Draftexpress.com: Updated January 29, 2006
At 3: Adam Morrison, Gonzaga (H: 6â€™8â€ W: 215 Pos: SF Age: 21)
Pros: Excellent scorer. Confident to the point of being cocky, Morrison is an excellent leader. Has a high basketball IQ. Solid passer. Has developed the "aura" of a star and has developed a Kobe-esque way of drawing foul calls. Intense competitor.
Cons: Has trouble creating his own shot. More of a scorer than a shooter, although his jumper has improved considerably. Has the same problem that Daunte Culpepper and Byron Leftwich faced coming out of college: Is he a product of his conference or a genuine star?
Chapman's Take: Morrison is the most polarized player in this draft. Some see the next Larry Bird. Some see the next Wally Sczerbiak. I actually see a lot of Richard Hamilton in him: Always running, great mid-range game. I have come around on him this season, as he has shown me an uncanny ability to score and top-notch leadership. He may never be an All-Star, but certainly would be a solid contributor to this team at worst.
At 22: Thabo Sefolosha, Angelico Biella (H: 6â€™6â€ W: 181 Pos: SG/SF Age: 21)
Chapman's Take: I think RaptorsHQ needs to hire recently fired International Scouting Director Scott Howard to field this one. Better yet, let's get Raptors TV to start showing some Angelico Biella games.
At 33: Terrell Everett, Oklahoma (H: 6â€™4â€ W: 188 Pos: PG Age: 21)
Pros: Anyone watch Texas-Oklahoma Saturday night? This kid is all energy. He was dominant all night, scoring 25 points, dropping eight dimes and adding seven boards. He has great height for a point and is versatile enough to play the two as well. He's a great leaper and his length and athleticism make him a solid defender.
Cons: Averages 4.1 turnovers a game, which basically gives him Betty Crocker as a nickname. Turnover prone might be an understatement. Jumper is questionable and he's shooting only 29.2% from long-range this season. Those are Steve Blake numbers.
Chapman's Take: Everett got my attention last season when his play forced one of my faves, Drew Lavender, to transfer to Xavier. I like the energy and the versatility, but I'd like to see some more consistency from him in terms of taking care of the ball and knocking down the jumper.
At 5: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas (H: 6â€™7â€ W: 220 Pos: SG Age: 20)
Pros: A long, lean, athletic swingman with the handle to play the point. Very aggressive player at both ends of the court. Long wingspan leads to many steals, as evidenced by his 3.4 steals per game this season, which leads the SEC by almost a steal a game. Brewer is a scorer (18.4 PPG this season leads the SEC) who can create his own shot. Word is a large contingent from the Toronto Raptors' front office traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to watch Brewer a few weeks ago. The 6-7, 217-pounder scored 22 points, hit four 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds in 40 minutes in a 78-75 overtime loss to Alabama. The junior was averaging 18.2 points and 4.8 rebounds entering the game at Auburn.
Cons: Brewerâ€™s jumper is a tad suspect, something that is not uncommon for athletic swingmen his age. Remember LeBronâ€™s jumper coming out of high school? His aggressiveness does occasionally get him in trouble on defense.
At 14: Maurice Ager, Michigan State (H: 6â€™5â€ W: 180 Pos: SG Age: 21)
Pros: A shooter, something that the Raps could really use. A fantastic athlete, anyone who has watched a Spartan game in the past few years has probably come away having viewed a spectacular dunk by Ager. As with most MSU players, Ager is a hard worker and a solid leader. Anyone who watched MSUâ€™s classic tilt with Gonzaga in this yearâ€™s Maui Invitational left impressed with Agerâ€™s 36 points and buzzer-beating trey that forced the first of three overtimes.
Cons: Much like Hassan Adams, Ager might be a little small to play the 2-guard in the Association. As such, he will need to improve his ball handling ability in order to play some point. Ager has also struggled with consistency in the past, but may finally be putting it all together in his senior year.
At 35: Marco Killingsworth, Indiana (H: 6â€™8â€ W: 268 Pos: PF Age: 23)
Pros: Excellent low-post scorer who has dominated some big-name competition. Not convinced? Check out this line from a November game against Duke: 34 points and 10 rebounds. He took it to Shelden Williams repeatedly in that game and an unnamed RaptorsHQ staffer in the know has called Williamsâ€™ defense â€œrock solid, like Hoffaâ€™s headâ€. A lefty, he has improving range and has displayed solid shot selection.
Cons: Killingsworth will be 24 on draft day and we all know the teamâ€™s recent track record in drafting 24 year olds. At least he doesnâ€™t play for BYU. Not a good free throw shooter, which is questionable for front-court players. Conditioning has also been questioned.
Conclusion: With this draft, the Raptors would become field a much more versatile and athletic lineup. Brewer has been compared to Joe Johnson and could be just as good as RaptorsHQ favourite, Rudy Gay. Killingsworth would provide frontcourt depth and scoring. A solid draft.
Note: All mock drafts have been prepared without taking team needs into account.
Caught a bit of the UConn-Providence game on Saturday and it was another less-than-impressive performance from Rudy Gay. 10 and 4 in 25 minutes of play. Howland doesn't think he loves the game enough. Anyone else get that impression?...Flipside of that coin was Boston College's Craig Smith. Caught the Eagles' must-win game at Miami and Smith was dominant: 18 points, 14 boards and 6-6 from the line. Against Georgia Tech on Sunday, he put up even better numbers: 25 points, 13 boards and 9-9 from the line. At 6-7, Smith reminds me a little of another undersized Eagle PF, Donya Abrams....Keep an eye on Temple PG Mardy Collins. At 6-6, he's got the size. As Saturday's performance against Maryland showed, he's also got the game: 25 points, 12 dimes, 5 steals and 4 boards....Caught the Villanova-Notre Dame thriller on Saturday and came away unimpressed with Notre Dame's Torin Francis. When he joined the Irish four years ago, he was heralded as perhaps the top recruit Notre Dame has ever had. I just don't see his game translating to NBA success. He is much too tentative and lacks agression on both ends of the court.