No Sleeping Allowed!
By Matthew Maurer
The No Sleeping Allowed! series began two years ago as a quick snapshot of Division II, III, and NAIA prospects who caught my eye and could potentially garner NBA interest. Four players on last year's 2007-08 No Sleeping list earned spots in the NBDL draft. A host of others were spotted in workouts and NBA summer teams, and most were offered spots on overseas teams.
In this third edition I've done something slightly different by ranking players according to who has the best chance of making an NBA team. As always, special thanks goes out to the numerous coaches and other sources that provided valuable information to help bring this list together. Because of the great number of non-Division One schools, I encourage any coach who feels his player is worthy of consideration for the 2008-09 No Sleeping list to contact us.
76 FG% 58 FT% 2.6 BPG 7.8 RPG 1.2 APG 15.2 PPG
Perhaps no player on this list has more potential or physical gifts than Siler. This top prospect outside of Division One has soft hands, solid strength, and a vastly improving offensive game. One had to do nothing more than watch the NCAA Division II championship game in his match-up against Division II player of the year John Smith of Winona State to witness the dominance Siler is capable of. He was a raw 2 points per game, 360 pound project coming out of high school so it's easy to see why Siler had few suitors. But fast forward fours year and he could find himself in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft. On the downside Siler is still working on better conditioning and, more importantly, needs to learn how to stay out of foul trouble. Siler obviously has some things to work on, but his size and potential are golden for the center-deprived NBA.
2) JaMarcus Ellis - Oklahoma City - 6'5 200 - NAIA -SG/SF
41 FG% 26 3PT% 74 FT% 1.5 SPG 7.0 RPG 3.4 APG 6.8 PPG (Indiana)
Coming out of Chipola Junior College, Ellis was often regarded as the top rated player in the JUCO ranks. But at Indiana his presence was offset by freshman phenom Eric Gordon and the consistent DJ White, who both later became first round picks in the 2008 NBA Draft. Meanwhile, Ellis did a lot of the little things to ensure team success with his all around game. The dismissal of former Hoosier head coach Kelvin Sampson seemed to frustrate Ellis and several other Indiana basketball players to the point that the relationship between he and replacement head coach Dan Dakich was irrepairable, which ultimately led to Ellis' dismissal from the team. But with a fresh start at Oklahoma City his role will change from supporting player to the focus of his new team's offense. Perimeter shooting will hold the key for Ellis this season as opposing defenders would often challenge him to shoot rather than giving up room to allow him to create in the lane.
3) Ted Scott - West Virginia State - 6'2 180 - DIV II - SG/PG
50 FG% 54 3PT% 86 FT% 0.5 SPG 5.0 RPG 1.5 APG 29.0 PPG
Scott is less of a sleeper to the NBA scouting community thanks in large part to the work of legendary scout and NBA director of scoting Marty Blake. Scott's primary ability is scoring and few players are capable of putting the ball through the hoop with such variety. He's a tremendous shooter capable of creating off the dribble or pulling up from mid-range. Scott made improvements last season by focusing on catching and shooting, and by becoming a more consistent three point shooter. He demonstrates above average athleticism and is capable of driving the lane and finishing with a dunk or acrobatic lay-up thanks to his body control. Scott's biggest question marks are undoubtedly his average defense (which isn't unusual for big time scorers) and point guard skills. At 6-2 he will need to develop the mentality to set-up and run an offense. He had to redshirt last season after only two games when he suffered a right knee ACL injury. Early reports indicate that his surgically repaired knee is doing well. The biggest hurdle for Scott will be staying aggressive without being passive with his body. If the past is any indication, Ted Scott will more than likely find himself among the nation's top scorers in Division II basketball.
4) Chris Commons - USC Aiken - 6'8 220 - DIV II - SF/PF
54 FG% 38 3PT% 68 FT% 1.3 SPG 1.0 BPG 6.4 RPG 1.0 APG 21.8 PPG
Commons is the number one player on top team in the Division II ranks. He played his first two years of basketball at the University of Findlay where he was also the team's number one man. Unfortunately, off court problems led to an eight month jail stint after he pleaded no contest to armed robbery charges. This made life at Findlay rough. But after a fresh start Commons has made the most of his second chance and has been a model citizen on and off the court. His ability to play inside and out is what truly makes him unique in a Division II setting. At 6-8 he has no problem taking off the dribble or shooting over opposing defenders. To top it off Commons has a great work ethic and the hunger to improve. With his length and ability to create off the dribble he could find himself the object of a few NBA teams' affections.
