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Old 01-05-2013, 03:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2029 KVBL Draft Preview

Point Guards

Stu Campbell 6'3", 21, Illinois, PG

Illinois won a lot of close games this year (including their lone tourney victory) thanks in large part to Stu Campbell's play in the clutch. In addition to getting (and making) open looks for himself or others, Campbell did a good job of holding onto the ball. The pros for the Campbell as best PG crowd are his leadership, aforementioned clutch play, and his vastly superior defense (when compared to his peers). The naysayers point to his streaky shooting and inconsistent play outside of the clutch. Playmaking is solid but unspectacular for Campbell, something that will turn off teams that are looking for more than a steady hand at point guard.

Hal Cross 6'1", 20, Toledo, PG

There were two different versions of Hal Cross playing at Toledo this year, and it's anyone's guess which version will show up in the KVBL. Early in the season, Cross was basically just a cog doing his part to keep the team's offense flowing - that was with Toledo's top players healthy. Two key injuries later and Cross was asked to pick up a lot more of the scoring load, something that he did reasonably well at after never having been put in that situation in the past. The three point shot was his most reliable weapon, but it remains to be seen how frequently he will take that shot in the pros. He should hit at a nice clip regardless. Defensively, Cross doesn't do much to stop opponents. If he can be the post-injuries Cross, he'll be worth grabbing somewhat early, possibly even in the lottery. If not, well, he might get a chance to be a backup somewhere.

Vince West 6'2", 21, Wichita State, PG

West was part of a Shockers team that won a conference tournament championship in the MVC this year, but his role didn't much extend beyond running the offense and getting the ball to the actual scorers on the team. Despite this, there were some games where West looked like he could be a solid scorer if asked...it's just that most of his games showed the opposite. The greatest thing that West has going for him is his very solid ability to avoid turnovers, while his biggest issue is the completely inability to play anything that resembles even solid defense. West manages to get a decent amount of blocks even so, but those don't really do much to offset his otherwise poor performance on that end.

Travis Benson 6'0", 21, Wisconsin, PG

Benson is yet another defensively weak point guard, albeit not quite as bad as guys like Cross and West. The upside for Travis, in addition to starting from a better defensive floor, is that he's absurdly good at racking up steals. On offense, Benson isn't very good at making his shots, but he's smart enough to not take too many. Benson chose to enter the draft despite his shortcomings due to the much weaker crop this year. A wise financial decision, at least.

Toby Thomas 5'10", 20, Arizona, PG

Arizona had a bit of a down year, and part of that could be attributed to the play of Toby Thomas not quite reaching expectations. Highly touted out of high school, Thomas never really seemed to develop any of the scoring potential he flashed at that level. Playmaking, thankfully, did not suffer the same fate. Toby tends to make the smart play rather than trying to make a flashy one, and probably is the best passing (college point guard) option available for teams that need that. Like many of his brethren this year, Thomas is making the smart move and coming out in a year where the talent pool is not so deep. Teams should be able to get some use out of him, though.

Twos and Threes

Osmosis Clearwater 6'4", 22, UCLA, SG
UCLA's undefeated regular season was spearheaded by the play of the man who should be the #1 overall pick this year: Osmosis Clearwater. Clearwater had been buried behind other recruits since landing at UCLA, but finally got his chance this year to show what he could do (and proved he should have been playing sooner). This team was one of the most exciting to watch all year and could have won the tournament if not for the hand injury Clearwater suffered in the Final Four. Solid scoring from all over the floor is part of the arsenal for Osmosis, but his unique abilities are what make him so appealing to scouts and fans alike. Tenacious offensive rebounding, highlight reel passes, fast break springing steals, and an uncanny ability to reject shots from all comers. Defense is not lockdown level by any means, but he's very solid covering his man in addition to making plays. The world knows Clearwater is getting his name called first on draft night, we're just waiting to see which team.

Buford Monroe 6'8", 22, La Salle, SF

Bufe led his Explorers team to the Sweet Sixteen despite a dearth of talent around him, often dealing with double teams and always with the opponent's best defender. Advanced offensive skills in the post for a wing complement strong passing and very solid rebounding, and should make Monroe a strong contender for the #2 pick behind Clearwater. Some scouts have compared Monroe to the Celtics' Jude Parker. I think any team drafting Monroe would be psyched to get Parker-like production from him, but they'll likely have to settle for a little less on the boards and playmaking. Still, a mini-Parker is nothing to complain about. Definitely one of the top five players in this year's draft.

