4. Nerlens Noel
225 Image: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/si/dam/assets/130212232809-nerlens-noel-420-single-image-cut.jpg
NBA Comparison: Larry Sanders/Dikembe Mutombo
: One of the best pure shot blockers to come along in a number of years ... He's a more explosive leaper and has better on ball shot blocking ability than last year's UK freshman intimidator Anthony Davis. While Davis had a little better lateral speed and ability to get to shots as a weakside defender, Noel's ability to deny his man any daylight to the rim and be a rim protector makes him even more dominant, and a potential defensive enforcer for the NBA ... An elite level athlete with great quickness and explosive leaping ability ... Great length, reported 7'4 wingspan ... Showed surprising ability to get steals using his quick hands (2.1 per game), though some of those reach ins will draw fouls and not be as sucessful in the NBA ... A good kid, with a strong work ethic ... Competes. Plays with great energy and effort ... His great length, explosiveness and natural timing which makes him such a dominant shot blocker also makes him a great rebounder and ally oop/put back dunker ... Strong rebounder. Shows a willingness to bang inside and fight for rebounds. 9.5 rpg ... Good hands to snatch rebounds and make one handed put backs in spectacular fashion ... Showed development in his freshman season, learning to get a wide base, call for the ball, keep it away from guards and make plays, though unpolished, towards the basket ... Has developed a little baby hook shot with either hand that has shown some success at times ... Shows the ability to face up and get by slower defenders using the dribble ...
: Offensively, Noel's game is rudimentary. He has shown some development but the general perception is that he will never be a strong offensive player, instead he impacts games with his defense, rebounding and athleticism ... Won't be able to "out-athleticize" opponents for baskets at the next level the way he has in college ... Scores mainly on put backs and dunks when he gets a clear path to the basket, or when teammates are able to create for him. That being said, his great foot speed allows him to get by inferior opponents off the dribble at times ... Post game is very weak, as a high school player he focused too much on trying to face the basket and use ball handling instead of embracing the idea of being a post player all the time. His lack of post moves/instincts are a result ... Lacks touch even around the rim as he's had some painful misses from point blank range, missing by 2 feet from 4 feet away, etc. ... Shows quick feet and explosiveness to get by slower defenders but struggles to make any real post moves. His foot work needs a good deal of improvement ... His shooting ability is a major weakness as his lack of a crisp form is apparent when he shoots from the FT line. Lacks a clean, smooth motion, he slings the ball, pushing it instead of allowing his wrists to have a natural release ... Legs are alarmingly thin and there could be some concern that the knee injury came as a result of his lack of leg strength ... Narrow shoulders will challenge his ability to bulk up considerably. Though there are plenty of NBA bigmen that have had success in the 230 range (which is likely where he will wind up) ... His 53% ft shooting illustrates his lack of shooting fundamentals ... Unusual athlete, while on one hand he's an elite level run jump guy with tremendous reflexes and quickness, he plays extremely upright and is stiff and lacking fluidity in some regards ...
Notes: Was a difference maker as a shot blocker / intimidator helping his Boston based BABC AAU team win the Nike Peach Jam in the summer going into his senior year, and it was where insiders began discussing Noel as a potential #1 overall pick ... Suffered a season ending ACL injury against Florida on 2/12/2013 ... His freshman season averages ended up being 31.9 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 4.4 bpg, 59% fg, 53% ft, 2.1 spg.
---------- 5. Anthony Bennett
240 Image: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Anthony+Bennett+UNLV+v+San+Diego+State+H3402-twOvUl.jpg
NBA Comparison: Larry Johnson/Jason Maxiell Strengths
: Bennett has expanded his game offensively and become almost unguardable during his first season of college ball ... Bennett's transition to the college game has been seamless ... What grabs your attention about Bennett is his focus and intensity ... Imposing physical specimen. Huge hands, wide shoulders and an enormous wingspan gives him great ability to dunk the ball with power ... He's very athletic, long, quick & fast. With a 7'1 wingspan & impressive inch vertical he poses nightmare problems in terms of mismatches ... Able to overpower smaller defenders & bigger defenders get outquicked and often dunked on ... Bennett is best at the power game in the paint, where at least 70 % of his scoring total comes from ... When charting his shots on the season he has literally scored from every power spot on the floor ... He favors the right side of the floor consisting of floaters, tip ins, reverse layups & dunks 60% of the time. Bennett's 42 dunks put him among the country's leaders. Bennett has made 23 3 pointers this season and averages 1 make per game. Bennett's sweet spot is the left perimeter where he's made 40% of his 3 pointers. His go to midrange move is his face up jumper from the right baseline ... Two words that bode well for Bennett's future are productivity and efficency ... He is so efficient that if he played 40 minutes per game he would average 26.2 points per game ... He has the innate ability to create spacing which helps him to score whether it's freezing a defender with a jab step or flaring off of a screen to catch & shoot or flat out blowing by a defender for a power dunk ... Bennett continually shows his versatility which raises his intrigue ... Bennett's footwork is excellent, especially for someone of his size. Along with his footwork, Bennett's shooting mechanics are very good. His form never changes on his shot. His shoulders are always squared and facing the basket. His release point is the same & even his misses look good ... Bennett is extremely adept at drawing fouls and goes to the stripe an average of 6 times per game, knocking down 75% of his free throws ... Bennett is an adept ball handler and has gone coast to coast 4 times this season. He maintains a low dribble and is rarely caught upright. Based upon playing 40 minutes, he averages only 2 turnovers.
: Somewhat of a tweener as he is slightly undersized for a full time PF (though that's likely his future position) and slow defesnively to play the SF position ... The major concern for Bennett going into this season was his health. His prep career was marred with injuries as he was not able to finish out either his junior or senior seasons. On the positive side he hasn't had any such problems in college having not missed a single practice much less game ... There are some questions about his toughness. He's got a massive frame with increible strength, but for as big and strong as he is, it doesn't always appear that he seeks out contact, or play with ferocity on the boards ... While averaging a team high 8 rebounds a game, at times he appears disinterested defensively.
Notes: Measured 6'7 (in shoes) 242 lbs, with a 7'1 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy ...