Tag:Syracuse University
Posted on: June 25, 2009 3:03 am
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NBA Draft Prospect: SF Paul Harris, Cuse

Paul Harris: 6-4, 220, SF, Jr. (Syracuse University)

Draft rank: #45

SF rank: #11

Strengths:

Plays the game with a football mentality.  Plays way bigger than his height.  Amazing quickness and athleticism.  Has a ridiculous 6-11 wing span.  Is extremely strong.  Could probably play three positions due to his strength and athleticism.  Has improved his jump shot year after year.  Does a good job of getting to the foul line.  Is very good out in transition.  While it was hard to see in Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, he has the skills to be a lock down perimeter defender.  Has great foot speed.  Doesn’t back down against bigger players.  Has great athleticism.  Solid free throw shooter.  Very good re-bounder on both ends of the floor for a player his size.  Gets his hands on a lot of balls on defense.  Has a great cross-over dribble.  Really gets after loose balls and will keep the ball alive on the offensive glass. Has a nose for the ball.  Is a very good at slashing to the basket and knows how to draw contact to get to the free throw line.  

Weaknesses:

While his jump shot has improved he is still a very inconsistent shooter.  Doesn’t have 3 point range or shoot a good percentage from there.  Doesn’t have the ideal handles to play the guard position in the NBA.  He would be best at the 3 or the 4, but he doesn’t have the size to play that position at the next level.  Turns the ball over way too much for a wing player.  Often takes bad shots along the perimeter when he really should be focused on doing the little things to help get his teammates open. 

Mental:

Harris brought a toughness to the floor that rubbed off on his teammates all year.  He battled and clawed despite the fact that he was undersized and often going up against much bigger players.  He did have some off court issues in high school and apparently they weren’t exactly ushering him back in the door at Syracuse but on the court I like his effort and toughness.  Ultimately if he can show a good work ethic and improve his jumper then he could have a major role off the bench for a team. 

Comparison:  Mario West, 6-5, 210, SG

Conclusion:

Look, the guy is a freak athlete.  He came into Syracuse as a highly touted recruit and never really lived up to those expectations, but he still showed signs of what made him such an intriguing prospect in High School.  Harris is the type of guy that you could see transition over to football as a starting tight end with little to no football experience.  He is a physical freak who possesses a chiseled frame with freakishly long arms.  Usually a player is long or stout and compact, but somehow Harris has both.  His physical gifts are going to be hard to ignore and somebody is going to jump on his raw talents in the 2nd round. 

Harris reminds me of Mario West and Tony Allen as well.  It’s interesting that West was a walk on at Georgia Tech who went undrafted in the NBA, but has somehow managed to make the Hawks roster the last two years.  The guy just doesn’t get intimidated and doesn’t back down from anybody that he’s playing.  That mindset is where my comparison to Harris comes in.  Harris is going to have to take on a similar role and really take pride in playing defense, re-bounding and providing athleticism to a team off the bench.  Harris is blessed with a better frame and actually more skills then West, but he should watch some tape on West so that he can see what it takes to make an NBA roster and provide value to a team. 

Ultimately, I think that Harris’ will be a better pro than he was a college player.  I have trouble ever seeing him as a starter but he can do so many different things and has the potential to become a much more complete player that it’s hard for me to imagine that there isn’t a roster spot waiting for him.  He certainly needs to work on his game and he probably could’ve used another year in college to do so, but somebody will fall in love with his athleticism and hope that he can take on a role as a bench player.  I don’t see why he can't.

Posted on: May 12, 2009 2:25 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2009 12:52 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PG Jonny Flynn, SU


Jonny Flynn
: 6-0, 172, PG, So. (Syracuse University)

Draft Rank: #6

PG Rank: #2

Strengths:

Extremely bouncy player.  Loves to penetrate into a defense and create for others.  Has a great first step.  Very tough player who gets after it on both ends of the floors.  Extremely quick when running the ball up and down the floor.  Has three point range. Can finish with explosiveness around the rim.  Also has a soft touch and an array of floaters that allow him to finish over taller players.  A floor general.  Plays with great passion and emotion.  Plays his best when going against a top tier opponent.  Has tremendous handles.  Sees the floor really well.  Loves to shoot the ball with the game on the line.  In tremendous shape and never appears to tire throughout the game.  Good free throw shooter.  Can really hurt teams when he has an isolation opportunity.  Also does a great job of dribble penetration and the ability to make a defense scramble.  

Weaknesses:

Undersized at the point. Sometimes forces the issue when taking it into the lane and turns the ball over.  Sometimes looks for his shot rather than getting his players involved. Needs to improve his consistency from the outside. May struggle on the defensive end against bigger point guards.

Mental:

A tough, small guard. He doesn't back down from his opponents and really doesn't let his size stop him from being aggressive. He always has his head up and looks as if he dribbles a basketball everywhere he goes. He often gets the crowd into the game and has energy and a motor to him that you need to have as a small guard. He has all the confidence in the world in his ability and encourages his teammates on and off the floor. Loves to have the ball in his hands at the end of the game and clearly cares about winning. He was frustrated at times this year in the 2-3 zone. I love a player that wants to get out and defend rather than sit back in a zone. You can tell this guy lives for basketball and looks as if he would play basketball for free. He showed his incredible mental toughness and his will to win in the OT thriller against UConn in the Big East Tournament.

Extra info:
--  2009 Big East Tournament MVP.

Comparison: Bobby Jackson, 6-1, 185, PG

Would be a good fit for:  New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, or Philadelphia 76ers

Conclusion:

Flynn has everything you look for in a quality point guard and at the very least a top backup point guard. He can shoot, he can drive and he can dish. His quickness and energy is exactly what teams want from a backup point. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in passion and athleticism. He has all of the confidence in the world, which is really important for a point guard. He is still young and will only get stronger, which will help allow him finish in the lane  -- a current concern. He is the type of guy that can come in and really change the course of the game.

Today's NBA relies on guards who can get into the lane and breakdown a defense. If you watch the Rockets and what Aaron Brooks is doing it's evident that guards can really change the game. Every year it's becoming more of a guard's game and players with quickness are a hot commodity. With the inability to hand check and the defensive three-second calls, quick point guards are really important to an offense. Flynn's game really fits this mold and I think he will be a very productive NBA point guard.
I think he will be similar to Bobby Jackson. Like Jackson, I think he will be an effective starting point guard, but he may be at his best when he's coming off the bench as backup point guard. I think he is a much better passer than Jackson, which will make him more of a point guard than a scoring guard.

Lastly, I know that size will be a major knock on Flynn. But I would like to point out that some of the best-ever point guards have been small point guards (see Isaiah Thomas and Chris Paul). This year's point guard class is extremely deep, but I think Flynn is better than all of them, with the exception of Mr. Rubio.

 
 
 
 
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