NBADraft.net: Updated February 20, 2006
At 6: Rodney Carney, Memphis (H: 6â€™7â€ W: 205 Pos: PF Age: 21)
Pros: Possibly the most athletic player in the draft. Great finisher on the break. Solid defender with great length. Jump shot is improving and has range. Has hit 41% of his 186 3-point attempts this season. Explosive scorer, as evidenced by his 37 points against Louisiana Tech in December.
Cons: Tends to rely on his athleticism at times. Handle could use a little bit of work, especially going left. Must continue to improve consistency on jumper. Not a great passer.
Chapman's Take: I am still torn on who I would pick in this spot if I had the choice between Carney and Ronnie Brewer. Carney is the better athlete, no doubt about that, but after watching the UTEP game on Wednesday, I am concerned with Carney's consistency. He's still going to make a heck of a pro, though.
At 36: Marcus Williams, Connecticut (H: 6â€™2â€ W: 200 Pos: PG Age: 20)
Pros: True point guard, one of the best in the NCAA this season. Can get to the hoop and finish. Great distributor. Has a great feel for the game.
Cons: Needs to limit turnovers. His jumper still needs lots of work, as he is shooting less than 40% from the floor and only 33% from beyond the arc. Character is also an issue, as he was suspended for the first 10 games of this season for allegedly stealing laptop computers.
Chapman's Take: Williams is a true point guard, but don't we already have that in Calderon? The Raptors would need to ensure that the laptop theft was an isolated incident. UConn has been rolling since he came back in January.
At 56: Rashard Anderson, Connecticut (H: 6â€™4â€ W: 215 Pos: SG Age: 21)
Pros: One of the best outside shooters in the NCAA. When he is on a roll from long-range, few are better (and I am including Redick and Morrison). This is the skill that will get him PT in the Association. A poor man's Salim Stoudamire.
Cons: Ball handling is not a strength. Can he create his own shot? Probably will never be a starter in the NBA. Mid-range game still needs work. Does he know that life exists inside the 3-point line? 60% of his attempts from the field over his four years at UConn are from downtown.
Chapman's Take: You can never have enough players who can knock down an open jumper. However, I don't see the Raptors looking in this direction late in the second round. I feel that they are still going to have a numbers issue in terms of their roster in 06-07 and will look to draft someone here that they can stash abroad for a few years a la Uros Slokar.
Draftexpress.com: Updated February 19, 2006
At 4: Adam Morrison, Gonzaga (H: 6â€™8â€ W: 215 Pos: SF Age: 21)
Pros: Excellent scorer. Did you see that 44-point performance against Loyola Marymount last Saturday? Eight threes? 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. His defense could use some work, although he's not as bad a defender as he showed against St. Mary's a few weeks back. 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 34: Damir Markota, Cibona VIP Zagreb (H: 6â€™11â€ W: 225 Pos: SF/PF Age: 20)
These Europeans always throw me a curveball.
Here's what NBADraft.net had to say about Markota.
At 56: Torin Francis, Notre Dame (H: 6â€™10â€ W: 251 Pos: PG Age: 22)
Pros: He was a McDonald's All-American as a senior in high school. Was dominating at time in his freshman season, including a 25 and 10 performance against Arizona in the Dance. Athletic and decent around the hoop. Has an NBA body.
Cons: Seems way too tentative on the offensive end. He needs to watch Paul Millsap play and take notes. His game has seemingly digressed since his first two seasons. Poor free throw shooter. Does he love the game? Was supposed to be the recruit that took Notre Dame to the promised land. Instead, he's more like the basketball version of Ron Powlus.
Chapman's Take: I talked about Francis last month after watching the Irish play Villanova. My thoughts back then: "I just donâ€™t see his game translating to NBA success. He is much too tentative and lacks agression on both ends of the court." My opinion hasn't changed.
Note: All mock drafts have been prepared without taking team needs into account.
Caught up on some games that were stuck on my PVR for a while due to other commitments and Olympic hockey....Watched the Louisiana Tech-Nevada game from a few weeks back, specifically to check out Paul Millsap and Nick Fazekas, both possible first rounders in the upcoming draft. I've always been a fan of Millsap's and his performance in this game solidified his standing in my eye. He is a fantastic rebounder (heading towards his third straight NCAA rebounding title) and is super agressive around the offensive hoop. Fazekas, meanwhile, struggled all game and looked tentative. He seems like a 6-11 perimeter player a la Matt Bonner, as opposed to a force down low....Also caught Arkansas/LSU for Ronnie Brewer and Tyrus Thomas. Nothing new to report on Brewer, but Thomas threw down one of the better dunks of the year, catching a bad alley oop at the top of the square on the backboard and flushing it home. Kid is an athlete...Watching the Memphis/UTEP game on Wednesday, I was struck by how many athletes Memphis has. They are going to be a problem in March and might not be a bad play at 9-1....If you're not nervous about backing young teams, have a look at Kansas (55-1) and North Carolina (67-1). They are two of the hotter teams in the NCAA right now and could be primed for deep March runs....