Prospects discussed include Thaddeus Young, Josh McRoberts, Reyshawn Terry and DJ White.
Part One (Stock Up)
Part Two (Stock Neutral)
Thaddeus Young, 68, SG/SF, Freshman, Georgia Tech
3 games: 12.3 PPG, 6 RPG, 3.3 TOPG, 13-32 FG (41%), 2-6 3P (33%), 9-13 FT (69%)
Young looked like he was having some troubles adapting to the college game, looking as if hes yet to find his niche on his new team. He clearly has not stepped into the go-to role yet as many expected him to, but things could change as he becomes more comfortable. Young was getting his shot attempts in a variety of ways; he was posting up, getting offensive rebounds, taking defenders off the dribble, and shooting outside jumpers. He looked most comfortable posting up and attacking the boards, mainly because his outside shot wasnt falling and his dribble-drive game was not very effective due to his lack of explosiveness. Youngs build definitely projects him as a swingman at the next level, and he himself has said thats what hes building his game to be, but he may continue to do most of his scoring inside until he adjusts the rest of his game.
Young had some turnovers troubles and made some bad decisions over the course of the tournament, occasionally pulling up for contested outside jumpers he had trouble consistently knocking down. He has good form on his shot, but he needs to pick his spots better, focusing more on keeping his feet underneath him, not shooting with a hand in his face, and maintaining proper balance during his shot. On his dribble-drive game, Young has a tendency to not protect the ball well, leaving him prone to getting the ball poked away, which further magnified some of his struggles creating high-percentage shots taking defenders off the dribble.
For all of Youngs troubles, he still had a pretty good showing, and definitely did some good things. He did have some good scores in the lane, got to the free-throw line, attacked the glass, and did a good job using various combinations of fakes and spins to score in the post. He also did a good job running the floor and scoring in transition.
As Young becomes more acclimated to the college game and his teammates get a better feel for where hes most comfortable with the ball, he should start having more consistent performances and hopefully coming into the role of go-to scorer. One just has to hope that his explosiveness and athleticism return to the levels they were at in the summer, as much of his game is predicated around those abilities. It will be interesting to see how Young continues to adapt to the college game, and if his explosiveness returns.
Josh McRoberts, 6-11, Sophomore, Power Forward, Duke
15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks, 4-15 FG, 7-8 FT
Before the season started we talked about the type of pressure that will be on Josh McRoberts shoulders after deciding to pass up a likely spot in the lottery in favor of staying another year at Duke. Hes expected to be the go-to guy of a very young Duke team that is always a focal point of the national spotlight, and to add insult to injury, he missed most of the summer after undergoing surgery on his back.
On the positive side, McRoberts has done a good job facing the basket from the high post. His passing skills look as good as ever, and hes doing a very nice job using his ball-handling skills with either hand to create shots for himself, something we didnt seem much of at all last season. He looked like he really did want to help carry his teams offense against Marquette, but without his explosiveness, things are much tougher on him. Its quite possible that he just isnt in the type of shape he needs to be in after missing such a huge part of the summer recovering from surgery, so its certainly too early to completely write him off just yet. We still have a long season ahead of us, but judging off what weve seen so far, hes not nearly as intriguing as he was 5 months ago.
Reyshawn Terry, 6-8, Forward, Senior, North Carolina
2 Games: 7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 1 steal, 1.5 blocks, 5/10 FG, 0/1 3P, 4/7 FT
Rashawn Terry displayed some of the tools that make him a nice small forward prospect down the road, but he was inconsistent throughout the Preseason NIT tournament. Most of his points he did score came off cuts to the basket for easy feeds to show off his athleticism, as well as mid-range jumpers off screens. Terry also rebounded the ball very well against Tennessee, despite not doing much in this area against Gonzaga. On defense, he played well for the most part and did so guarding both small and power forwards. He registered 3 blocked shots against the Vols, and appears to be focused on taking advantage of potential he has on this side of the ball. Terrys passing ability looks a little better than last season, though it could still stand to get better.
Terry still needs to improve his ball-handling ability, as he turned the ball over 5 times against Tennessee. He is struggling with his perimeter shot right now, though he has taken only 9 three point attempts this season, making just 2. Terry also appears to still struggle with his touch around the hoop, and he missed a few easy shots inside in different NIT. games. He will need to learn how to take better advantage of his explosiveness inside when trying to finish, which would allow him to draw more contact and make it easier for him to finish. More than anything, though, you got the sense that Terry was just another guy out there for the Heels, rather than their experienced senior with a national championship underneath his belt and their 2nd leading returning scorer. For big portions of the game he seemed to just float around on the court aimlessly, not looking to inject himself into the game and not really being much of an option in UNCs offense.
If Terry continues to struggle with his reduced role this year at North Carolina, it will surely affect his already shaky draft stock. He has the opportunity right now to prove that he can be a good role player, and if he can find his spot on the team, it will prove that he is ready for that role at the next level. He needs to realize that hes no longer playing for an underdog squad that is depleted following the departure of four lottery picks, and begin to take more responsibilities in terms of getting himself involved in the game by doing the little things. Its still way too early to write him off at this point, but his numbers being down across the board so far, particularly his shooting percentages, is not a good sign for him or the Tar Heels.
D.J. White, 6-9, Power Forward, Redshirt Sophomore, Indiana
2 Games: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 0 assists, 1.5 turnovers, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 4 fouls
In the Preseason NIT White struggled against a very weak Lafayette team, picking up more fouls than minutes played before he was finally unleashed deep in garbage time. Against Butler he looked better, but it couldnt stop his team from losing to the eventual tournament champions. He displayed a pretty smooth post-game here, utilizing nifty footwork and a soft touch on his fade-away jumper, a la Leon Powe. Whites explosiveness could very well return as he gets back into game shape after barely having played over the past year and a half.
Considering his relative lack of size and the fact that his team just doesnt seem to be that good this year, he doesnt look like the same type of prospect he was this past summer. Unless his athleticism returns--and in a big way-- sooner rather than later, White might have to put off his not-so-secret plans of declaring for the draft for another year. From what weve been told by people close to the situation, its something hes definitely planning on doing and Indiana is quite aware of it.