POWER FORWARDS: COLLEGE PROSPECTS

Yesterday we looked at a list of NBA power forwards from which Doug Collins could chose to add a player to the 76ers roster this summer via the free agent signing route.  Today here at Philadunkia we will examine the crop of college prospects who appear to have the game and mental makeup to step into the Sixers power forward spot and really contribute in 2012-13

Obviously the three elite power forward prospects in this Draft — Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Thomas Robinson (Kansas) and John Henson (UNC) — will not be around when the 7-6 select at #15 in June.  However, if the Sixers decide to go with a power forward at #15, there will be four very talented college players still on the board when the Sixers turn comes up.  In theory, any one of these kids could help fill the second biggest hole on the Sixers roster.

Obviously the key for Collins (should the Sixers choose to go the PF route) is to sort through all that information as well as the game tapes and grab the best mid-first round power forward available.

After the jump you’ll see that choosing between the prospects will not be easy.

 

Terrence Jones (6-9; 250) – Jones is an interesting prospect in that he possess a lot of qualities that Collins values and skills the Sixers need, but he has the reputation of being unmotivated.  He is a hell of an athlete who is also a tenacious and versatile defender. So Collins will love those elements of his game and eh could easily fit in with the current roster.  Jones can also score the ball and score it efficiently — 15.7 ppg. as a freshman on 44.2% shooting and 12.3 ppg. in 2011-12 on 50% shooting from the field.  Those numbers suggest he could quickly help with the Sixers scoring / shooting issues.  His 7.2 rpg would also indicate he can have an impact on the boards for our home team He did not follow the one and done trend at Calipari’s basketball factory, so as an added bonus, Jones has the experience of 76 high level college games and a National Championship run under his belt.  All of this makes Jones sound like a very attractive prospect, especially for the Sixers.  Still, the questions about his attitude, basketball IQ and motivation are at a DeMarcus Cousins-like level and that raises some red flags for me.

Matt Kamalsky of Draftexpress.com writes, “An incredibly versatile and talented player with clear-cut NBA tools, Jones was an elite player in the college game when he was zoned in, but the difficulties he has had making his presence felt on a consistent basis, staying focused for entire games, and not pouting when things don’t go his way remain disconcerting… He runs the floor like a small forward, plays above the rim in traffic, makes fluid moves off the dribble, and has the package of tools to defend multiple positions at the NBA level.”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “The Sixers might have a tough choice here between Jones, Terrence Ross and Arnett Moultrie. They need size, but also shooting. Jones may be the compromise. He measured out very well for a power forward at the combine, has an NBA body and proved to be a solid rebounder and shot-blocker in college. He has tremendous upside if he puts his heart into it.”

Video courtesy of Mike Schmitz from ValleyoftheSuns and Draft Express


 

Perry Jones (6-11, 225) – Unless you were in a coma during the last two college hoops seasons you know the low down on Perry. Basically the kid is a freak of nature.  He’s extremely long and athletic and highly skilled.  He has all of the tools on the court.  Jones can score, defend, rebound and handle the ball a little as well.  He owned some solid numbers this year — 13.5 points, 7.6 rpg. and 50% on FGAs – and despite those numbers being very close to his 2010-11 stats (13.9 ppg.; 7.2 rpg. & 54.9% shooting) many “experts” feel he had a disappointing season.  That has raised a lot of questions about his abilities and drive that I simply don’t understand.  Yes, Jones has glaring holes in his game – most notably that he doesn’t have a “go to” scoring method which means he’ll probably never be a #1 option in an offense.  He also he gets pushed off the blocks easily because he is on the thin side.  But this kid’s “upside” (as Jay Bilas would say) is hard to put a ceiling on.  Even with his raw offensive skills and playing in a deep and talented program where many say he wasn’t used properly, Jones still averaged 13 ppg for two straight years and was a projected top 10 pick in 2011.  Imagine what a prospect like Jones could achieve under the guidance of the Sixers staff.

Jonathan Givony of Draftexpress.com writes, “One thing that no one ever questions is Perry Jones’ talent. Just how rare and unique a player he is becomes immediately evident the moment you start watching him. He has a tremendous combination of size, athleticism and skills, making him appear to be capable of doing anything he wants on the basketball court. He shows terrific footwork inside the paint, has 3-point range on his jumper, can handle the ball fluidly from coast to coast, and is a breathtaking finisher around the basket…What isn’t quite as clear is why Jones struggles so much at times to make his presence felt over his college career, and why we didn’t see more improvement from his freshman to sophomore seasons… His incredibly quick first step and long strides allow him to blow by opponents, and he can finish strong at the rim thanks to his terrific leaping ability or with a floater inside the paint. Unfortunately, his lack of experience and average feel for the game hampers him here somewhat. He often struggles to read the secondary line of defense rotating into the paint…”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “This (#19 to Orlando) is a long way for Jones to slip in the draft. Many believe he’s a top-five talent, but no one knows what position he’ll play in the pros. His situation reminds me a lot of the one Josh Smith was in a few years ago. Jones may find a home in the lottery, but if he doesn’t he could slide this far. Given Jones’ raw talent, he’s definitely worth the risk at this point.”

