Today I will continue the look at the Shooting/Combo Guards who have declared early for the NBA Draft. Make sure to check out Part I here.
Manny Harris – Michigan – (6’5, 185) – Junior – Harris is a smooth shooting guard, known more for his scoring than anything else. He does a good job creating shots and finds holes in the defense. He needs to be more aggressive, because when he does get to the lane, he finishes strong and draws fouls. He works well within an offense and handles the ball smoothly. Shot selection can be an issue, but that was more a product of the Michigan offense then by choice. On defense, Harris uses his size well, closing on shooters and rebounding. He needs to improve his lateral movement – getting caught flat-footed on defense. He is a good, but not great athlete, so he may have trouble with the speed of the NBA game. Definitely could have used another year in school. Mid-to-late Second Round, 45-60.
Jeremy Hazell – Seton Hall – (6’5, 185) – Junior – Hazell became a hot name among Big East watchers for his lightning-quick release and his seemingly unlimited range. However, beneath all that is very little else that would appeal to NBA teams. He somehow can get a shot off in the worst possible positions, but teams soon learned that he was a one-trick pony. He rarely would venture below the foul line, choosing to move further back if he was covered closely instead of taking the ball to the basket. In some ways this has to be blamed on former Coach Gonzalez, who seemed to condone this style of play. That being said, he can shoot, and when he is hot, can be unstoppable. Defensively, he is an average on-ball defender, and at times can be very good. He does not do well guarding active offensive players, and seems to give up on plays a lot. I don’t see any harm in entering the draft, as Gonzalez effectively destroyed the Seton Hall program for next season, though I think he will go Undrafted.
Willie Warren – Oklahoma – (6’4, 195) – Sophomore – This year’s winner for Worst Decision to Not Enter the Draft Last Year goes to Willie Warren. He had a good shot of being a first round pick last year, and some people had him as a Top 10 pick entering the year; then the season started. Life in Norman was not the same without the Griffin brothers, and the addition of me-first players Tommy Mason-Griffin and Tiny Gallon. That being said, there is no denying that Warren is very talented. He has the ability to score almost at will, works well in open space or off of screens, and has very smoth moves to the rim. His perimeter shooting needs to become more consistent, and shot selection is questionable. He has the ability to handle the ball and can function as an emergency point guard if needed. Defenseively, he needs to put in more effort. He doesn’t like to move his feet, preferring to reach at the ball. He does a good job pressuring the ball, but has trouble with screens, and the play is very inconsistent. The big question mark will be his attitude, because what he showed this season is not going to make him very popular among GMs. He really wasn’t cut out for college, so not a bad decision to go pro. Mid-to-Late First Round, 16-26.
Terrico White – Ole Miss – (6’5, 190) – Sophomore – While White did not have the season that many were hoping, he was still quietly effective, coming up in big spots and at times carrying the Ole Miss team on his back. He is a decent perimeter shooter, can get into the lane, and uses his athleticism and body well. He rarely gives up on plays and the ball somehow has a way of finding him. Shot selection is usually very good. He also has impressive point guard skills, making good passes and seeing the court well. On defense, White is an average on-ball defender, but he has more trouble playing off the ball. He tends to drift too far away from his man, often leaving them open for a decent shot. He does a good job battling for rebounds and while he is not a superior athlete, he knows how to use what he has. I think he could have used one more year in school to refine his game, but should be able to crack an NBA rotation next year. Late First Round, 24-30.
Tomorrow, we will wrap things up with the Small Forwards, and a catch-all post to cover anyone who has been missed. Until then, enjoy the reading and let me know your thoughts.