We're always talking about the draft at Liberty Ballers, so I've decided to experiment with a college basketball thread every Saturday. (This was originally going to be just a thread, but it turned into an actual post).
The talk lately has moved from #missionBJ and top 5 pick, to playoffs and a pick in the 10-16 range. With that said, I'd like to throw out a few early names I'd like to see the Sixers draft if they select outside the top 10, acquire a late first, or in the second round – some of which Mike already mentioned.
John Henson (ESPN: 11, DX: 12)
Standing 6'10", 200 lbs, the first thing you notice is how skinny Henson is. He's a soon-to-be 20 year-old sophomore power forward at North Carolina, and he's more of a project than finished product at this point. He's been great on the defensive glass this year (26.7%) and blocks a ton of shots (11.2%). However; he'll most definitely have to add some strength to play at the next level.
His offensive game is extremely raw and he's an awful free throw shooter. His athleticism reminds me of JaVale McGee, and if nothing else he can catch some alley-oops from Jrue.
The Sixers desperately need someone to protect the paint for the future and Henson fits that mold pretty well, even if his weak-side defense is much better than his man-to-man. And Henson only being 20 with room to grow, he'd be a nice piece to have alongside all the guards and wings (Jrue, Lou, Meeks, Turner and Thad) for the future.
Side note: Of the high-profile prospects (B.Knight, H.Barnes, T.Jones) playing in the UK-UNC game last week, Henson played the best game, and ate Terrence Jones alive in the post.
Kenneth Faried (ESPN: 20, DX:33)
Faired is a 6'8'' senior power forward from Morehead State, and probably won't be an option for the Sixers unless they acquire a late-first/early second or play their way up to the 5th or 6th seed in the East.
Faried's meal ticket is his rebounding. He's the number one ranked defensive rebounder in all of College Basketball (34.6%), he's fourth in offensive rebounding (20.6%), and has good block percentage (9.2%).
His offensive game is unpolished, but he's getting to the line at an absurd rate (70.0), and he's a sick athlete.
He's basically a more athletic, better defending Reggie Evans, and I'd love to see him in a Sixers uniform. I think he'd instantly become a fan-favorite. Plus he just looks bad-ass.
The things you worry about with Faried are his competition at Morehead State and his size. 6'8'', 215 isn't ideal for an NBA power forward, but he's tough, athletic and works hard, so he should be able to maintain his defense and rebounding in the NBA. Rebounding usually translates. As far as competition goes he put up 20-18-2 against Flordia, 15-12-2 against Ohio State (Sullinger only had 8 points and 8 rebounds), along with 5 steals, and last year he had 17-7-2 and 2 steals against Cousins, Patterson and UK.
Tyler Honeycutt (ESPN: 22, DX:21)
Honeycutt is a 6'8'' sophomore small forward out of UCLA. He has great size, smarts and versatilely and he'd fit nicely next to Holiday and Turner in the future. He doesn't need the ball much and is shooting 44% on three-pointers (small sample size ... shot 34% last year on 29 attempts). As we've seen the past few weeks with Jodie Meeks, a guy who can stretch the defense is extremely valuable when you have creators like Holiday, Turner and Iguodala.
I'm not the biggest fan of Honeycutt and if I had to rank these five guys in order of how much I like them and/or would like to see the Sixers draft, Honeycut would be near the bottom. At this point I'd rather have a guy who's exceptional in one area (rebounding, shooting, etc.) than a guy who's solid at everything.
Jordan Hamilton (ESPN: 26, DX:28)
I love Jordan Hamilton as a fit next to Holiday and Turner. He's a 6'7" small forward from Texas and he's a lights out shooter. He's shooting 42% on three-pointers this season, while attempting six per game, and according to DX he's must more efficient in catch-and-shoot situations:
Hamilton is a tremendously consistent shooter when he's left open in spot up situations-displaying very sound shooting form in the process. When given time and space, he is lights out.
He'd be a nice fit next to Holiday and Turner. He's not the greatest defender, but we have a handful of solid perimeter defenders. What we lack is a shooter with the size of Hamilton. He's also a solid rebounder and passer, so he can contribute in many ways.
Side note: Hamilton and Texas play Texas State at today 1 EST on ESPN3 if you want to check him out.
Aaric Murray (ESPN:34, DX: 52)
Murray is a big man at 6'10'', 250 from La Salle. Although he's huge he's an underwhelming defensive rebounder (20.1%). He does block a ton of shots however (10.1%).
He had a decent game against Perry Jones and the Baylor Bears earlier this season, scoring 17 points (on 18 shots), grabbing 9 rebounds and 5 steals. But he was awful last season against Kansas – 4 points (on 6 shots), 6 rebounds, and 5 fouls.
Murray is a pretty mediocre prospect, but you can't teach size and he may be worth taking a flier on if he falls to the Sixers in the second round.