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Prospect Profile

Kawhi Leonard

  • Full Name: Kawhi Leonard
  • Position: Forward
  • Height/Weight: 6-7 / 225
  • Birthdate: June 29, 1991
  • College: San Diego State
Indiana Pacers Round 1: Pick 15

** Traded to San Antonio on Draft night

Strengths:

  * Relentless rebounder
  * Huge hands
  * 7-foot-1 wingspan
  * Can put the ball on the floor
  * Can guard several positions
  * Big-time leaper

Weaknesses:

  * What's his true position?
  * Jump shot is good enough to keep defenders honest, but could be more reliable
 

NBA projection:
Leonard is a probable lottery pick whose best basketball is still ahead of him. Given his rapid acclimation to college basketball as a freshman in 2009-10 and the improvement he made from then to his sophomore season, Leonard has proven that he's willing to work hard to excel. The things you hear most about Leonard are he's got a motor that's stuck on high gear and he's a matchup nightmare because of his ability to score so many different ways. And his length and hands, combined with great athleticism, make him a formidable defender.

2010-11 Season:
Leonard was a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News and FoxSports.com and earned first-team All-Mountain West, Mountain West All-Tournament and defensive team honors.

Key statistics:
15.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 tpg, 1.4 spg, 32.6 mpg, .444 FG, .291 3PT, .759 FT

Cool statistic:
Leonard racked up 40 double-doubles in 70 career games, including 23 in 2010-11. That double-double total is second in school history behind Michael Cage (60), who played four seasons to Leonard's two. Leonard and Cage are tied for the most in a season (23).

Reminds me of:
Shawn Marion

What Insiders Say:
San Diego State coach Steve Fisher
"Kawhi compares favorably with players we have had in the past who have had a reputation and then lived up to the reputation. He came in as 'Mr. Basketball' in the state of California, and from day one nobody worked harder. He is a gym rat who is constantly trying to get better, which is why from year one to year two he was significantly better and determined to get even better as he goes along. Huge hands, pursues the ball like no other player that I've coached. When he gets his hands on the ball, he will usually get it. He's a hard guard because he can score on the bounce, he's good with the ball, he can post you up and he's just good enough to where you're hesitant to back off him and give him an open shot from the perimeter, he's a very, very good player."

What Outsiders Say:
Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill
"He's a deadly combination of size, athleticism, and motor. You don't really see guys that are 6-7, 225 have his skill set and play with the tenacity that he does for every second that he is out there. I mean, he is what all coaches dream of. A lot of times you can get little guards at 5-10, 5-11 that play like that. But to find a 6-7 guy with that skill set and that energy is awfully hard to find. And that's why he is the type of player he is and can do the things he does."

Temple coach Fran Dunphy
"Leonard is a very versatile guy. He can step away from the basket, make shots. He is very good at posting up. He is good at running the floor. He is good at finishing plays at the rim. He is a tough match-up."

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun
"He's multi-dimensional forward who can do so many things. He likes to handle the ball. He can shoot it. He gets double-doubles. He's a match-up problem from day one."

Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.

San Diego State
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2009-10 34 31.3 166 365 .455 85 117 .726 9.9 1.9 1.4 0.7 433 12.7
2010-11 36 32.6 211 475 .444 110 145 .759 10.6 2.5 1.4 0.6 557 15.5
Totals 70 31.9 377 840 .449 195 262 .744 10.2 2.2 1.4 0.6 990 14.1
Three-point field goals: 2009-10, 16-for-78 (.205); 2010-11, 25-for-86 (.291). Totals: 41-for-164 (.250).

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