2010 Hornets Draft Prospects - Paul George

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

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Vitals: 6-foot-7, 185 lbs., forward
Birthdate: May 2, 1990
College: Fresno State (2 years)
Stats: 16.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.2 spg, 42.4 FG%, 35.3 3-PT%

Fresno State’s Paul George is a somewhat unique case, because unlike the vast majority of the players expected to be selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, the Palmdale, Calif., native is not coming from a program filled with blue-chip recruits and star teammates. Fresno State, a member of the WAC, finished just 15-18 overall during George’s sophomore season. After losing to Louisiana Tech in the first round of the WAC Tournament, the Bulldogs did not receive an invite to either the NCAA tourney or the NIT.

Individually, however, George significantly improved from his freshman to sophomore year, though he did not garner a great deal of national recognition due to Fresno State’s sub-.500 record and the fact that the WAC is not covered closely by major media outlets.

One of college basketball’s most electrifying dunkers, George is compared by NBADraft.net to current Houston Rockets swingman Trevor Ariza and New Orleans native Danny Granger, a past All-Star with the Indiana Pacers.

“Paul has some very appealing aspects to his game that could translate nicely to the next level,” NBADraft.net wrote. “A 6-8 small forward with a long wingspan and unlimited NBA range, he has a quick release and does not need much room to let it fly. His athleticism and ability to run the floor make him dynamic in transition, resulting in big-time dunks that can spark his team.”

“After (Marshall center Hassan) Whiteside, George is one of the biggest upside players in the draft,” ESPN.com draft analyst Chad Ford assessed. “He didn’t dominate at Fresno State, but as a 6-8 2-guard who can really shoot the basketball, he draws comparisons to everyone from Joe Johnson to Wilson Chandler to Trevor Ariza.”

One of the most impressive steps George made from Year 1 to Year 2 of his college career came at the foul line, where he upped his free throw percentage from 70 to 91, while attempting the exact same number of charity tosses each season.

The primary weakness analysts seem to point to is a relative lack of an off-the-dribble game, meaning he does not get to the foul line as much as you might expect for a player with his athleticism.
“It would be nice to see George getting to the line more, and there are several reasons as to why he’s not doing so at a higher rate in his current state of development,” wrote DraftExpress.com. “He plays a bit too upright and must learn how to play lower to the ground, which should enhance his ability to utilize his athleticism. Tightening up his ball-handling skills and improving his ability to create in the halfcourt will be a key part of his development moving forward.”


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