Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NBA Draft Steals: Jackson, Thompkins and Jimmer

Hold your breath folks, the mainstream media has infiltrated the Collective! Although this could be cause for concern, we all can vouch for the expertise of Gil Haylon. A four year college hoops player, Gil has recently become a writer and editor for a number of Boston area newspapers. Add in Gil's passion for New England sports, late-night quesadillas , and statistical analysis and I think its fair to say we have found another boss Guest Contributor.

While I may not have the in-depth knowledge of 1990’s Providence Friar basketball that the Hendrie brothers do, I can assure you I loved Ruben Garces as much as the next guy.  (Sidenote: After living with Dave for four years in college, I can’t tell you how many times I saw him drop into a John Linehan defensive stance late night in the student center as he recounted his Friar glory days).  For the purposes of this blog, I’ll use my posting skills, as well as my highly mediocre small town news coverage expertise to break down the intricacies of the NBA Draft. 

This year’s NBA draft is thin on talent at the top, and while that doesn’t bode well for the likes of the Timberwolves and the Wizards, there’s plenty of mid-lottery to late first round steals to be had.  There might not be much intrigue during the first few picks a la Oden vs. Durant, but it’s a muddled mess in the middle and it will be fun trying to separate the pack from picks 10-40. Here’s three players in that 10-40 range who are going to exceed expectations at the next level.
Don’t sleep on the hops, for BC’s basketball version of Matty Ice.
Reggie Jackson: Boston College, PG
Projected as a late first round pick

Simply put, Jackson has been drastically overlooked by draftniks and college basketball experts up until this point.  Put in the rare position of being the team’s primary ball-handler and best player, Jackson was able to combine eye-popping stats with a ruthlessly efficient floor game.  Jackson averaged 18.2 point per game while shooting just over 50% from the floor. He also chipped in 4.3 boards per game along with 4.5 assists.  Basically, Jackson put together a better season the Nolan Smith with a far worse supporting cast.  Jackson and Smith’s averages in terms of points, boards and assists were nearly identical, while Jackson shot more than 5% better from the floor and had a much better assist to turnover ratio. Not to mention that Chad Ford has already dubbed Jackson as someone who is sure to impress with his athleticism in workouts.  Put Reggie Jackson on Duke or North Carolina and he’s a top ten pick.  Jackson has the size and athleticism to run the point at the NBA level, and his passing vision and efficient shooting make him a solid bet to succeed in the pros.

Jimmer-mania swept the nation, but it also undermined his draft stock.
Jimmer Fredette: BYU, PG
Projected as a mid to late first round pick

Jimmer’s star has begun to fall after an inefficient performance in the NCAA tournament against Florida.  And, while Reggie Jackson is Mr. Efficiency, Jimmer is nearly the exact opposite.  Fredette chucks up more shots than World B. Free, yet he’s primed to become an offensive savant in the NBA.  Fredette is Stephen Curry in every imaginable way.  The two are nearly identical in terms of college stats. 


The key aspect of each players game is their underrated passing ability.  Curry has proven to be a dynamic offensive point guard in the NBA, making the transition from inefficient gunner in college to an efficient point guard who passes as well as he scores.  Fredette has shown a decidedly keen eye as a passer when he decides to save his 35 foot hero shots for the practice court.  While Mother Theresa could take either player off the bounce, the offense should make up for the defense. In Jimmer’s case, it seems that he’s become so overrated he’s underrated.

LaMarcus Aldridge Light? The Collective thinks so.
Trey Thompkins: Georgia, PF
Projected as an early second round pick

This guy is a smooth as they come and has the size and shooting touch to be an effective face up four at the NBA level.  Thompkins has been the focal point of the Georgia offense for two straight years and has put up good numbers on a team with a mediocre point guard in Dustin Ware and a couple of shot-hunting wings in Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson.  Thompkins is projected to possibly sneak into the first round, and scouts seem to have forgotten about him despite a solid junior season.  At 6’10” he is not a dreaded tweener but a pure four with skills.  In a draft where nearly every player has a significant weakness, Trey is the exception. Thompkins averaged 16.4 ppg as a senior and 17.7 as junior while shooting over 48% in both years.  Thompkins has the range to shoot it from the three in the NBA, and the post moves to play with his back to the basket.  Think a poor man’s LaMarcus Aldridge, which is not too shabby for someone in the late first round.


Anonymous said...

letting gil write for the blog is a joke...outcast on d3hoops and already bringing down the quality of a previously superb blog

Anonymous said...

i disagree. i thought this was yet again another great post from the collective. keep it up boys

Ryan Mahanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Mahanna said...

As the original guest contributor to the Collective nothing makes me happier than Gil coming on board. I have done a ton of draft research (great call on Jackson) and even though this draft stinks we should have it covered. Plus, we could swap living with a Hendrie war stories (I hope night terrors aren’t hereditary)