Posted Jun 23 2003 12:17PM
University of Memphis Coach John Calipari gives opinions on draft's top prospects
NBA.com recently talked to University of Memphis coach, and former Nets coach, John Calipari about NBA Draft 2003. "The younger (prospects) are, the bigger risk they are," said Calipari. "For instance, if you take a 17 or 18-year-old, you'll hit on three and miss on 15. If you take a college senior, you'll hit 80% of the time." Here's Calipari's breakdown of the top college players, as well as high-school prospects.
Calipari's Top Six College Seniors:
Nick Collison, F, Kansas: "His size is key. He's big (6-9, 255). So many teams are looking for players with his size. He can play more of a physical game, and he's skilled for a big man."
Kirk Hinrich, G, Kansas: "Has pretty good size (6-3) and skill level. He can really shoot it. With zones now more prominent in the NBA, his shooting comes into play."
David West, F, Xavier: "He's the enigma of the seniors. He's truly long; his height may be just 6-9, but his reach is more in the 7-2 or 7-3 range. I think West is a killer with a competitive streak. He really should surprise some people."
Josh Howard, G-F, Wake Forest: "A do-everything, athletic guy who can really "get his own" in terms of scoring and points. I think he really benefitted from staying all four years in college. He led his team his senior year, so he understands how to take over games."
Brian Cook, F-C, Illinois: "Physical play and toughness will be an issue, but he really has the skills to do a lot of things. Can shoot the three and has great skills with the ball. He'll see time at the four, and maybe even at the five."
Reece Gaines, G, Louisville: "Most are probably still wondering what position he's more suited for, point guard or shooting guard. He's more suited to play the two, but can play the one in a pinch. He can score and has pretty good size (6-6)."
Carmelo Anthony, F, Syracuse: "Obviously, a terrific talent. Has great size (6-8), so he can come in and play the three. Can shoot and score without help. He'll draw double-teams, and he understands how to work out of them."
Dwayne Wade, G, Marquette: "In my opinion, will be a top-six pick. He has an unbelieveable attitude, in that he's not threatened by anyone else's success. He's comfortable in his own skin. Has great athleticism. Some may question his shooting, but I think he will become a great shooter."
Chris Bosh, F, Georgia Tech: "The upside with Bosh is his athleticism. He's a little thin, but he's young (19). I'd compare him to Jermaine O'Neal. It took O'Neal four or five years to develop, and Bosh could be that kind of guy."
Luke Ridnour, G, Oregon: "His playmaking ability and skill with the ball excites a lot of people. He can get the ball where he needs to, he makes shots, and he gets teammates involved. A tough kind of guy."
Jarvis Hayes, G-F, Georgia: "In the same boat as Josh Howard. Someone may say, 'Well, he hasn't played long enough, blah blah ...' The bottom line is Hayes can get his own. That's what turns pro scouts on. He and Howard give you the ability to 'get their own.' He may not wind up at a position he's used to playing, as he'll probably be a guard, but he'll adapt."
LeBron James, F-G: "Obviously, the No. 1 pick. LeBron's in the same category as Kobe, T-Mac and KG as far as players coming straight out of high school. In fact, I hate to say this, but he could be better. Why? Because of his size. He's a man right now. Beyond this, he has an effervescent attitude. He loves to play. With him, it's really not about the fame and wealth, he'll just compete. When LeBron learns to make players around him better -- and it took MJ some time to learn this -- it'll be downright scary."
Travis Outlaw, F: "Should go in the first round based on his athleticism. His skills with the ball are comparable to that of high school kids, however. His ball-handling and shooting are OK, but athletically he's off the charts. Can fly."
Kendrick Perkins, C: "Will go in the first round. He's about 6-10, but his wingspan makes him roughly 7-4. People are questioning his lift and his body, et cetera. But he has an unbelieveable, competitive spirit. He lost about 25 pounds in the last month just to show his dedication. And there just aren't that many big guys out there. He's a beautiful kid who says yes sir and no sir. He does whatever you want. Incredible attitude."
Ndudi Ebi, F: "He's a pretty good athlete, and is also pretty good skill-wise."
James Lang, C: "Has good athleticism and he's one of the more explosive big men. But his body needs work."