The 2016 NBA Draft Thread: Rookie Watch - Page 2
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I still think Murray is gon be a better college than pro player so I wouldn't want my team picking him in the top 10 ...anything after that he can be a solid player in the rotation, especially if he plays the 2
Valentine can be one of those late 1st/2nd round picks that can develop into a solid role player
WHERE DA BIG BOOTY FREAKS AT?
WHERE DA BIG BOOTY FREAKS AT?
I think the path to reaching his full potential is by playing the 4.
I'm just really feel there is a hard ceiling on how effective non shooters can be on the perimeter.
Yea that's basically what i figured. So who do you suggest a team like the Sixers take if they end up with 2 top 10 picks if the Lakers dont retain theirs from us. Please dont say any big men
Skal and Dragan really could play PF both have potential as shooters. So it wouldn't be as bad as last year where Jahlil is a pure C. and I wouldn't want to take Brandon Ingram or Jamal murray at 2.
He looks like Chris Bosh at georgia tech, and Bosh eventually got there in terms of weight.
We already got Noel & Saric coming next year tho. We need wings
Hinkie got us tanking for nothing then
hey osh kosh bosh can you post this article about coach cal?
UK slipping in recruiting? Calipari puts that theory to shame
By Jeff Borzello
There seemed to be a point in each of the past couple years when we just for a second began to question -- again, just for a second -- John Calipari’s recruiting strategy at Kentucky.
It happened last spring, when the Wildcats missed out on nearly every remaining five-star prospect from the 2015 class. So what happened? Calipari went out and landed five-star Canada native Jamal Murray and then top-50 Australia native Isaac Humphries, convincing both players to reclassify from 2016 to 2015. Naturally, Kentucky ended up with the No. 2 recruiting class in the country.
It started happening again late in the summer a few months ago. Back in July, Calipari told Andy Katz that Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class “could be our best class ever.”
At the time, going down the list of ESPN 100 prospects, it was unclear where Calipari was getting the idea that Kentucky could get the No. 1 class in the country this season -- let alone one of the Wildcats’ best ever.
John Calipari has put questions about Kentucky's recruiting momentum to bed -- emphatically.
Harry Giles and possibly Wenyen Gabriel were leaning toward Duke, Dennis Smith and Bam Adebayo seemed NC State-bound, Miles Bridges was going to be a battle with Michigan State, and would Arkansas really let Malik Monk leave the state? Where was Kentucky getting its customary handful of top-notch recruits? While we’ve reached the point where we typically take as read that Calipari will end up with a great class, it wasn’t obvious how good this class could actually be.
Then high-level four-star forward Sacha Killeya-Jones committed in August. Gabriel ended up setting a surprise announcement date and popped for Kentucky. De'Aaron Fox, a player Kentucky began focusing on in the summer, waited until the early signing period to choose the Wildcats -- but most assumed he was Lexington-bound for several weeks.
And Tuesday brought the biggest coup: elite power forward Edrice “Bam” Adebayo spurned NC State and announced for Calipari’s program. Adebayo was long assumed to be an NC State lean, as AAU teammate Dennis Smith Sr. pledged to the Wolfpack and head coach Mark Gottfried prioritized him very early in the process. But Adebayo chose to leave the state and head to the SEC instead.
So as we head out of the early signing period, look where Kentucky is: No. 2 in the 2016 class rankings and quickly closing the gap on No. 1 Duke.
And if the Wildcats get Monk -- and it’s looking like a tight battle between Kentucky and home-state Arkansas -- they will pass the Blue Devils atop the rankings.
Would it be the best class of all time? That’s tough to say, as Kentucky’s 2013 class included five of the top nine players in the country and a sixth top-25 prospect.
That’s really beside the point, though. John Calipari has once again worked his magic during recruiting crunch time and delivered an elite group to Lexington.
How does he do it? During a time when players are looking for playing time and a guaranteed starting spot, Calipari is able to lure elite prospects regardless of who is currently on the Wildcats’ roster.
Sophomore Tyler Ulis and five-star freshman Isaiah Briscoe might be back next season? No problem, come on down De'Aaron Fox.
