11:59 PM EST – The deadline is now up for any underclassmen who wanted in the draft. Let’s take a look at a few more early entry candidates who have declared for the draft.
Solomon Alabi – (Florida St., 7’1, 251) – Sophomore – Center – (11.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg) – Alabi is a huge body, developing center, who is slowly becoming a force on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He has a nice touch around the rim, uses his body well getting position, and is a decent free throw shooter. His footwork needs improvement as his moves can be awkward and slow-developing. He has developed a few reliable moves, including a nice hook from both sides of the lane. Defensively, he instantly is a game-changer, altering shots and making players think twice about penetrating. He needs to work a bit more on the timing of his block attempts, but he has shown improvement. It would serve him well to get some tutelage at the NBA level. Late First Round, 21-30.
JaJuan Johnson – (Purdue, 6’10, 215) – Junior – Power Forward – (15.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg) – Johnson is a lean, athletic player who has the potential to be a good NBA player once he adds some bulk to his body. On offense, he is active in the post, using his quickness to make up for his lack of strength. He has a good knack for grabbing offensive rebounds and has a nice touch around the rim. While he can play facing the basket, he needs to improve his ball-handling skills and work on creating his own shot. Defensively, he does a good job keeping the offense honest with his shot-blocking ability, though again, he needs to add bulk to become a more effective post defender. He is an average perimeter defender, with his wingspan disrupting passing lanes but his lateral movement needing improvement. While another year would have helped him become a more complete player, he has a good shot at being a first round pick this season. Late First Round – Early Second Round, 23-33.
As the weeks go on we will look at the rest of the players in the draft, as well as any news on workouts, and hopefully an interview or two with prospective draftees.