Francis Hamm 6'8", 20, Virginia, SF

The wing talent drops a few notches after the big two, but players like Francis Hamm are still going to be able to help KVBL teams out. Hamm excelled with the Cavaliers as a combo forward who defended both positions fairly well. That defensive ability makes him a contender to be taken in the lottery, but he shouldn't be expected to be a difference maker. Offense is a problem for Hamm; he really just doesn't look all that coordinated on that end of the court. Passing is something he does reasonably well for his position (particularly if he's at power forward), but he's otherwise a bit average in all respects. Hamm is the type of player you take with the hopes he'll unearth some hidden talent and make a huge boost to his development. Not the most enticing report, but it's that kind of year.

Geovonie Legarza 6'8", 21, Wofford, SF

Legarza has some definite value versus a lot of his peers this year, and a lot of it is due to his ability to score the basketball at an efficient clip. Operating almost exclusively as a post player, Geovonie is great at keeping the ball up and not getting stripped when he goes inside. Many of the players coming out this year are okay at a lot of things, but Legarza differs in that he has a couple (aforementioned) skills and doesn't do much else. The main issue for Geovonie is that his rebounding leaves him as purely an option at small forward, but his game is more suited for the four.

Quinten McKnight 67", 20, Montana, SG

Montana was an up and down team this year, and Quinten McKnight was a big reason why. As a talent, McKnight is actually very solid. Scoring is pretty good, defense isn't great but it's passable, and turnovers were maybe a small problem but nothing beyond what you'd expect from one of the top scorers on a team. It's the little things, though, that kept McKnight from being seriously recruited by any of the larger conferences in the country. Attitude and foul problems are the main concerns for a guy that definitely could stick around and make a nice career for himself. If he can't get himself together, well, Europe likely awaits.

Fred Barkley 6'6", 21, Siena, SF

Siena won a lot of games this year behind Fred Barkley's three point shooting. It seemed like he'd hit them anytime the team needed a big shot. Barkley was also known for his fundamentals when rebounding, and his ability to make the extra pass to get his teammates a better shot than his own. Shooters always have a place in the KVBL, but defense will need to be improved if Barkley is to stick around beyond his rookie deal.

Kyle Tate 6'6", 20, Bucknell, SG

Over at Bucknell, a guy named Kyle Tate was doing many of the same things for his team that Barkley did for his (albeit with less of a flair for doing them in big moments). Tate's solid shooting ability was a big part of the Bison offense. Differences from Barkley include less passing, but also not as many turnovers. Overall, a decent prospect who might be worth stashing on the bench in hopes he improves some of his weaknesses.

Donavan Jones 6'7", 24, Fresno State, SG

DJ started being compared to Shayne Ekanem this year when he first got playing time, but as the year went on scouts started to notice some differences. Ekanem is exceptional at getting to the line, but DJ has a bit more trouble there. Additionally, DJ lives for dunks and tends to ignore the three point shot more often. Age is probably going to scare some teams off, but whoever lands this high flyer is going to get efficient scoring and some highlights each night.

Walter Davis 6'2", 21, Colorado State, SG

This combo guard from small town Colorado will make it in the KVBL if he can find a way to do a bit more out there when he's on the floor. That, of course, is far from guaranteed. Passive play is mostly the issue with Davis, as he shows the ability to hit shots but tends not to take them too often. Passing is okay but not nearly as nice as you'd hope for a guy that doesn't tend to finish himself. Rebounding is really the only place where you notice Walter Davis, and at the KVBL level that might not even be true. Definitely a risky pick for any team, as you just don't know if this guy wants it that bad.

Drake Evans 6'2", 19, Michigan State, SG

One of the few players in this class that's elite at anything, Drake Evans is a shooter's shooter. Feed him the ball anywhere on the court and he hits it. Threes are especially dangerous, as he likes to take them and he tends to get into the game more once a couple drop through the net. Alas, it is not all rainbow jumpers and airplane celebrations for Evans. Rebounding is bad due to usage and lack of interest alike. Passing is okay but not great. Steals are rare, and turnovers happen a little bit more than you'd like (not that you'd ever like them). Defense? Well, he's better than Nick Walker.