We already signed three power forwards and could still have Marcus Lee, Isaac Humphries and Derek Willis? Welcome to the fold, Bam Adebayo.
It’s uncanny the way he does it -- but something he said to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi in a Q&A last week sheds some light on his pitch.
“My question to them is: Do you want to be drafted, or do you want to play minutes and score in college? Tell me your goals. If you want to be prepared for the NBA, have a great campus life, be with a group of guys who are all trying to eat, not just you … If you want to be the face of the program, then you’re not coming to Kentucky, because you are not the only guy. It’s just not happening.”
Going to a school where there is a potential logjam at a position could scare away even the best prospects -- but that’s certainly the not the case at Kentucky. Prospects don’t seem to worry about the absurd depth in Lexington.
Of course, a season like 2014-15 helps, a season in which Calipari publicized the idea of “platoons” and tried to use a 10-man rotation when healthy. Four players from that team were drafted in the lottery, including a player (Devin Booker) who didn’t start a game and another (Trey Lyles) who didn’t start until midway through the season. No one averaged 26 minutes per game.
Calipari has said he will never use platoons again, but the seed has already been planted: it doesn’t matter how many minutes you get, it doesn’t matter how many points you score, you can still be drafted in the lottery if you come to Kentucky.
And it’s worked, time and time again. The proof is in the success on the recruiting trail: Calipari has never had a class finish below No. 2 nationally since arriving at Kentucky in 2009.
Recruits don’t doubt Calipari -- and after the eighth straight year in which Kentucky will have either the No. 1 or No. 2 recruiting class in the country, no one else probably will either.
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oh and this one also on coach cal..I forgot about this one
here is the link...
thanks osh kosh bosh
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Recruiting Q&A: Kentucky coach John Calipari
By Paul Biancardi
As the early signing period begins in college basketball Wednesday, few coaches will be under more scrutiny than Kentucky coach John Calipari. Calipari has built a reputation as one of the foremost recruiters in the history of the sport, assembling teams that have reached six Final Fours, including one national title, and yielded a total of 31 NBA players. ESPN National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi sat down with Calipari to discuss his philosophies on the trail, the challenges he faces in identifying talent that will uphold the Kentucky standard, and the way the recruiting climate has changed since he became the UMass head coach at age 29 in 1988: Paul Biancardi, ESPN: Obviously every coach wants to have the most talent he can at his disposal, but how challenging is it to recruit at a place like Kentucky where there are constant unknowns about players leaving for the next level, players reclassifying, etc.?
John Calipari: Well, our recruiting comes back to who really wants this situation, because there's some unknowns. The unknown of how much are you going to play. Are you going to start? How many shots are you going to take? Who are your teammates going to be? There are really a lot of unknowns and you know what? Some don’t like that.
John Calipari is 190-38 (.833) in six seasons as head coach at Kentucky.
The knowns are: I am going to improve, I'm going to learn servant leadership, I'm going to learn to be a great teammate, to share, to have what I need for the next level, I'm going to be drafted after one, two, three or four years, I'm going to get a second contract in the NBA -- we currently have 15 guys in the NBA with second contracts. That's what our guys get. That's the difference at Kentucky.
Biancardi: How much time do you spend with your staff going over contingencies, i.e. who should we recruit if this player leaves after a year, if this player stays, etc., when you're putting together your list of targets? Is there a point where you risk overanalyzing those contingencies?
Calipari: We don't recruit that many guys. We only recruit eight, nine, or 10 prospects, normally it's to fill four, five or six spots -- we never know exactly how many we have to fill.
We target our recruits in this way: Is there anyone out there that has said publicly they want to play at Kentucky? If so, my staff evaluates to see if they are good enough and if so, let's go see them play. If they are good enough then let's stop right there, we won't go any farther. Next, let's get a little deeper into it and see if they really like us and really want us. We are never begging a kid, we are not going to spend time trying to "flip" a kid -- we don't do that. "We really like you, do you like us with the same level of interest? No? Fine -- who's next?" That's how we get it down to less than 10 guys for a handful of spots.
