The information and opinions expressed about players referenced in this section are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the Hornets organizations preferences for the June 24th Draft.

By: Travis Tate,

Vitals: 6-9, 215 lbs., forward
Birthdate: Sept. 21, 1990
College: Wake Forest (2 years)
Stats: 15.8 ppg, 1.3 apg, 10.7 rpg, 1.4 spg, 1.4 bpg; .447 FG%, .698 FT%, .273 3FG%

Al-Farouq Aminu seems to be at once the most sure thing in the draft, while also serving the role as a slight unknown. Aminu went to Wake Forest for two years (something Chris Paul did before being picked fourth in the 2005 NBA Draft) and received accolades as a freshman; but different from Paul, or even other high-profile ACC players, Aminus reputation and numbers show him to be a defensive nightmare and rebounding terror.

Aminu ranked among the best in the country in rebounding, especially offensive rebounding. He averaged over 15 points per game, which is nothing to sneeze at, but has been criticized for his outside shooting, which described as inconsistent. But Aminu, who is a descendent of Nigerian kings, is humble enough to take coaching, even as he is considered to be an automatic lottery pick. One phrase many coaches, current players and general managers are thrilled to see is [i]t was easy to notice how well Aminu responds to coaching, with his eyes always dead set on (coaches) Hopla and Leitao when they spoke, absorbing everything while giving 100 percent for the entire three hours.

Aminus game screams to be played at a high pace with a dishing point guard he led the Demon Deacons in dunks as a freshman, while also rebounding at a high pace and picking up blocks, steals and assists along the way. Plus, hes already done it in New Orleans Arena Wake played two NCAA tournament games, beating Texas and losing to Kentucky in a three-day span during this past March. Aminu put up 36 points and 23 rebounds in two games.

Aminu seems to project to be another do-it-all forward type who can guard almost every position on the floor, rebound and start the fast break and finish with explosiveness around the hoop. Every year the draft provides a few of these wings and many times per year youll see someone like Aminu on a highlight. Players similar to Aminu, according to varying draft websites, include Josh Smith, Thaddeus Young, Danny Granger, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace and even, ahem, Carmelo Anthony.

Aminu is what all draft prognosticators look at when they think of the term upside. According to and, Aminus jump shot, although seemingly below-average, can get much better with a development in his mechanics; his ball-handling is expected to improve with time and turnovers can always be cut down. Theres reason for hyperbole, because even though he completed two years of college, hes just days older than some players who just finished their freshman year. But until Aminu becomes the next Melo or Josh Smith, he will be asked to defend and rebound, something which he should do immediately upon insertion into the league. RealGM summed up his abilities: a pain for other teams on the offensive glass. Aminu will surely be a prolific rebounder in the NBA, regardless of how the rest of his game develops. He also runs the floor particularly well and this is where he really is able to hit runners and be a finisher as an overall defensive player, Aminu is capable of becoming above average, if not elite


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