The general consensus was that there were less potential NBA players at the PIT than at any time in recent memory. There were seven players who we feel may get drafted or more likely end up playing in the league at sometime in the future. There were also others who played well but are either specialty players who lack the all around game to play at the highest level or simply do not excel at a defined position. The players we are highest are:
1- Tyler Stone: The 6’8”, 230 pound forward from Southeast Missouri State did not play well in the semifinals but otherwise was very impressive. He has a strong body with excellent length (7’2 ½” wingspan). He showed elite athleticism on several plays at the rim. He is quick off the floor and this allows him to finish at the basket. Stone also has the ability to hit mid range shots and occasionally can step out and hit shots from beyond the arc. He has good lateral quickness which allows him to guard the perimeter and the strength to deny low post position. Stone is a good weak side shot blocker and is a strong rebounder with his length and athleticism.
He is a good student who reportedly is a good kid. Improving his perimeter game by getting in the gym and taking shots is the key to his developing into a three. The question is if he can put the ball on the floor well enough.
2 – Jerrelle Benimon: Benimon was the player of the year in the CAA. He was an indispensable part of Towson’s success this past season. He is a very versatile player. He can step out and run the offense from the perimeter. He has very good court vision and can handle the ball and finish with either hand. He has a nice mid range game and can get into the lane and finish. He gets to the line 8.3 times per game. Benimon is also a capable 3 point shooter. His percentage was down this past season to 30.3 percent after shooting 41 percent last season. He recognizes double teams and has the strength, footwork, and moves to finish in the low post.
Benimon is a double double machine who averaged 11.2 rebounds per game. He also blocked 1.2 shots per game and was a CAA All-Defensive team performer. We believe he is strong enough to guard a four and would overpower many three’s. The question concerning Benimon is if he can guard a three on the perimeter. He sat out the last contest of the event.
3- Shayne Whittington: Whittington’s performance was probably the biggest surprise of the PIT. He displayed a nice mid range game against Syracuse’s match up zone in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He has a quick and high release and can shoot well off the dribble. It was his range which surprised. He only shot 18.2 percent from distance on 33 attempts this year and is a career 15 percent shooter from beyond the arc. He shot an impressive 10-of-22 from three point range. He hit shots in a variety of ways. He was effective in pick and pop situations. He also hit spot up 3’s and proved he could drain shots off the dribble.
Whittington was an efficient 23-of-43 from the field at the PIT which was consistent with his season field goal shooting percentage of 52.7. He is a legitimate 6’11. He is not very long with a 6’10 ¼” wingspan. He is athletic and quick off the floor. Whittington uses ball fakes effectively and can finish with either hand. He is a good position rebounder who averaged 8.9 rebounds per game and is a decent shot blocker. We believe that he is capable of becoming a dangerous three point shooter which could land him a spot on an NBA roster.
4- Jamil Wilson:The Marquette standout was impressive at the PIT. He averaged 18 points per game and six rebounds. He has a nice skill set. He can put the ball on the floor. He has good court vision. He is a very good athlete. He is also a threat from beyond the arc. The question with Wilson has always been effort and consistency. A player who lacks effort and consistency is probably not a player who has the dedication to work hard enough to improve. How hard he works and the improvement that results will be the key that determines whether he has a shot to play in the NBA.
5- Sean Armand: Armand had an outstanding career with Iona as a two. The PIT gave him a chance to show if he could play the point, secondary point, and combo guard. He did not disappoint. He compiled 23 assists with eight turnovers. He also shot a respectable 7-of-18 from beyond the arc, a very good percentage for a point due to the fact that the majority of a point guards attempts will come off the dribble and not spotting up. Armand shot 44.2 percent from three point territory for the season on 217 attempts. He also shot an efficient 48.6 percent from the field.
Armand is a good but not elite athlete. He is 6’3” and has fairly good length. He would have to be in the right situation to stick with an NBA team.
6- Travis Bader: Bader is the NCAA all-time leader in three point shots made. He has a quick release. His shot is vey fluid and he is always square with his feet set when attempting a shot. He shot 11-of-23 from distance and averaged 19.67 points per game. He is not a distributor. He only averaged 1.4 assists per game this past season and 1.2 for his career. He has average quickness and is not likely to beat many NBA players off the dribble. He is basically a shooter who is very adept at moving without the ball.
7- Fuquan Edwin: Edwin has the ability to disrupt the opposing teams offense. He is a very good on ball defender who is also very quick in the passing lanes. He has good size for a two at 6’6 1/2” and has a wingspan of 6’8 ¼”. He has a very good first step and can finish at the basket. His three point percentage dipped this season to 33.3 percent from 41.2 last season. Edwin is a very solid defender with NBA size, length and athleticism who must become a more consistent shooter from beyond the arc.
The best of the rest
Ronald Roberts Jr. (St. Joseph’s, 6’8”): Roberts is an explosive, powerful leaper with step. He does not have much of a face-up game and has average footwork and post up moves in the paint. Good rebounder and weak side shot blocker. Good length.
Andre Dawkins (Duke, 6’4 ½): Primarily a three point shooter and he can shoot. Attempted 189 shots this season. 152 of his attempts were from three point range. He has ability to get to basket. Only averaged 13.7 points per game. Not a good on ball defender.
Shawn Jones (Middle Tennessee State, 6’8”) Very long-7’3 1/2” wingspan, excels around the basket, strong, good motor, limited face up game, has to play the four.
Davon Usher (Delaware,6’5 1/2”): Good size for a two, an extremely good shooter in rhythm, classic lefty form, can put ball on floor and get to basket, tends to over dribble and move east to west which results in low percentage shots.
Okaro White (Florida State, 6’8 1/2”): Does many things well but does not do anything outstanding.
Juvonte Reddic (VCU, 6’8 ½”): Injured in first game, prototypical VCU big, athletic, good motor, quick laterally, good leap. He does not have a dependable face up game.
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