoulders, and looks like a prototypical NBA power forward do to an excellent wingspan. An outstanding athlete – he plays above the rim and constantly makes highlight reel plays on both ends of the court. Derrick is Flagrant Fouls #1 rated power forward and #2 overall prospect in the 2010 draft class. Favors is also the only player worthy of giving John Wall a run for his money as the Freshman of the Year and the #1 pick in the upcoming draft.

Xavier Henry
6’6/225- Kansas
(Putnam City HS)

Henry’s decision to de-commit from Memphis and take his game to Kansas has solidified the Jayhawks as this year’s National Title front runner. Henry is a big time slashing guard who already possesses NBA shooting guard size. Physically, Henry has everything you look for in a basketball player, starting with great size and a very strong body. The lefty shows a nice shooting stroke from long range, and good creativity when finishing near the basket. Playing in Lawrence, and having Collins and Aldrich as teammates takes away a lot of the pressure most freshman face. That said if Henry is going to stand up to his #4 SG and #16 overall ranking, he will have to find a way to make a big impact with those two guys dominating the ball. Henry might be better positioned to help Kansas go on a deep tourney run and return next year as the face of the team and one of the top projected players for the 2011 draft.

Abdul Gaddy
6’3/174- Washington
(Bellarmine Prep)

Gaddy may have the best feel of any incoming point guard in the country. He sees the floor with his excellent size, and gets everyone around him involved. Abdul’s frame is still developing and once you learn that he’s just 17 years old, it’s very easy to figure out why Husky fans are salivating. The difference a single year makes between the age of 17 and 18 is absolutely huge from a physical and maturity standpoint. Gaddy’s basketball IQ is off the charts and it won’t be long before the rest of the country sees why. His biggest drawbacks at the moment revolve around his defense and his motor. Most likely a two year player but with a lack of talented point guards, Gaddy might not be able to resist turning pro early. Abdul is rated as the #8 point guard and the #40 overall prospect in the draft class.

John Henson
6’10/195- North Carolina
(Sickles HS)

Henson’s versatility makes it such that at the next level he could project out as a small forward or power forward, as his skill level is off the charts. UNC has even been tinkering with playing Henson at the point to create mismatches in certain situations. Henson is walking into a very crowded frontcourt at UNC, but should show enough raw talent that most scouts will see past some of the limited minutes. Think Marvin Williams and/or Henson’s new frontcourt running mate Ed Davis. He possesses a similar skill set to both Tar Heels. Henson will probably be best served to follow Davis’ lead and stay a second season, but he is currently a hot name in NBA circles. Flagrant Fouls has him rated as the #4 power forward and the #9 overall prospect in the draft class.

Jordan Hamilton
6’7/215- Texas
(Dominguez HS)

The other half of the Longhorns stellar recruiting class is the athletic Jordan Hamilton. Combined with Avery Bradley, these two young studs are going to help Texas challenge not only for the Big 12 title but the national title. Hamilton may have the most polished offensive game of any incoming freshman. Not only is he a menace in the open court and but he is a very underrated distributor. If Hamilton’s game translates to the collegiate level and there isn’t much evidence to suggest otherwise than we expect him to be shaking hands with David Stern next June. Hamilton is the #7 Small Forward and the #29 overall rated prospect in the 2010 draft class.

Lance Stephenson
6’5/220- Cincinnati
(Lincoln HS)

No player since Sebastian Telfair and Lebron James has been this highly profiled at such a young age. Coined the nickname “Born Ready”, Stephenson has emerged as one of the most aggressive and physical wing players. Lance is able to penetrate the paint at will and finish plays. While he won’t be able to use his strength as often in the Big East as he did in high school, his attacking mindset will continue to help wear down opponents and draw fouls. Stephenson scores off the bounce, off post ups or with range to 22 feet. Stephenson is also a terrific rebounder for a guard. He can control both the offensive and defensive backboard because of his exceptional strength compared to other guards. His talent level and physical attributes are hard to argue with, but his attitude, body language, and approach to the game leave a lot to be desired and continue to hold him back from reaching his true potential. NBA personnel are doing thorough background checks but we have him ranked as our #15 SG and #52 overall rated prospect. If the focus of scouts is on Lance’s game rather than his off-court history than expect his ranking to trend up.

Kenny Boynton Jr.
6’2/170-Florida
(American Heritage HS)

Boynton should be the starting shooting guard in a thin backcourt for Florida this season. Although he projects as a combo at the next level, he will have to learn to play some point, and learn quickly in order for the Gators to get back in the Big Dance next season. Improving that aspect of his game would do a lot for his long term stock, given his size. While Kenny is not an outstanding physical specimen, he makes up for it and then some in shot-making ability, being able to score the ball at will. Kenny will be looking to prove to scouts that he is not an undersized shooting guard but rather a playmaker who can run a system and take control of the team. Heading into the season, Boynton is the #48 ranked prospect in the 2010 draft class.

BEST OF THE REST

Keith Gallon
6’8 300- Oklahoma
(Oak Hill Academy)
PF#17, #43 Overall

Michael Snaer
6’4/170- Florida State
(Rancho Verde HS)
SG#20, #75 Overall

Mason Plumlee
6’11/210- Duke
(Christ School)
PF#27, #94 Overall

Wally Judge
6’8/215- Kansas State
(Arlington Country Day School)
SF#13, #60 Overall

Dominic Cheek
6’5/175- Villanova
(St. Anthony HS)
SG#30

Renardo Sidney
6’9/ 255- Mississippi State
(Fairfax HS)
PF#19, #59 Overall

Mouphtauo Yarou
6’6/235- Villanova
(Montrose Christian School)
PF#25, #86 Overall

Dante Taylor
6’8/215- Pittsburgh
(National Christian Academy)
PF#22, #78 Overall


Daniel Orton

6’10/260- Kentucky
(Bishop Meguinness HS)
C#12, #56 Overall

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2 Responses to “NBA Draft Watch- The FRESHMAN”

  1. Yanni C 16. Aug, 2009

    Wall, Cousins, Sidney, Henson, Henrey , Bradley, Favors… thats seven first year freshman that will be one and done. All have NBA potential. All will be selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft. Add Monroe ,Brackins, Aminu ,Warren, Davis, Sanders, Alibi, Turner, George ,Ebanks, Aldrich , Motiejunas ,Patterson, Lawal , Babbitt and Buford … and you just might have the deepest draft in recent history.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Blake Griffin's Guy 07. Aug, 2009

    Jordan Hamilton doesn’t even call them haters anymore. LMAO.

    What a joke. The next Carmelo Anthony? Maybe if they’re talking about the stop snitching DVD collection.

    Reply to this comment

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