2009 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Top 5 Prospects
In this list, not only is the performance from PIT taken into consideration, but also the player’s potential for the NBA level. There were some guys that had a great week, but just don’t project well, which is why they are missing.
Jon Brockman (15.3 points, 16.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 45% FG)
Jermaine Taylor (21.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 46% FG)
Over the past few seasons, Taylor has proven that he is a scorer, so coming into PIT his mentality to continue to attack simply translated from what has been expected of him. In the early going, it was evident that his teammates deferred to him and that he would be given the ultimate green light. He showed his athleticism at times as well as his ability to finish around the rim even when contested by help side defenders. His 1st step seems to have improved over the last little while, showing better ability to create separation when working out of his jab sequence. Operating off screens has been his forte in college, and he showed that ability here by making good reads and getting numerous open shots. He is a very good transition player, possessing a great feel for when to take off on the break, which resulted in many easy opportunities (although some were clear leak outs). What he didn’t show this week is a reliable outside shot, even though his form looks good (and his college stats prove otherwise). The distanced three gave him fits (he only made 3), and more alarming is the fact that some of his misses were not even close. Another major problem for Taylor is creating his own shot off the dribble, he is decent when he can make one move and go, but when the defender forces him into a counter move, he is nowhere near as effective. His athleticism is also subdued in the half court, because he needs a clear path in order to explode to the rim. Even though he looked wild and trigger happy at times, overall, Taylor showed some nice things and he certainly helped his stock.
Leo Lyons (13.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 44% FG)
After spending most of his time in college on the block or as a spot up shooter, Lyons used the new environment to show that his perimeter game is also very polished. Playing on the wing for a large portion of his games, Lyons displayed nifty ballhandling and showed a very nice first step to get by the defense on many occasions. With his size and ability to put the ball on the floor, he immediately creates match up problems because it is difficult for opposing big men to stay with him, or for the smaller wings to battle with him inside. With that said, he failed to show his ability to do much damage with his back to the basket when working with players his size. He shows a strong preference to the face up game, but when his is crowed and forced to back people down, his poor footwork and bad body control leave him attempting difficult shots. He doesn’t have much body mass, so it is easy to dislodge and force him away from the basket and into fading shots. Working off the dribble he gets carried away sometimes by trying to do too much, which stagnates the offense and clogs the lanes. He is very good when he attacks immediately before the defense can get set, but when he waits too long he has a hard time getting by the defender and he ends up going into traffic. Continuing to improve his footwork inside and adding new moves to his low post repertoire will contrast well with his face up and perimeter game, making him a more versatile and more intriguing prospect.
Garret Siler (16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 64% FG)
The biggest surprise and one of the most intriguing prospects of the week was definitely Siler. Looking like a legit 7’ footer with tremendous size, what is most impressive with him is the fact that he runs the floor fairly well and he has great feet for someone his size. He runs with short, somewhat choppy steps, but he is very efficient and does not fatigue as fast as one would expect. Inside, he is very good because he has great hands and a soft touch, and if he catches a defender on his back he is pretty much unstoppable because of his wide base and strength. He had a number of dunks off drives and dishes, showing some very underrated explosiveness. However, his foot speed is very limited, posing a great problem defensively as opposing big men face him up and attack at will. His rebounding is also not very impressive as he seems to lack instinct and he struggles with players that are quicker to get into better rebounding position. He did block 4 shots this week, but he did not show much in terms of anticipation and weak side help. His offensive game is strictly confined to within 5 feet, outside of that range, he does not even look to shoot the ball. He finished 8-14 from the foul line and he is a 66% shooter for his career, but his release is jerky and he moves the ball to the side as he is about to release it, causing some inconsistencies in his release. Overall, this was a great week for Siler to show his game alongside bigger and better competition and it definitely earned him some workouts if not a spot in the late 2nd round.
DeMarre Carroll (16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 57% FG)
Make sure to check back for prospects 6-10 from Portsmouth.
Lyons' game reminds me of David West when he came out of Xavier after his senior year. I think that they possess similar skill sets and mentalities. They both have the ability to stretch the floor, while also using their quickness to blow by other posts and finish around the rim. Is this a fair assessment at all?
Carroll is somewhat comparable to Josh Howard, in my opinion. Obviously, his athleticism and nba potential pale in comparison to Howard's, but they do have some similarities. They each have similar body types, each played mostly power forward in college but showed the ability to handle and make smart decisions in the open floor, and have aggressive mindsets, both attacking the rim and pressuring the opposition defensively. I think Carroll could be a nice pickup for someone.
Taylor looks like a classic case of a undersized, scoring shooting guard stuggling to make a smooth transition to the nba. Sure, he put up some guady numbers at PIT, but I dont think he has a spot in someone's rotation at the next level. He's not a great ballhandler, has very limited court vision, and did not face a very high level of competition in college. I'm not completely ruling out the possibility that he could become a Kelena Azibuke-type player at the next level, but I think that its highly unlikely. Some team would be making a huge mistake by taking him in the first round.
I don't know anything about Garrett Siler, but true seven footers are hard to come by, so who knows.
I love Brockman, but I just don't think that he has enough athleticism to make an impact in the nba. I understand that rebounding is one ability that translates well to the next level, and that there are a number of undersized power forwards who get the job done, but Brockman's just not that guy. He can't finish strong like Millsap, Maxiell, or Landry. He can't defend like Chuck Hayes. However, he can rebound like Reggie Evans, so I'll give him a slight shot at making an nba roster. I do not think that he will get drafted.
Appleby_15 made some excellent comments, but I disagree slightly with his opinion of Brockman.
Brockman reminds me a lot of Paul Milsap, who led the NCAA in rebounding 3 years in a row. Every NBA GM passed on Milsap in the first round and I'll bet many of them regret that decision. Remember, you can find a scorer anywhere, but rebounders are rare gems. Incredibly, most NBA GMs still haven't figured that out.
I'm not saying Brockman's another Milsap, but they have a lot in common. They play a very similar game, they're approximately the same height and weight, and coaches don't depend on either one for scoring, they want them to rebound. Any points they put on the board are gravy.
In my book, Brockman should be a very early second round choice. He should become a valuable role player in the NBA and I think he will more successful than BJ Mullens, who might be a first round pick. That's a scary thought.
Note on Rebounding Stats
Am I the only one who notices that CBS, ABC, and ESPN rarely include rebounding in their half time stats? That tells me the guys who make those decisions don't understand the game.
Inside, he is very good because he has great hands and a soft touch, and if he catches a defender on his back he is pretty much unstoppable because of his wide base and strength. He had a number of dunks off drives and dishes, showing some very underrated explosiveness.
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