Sunday, August 19, 2007

Archived: Georgia Southern vs. College of Charleston

Upon viewing the aforementioned contest- which occurred prior to the Southern Conference tournament- several prospects emerged as potential NBA summer league candidates.

Dontaye Draper- Draper was the player of highest import in this contest. He has been highly regarded as a potential Portsmouth Camp candidate because of his prowess at the midmajor level. On this occasion, Draper did not perform up to his capabilities. His midrange jumper rarely fell and overall, he had a poor offensive performance. Although his shot was off the mark on multiple instances, he compensated by getting his teammates involved and impacting the game in more subtle ways. For example, he nearly produced a triple double by tallying nine points, nine assists, and nine rebounds. He was able to run the offense regardless of his shooting accuracy and this cemented his status as a potential Draft Camp candidate. Despite his small stature- at a whopping 5’11- he fought amongst the bigs and nearly collected ten rebounds. His leadership coupled with his fearless demeanor detract from this size disadvantage. These attributes will afford him the opportunity to play at various Draft Camps and earn him a lucrative offer overseas.

Louis Graham- He was the most dominant inside presence in this contest and was the primary reason for Georgia Southern’s upset victory. Graham possesses average size and strength for a midmajor big man. Yet, he employs his length to disrupt passing lanes and contest shots. This advantage also allowed him to dominate the boards. Graham’s shot has considerable range for a big man and he might be able to convert to the small forward position at a higher level of basketball. For this to occur, however, he would need to become more adept as a face up player and his ball handling would need to improve considerably. Currently, he resembled a midmajor version of Chris Bosh; thus, he was able to exploit his considerable length and athleticism. Yet, because he plays at a midmajor level of basketball, he is not challenged by stronger big men. Due to his lack of height at the power forward position, he can be considered a bit of a tweener at this point. With his senior season on the horizon, he still has plenty of time to mold his game towards a more conventional model that would effectively account for his size and athleticism.

Donte Gennie- Gennie was supposed to be the go-to player on Georgia Southern. But, he did not perform up to his capabilities in this game. Despite taking an overabundance of shots, Donte only scored 10 points. He did not really control the tempo of the game and was utilized predominantly as a combo guard. At 6’1, he would not be an ideal prospect at the NBA level. Thus, I feel that he should continue playing in the minors or overseas. Once he is at ease distributing the ball and consistently scoring from the perimeter, Gennie could be effective. He was able to slash in the lane on several occasions- this is the first step required to make the transition from shooting to point guard. After he beats his man off the dribble, he should become more adept at kicking it out to his teammates for open outside shots. I am sure that a career in Europe will help mend these holes in his game.

David Lawrence- Lawrence was the second most potent offensive weapon of the College of Charleston attack. This experienced wing was able to go inside and counter Louis Graham at times, but he also demonstrated an outside shooting ability. Lawrence possesses ideal size and strength for an NBA small forward. He was able to collect rebounds- but he relied predominantly on his size instead of boxing out his man. Therein, I do not feel that he would be an adequate rebounder at the next level. Lawrence would need to familiarize himself with the defensive duties of the small forward position. In order to adjust, he would need more experience guarding players of similar stature and shooting ability. At the midmajor level, 6’7 small forwards are quite uncommon. So Lawrence would need a period of adjustment if he were to play overseas or in the NBA.

Tony White Jr.- At a miniscule 6-0, 165 pounds, it seems that a cool wind breeze would knock this heady player over. Despite his small stature, White is one of the most pleasant surprises in college basketball. After College of Charleston rescinded his scholarship, White decided to walk-on instead of dishonoring his commitment. After the initial disappointment, he received playing time the old fashion way- by working extremely hard in practice and displaying an impressive spot-up shooting ability. In this contest, Tony was able to provide an instant impact off the bench. Because he plays behind one of the top point guards in the conference- Dontaye Draper- White is content with his role as a wing. He capitalized in this contest by making over fifty percent of his shots and thus provided a consistent scoring punch. While he is able to benefit from his current role, White is poised when handling the ball and will be a prime candidate for the starting point guard role next season. Because of his basketball aptitude in his first year with the team, I believe that Tony White Jr. is a rising star in the Southern Conference who has the potential to make an NBA summer league squad in the future. In order to do so- however- he must add a great deal of weight to his thin frame.

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