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Sixers' Draft Profiles: Ekpe Udoh

*FYI these are ESPN's rankings, not mine. My personal rankings, along with Derek, Mike, and Tanner's can be found here.

#1 - John Wall  

#2 - Evan Turner

#3 - Derrick Favors

#4 - DeMarcus Cousins

#5 - Wesley Johnson

#6 - Al-Farouq Aminu

#7 - Ed Davis

#8 - Cole Aldrich

#9 - Greg Monroe

#10 - Daniel Orton

#11 - Ekpe Udoh

#12 - Hassan Whiteside

#13 - Donatas Motiejunas

#14 - Patrick Patterson


Your boy Ekpe Udoh after the jump ...

Scouting Reports


Udoh's a pretty good passing big man.

Udoh dished out an impressive 2.7 assists per game, operating mostly out of both the high and low post, showing good court vision and the ability to hit both cutters and shooters for open looks. He shows a good feel for the game in general, something that's become more apparent as the game slowed down for him as the year went on.

Solid post game.

Udoh does most of his damage out of the post, where he shows a very high level of fluidity and coordination, along with the ability to turn off either shoulder, though he clearly prefers going off his left. He even shows decent ability with his less dominant left hand scoring the ball, going to hook shots and lay-ups when the situation calls for it. He has a surprisingly good command of counter moves in the post, and transitions very well from one move to another looking for a high percentage shot.

He has problems finishing at the rim, for the same reasons as Sam Dalembert.

At the basket, Udoh leaves some points on the floor at times, as despite being a very good overall athlete due to his mobility, fluidity, and coordination, he isn't the toughest, most explosive or reactive player, not always elevating with great ease around the rim, and seemingly shying away from contact at times.

Solid in isolation situations, and solving permutations. 

Udoh is also a potent threat out of isolation situations, being able to utilize everything out of the triple-threat position, be it taking his man off the dribble, shooting a mid-range jumper, or passing to an open man. Udoh's isolation game is very intriguing, as he shows nice footwork, a good first step, and a nice variety of moves, while finishing at a decent rate at this level.

Solid jump shot.

His mid-range is also a pretty reliable weapon already, as he hit a respectable 0.85 points per shot on his 111 jump shots this season according to Synergy, with a good deal of them coming off the dribble or out of the triple-threat, with a defender on him. He hit seven three-pointers on the season, but that's clearly a bit out of his comfort zone, though he does have nice range to 20 feet. Udoh's shot is probably a bit too reliant on his upper body, and there's reason to believe with some tweaks this could become an even better weapon for him.

Not the best defensive rebounder.

Defensively, Udoh does a solid job on the glass, but could be a bit more aggressive in boxing out and doing some of the little things, something he'll need to do to stay an above average defensive rebounder in the pros. He lacks some awareness at times on the glass and doesn't appear to be the most contact loving big man around, getting outmuscled by stronger players and not always fighting back as much as you'd hope.

Solid defender, in both zone and man-to-man.

Udoh can do some impressive things on the defensive end, though, showing outstanding timing with his shot blocking and using his length very well. He's a great shot blocker both in man-to-man situations in the post and coming over from the weakside, showing pretty good rotational awareness and doing a good job in general in Baylor's zone.

As a man-to-man defender, Udoh plays to his strengths very well in the post, keeping his arms outstretched to force his man into tough shots, while also doing a good job moving his feet. He doesn't have the greatest leverage, and is prone to being backed down by stronger opponents, but again, he probably can improve his lower body strength some.

On the perimeter, Udoh was rarely tested this season, and when he was, it was on switches with guards as opposed to going up against the stretch fours he'll see in the NBA. Regardless, he looks out of sorts in his man-to-man stance on the perimeter, though his tools suggest he should be able to become at least adequate in this regard if he puts in the work to develop his fundamentals as he sees the situation more frequently.

This biggest knocks on Udoh are his age and lack of potential.

... while the learning curve he's shown over the last two years is very impressive, he will be 23 years old by the time the draft comes around, so teams may have mixed feelings on how much more potential he has, particularly from a physical standpoint.


Most complete big man in the country this year?

He was one of the most complete big men in the country. He was an excellent shot- blocker, rebounder and an emerging scorer who seemed to get more comfortable facing the basket as the season progressed.

An AK47 comparison:

... a shot-blocking machine with an interesting offensive game that reminds some scouts of Andrei Kirilenko.

Top five pick?

"You just look at the energy, the shot-blocking and then you see him doing some stuff, taking guys off the dribble, and it's hard to see how that guy can't be successful in the NBA," one GM told Insider. "If he was a little more explosive athletically, I think he'd be a top-five pick."

Ekpe Udoh on Twitter



DX: Best case - Jason Thompson

Worst case - Hilton Armstrong - Jerome Moiso/Chris Gatling


Ekpe Udoh Dunk

Ekpe Udoh Triple Double

Ekpe Udoh game-winner

My take:

The best way to describe Udoh is solid. He has no glaring weakness, and he's not spectacular. Would I like a little more athleticism and a little more defensive rebounding from him? Absolutely, but if either were present we wouldn't be talking about him as a mid-lottery pick. Pick 6 might be a little high for "The Nightmare" (another great nickname), but should the Sixers fall to 7-8-9 Udoh's one of the players I'd be targeting. His length, ability to run the floor, and above average athleticism would fit well, and he wouldn't hurt the team in any area. The age thing does bother me a bit, however.

Up next: Hassan Whiteside

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