Biancardi: What would your message be to a high-level recruit who voices concerns over potential minutes ... is that a red flag for your staff or is it something you seek to address with the recruit?
John Calipari with players
John Calipari has sent many to the NBA, including 2015 first-rounders Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Calipari: You have to answer their questions, and it's OK to have those questions. A recruit will tell me that some schools promise starting positions, minutes, shots, and that the offense will center around them. We don't promise those things, and some are not comfortable with that. I ask them why [they're not comfortable], and explain how Devin Booker came off the bench and was the 13th pick in last year's NBA draft.
My question to them is: Do you want to be drafted, or do you want to play minutes and score in college? Tell me your goals. If you want to be prepared for the NBA, have a great campus life, be with a group of guys who are all trying to eat, not just you ... If you want to be the face of the program, then you're not coming to Kentucky, because you are not the only guy. It's just not happening.
Biancardi: Do you, or have you ever recruited to a system, i.e. we want to play up-tempo so I need a certain type of player, or we need to "play big" so I need a certain type of player?
Calipari: I would like to play small ball with 6-[foot-]9 players. I want position-less players who have a good heart and high character because everyone is trying to eat, and then piece it together based on their strengths. There is no real system, we always want to play at a fast tempo, we want to attack, shoot more and make more free throws than our opponents. I only want to average 11-12 turnovers a game, no more, and I don't want much less than that because it might mean we are not playing aggressive, with unselfishness, and making defense a priority. How it happens depends on who we have. When you have a yearly changeover like us you can't say, "This is how we're going to play." We can't have a system, but we do have a philosophy. Right now, with this year's team, I haven't figured out how we are playing.
Calipari has to sell recruits on not being the main attraction at a program where the brand is the star.
Biancardi: After you establish a recruit's talent level, what traits are most important to you in the evaluation process?
Calipari: Does he help other players get better, by him being on the court does everyone else better? Does he make the game easier for his teammates? Character matters when groups of young people come together to do something special. One guy can ruin it for everyone else, one guy without character who goes out on his own, he hurts the chemistry of the group. So it boils down to does this guy make the game easier for his teammates? Is he disrespectful to his family? There's no way that he can make it here, because it's not going to be about him anymore, it's going to be about us.
Biancardi: Kentucky has a great tradition ... is that something you try to sell to recruits? Do 17-year-olds really care about tradition or is that just something fans would like to believe?
Calipari: This is about a relationship that my staff and I have with a player and his family. That relationship is based on trying to help them achieve their goals. We try and make them understand there is a plan and a process to this. You have to understand what it means to be a servant leader, to share, to be unselfish, what it means to be a great teammate -- it's more about that than the history of Kentucky.
Now, Kentucky is the stage, it's Carnegie Hall. You can be off-Broadway and maybe make it, or you can make it on the biggest of the big stages, which means you are making it -- that's what Kentucky is for us. When I leave here there will be another coach, and it will still be Kentucky. Fifty years from now, it's still going to be Kentucky. This is about a relationship me and my staff are going to have with that young man making sure he eats first, that we know what his dreams and aspirations are, and help him reach those goals.
Biancardi: How has the recruiting climate changed from 1988 when you took the UMass job, until today?
Calipari (here in 1996) admits that the recruiting terrain has changed measurably since his days at UMass.
Well, back then you had guys for four years. When we recruited at UMass we weren't worried about positions, we were just trying to get guys. I didn't care if they were centers, forwards or point guards. One team had five centers on it by position -- I had to make someone the center, the power forward and small forward. We took them because they were the best players we could recruit. When we got them they were staying four years -- we had time to develop them. Every third class, you had to have a really good group. In between you could land a player or two, or sometimes we would strike out, but it was OK because you had your team coming back, so it was not that big a deal.
Now it is a totally different look. With this new television deal and the NBA collective barging agreement, this becomes generational poverty to generational wealth, and I don't take that lightly. We offer kids a lifetime scholarship, or they can leave after one, two, three years or stay and graduate. They don't have to stay and they don't have to leave, it's about what's right for you. Some, mentally, physically or skill-wise are not ready to leave. Some are, and they go. I only had one guy talk me into [the player] staying -- it was Patrick Patterson. (Patterson came back for his junior year of 2009-10, and left for the NBA with a degree after that season).