Bigs

Harrison Mahoney 7'1", 22, Kansas, C

Ma-HO-ney! The Big 12 couldn't do much damage on this big country kid, and we expect he'll have a similar impact in the paint against KVBL competition. Harrison was not relied on much for offense in Lawrence, but he was usually able to put the ball in the hoop when asked. Defensively, though, Harrison was the key to everything the Jayhawks did. Rebounding, shotblocking, contesting shooters, you name it. A lot of homer fans want to call Mahoney the next Weiland. That, of course, is absurd to say in the here and now. Down the road? He could approach that level, but we're certainly not going to call that in the here and now.

Thom Weathersby 611", 21, Florida, PF

As with Osmosis/Monroe before him, Mahoney gives way to a batch of guys who are far less likely to have a huge KVBL impact. Can they help teams? Yeah, and Thom Weathersby is likely to do so right away as a bench big option. At Florida, Thom was great at hitting the eighteen footers and drawing fouls when he did go inside. There's no reason to believe that won't translate to the next level, but his lax defense could be a problem moving forward. Rebounding is dependable, and turnovers aren't going to be a problem the way they are for some bigs. He'll need to take some leaps forward to be a starter in the league, but he's definitely coachable.

Reg Tadlock 6'11", 22, Syracuse, PF

Reg dominated the offense at Syracuse, taking a lot of shots in the paint and anywhere else he'd get the ball. Efficiency was not great, but that could have been a result of the (relative lack of) help around him. KVBL teams will need to scout him close to see if he can be an efficient scorer at the next level. Either out of a lack of skill or lack of interest, Tadlock never really had a big impact on the defensive boards. Offensive rebounding was a different story. Reg would often get second, third, fourth chances before finally getting the ball to drop in the hoop. That and his defense will keep him in the league, but he'll need to show that he can hit at a 50% clip or better to be relied upon as more than a third big.

Phil Lewiston 6'11", 21, Indiana, C

Big Phil's offensive role at Indiana was actually quite similar to Tadlock at Syracuse. The downside for him is that he might just not have the same tools to allow the scoring to translate to the KVBL. Rebounding is not quite as good, but he does show a bit of a better knack for getting to the free throw line. Athletically less impressive, teams might shy away from Lewiston due to his lack of upside.

Leo Minges 610", 22, Purdue, PF

Purdue had a down year in the B1G, and Leo Minges' regression from his junior year was a big reason why. Rebounding dropped, scoring dropped, fouls went up. Something must have happened, but you'd be hard pressed to figure it out. His impact last season was akin to a guy like Adam Little when he was in college, but now he's looking more like he might be a Grant Wilms. Teams can use guys like that, but it's gotta be disappointing for fans that were expecting more.

Troy James 6'10", 21, Ohio, C

Troy James fits in well with these other okay prospects in that he's got some skills but might not ever really get a big role in the KVBL. Offensively, James looks out of his league on most everything but tip ins. He rebounds well at the college level but should be just okay against the better KVBL guys he'll be dealing with soon. Turnovers might be a problem. The good news, though, is that Troy is a great defender inside. Teams can use guys like that, so he's going to have a job somewhere.

Jack Dawson 6'10, 22, Memphis, PF

Jack Dawson was the main reason behind the defense's success at Memphis this past year. His ability to cut off penetration, contest shots, and defend inside was on clear display every night. The bad news for his career forecast is that he just doesn't make a lot of plays on that end. The even worse news is that he's just about inept on offense for a big man. That's not going to cut it in the KVBL, but he might get taken in the first just the same. He definitely picked the right year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

Internationals hopefully will be up before I go to bed later (plus grades for these guys). This wasn't meant to be one of my years, but there was a miscommunication. Back to back, lucky (all of) you.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

SMH Osmosis Clearwater is too retarded of a name.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

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SMH Osmosis Clearwater is too retarded of a name.
Don't be hatin'
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

Grades!
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

God damnit. Of course there's a terrible draft the year I have a bad teams pick
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

You can just take multiple euros to stash!
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

Osmosis Clearwater is an awesome name.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

These names just keep getting better
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

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These names just keep getting better
Just wait till next year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

RWE quit already?
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 2029 KVBL Draft Preview

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RWE quit already?
Nah. He's just not doing them every year.
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