In this segment, I analyze the top prospects from today's action.
Zach Graham, Ole Miss- This guard really kept Ole Miss in the game with his hustle plays and penchant for grabbing difficult rebounds. In this contest, Graham tallied his first career double double, being at the right place at the right time for the most part. Graham is a hustle player who has emerged as a scoring threat this season. While he shoots an abysmal percentage from beyond the three point arc, Graham makes up for his lack of perimeter shooting consistency by actively attacking the basket. In this contest, Graham was able to employ solid body control in order to score inside. On the other end of the floor, Graham is an excellent defender who was able to anticipate in the passing lanes and really stifle Colorado St. on defense. Having made significant strides over the course of his four year career, Graham is a hustle player that may receive some looks in the minor leagues after this season.
Travis Franklin, Colorado St.- After improving on his free throw percentage from a year ago, Franklin employs a very unique, mechanical stroke. While this is effective at the line, it does not translate as a jump shooting form. As it currently stands, Franklin is an aggressive, energy wing that is able to collect rebounds and score off of putbacks. Franklin is unselfish and is willing to dish it to his teammates off the dribble. Franklin is also extremely athletic, and this allows him to grab rebounds and draw fouls at a pretty remarkable rate. While he is effective at the college level as a slashing forward, Franklin will have to extend his range and put a lot of work into developing a consistent jump shot. He has a long way to go before he can be considered a professional prospect.
Andy Ogide, Colorado St.- Ogide was the best NBA prospect in this consolation game. Not only does this forward possess the necessary physical tools to have a professional career- at a solid 6'9 245 pounds- but he has also shown flashes of a developing skillset. In this contest, Ogide stepped out and hit several jump shots. He was also able to demonstrate his athleticism by attacking the basket and drawing several fouls. Ogide also has the length to wreak havoc on the defensive end. In this contest, he was able to alter several shots and poke the ball away from the opposition. As a post option, Ogide is strong enough to back his man down and score with a jump hook shot. His footwork is not highly developed enough for professional basketball though. Ogide was aggressive on the boards today as well. All in all, while his game does have some holes in it, Andy Ogide's game merits a second look from NBA scouts.
Anthony James, Northern Iowa- James was electric in this championship matchup. He was able to hit several three point baskets down the stretch that really sealed the victory for his squad. Not only was he able to hit the outside shot at a high percentage, but he also was an aggressive defender who was able to steal the ball on several occasions. James was also an effective leader, and was able to distribute the ball at a decent rate. James is extremely quick and can create space off the dribble.
Jake Koch, Northern Iowa- Koch is a solid forward- at 6'9, 255 lbs- in the mold of many Northern Iowa big men before him. He is fundamentally sound and able to shoot the ball off the dribble. Koch has decent range and can hit three point shots if left open. In this game, he did not force the action, and was willing to cut inside and score off of nice passes. Defensively, Koch must drop some weight in the next few years so that he can defend more mobile big men.
A.J. Hardeman, New Mexico- This undersized forward was the most dominant rebounding presence in the game. He was able to score inside, using some interior spin moves to free himself from his defender. Hardeman cleaned up numerous NMU misses, and was able to disrupt cutters on the defensive end.
Kendall Williams, New Mexico- Williams is a freshman point guard that may have some professional potential down the road. Standing at a solid 6'3, Williams is an intelligent combo guard who can dish to his teammates or score himself. On the season, Williams is shooting 60% from three, and can shoot over defenders due to his form- he places his hands well above his head. Williams is also fairly effective attacking the basket, but he will have to learn how to finish through contact if he hopes to compete at the next level. Currently, he is sharing time as the lead guard with Dairese Gary. When this senior graduates though, Williams will have an opportunity to fill in at this position full time.
Shelvin Mack, Butler- Mack's presence was certainly felt in today's contest, where he was able to score in a variety of different ways, while also allowing his teammates to get involved in the offense. Despite the fact that he has been fairly inconsistent this year from beyond the arc, Mack was able to connect on half of his three point shots today. He squared his body and elevated over his defender. Mack must exhibit more consistency on his three point shooting in order to raise his draft stock. Due to his impressive physique, Mack also went to his strength and attacked the basket with regularity, creating opportunities for his teammates in the process.
Matt Howard, Butler- Howard provided similar production in today's contest. He was extremely aggressive fighting for lose balls and had the scratch marks to prove it. Howard grabbed many rebounds against a more physically imposing frontline. He also demonstrated his improved range early in this contest, hitting two three pointers with confidence.
Chris Singleton, Florida St.- Singleton single-handedly carried his Seminoles against Butler. He demonstrated his extended range and showed that he is worthy of a first round pick in this year's upcoming draft. While he has added this shot to his arsenal, he is primarily a catch and shoot player at this stage. He must learn to create off the dribble more effectively. Defensively, Singleton is one of the best post defenders in the country. He regularly gets his hands in the passing lanes and is able to cover four positions at the college level. Singleton possesses the lateral quickness to stay with his man, and the quick hands to pry the ball away from the opposition.