Biancardi: What do you think is the biggest mistake young coaches make in recruiting, whether they're young head coaches or young assistants?
Calipari: Probably trying to recruit too many guys. But I understand the fear of not getting anybody who's out there, so I wouldn't blame them. At UMass we had the guys we wanted on a list, and then if we missed on those we had another list. And if we couldn't get anyone, and we were in total desperation we would go to another list, reach on a kid, and hoped that he would be good enough in time. Now I think it's different, but there are still schools in that frame of mind and that's OK. But when you talk the top 50 programs, they are in the same boat I am in. If any school were to say, "I am not taking a kid for one year," please say it publicly so I have less people to recruit against. We are all looking for the best players.
Biancardi: If you could have given a lifetime scholarship to one player over any of your previous stops, so you could have coached him forever, who would it have been?
Calipari: Wow. There is no way it's just one player. [pauses]. This is impossible because at UMass we had guys like Lou Roe, Derek Kellogg and Tony Barbee; at Memphis, Derrick Rose, Chris Roberts, Antonio Anderson, Tyreke Evans and here at Kentucky ... there's a bunch.
osh kosh bosh here is one on simmons....please post
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Ben Simmons is clearly the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft and no one's close
By Chad Ford
We are in the midst of the second full week of the college basketball season and NBA scouts already are coming away from games with some strong impressions on the top prospects in the 2016 draft.
2016 NBA draft
Get ready for Ben Simmons, Skal Labissiere and the 2016 draft with analysis from Chad Ford and other ESPN experts.
• Big Board 2.0 | Top 10 C prospects
• Top 10 PF prospects | Top 10 SF prospects
• Top 10 SG prospects | Top 10 PG prospects
• Top 100 rankings | Mock Draft 1.0
• Way-too-early preview
And none are stronger than how they feel about the No. 1 player on our Big Board, LSU freshman Ben Simmons.
"Anyone that doesn't have Simmons No. 1 [on their draft board] should be fired," one longtime GM with a great draft track record told ESPN.com on Monday.
Simmons' first three outings were all terrific -- 11 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists against McNeese State; 22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals vs. Kennesaw State; 22 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists versus South Alabama -- but against inferior competition.
Simmons had his first big game of the year at the Barclays Center on Monday versus Marquette. Fifty-one NBA scouts and execs attended and Simmons delivered, scoring 21 points, grabbing 20 rebounds and dishing out seven assists in a loss to Marquette. He made several spectacular plays in the game -- finishing above the rim in transition, taking his man off the dribble in the half court and making a number of creative passes to his teammates for easy scores.
"You don't find players his size, with his elite athletic ability that see the game the way he sees the game," one GM said. "He's unselfish to a fault. He's always trying to make the right play. And he's just scratching the surface. Look at how the other freshmen are faring right now. It takes a while to adjust. What does his box score start looking like when he adjusts?"
The big adjustment scouts are still looking for? Simmons to start knocking down some jump shots. In the first four games for LSU, Simmons has yet to take a 3. And his midrange jumper, when he uses it, is having trouble finding the net. According to Hoop-Math.com, Simmons takes 66 percent of his shots at the rim and is shooting a scintillating 88 from point blank. However, when he steps away from the basket (34 percent of the time), he's shooting just 15 percent.
His reluctance to take jumpers was on full display against Marquette. He passed up two open shots to win the game on the final possession, opting instead to dish off to teammates for more difficult shots.
"I don't think the problem is unselfishness. I think you can tell he doesn't really have confidence in his jumper yet," one GM said. "I don't think it's broken, but it clearly needs improvement. But the only way for him to improve is to keep taking shots. LeBron [James] couldn't shoot either when he came into the league. You just keep taking the shot."
Will his lack of a jump shot put his candidacy for the No. 1 pick in jeopardy?
"Not a chance," one GM said. "He does everything else well. He's not a bad shooter. It won't stop anyone from taking him No. 1."
