Folks in the Bluegrass weren’t the only ones watching yesterday’s rivalry game; with that much talent on the floor, you can expect NBA teams to send representatives to check out the players for themselves. Many did just that, and the reports they came back with were, well, less than scintillating. Not unfairly so, but honest in that “I’m your grandmother so I can be blunt and pick on the things you’re sensitive about” sort of way. These scouts were the middle-schoolers of the basketball critiquing word: they knew exactly where the soft spots were and weren’t afraid to poke at them. They spoke to Zagsblog post-game, and proffered the following scathing advice:
He can score. He’s a beast inside. He’s hard to guard in college. He’s going to be guarded by the same size and more athletic guys in the NBA, but in college he’s unstoppable down there on the block. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game. He’s just not going to be able to bully his way to the rim at the NBA level every possession.Just keep driving left and driving left, spinning back left, they’re going to figure it out pretty quickly. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game, but as far as college he’s just a beast down there. You can’t guard him one-on-one in college.
We’ve seen how quickly college coaches and players adapt to predictable go-to moves (check out his turnovers against Michigan State), and it’s hard to imagine that would get any easier in the professional game.
Both of them should stay. To me, I think both have regressed from where they were coming in with all the hype they had. Aaron’s a better shooter. They both struggle to guard perimeter quickness. They both are not consistent shot-makers. Andrew’s just OK. He’s never going to be able to break any NBA point guard down and at 6-5 you’re not going to be able to post him. I just think they should both stay in school. There’s nothing that either one of them brings that makes you say, ‘Wow, this guy is my point guard or my two guard of the future.’
Both should stay? How would that impact next year? Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker are coming in at the 1 and 2 spots, but could depth at that position be a bad thing? How would the twins handle a sophomore year? Or are we stupid to even consider them coming back? Questions to consider going into conference play–we’ll have to see significant improvement for them to be guaranteed goners. On the plus side though, the “pouty attitude” problem was a non-issue for the scout, who says they’re clearly not bad kids, and it was never a factor.
James Young helped himself. The guy’s going to have to get stronger, but he’s a got a knack for scoring. He’s got a beautiful stroke. He can shoot the 3-ball. He’s got a bright future I think.
Great news for Young, who started the game 0-6 and looked uncomfortable offensively.
What’s he do? He blocks some shots. He has no offensive game. You can’t even go to him. He doesn’t even look at the basket. He’s not even a threat. He’s just another big guy that can block some shots, run the floor. He can go out and guard on the floor a little bit. I think he can guard some 4â€²s, some 5â€²s out on the floor. But he’s a zero offensive threat.
Ouch. That hurt my feelings. But to look at Willie this year compared to last year, and there’s been some improvement offensively. He has very limited range, but is developing around the rim with decent put-back and lob-catching ability, allowing a 63% field goal average. What he needs to do most is two-fold: improve his free throws and get a go-to move or three. Watch Julius Randle’s footwork, develop a hook-shot, something.
Pretty harsh all-around, though none of it really unfair. With Julius Randle almost certainly gone after this year, Cats fans and Calipari have to seriously wonder whether this scout’s opinions are shared by the rest of the NBA. If so, we might have a pretty crowded roster next year. Which isn’t really a bad thing, although we’d like to see players improve. Something to think about.