Over the next couple of days, each of our writers here at College Basketball Talk will weigh on certain topics and prospects. Yesterday’s question? Most like to make the All-Star team without getting picked in the lottery? Today’s question? Who is the most likely to get a GM fired:
Eric Angevine: Hate to say it, because I loved watching him in college, but John Henson is a total cipher in terms of pro potential. And yet, he’s looking likely to be picked pretty high. If he ends up with a coach who can’t develop the parts of his game that are lacking, or isn’t creative enough to find a use for his Gumby-like frame, it’ll be a debacle. The GM who chooses Henson has to know what he’s going to do with him from day one, know when to have patience and when to push… it’s not a task I’d envy with that much dough on the line.
Raphielle Johnson: Andre Drummond. He’s an exceptional athlete; there’s no denying that. But in regards to the skill set when it comes to a solid post move (and counter) to begin with I’ve got my doubts. Hate to put this type of label on a young man, but Drummond could end up being the answer to this question.
Daniel Martin: Andre Drummond. Perry Jones name often surfaced in this discussion during the season, but now that his stock has slipped toward the latter end of the lottery, he is turning into a solid risk. Drummond, on the other hand, has tremendous upside because of his athletic ability, but the question will be if he consistently applies himself at the professional level. It’s not a matter of character for Drummond, as he isn’t a team disturbance, but it will be whether he finds the key to unlock his potential.
Mike Miller: Andre Drummond. Normally I’d say Perry Jones III. But it seems his draft stock will properly represent his future league impact. Drummond, on the other hand, will tantalize teams for years with his physical gifts. Even if one team gives up on him, another will bite. And another. And so on. Heck, he could get three or four GMs fired.
Rob Dauster: There were two obvious answers to this question: Andre Drummond and Perry Jones III. Seeing as Drummond has been thoroughly discussed, I’ll take PJ III. His stock has fallen precipitously since he was projected as a top five pick in last year’s draft. That’s something that will happen when you get labeled as soft and passive and inconsistent. PJ III has the physical ability and the potential to be the best player on the floor just about every time he steps onto the court. If he falls to 18th or 20th (which isn’t out of the question) and he lives up to his potential, I can’t imagine that many owners will be happy about passing on him.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.