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Prospect Profile

Bernard James

  • Full Name: Bernard James
  • Position: Center
  • Height/Weight: 6-10 / 240
  • Birthdate: February 7, 1985
  • College: Florida State
Cleveland Cavaliers (Traded to Dallas Mavericks) Round 2: Pick 33
 

Strengths:
* Good athlete
* Great shot blocker/defender
* Long arms
* Good rebounder

Weaknesses:
* Free-throw shooting
* Has to cut down on turnovers
* Offensive game still needs work
* Older for his class (27)

NBA projection:
James is older than every player in the 2012 senior class because he served in the Air Force from 2002-08, including three tours of duty in the Middle East. He never played high school basketball, so he’s still a work in progress. But the numbers he produced at Florida State indicate he’s capable of incorporating coaching into his game and able to make rapid improvements. He’s projected in the second round- to undrafted range but will be impressive in workouts and interviews.

2011-12 Season:
James led Florida State in field-goal percentage, rebounding and blocked shots and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors. He blocked 82 shots for the second straight season, making him the only player in school history to block 80 or more shots multiple times in his career. He was given the Most Courageous Award by the United States Basketball Writers of America and the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage award by the ACC for his basketball success along with his six-year tour of duty in the Air Force.

Key statistics:
10.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 2.1 tpg 0.7 spg, 2.3 bpg, 28.0 mpg, .606 FG, .552 FT

Cool statistic:
In just a two-year, 69-game career, James ended up No. 2 in school history with his .627 field-goal percentage and No. 3 with 164 blocked shots.

Reminds me of:
Serge Ibaka

What Insiders Say:
Florida State senior Bernard James
"In the military, they say fight for the person next to you. Most people will tell you that’s why they do it. Well, in basketball, that’s why you play hard, you give it everything you have for your teammates. You grow to love them like, like your family."

Florida State guard Luke Loucks
"We just kept saying over and over again we don't want to go home [in a second-round NCAA Tournament game against St. Bonaventure.] We don't want to watch the rest of this tournament from our couches. In the midst of that, B.J. kept screaming at me, 'Get me the ball. I'm going to finish.' When a 6-foot-10 Air Force vet is screaming at you, you listen."

What Outsiders Say:
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon
"He was great. He looked like a man among boys. And you could probably say he is a man among boys age-wise. ... I thought he was great. He made a lot of tough shots. The second-chance points early got him going. The dunks got him going."

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch.

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