2011 Draft Preview: POINT GUARDS
With June 23 rapidly approaching, the Wine and Gold could very well be looking to add depth to their point guard position in this year's upcoming Draft.
Kyrie Irving – 6-2, 191 – Born: March 23, 1992 (West Orange, NJ) – College: Duke – Top true point guard in the Draft; at 6-2 with a 6-4 wingspan, has similar measureables to Deron Williams and Chris Paul; unselfish and productive – was the National Champ’s top playmaker and go-to guy as a true freshman at Duke; can be dominant or deferential, but always productive; ideal point guard for up-tempo offense, loves to push the ball in the open floor; goes left or right with equal fluidity; extremely creative; high-character kid with fantastic basketball IQ; not the physical specimen John Wall or Derrick Rose were, but still has above average size and strength; excellent finisher at the rim; solid decision-maker; powerful extra gear; efficient shooter (53 pct FG, 90 pct FT, 45 pct 3-pt); battled turf toe injury just eight games into freshman season, but returned to play in NCAA Tournament.
Jimmer Fredette – 6-2, 196 – Born: February 25, 1989 (Glen Falls, NY) – College: BYU – College hoops’ leading scorer (28.9 ppg), Fredette comes to the pros as a known commodity; doesn’t have exceptional size or speed, but is a threat to hit a shot anywhere from inside the halfcourt line; can hit the three off the dribble, off a screen or in a catch-and-shoot; willing and creative passer – especially on the drive-and-dish; can knock down contested, off-balance shots; can weave his way through traffic; not great speed, but a decent first step; not a natural point guard, but developed those skills over his career at BYU; extremely tough mentally and physically – will battle from buzzer to buzzer; succeeded against top competition in college; efficient, but not a spectacular ball-handler; doesn’t have great lateral quickness; one of the most intriguing players in this year’s Draft.
Brandon Knight – 6-3, 177 – Born: December 2, 1991 (Coral Springs, FL) – College: Kentucky – Has great size for a point guard, but speed and a tremendous first step is his biggest attribute; creative passer and quick decision-maker; fierce competitor who thrives on big games and big situations; has 3-point range; strong work ethic; good finisher at the rim; had a good NCAA Tournament that included a pair of game-winners, but shot just 33 percent from the floor in Kentucky’s run to the Final Four; can be turnover prone – tends to force the issue in traffic; teams impressed by high hoops IQ and fact that he’s a smart, engaging kid; lightest player (177 lbs.) at the combine in Chicago, but also the second-lowest body fat; excellent defender, using his speed and size to pester his opponent; youngest player in this Draft class – won’t turn 19 until December; viewed as a possible combo guard at the next level.
Darius Morris – 6-4, 190 – Born: January 3, 1991 (Los Angeles, CA) – College: Michigan – One of the most improved players in the Big-10 last season, leading the conference in assists (6.7) as a sophomore; very good size and measureables, including 6-7 ½ wingspan; very aggressive player, loves to attack the rim; explosive first step; gifted passer in the halfcourt; good teammate and vocal leader on the floor; uses his size and aggressiveness well on the defensive end and could be asked to guard 1s and 2s at the next level; doesn’t have great foot speed; not a great shooter – from the floor or the free throw line; has drawn comparisons to Andre Miller for his size, (lack of) true speed but strong passing and playmaking ability; Morris is considered one of the sleepers in this year’s Draft.
Kemba Walker – 6-1, 184 – Born: May 8, 1990 (Bronx, NY) – College: UConn – Extremely rare combination of raw speed, quickness and power; doesn’t have ideal height at 6-1, but is a sturdy 184 lbs; one of the most productive players in college basketball, leading UConn to National Championship with one of the greatest Tourney runs in history; almost impossible for defenders to stay in front of him in college; outstanding court vision and creative passer; averaged 23.5 ppg last year and can score from anywhere on the court; constantly in attack mode, averaged 7.7 FT per contest in 2010-11; prolific rebounder (5.4 rpg) for a player his size; not afraid to mix it up in the paint and can finish in traffic; great intangibles and obviously incredible leadership skills; sometimes questionable shot selection and can play out of control, but also bore so much of the offensive burden for the National Champs.
Here's a group of floor generals who could be available should the Wine and Gold look into this year's crop of point guards ....