Alex Len, Center, Maryland, 7’1”, 255 lbs
2012-13 Collegiate Stat Line: (all stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
11.9 points, 53% field goals, 12% 3-point field goals, 68% free throws, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks
In just two seasons at Maryland, Alex Len has become one of the top centers in the country. Len developed quickly for a man his size and has elevated his draft stock for the 2013 NBA Draft. A versatile 7-footer, Len will be looking to make an impact in the pros next season.
For a man his size, Alex Len controls his body very well. He adjusts well with a defender on him in the paint, drawing contact frequently and gets to the free-throw line. He’s pretty strong as well, meaning that he won’t be bullied in the paint at the next level. Len is also pretty quick for a man his size, frequently scoring on cuts to the basket. Len converted on 69 percent of shots taken after off-the-ball cuts.
Because of his size, Len has an advantage in the post for rebounds, presenting a number of put-back scoring opportunities. Len totaled 83 shot attempts off of offensive rebounds or put-backs, scoring on 55 percent of those opportunities.
Len has started to develop a bit of a jump shot over the past year, but it still needs some work. His shot looks fluid but it’s not consistent. However, that can be worked out over time in the NBA.
Since most NBA teams play in a man defense, it’s worth looking at Len’s defensive ability in a man defense. He’s very good, holding opponents to 36 percent shooting while in a man defense. This will dramatically help in the NBA. He’s also a skilled defender on opponents who take jump shots, holding his opponents to 29 percent shooting.
While his jump shot is developing, it is not consistent right now. He only took 32 jump shots over the course of the year, but he’s shown that he feels confident in his stroke. It’s a good sign right now, but we’ll have to see if he can develop a more consistent jumper. If he can, he’ll be set.
Len does need to cut down on his turnovers. While he is aggressive, he often becomes overly aggressive and gets himself into trouble. If he can cut down on those turnovers, he’ll be fine.
Nov. vs. Kentucky (L 72-69) 23 points, 10-for-18 field goals, 0-for-1 3-point field goals, 3-for-4 free throws, 12 rebounds, four blocks
Len took advantage of an inexperienced Nerlens Noel and dominated the paint throughout the game. He had to adjust his body on a number of occasions due to the help-side defense and finished at the basket. He proved his skill set against an athletic Kentucky front line.
March 21 vs. Denver (NIT W 62-52) five points, 2-for-7 field goals, 1-for-1 free throws, three rebounds, four fouls, 14 minutes.
Len’s play was consistent throughout the year, but this game against Denver highlights another one of Len’s big issues: staying out of foul trouble. Len fouled out of four different games this year and played less than 20 minutes in six different games. He needs to learn how to stay out of foul trouble.
Potential Landing Spots:
Alex Len has earned the right to be considered a high lottery selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. He could potentially be a top-five pick depending on who has those picks, but don’t expect him to fall out of the top 10.
Teams That Make Sense:
Minnesota Timberwolves: Depending upon if the Wolves can resign Nikola Pekovic or not (he will be a restricted free agent) the Wolves could use some extra insurance in the frontcourt. Kevin Love is constantly injured so having that depth would help out the Wolves. If Pekovic is re-signed, Len could learn some tools of the trade while rotating in for some playing time.
Sacramento Kings: Adding Len could be a nice addition to the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are restricted free agents in 2014 while James Johnson (restricted) and Cole Aldrich (unrestricted) are free agents this summer. The Kings are getting gutted on the front line. Brining in Len would help the future of the Kings.
Alex Len has come on strong over the course of the 2012-13 college season. With his stellar play and other top prospects dropping out of the draft, don’t expect to wait long to hear the Maryland alum’s name called in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Topics: Alex Len, Cole Adlrich, Demarcus Cousins, Denver Pioneers, James Johnson, Kentucky Wildcats, Kevin Love, Maryland Terrapins, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Draft 2013, Nerlens Noel, Nikola Pekovic, Patrick Patterson, Sacramento Kings