There was a call Thursday for the media to ask questions of ESPN’s Chad Ford, Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla about the 2011 draft prospects. SLAM Magazine put together a recap of what was, no doubt, a thrilling ride from beginning to end, and had a little portion that was as amusing as it was interesting.
Lexington’s baddest beat writer was on hand for the event and asked the trio of basketball minds a question that pretty much anyone with at least dial-up internet already knew the answer to. What are teams using to make their assessments of Enes Kanter? Voodoo dolls? Ouija boards from the NCAA’s banned list? Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots with the faces of Enes and Jonas Valancius pasted on them? THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING!
I mean, surely it wasn’t the numerous games he played overseas, the Hoops Summit, the UK Combine, the NBA Draft Combine and the multiple private workouts, right? That would make too much sense and be, you know, the best way to project and judge him.
Oh, nevermind. That’s exactly what they’re using. Take it away, SLAM.
Question: Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald wanted to know what teams rely on to make their judgements on Kanter.
Answer: Fraschilla’s thought was that Kanter hasn’t come from nowhere. He began playing in Euroleague when he was 16 years old; scouts identified him from a young age and have tracked him. Kanter also got to work out with Kentucky’s assistant coaches, including former NBA players Kenny Payne and Rod Strickland.
Ford offered the other side of the equation. While emphasizing Kanter’s intelligence and willingness to improve, he pointed out the obvious concern: most information on how Kanter has played in games comes from an under-18 tournament he played in when he was 17, and then one game at the Nike Hoop Summit when he was 18. (Kanter was deemed ineligible to play at the University of Kentucky because the NCAA ruled he received benefits above his necessary expenses from when he played on a Turkish club team.) “You wonder with a player that age, who has missed that much gametime development, what it does to a player,” Ford said.
Bilas stated that more players than usual in the lottery have a lack of game experience. So, if a team opts to pass on Kanter, then who’s the next option, Bilas said.
Well that was underwhelming. But Jerry Tipton didn’t get to where he is by just accepting things and moving on and neither should you. So do The Good Doctor a favor. Let him know in the comments section what teams are secretly using to judge Enes Kanter as a prospect. After all, boring facts don’t sell stories. Jerry Tipton sells stories.
Throw the guy a bone below.