5) Rashaad Singleton - Florida Southern - 7'0 280 - DIV II - C
43 FG% 33FT % 1.7 BPG 3.3 RPG 0.4 APG 2.7 PPG (Georgia)
Singleton has yet to produce on the hardwood as his combination of height and athleticism would suggest, yet the fact that he has continues to makes strides really makes him a player of interest. Despite his lack of offensive moves, he is a solid shotblocker with a great deal of potential, especially considering his junior status. Up to this point in Singleton's career he has been a project who has relied on instincts rather than fundamentals. But with more instructional coaching, he can hopefully learn the nuances of back to the basket moves. Physically, he does a great job of running the court and moves very fluid for someone his size. Singleton's biggest issue this season will be staying away from quick fouls. In the past, his over-aggressiveness was often his downfall. Singleton did not exit Georgia because of off the court issues. Rather, it simply came down to playing time, which he will get plenty of the year.
6) DeAndre Thomas - Robert Morris (IL) - 6'8 295 - NAIA - PF
47 FG% 52 FT% 0.4 SPG 1.8 RPG 0.5 APG 3.6 PPG (Indiana)
For the first time in quite a while, Thomas will not be playing alongside his high school, junior college, and Indiana Hoosier teammate, JaMarcus Ellis. After the fallout from the Kelvin Sampson turmoil, Thomas was dismissed from the team along with Ellis. Thomas was a little bit of a let down to most Indiana observers who felt that his feel for the game and unique talents in the low post could make him a star. For a post player he has it all - nice shooting touch, balance, footwork and upper body strength. But his lack of discipline and poor conditioning (weight) may prevent him from ever reaching his potential.
7) Leslie Malone - Northern Kentucky - 6'7 195 - DIV II -PF/SF
49 FG% 34 3pt% 61 FT% 2.1 BPG 2.0 SPG 10.7 RPG 2.3 APG 19.4 PPG
Malone is neither a protypical power forward nor a small forward. He is simply a basketball player who goes out and plays his best. From a professional basketball standpoint, he falls more toward the small forward mold, but a problem lays in the fact that both his ball handling and perimeter shooting are not up to those standards (although they show signs of coming along nicely). Defensively, he has the physical tools needed to be a standout with long arms, great leaping ability and intensity. Malone is a late bloomer who never played organized basketball until attending Merced Junior College in California. He's still a few years away from fully scratching his potential.
8) Anthony Hilliard - Elizabeth City St. - 6'4 205 - DIV II - SG/SF
49 FG% 72 FT% 1.1 SPG 11.4 RPG 3.3 APG 19.7 PPG
Hilliard is neither a shock nor a surprise to NBA personnel. Many have known of him for quite some time as he has always been a model of consistency and excitement in CIAA tournaments. He's a top notch athlete with tremendous intensity and plays every game like it's his last. The problem is his lack of perimeter shooting that leaves quite a bit to be desired. Look no further than his 8% 3-point shooting. At 6-4, he must make the transition to shooting guard where ball handling skills and the ability to create off the dribble are necessities. But for all his knocks it's literally impossible to write him off as a player as he's averaged a double-double for the past two seasons. Hilliard's will is greater than any one skill he possesses.
9) Jeral Davis - Talladega College - 7'1 220 - NAIA -C
58 FG% 61 FT% 6.0 BPG 7.7 RPG 1.4 APG 11.4 PPG (Texas College)
Davis is a unique prospect who, back in 2006, committed to Marshall with some fanfare. After all it's not everyday that a 7-1, decently athletic and mobile player commits to your program. The Toledo native didn't play in high school or participate in AAU, but he did choose to play junior college ball at Daytona Beach for his freshman year. Entering sophomore year he transferred to St. Catharine in Kentucky where he put up impressive numbers. Davis' play and size in junior college has sparked some interest from NBA scouts. Many junior college observers labeled him the top shot blocker prospect in the nation. Unfortunately, after committing to Marshall he fell short academically. This took his career to Texas College where he made an immediate impact by backing up his shot blocker reputation as the nation's leader, averaging 6.0 blocks per game. Offensively, Davis is unpolished and must continue to work on his fundamentals in addition to a focus on gaining more upper body strength. Davis transferred to Talladega College this season to follow his coach, Matt Cross.
