Ed Davis takes a close one, nudging Al-Farouq Aminu for the 8th spot on the Liberty Ballers big board. It seems like Aminu has gotten second place 45 times in a row, and I'm willing to bet he doesn't last this far in the draft, but that's not what this is about. It's our Board, not a glorified mock draft. Keep voting as such.
I'm gonna get a little crazy in numba numba 9 and add Texas tweener Avery Bradley. At 6'2.5, he's veeeeeery undersized for a shooting guard, and doesn't have enough distributing skills to be a point guard. He's also just a freshman, and unless Texas wins it all (my preseason pick), I'd venture to guess he stays for his sophomore season. But if he pulls an Anthony Randolph on us, we should be prepared. NBAdraft.net has him coming out this year, while DraftExpress predicts he stays one more year. That's why he's going in here, and if he bails -- we'll take him out.
While he's predominantly known for his athleticism and scoring ability, what has me most excited about Avery Bradley is his defense. I couldn't say it any better than this, so I'll reference you to a draft express article from a year ago about Bradley's play at The Flyin To The Hoop tournament in Ohio.
Bradley’s defense was stellar as usual, given that he was able to put the clamps on whoever he guarded. The quickness that he possesses laterally is unparalleled by any of the elite prospects that he have focused on, and it just doesn’t stop there. Not just relying on his natural gifts, Bradley actually understands HOW to defend without gambling.
He's held down guys like Larry Drew, Kalin Lucas, and Ashton Gibbs so far this season. Now, leading a trio of phenomenal freshmen (J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton being the others) on the number 1 ranked Longhorns, Avery has his eye on a national championship. The 'Horns are deep, so he's only averaging 27 minutes per game, but he scores 13 a night on 50% shooting and 46% from beyond. Strangely enough, he's only at a 48% clip from the line, but I'm sure that's just an anomaly.
Offensively, Bradley attacks the basket, with the ability to hit shots from every spot on the court. He's got a beautiful jump shot that he can hit off the dribble or the catch. He's lightning quick, but plays mostly under control, getting to the basket at will. What's going to hurt him most is, obviously, his size. He's not a point guard and has never really asked to distribute at a high level, demonstrated by his average assist to turnover ratio (2.8-1.2). He can cover pro guards right now, and would even be able to score a bit in the pros, but it would have to be as a 2 guard with a bigger point to cover the opposing shooting guard.
I'm excited to see his progression. He's in a tough game right now against Donald Sloan and Texas A&M. Vote 'er up.