I was watching the UMD-Duke game the other night and made it a point to pay close attention to Jordan Williams from Maryland and Kyle Singler from Duke. I have loved Jordan Williams since he came to Maryland. I really like his great work ethic and his competitiveness. I never really thought of him in terms of a pro prospect, however, until the other night. After last year, I figured at some point he would make it to the league and would be pretty decent. I was never scouting him as a prospect for the Wizards until a couple weeks ago. It is hard to make judgements based on dominant performances against teams like Elon when he is putting up monster numbers so I decided to really check him out against Duke. He had another extremely strong performance versus the Blue Devils and is establishing himself as one of the top 3 big men in the ACC as a sophomore. To this point in the season he is averaging 18 pts, 12 rebs, and 1 block per game. He stands at 6'10" and weighs in at 260 lbs. In the offseason he shed about 15 pounds of unwanted weight and now looks lean and athletic while still possessing great strength. He possesses all the skills us Wizards fans have been clamoring for in a big man at the PF position. He has great size and strength, as well as athletic ability. He has a motor that seems to never quit, which was displayed perfectly when he ran the floor hard the other night as trailer and finished with a MONSTER dunk. He PARKS his ass DOWN LOW and has some good post moves that are still developing. He doesn't ever try to do things he can't do (like shoot 3's and 18 footers like someone we know) and it seems like he cleans up every rebound that comes off the iron, which is evident in his 13 double doubles this year. He has a great shooting motion and his mechanics are sound but that part of his game has yet to come to fruition which is shown in his 55% free throw shooting. However, the fundamental skills are there, now it is just a matter of practice. I am not worried about that aspect of his game and believe by next year he will be knocking down 15 footers and could get his FT shooting up to 70%. What I really love about his game is the IMPROVEMENT he has shown from his freshman to sophomore year. He went from an overweight big who was a strong role player on a very good maryland team to a slender 6'10" PF who is now THE MAN on HIS team as a sophomore. I have no doubts that he will come back next year even better with an improved jump shot and a polished all around game. Having said all this I do not think he will be coming out this year and will return to Maryland for 1 more year. Our scouting department should pay close attention to him and I would love to see us target him in the 2012 draft. IF he did come out this season I still would take him with a late 1st rounder. He has shown he can dramatically improve and I really think he could be a starting PF in the league one day. He would be a breath of fresh air if this whole Blatche situation does not work out. 2012 looks to be the year we can get him, however.
Kyle Singler is a guy all of us MD fans love to hate. Ugly looking white guy who kills Maryland. He is one of those guys that annoys the shit out of you if you are an opposing teams fans because he always seems to be in the right place at the right time while burying you with a DAGGER 3. I personally love the guy's game and he is another player who has improved every year. He is finally a Senior and is playing like it. The kid has great size at 6'9" and has one of the quickest releases on his jump shot in the NCAA. He only needs a little bit of space to get it off and is lethal from downtown. To steal a tiny scouting report from NBADraft.net:
"When he's not spotting up, he shows offensive versatility in that he can hit a number of different types of shots in different ways ... Reliable mid-range game with ability to shoot off dribble, although prefers to catch and shoot... High basketball IQ, high awareness of what's going on around him which helps him defensively off the ball, as well as with the ball in his hands in regards to finding teammates cutting to the hoop... Sees court well for 6'9 forward ... Fiery and competitive kid who just has a great overall feel for the game".
They go on to praise his winning attitude a little more and then focus on his weaknesses. The main knock they have on him is his "athletic ability". They try to pinpoint him as a classic "tweener", too small and skinny to cover the 4, not quick enough to cover the 3 spot. I disagree with this assessment. I think his athleticism is good overall. He runs the floor very well and is so active on the boards, which is evident with his 8 rebounds a game. A great example of this was the other night at the end of the 1st half when he attacked the offensive glass and finished off an extremely difficult and athletic tip in buzzer beater which took back a lot of momentum going into the half. Once again, in the right place at the right time. This is not luck, however. He places himself in these situations because of his relentless motor and high basketball IQ. He is a WINNER. He would bring a WINNING attitude.
Most Mock Drafts have Singler going anywhere from 14- 20 and I believe that is about right for him. I am with ROOK when he says with our lottery pick most likely being in the top 5 (hopefully) we should target a guy like Terrance Jones. A long, athletic wing player who has a great all around game and tremendous upside as well as a surprising amount of polish for a Freshman. He would fit in perfectly on the perimeter with Wall and Young, forming a young, long, athletic nucleus that can defend, shoot, and attack the rim. What I would really love is to draft a guy like Singler, assuming we pull a move like the move we made for Hinrich, taking on salary to gain another 1st round pick, even after drafting Jones who plays the same position. We would be using the later part of the 1st round to draft role players who can carve out a niche with the team and grow with it, much like Ernie is trying to do with Booker and Seraphin. I believe Singler would be an ideal guy to come off the bench for a player like Jones or even Nick Young. He fits the mold of being long and is an underrated athlete. His dead eye shot is a perfect match for a point guard like Wall to distribute to. Imagine him bringing energy off the bench, knocking down 3's and just being an overall pain in the ass for the other team. While he may only be an OK on ball defender his high IQ and work ethic has made him one of the best off ball defenders around which would be another breath of fresh air for this team. A guy who takes charges? YES PLEASE. It is evident Thornton will not be back and Howard probably will not be either. We will need to bring in backup SF, why not bring in Singler with a late 1st rd pick. Let me know what you guys think, I really respect most of your opinions.