NBA Draft: Answer Man #4

    
June 27th, 2007

What player when you look back at this draft five years from now will have teams scratching their heads wondering how they passed on him? Even though I despise BC I think it is going to be Jared Dudley…

(Submitted by: Todd Kobelski of Tewksbury, MA)

That’s a good choice. Dudley capped off an underrated career at Boston College with ACC Player of the Year honors and a stunning performance at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. He should fit with whatever team he ends up on because of his intensity and his versatility.

In terms of the first round, I’d have to say Javaris Crittenton. I know I keep yelling about how talented this kid is, but I just don’t understand how he’s not talked about as a Top 10 pick. His size, skills, and poise should be clear clues as to just how successful he could potentially be at the next level. He’s going to make some GM very thrilled.

The other two guys I would keep an eye on are Sean Williams (also formerly of BC) and Arizona standout Mustafa Shakur.

If Williams slips to the second round, it will only be because of off-court issues. He is incredibly athletic and agile for his size. But he was also kicked off a team that apparently gave him chance after chance. If he can stay trouble-free, there’s no question about the impact he could have down the road.

Shakur had a fine freshman year, struggled in his sophomore and junior campaigns, but came back strong as a senior. Many scouts still see him as the erratic lead guard who really struggled with his decision-making, but he improved his assist-to-turnover ratio every season he was on campus. And last season he averaged just under 7 assists per game on a team that was talented, yet remarkably inexperienced.

Shakur could be a valuable asset to an NBA team if he’s given the chance.

Who is the best prospect from the University of Florida?

(Submitted by: Will Ray of Valdosta, GA)

Wow.

Corey Brewer, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah are all capable of being the guy. And they each have such different strengths… and weaknesses…

Can I say that the big three are equally strong as prospects?

Brewer probably has the most talent. Based on his defensive abilities alone, he could play valuable minutes right away for many of the teams we just saw in the playoffs. He’s also a versatile offensive threat because he can shoot and get to the rim. But Brewer’s mid-range game was almost non-existent at the college level.

Horford could be the second-coming of Karl Malone. Obviously the Mailman was an all-time great so the comparison is grand, yet Horford is intimidating on the blocks, has some nice post moves, and he can hit a 12-footer. He’s also prone to go long stretches without impacting the game at all.

And Noah is a true original. There isn’t a big man in the pros who defends viciously, hustles on every play, runs the floor better than most guards, and passes creatively. There just isn’t anyone in the league like him right now. However, his jumpshot is ugly and he’s despised partly because of how much exposure he received last season and partly because of the ponytail. I still think he’s much more special than he’s been given credit for. His uniqueness should be celebrated and probably will be when the team that drafts him shows a steady improvement in the win column.

In the end, Horford will have the gaudiest stats, Brewer should be the first to make an all-star team, and Noah’s teams will win.

Is there a point guard who actually stood out during the NBA pre-draft camps?

(Submitted by: Matt Jackson of New Haven, CT)

Usually one lead guard stuns everyone in attendance at Portsmouth. Last year it was Jose Juan Barea (who went undrafted, but earned some playing time with the Mavericks this past season) and this year it was former Wright State standout DaShaun Wood.

The diminutive point guard shocked everyone with his ability to score and distribute. He actually raised the eyebrows of NBA scouts a few months prior to the camps when Wright State knocked off Butler in the Horizon League tournament, but really proved his mettle in Portsmouth. He is generously listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, but he’s tough and could get snatched up in the second round a team by a team in need of back-up point guard.

The Orlando camp featured two point guards who stood out and both played for the same team. Marist’s Jared Jordan and former Florida star Taurean Green both played exceptionally well against good competition. Expect Green to go at the end of the first round, while Jordan – who should be a first rounder – would be a great pick in round two.

Adam Stanco answers your questions.. and the one’s you should be asking. If you have a question, send it to BasketballWriter@cs.com