Sleepers in the NBA Draft 2011


June 23, 2011

1. Andrew Goudelock/College of Charleston – Goudelock is a pure shooter and the best shooter in the draft. He has NBA size with a 6’3” frame and is a decent ball handler. He is an elite shooter which translates perfectly from college to the professionals, but lacks enough athleticism to be a great point guard, so he will probably be a backup. He is adept at shooting off picks and off the dribble. He utilizes his picks well, but rarely scores at the rim. In fact, most of his shots were jumpers because his lack of explosiveness hindered him from finishing in the paint. However, Goudelock will stick in the NBA because he has a coveted skill in shooting and he has unlimited range on his jump shot. He was a fairly efficient scorer in college, so getting fewer shots in the pros should not hurt his confidence. For him to excel he needs to land on a team that covets knock-down shooters like Phoenix, Utah, Houston, and Oklahoma City, or a team in desperate need of a shooter like Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, and Orlando.

2. Shelvin Mack/Butler – Shelvin Mack is the reason that the Butler Bulldogs, a mid-major school played in consecutive NCAA championship games. He is a little shorter than the ideal NBA point guard, but he makes up for it with a lot of upper body strength and a quick first step. He is decisive with the basketball and excelled this year as a scorer even though he was a great facilitator for Butler last year. He tends to score in spurts and has a good feel for the game. He knows when he needs to score for his team and when he needs to defer. He possesses good leadership skills and hits baskets when his team needs them. He can finish in the paint with either hand, but tends to shoot with his right more on either side of the basket. The strength of his game is getting short pull-up jumpers. His quickness with the ball gets separation and he is deadly from 15 feet in. Mack would flourish in a destination that needs a solid point guard, but has an established veteran like Houston where he could learn from Kyle Lowery, or Miami under the tutelage of Mike Bibby.

3. Jon Leuer/Wisconson – Jon Leuer is 6’11 with good ball-handling skills and a soft touch. He played more high post this year in college, so he spent less time with his back to the basket. However, he is adept at facing the rim or playing with his back to the basket. He can shoot the three pointer well for his size (he shot 37% from behind the arc), and has a high basketball IQ. He is more mobile than most scouts think he is, but he will probably still be over-matched at power forward in the NBA, his natural position. Leuer could be successful as a stretch 4 in the league. His ability to shoot the basketball from 20 feet and out gives him a decided advantage against some of the more lumbering power forwards. And his 6’11″ frame makes it harder for defenders to close. Leuer would be well-served by finding a team where he can learn while playing like Toronto, Memphis, or New Orleans.

4. LaceDarius Dunn/Baylor – LaceDarius Dunn could be the steal of the draft. He is a little bigger than he looks, he is more athletic than you think, and he can really stroke the basketball. He needs to work on his ball-handling in order to play a little point guard, but at the two his quick first step and low dribble allowed him to blow by most defenders in college. He saw double teams for the last two years at Baylor, despite playing with good talent. When he is hot, he can shoot his team to a win. When he is not, he can shoot his team out of a game. Dunn could be a starter in the NBA and he could be out of the league in 5 years. The best teams for him are Houston who needs a scoring guard that can knock down deep shots, New Jersey where he could get easy buckets from Deron Williams, or Chicago where Rose warrants the brunt of the attention from a defense.

5. Jamie Skeen/Virginia Commonwealth – Skeen is the most skilled big man in the draft, but is also a bit undersized. He has an excellent stroke out to the three point line, good ball-handling skills, and can score in traffic. He lacks great athleticism, but plays strong under the basket. He can face up and score, drive past his defender, or play in the low post. He needs a more lean frame to make a smooth adjustment to the professional game. This should give him a little more burst after his first step, but his skill set lends itself to the stretch 4 position even if he does not replace more of his fat with muscle. Skeen is very skilled and knows how to get his shot. He should play in Detroit or Milwaukee to get reasonable minutes.

6. Norris Cole/Cleveland State – Norris Cole had a great senior season he added 8 points to his scoring average and almost doubled his number of assists per game despite playing basically the same amount of minutes that he played last season. He is great in the open floor, and has good court vision. He can penetrate with either hand but is better using a pick than operating on his own. He has is very good off the dribble which will help him in the league. Most of his numbers have improved every year, which means that he possesses a good work ethic. Cole should be a solid professional basketball player in the NBA. He would thrive in places like Phoenix, Houston, Memphis, Dallas, or Milwaukee.

7. Marshon Brooks/Providence – Brooks is another player that blossomed in his final year. As a senior, Marshon Brooks was second in the nation in scoring. He has good mechanics on his jump shot and scored most of his points on a variety of short pull-up jumpers. He does have a complete arsenal of moves and shots around the basket though. He has NBA size at 6’5″ and NBA length with a 7’1″ wingspan. He is quick with the basketball though not overwhelming. With better shot selection, Marshon could be a player in the NBA. He could excel in Houston, Golden State (if Ellis is traded), New Orleans, or Charlotte.

8. Reggie Jackson/Boston College – Reggie Jackson is a gifted athlete that relied on his talent too much in his first two years at Boston College. In his junior season however, he learned to how to control the game with his talent. He had a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio. He learned to use hesitation moves and changes of pace to accent his athleticism rather than rely on it solely. Jackson also has a explosive first step, good leaping ability, and a 7′ wingspan at just 6’3″. He does not look to distribute first, but has decent court vision. Reggie should learn the NBA game from a solid veteran like Derek Fisher of the Lakers, Tony Parker of the Spurs, or Jason Kidd of the Mavericks. If he gets a good mentor, he could become an NBA All-Star.

9. Chris Singleton/Florida State – Chris Singleton is physically gifted. There were several times during this past college season where he looked like a man playing amongst boys. He can run the floor, rebound, block shots, hit jumpers, and drive past his man. Singleton is strong and quick with good footwork. He is just unpolished. His ball handling skills need work and his post moves need refinement. He knocked down open jumpers, but was less effective when he run off his spot. He is great on the defensive end. He uses his elite athleticism to block shots, rebound, and intimidate his opponents. Though he will not intimidate everyone at the next level, his strength and ability to get off the floor will pay dividends in the league too.  He should play for the Nuggets, the Magic, the Mavericks, the Celtics or any other team where he can use that athleticism in the open floor.

10. Alec Burks/Colorado – Alec Burks could be the steal of the draft if he falls out of the lottery. He is an exceptional athlete and finishes plays in the paint. Burks is one of five people in the draft that can consistently create his own shot off the dribble. He needs to work on getting more balance and range on his jump shot. He is efficient from eight to ten feet in, but each shot outside of that range is hit or miss, literally. He can make difficult shots in traffic and shows the ability to take over games in stretches. With a more consistent jump shot and a better range, Burks could be an NBA All-Star. He should be in a gym working on repetitions shooting the basketball this summer. New Orleans, Houston, Golden State, Chicago, New Jersey, and Cleveland are all good fits for his talents.


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