That sentiment was shared by more than a dozen other NBA GMs and scouts I spoke with -- all of whom had Simmons as the clear No. 1 on the Big Board.
The question, just two weeks into the season, is whether anyone else can really catch him. Remember, last year Jahlil Okafor was the consensus No. 1 pick at this juncture of the season and he slid to No. 3 on draft night.
The GMs I spoke with mentioned Croatia's Dragan Bender and Kentucky's Skal Labissiere as players who could challenge Simmons. But all of them reiterated that right now, it's not even close.
"Towns, Mudiay and Porzingis were always in the mix last year," one GM said. "There was plenty of debate. There just isn't any real debate with my scouts about Simmons right now. He's way ahead of those guys. He's going to have to struggle and those guys are going to have to get a lot better."
Ben Simmons, Henry Ellenson
Simmons and Ellenson impressed during their matchup on Monday night.
More freshmen impressing
Simmons isn't the only freshman who has impressed NBA scouts in the early going. We discussed Kentucky's Jamal Murray last week.
On Monday, Simmons was matched up against Marquette's Henry Ellenson. Ellenson, who has drawn some comparisons to both a young Dirk Nowitzki and a young Kevin Love, scored 16 points and grabbed 11 boards in 28 minutes. The athletic power forward was 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. Ellenson is coming off a rough game against Iowa, where he went just 1-for-8 from the field. But scouts aren't deterred.
"The way our league is going, you want bigs who play like Ellenson plays," one scout said. "He can really shoot, moves well and still rebounds. He's going high."
Florida State's two freshmen, Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley, are both putting up huge numbers for the Seminoles early. Bacon is averaging more than 20 PPG, 6.5 RPG and is shooting 47 percent from 3 in his first five games for the Seminoles. He is a terrific athlete with a very NBA-ready game. Scouts were a little reserved in projecting him early because he's a year older than most of the freshmen in his class, but after a hot start, he's moving into lottery consideration. Beasley, an athletic 2-guard, is also averaging 20 PPG and shooting a red-hot 58 percent from 3 in his first five games. He's a little undersized for his position, but his combination of length, athleticism and shooting ability makes him very intriguing in an otherwise weak shooting guard crop this season.
And scouts are already beginning to buzz about Washington freshman Marquese Chriss. Chriss is an athletic forward who can play both the 3 and the 4. He's averaging 18.7 PPG, 6 RPG and 1.7 blocks and steals per game. He's still pretty raw, but scouts fall in love with long, versatile forwards and Chriss looks like he has all the physical tools to be a star.
Bacon, Beasley and Chriss have risen significantly on our latest top 100.
Patience, young padawan
Not every top-rated freshman is breaking out right away. Two, in particular, look like they might be a little further away than we once thought.
Duke's Brandon Ingram is an elite prospect. You see flashes of that in every game that he plays, but his lack of strength is a significant issue right now. On Sunday, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski moved Ingram out of the starting lineup. He's shooting just 36 percent from the field in the early going. But scouts aren't ready to drop him down their boards just yet.
"He's got so much talent," one NBA scout said. "Everyone wants these kids to come in and dominate right away. It takes some guys longer than others. Kelly Oubre was just terrible to start the season last year. I think you'll see a different player in March."
Indiana's Thomas Bryant also took a beating in Indiana's first loss against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons abused Bryant in the paint, exposing his lack of foot speed and defensive prowess. He played hard, made some nice passes and showed a positive attitude, but looked very far away on Monday.
The only issue I have with the Griffin and Odom comps, which both are completely fair are the facts that
A. Blake was an All-Star his virtual rookie year
B. Odom was never an All-Star
So while the comps in terms of skill sets are totally fair do you guys see more of a bonadfide All-Star and 1st/2nd option (Blake) or a high level 3rd/4th option (Odom)
He's one of those guys that you just know has "it". Walks onto the court and immediately pops. Plus the talent is there. In an off night, he dominated the game without scoring.
Get Ben with a shooting coach, and have him consistently put in the work, you're looking at a top 10-15 player for years to come as his ceiling.