Video courtesy of Mike Schmitz from ValleyoftheSuns and Draft Express

 

Arnett Moultrie (6-11; 220) – With his tenacity, athleticism, 7-2 wingspan and 37 inch vertical leap Moultrie would instantly cure the Sixers rebounding problems at both ends of the floor.  Moultrie thrives by scoring (16.4 ppg.) off the offensive glass — put back dunks are his preferred method – as well as off the alley-oop.  These high percentage looks helped Moultrie shoot 54.9% from the field last season at Mississippi State.  One scout I talked with compared him to a young Jermaine O’Neal, which if you can remember back to when O’Neal was healthy and could actually play, you would know that is a great compliment.  One thing you realize about Moutltrie after only a few minutes of watching the kid play is that he is explosive on the interior because he is so quick and athletic that he grabs boards and put the ball back up before the defense even know what hit them.  The same can be said for his post game, as Moultire receives the ball and does not hesitate to go to work on a defender.  He just has a unique gift that allows him to score in the paint in a fast and fluid motion.  Still the gift is a little raw and in need of development, so it will be interesting to see how well this natural ability translates to the NBA.           

Matt Kamalsky of Draftexpress.com writes, “On the offensive end, Moultrie is clearly at his best when he can utilize his excellent tools off the ball, attacking the basket on cuts and offensive rebounds. His length and leaping ability make him an alley-oop machine in the halfcourt, frequently getting open around the rim and throwing down any pass that comes his way. On more contested opportunities, Moultrie is a strong finisher around the rim, usually relying on finesse a little more than he probably should, but showing good touch and ability to use his length to get shots off… Moultrie actually looks at his best in the post when he’s able to play more of a power game, taking advantage of his size and length to finish over the opposition or drawing contact and getting to the free throw line. Against higher caliber opponents, there is less opportunity for him to do this effectively, and it would be even harder in the NBA, so this area of his game still needs plenty of work.”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “Moultrie made the head-scratching decision to sit out the draft combine drills. He would’ve looked great in that setting, but instead saw several players leapfrog him on the draft board. I doubt he slips much past the Nuggets or Celtics, though. His length, athletic ability and shooting touch should all come in handy… Moultrie is a long, bouncy, athletic big man who could stretch the floor…”

Video courtesy of swishscout

 

Andrew Nicholson (6-10; 235) –  Nicholson would have to blow the 76ers doors off in a workout to move all the way up to #15, so we’ll classify Nicholson as long shot to get picked by the 76ers, but we’ll throw him in here just in case.  If you watched the Atlantic 10 or NCAA tournaments at all this past spring you saw what the rest of us realized back in 2010-11: Nicholson is a long (7-4 wingspan), athletic big with a host of power moves who is virtually unstoppable on the inside.  He led St. Bonaventure with 18.5 ppg. and also collected 8.4 rpg while shooting 57% from the field.  His throwback game features a solid low block arsenal that would provide the Sixers with a much needed interior scoring threat.  Nicholson also has the ability to face up and shoot the jumper or put the ball on the deck and go to the tin.  Additionally, at the end of the season he showed some signs of developing a long range shooting touch, which is a bonus item for a big of his size to possess.  

Derek Bodner of Draftexpress.com writes, “…excellent length and big hands, Nicholson has some intriguing aspects of his game, both in terms of his physical profile and from a skills perspective — and is almost certainly not a finished product yet.  Offensively, Nicholson relies heavily on a very refined post game that’s tough to defend at this level, particularly when paired with the improving perimeter game he showed last year.  With good footwork, counter moves, and an ability to finish with either hand, Nicholson has plenty of moves in the low post.  While not an exceptional athlete at the NBA level, Nicholson is a fluid and mobile big man with a long first step and an intriguing skill-level that gives him the ability to make very impressive plays at times…Turnovers tend to be a problem for Nicholson, and his 3.8 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted is one of the worst numbers in our top 100 ranking.”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “He’s a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West.”

Video courtesy of GoBonniesTV

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