10) Anthony Pettaway - Defiance - 6'8 255 - DIV III - PF
58 FG% 65 FT% 0.8 BPG 8.0 RPG 0.8 APG 15.7 PPG
While there may be players with better skills on the Division III landscape, there are few, if any, who have both the protypical body and overall skill to actually fit an NBA position. Pettaway is an active player who does a great job using his body and post foot work to gain position. He's a natural runner of the floor who isn't a freak athlete in terms of leaping ability, but is above average. His lack of conditioning seems to limit him from being effective through an entire game. Some have commented to me that he has worked extremely hard in this area in preparation for his senior year. Pettaway is somewhat a dark horse to be drafted as he lacks the big upside and may be limited by height issues if he doesn't measure out to 6-8. He is a serious candidate to be drafted by an NBDL team.
Last Year's 2007-08 Season No Sleeping Recap
Here's a look back at my list of last year's 2007-08 sleepers and how they fared at the end of the season. In alphabetical order, listing notable awards or honors:
Sean Barnette - Wingate - 6'4 215 - DIV II -SG
51 FG% 31 3PT% 65 FT% 1.5SPG 0.6BPG 9.8RPG 2.9APG 21.2PPG
• Worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats
• Signed with Saint-Vallier of France
Marcus Hubbard - Angelo State - 6'9 230 - DIV II -PF/SF
42 FG% 31 3PT% 62 FT% 1.8SPG 1.9BPG 6.6RPG 1.3APG 15.4PPG
• 1st Round pick in the NBDL Draft
Willie Irick - Oklahoma City - 6'6 220 - NAIA -SG/SF
51 FG% 40 3PT% 76 FT% 0.5SPG 0.85BPG 5.9RPG 0.8APG 17.7PPG
Othyus Jeffers - Robert Morris (Ill.) - 6'5 210 - NAIA - SF/SG
60 FG% 21 3PT% 68 FT% 2.5SPG 0.7BPG 9.1RPG 3.3APG 22.2PPG
• 3rd Round pick in the NBDL Draft
Michael Sturns – Holy Family – 6-5 205 - DIV II -SG
47 FG% 35 3PT% 78 FT% 2.2SPG 6.7PPG 3.0APG 26.6PPG
• 5th Round pick in the NBDL Draft
Avery Patterson - Tarleton State - 6'4 195 - DIV II -SG
40 FG% 36 3PT% 88 FT% 1.1SPG 3.8RPG 1.4APG 15.1PPG
Jonny Reibel - Rollins - 6'2 170 - DIV II -PG
48 FG% 39 3PT% 80 FT% 2.0SPG 4.8RPG 7.2APG 20.0PPG
• 2008 Miami Heat Summer League
• Signed with Slask Wroclaw of Poland
John Smith - Winona St. - 6-8 240 - DIV II -PF
52FG% 72FT% 2.8BPG 8.4PPG 2.7APG 17.5PPG
• Worked out for Minnesota Timberwolves
• Playing overseas
Ben Strong - Guilford - 6-11 220 - DIV III -PF
58FG% 77FT% 0.2SPG 2.2BPG 10.8PPG 2.0APG 25.8PPG
• Signed with Maccabi Hafia of Israel
DeMario Williams - Miles - 7'1 225 - DIV II -C
48FG% 47FT% 1.9BPG 4.3RPG 0.4APG 5.8PPG
• 5th round pick in the NBDL Draft
Matthew Maurer of TheDraftReview.com can be emailed: here
Alex Pledger a D1 transfer at D2 Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC
He is a seven footer from New Zealand who I watched the other night. He had 15 points, 11 rebs and 4 blocks in just 17 minutes in there first game of the season and had 13 and 12 and 4 blocks against D1 elon in 25 mins in an exhibition game.
Im not a scouting expert, and he is a little lean for a seven footer at 245 Lb, but i think he desrves mention on this list.
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Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t.
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Entering sophomore year he transferred to St. Catharine in Kentucky where he put up impressive numbers. Davis' play and size in junior college has sparked some interest from NBA scouts.
Reggie Burnett Jr., was a highly recruited guard out of Frank Phillips Community College, in Borger Texas.. The kid sat out a year and landed at Roger State University, which was the #1 NAIA, school in the nation. He is a 6'5'' 190 pd., scoring machine. he lead the nation in scoring in Junior College and I look for him to lead the nation in scoring again in NAIA and lead the Roger State Hillcats to there 1st, nationally title. Keep this kid on your radar; because, he's a great young talent and will make some noise in the NBA Draft from a small school. And the kid is only a junior. If someone could get me a schedule to there games i will stat track him the whole season and post it on here, he's that good!!!
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