Saturday, January 14, 2006

Scouting the Horns

I cuaght the Nova-Texas game today and aside from the fact that it was almost impossibly ugly to watch (Nova shot 22% and still almost won), the showdown provided some insight into a couple of big time NBA prospects wearing burnt orange. Daniel Gibson and LaMarcus Aldridge are both being touted as top five picks if they leave school after their sophomore seasons. Aldridge looks a little stiff and it seems he could use a full four years in college (ala Channing Frye), but I saw enough to come away convinced that he's a legit prospect. He's a full 6'10" with long arms and great hands. His footwork isn't terribly fluid, but he looked more comfortable than most big men around the basket. I was particularly impressed with his timing. He is a good shot blocker and offensive rebounder and he does a nice job of drawing contact and getting up the shot. Unlike Frye though, it doesn't appear he has much of an offensive game outside of five feet, which is something he will need to add to succeed in the NBA. As for Gibson, I think the verdict is really out on him. People want to lable him the next Chris Paul, but I don't see it. He has decent range on his jumper and similar size and quickness, but the similarities end there. Paul was a fearless competitor and made his teammates better, whereas Gibson is a bit of a loose cannon that floats in and out of games and kills his team with excessive turnovers. During the game today, Billy Packer made the comment, "Gibson looks much more comfortable now that he's playing off the ball." Umm, that's not a good sign for a point guard prospect. I don't think he has the eye of the tiger. (By the way, my favorite guy on either team is Nova sophomore point guard Kyle Lowrey. He has no jumper, but he has heart, speed, strength, and incredible instincts. Could be a sleeper in the Earl Watson mode.)

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