Basically, he is this excellent run and jump athlete who is super strong, and whose best skill by far is being aggressive and running into people. He is an erratic shooter, an erratic decision maker, and fairly graceless considering how good an athlete he is in other ways. His BBIQ is extremely questionable. Lots of fouls, lots of turnovers, low steals.
He is a small forward, right? Then it should be noted that he is being drafted for his physical abilities when he is, at best, of average size for a SF.
And I feel like I have been saying this for every player so far I've looked at, but it is odd that his team is as bad as it is considering the talent supposedly on it. Cal has three guys who are going to get drafted. Why are they this bad?
I have to say, I did not enjoy watching this guy play.
CEILING: Corey Maggette, or maybe Richard Jefferson
MEZZANINE: Desmond Mason
FLOOR: Donald Royal or Willie Barton
He is a very tough match up at the college level. You see him guarded by these forwards and he just runs them off screens they have no speed or agility to navigate. He gets a lot of open 3s like that. Or they'll put some college guard on him, and at a very strong 6’5’’ he either shoots over them or drives through them. He also has enough moves to get guys off balance a bit. Actually its weird, because I think his handle has gotten a little tighter just over the course of the NCAA season.
People thought this guy was possibly a PG? I have no idea why someone would think that. Dude drives with his head down all the time. I don't think he has any instinct for primary play making at this time, even at the college level.
He is really big and strong for a college guard, which makes his poor performance in the physical boxscore categories more concerning. He is a decent finisher, and he can use both hands it looks like. He doesn't get to the rim as much as you would like. He generally underwhelms I think relative to his size and decent speed and quickness.
Maybe he can shoot. He takes like eight 3s per40 and makes 40%, which is outstanding. His FT% is not outstanding, and his 2pt% on jumpers is okay. I would be concerned at how often he is shooting either open or against a guy 4 inches shorter than he is. Also he had a pretty amazing collegiate point guard.
CEILING: Allan Houston. Or, if he can learn to create a bit better, Ben Gordon
MEZZANINE: Marco Belinelli
FLOOR: Roger Mason, or maybe Kareem Rush
Man, Poeltl is a monster at the college level. These kids have absolutely no idea what to do with a guy who is that big and that amazing at finishing around the hoop.
He's really kind of brilliant at the latter. Uses both hands, great touch, great feel for how to use the glass, has a few moves that look pretty good.
He seems pretty heady. He has a better AST to TO ratio than either Ingram or Murray. I like that he improved his FT% by a ton this year. I think hes also shooting over 37% on 2pt jumpers. So he might have a little range in the future. I also like that his efficiency is the same even after he lost a great PG and boosted his USG% a ton. I think people would be surprised how often he beat guys off the dribble from beyond the free throw line this year. Sometimes even from beyond the three point line.
He is more athletic than I thought he would be. There was one play I watched, I think against Duke, where he got a steal and took the ball all the way to the hoop for a dunk. I'm pretty sure Grayson Allen was trying to catch him and failed. So he's surprisingly fast.
Doesn't seem like a spectacular rebounder or defender, but he doesn't look horrible on defense like Simmons does. He's good on that end. Poeltl’s team is doing ok, and that's all him. His teammates stink.
One thing about Poeltl is that I think he has an extremely low bust chance. Guys who are not undersized for their NBA position who put up +30 PERs in major college conferences all have NBA careers. Pretty much none of them play 3 years and then wash out because they cannot cut it.
CEILING: Al Horford
MEZZANINE: Chris Kaman
FLOOR: Uh, I don't know. Nenad Kristic maybe?
Less a bad finisher than a foppish one. It's kind of unusual that he draws so many fouls because usually aesthetic finishers like him bend away from contact. Lots of pretty scoop shots and finger rolls many of which are super cool and do not go in. Some of this behavior might be due to the fact that he picks up his dribble too early on his drives. A lot of young guards seem to do that when they aren't great ball handlers. Not a surprise he measured out with huge hands and long arms. You can tell just watching him finish around the rim. He palms the ball easily, which you basically never see with college guards.
Looks great spot up shooting. Looks inconsistent pulling up. When he is moving forward quickly and has to pull up, he looks particularly bad. When he is moving side to side or somewhat backwards he looks much more balanced. Only took four threes per40 minutes, which is a surprisingly low number. Well below average for a guard prospect. His overall shooting numbers look a bit like Shane Larkin's, who has not really lit the world on fire as a shooter in the NBA.
Good athlete. Not a crazy one. He works hard on defense. I definitely like to see that. Part of his allure in the NBA is that he has the size to guard SGs. I cannot say I saw him guard very many larger players, so I don't know how tough he is when he's sizistically over-matched.
I guess I see him as a safe pick, but not a particularly high upside one. You'll notice there isn't an enormous gap between what I have as his ceiling and his mezzanine.
CEILING: George Hill
MEZZANINE: Jeff Teague, or perhaps Rodney Stuckey if the shot doesn't translate
FLOOR: Marcus Banks
What is this? It's like the opening of Blue Velvet where Lynch pans through this nice little burb and suddenly there's a disembodied human ear on the grass right next to the inflatable kiddie pool. Isn't the relevant question with Skal: should he be drafted? Not: where in the Lotto should he be drafted? Inefficient, very nearly picks up a personal foul for every rebound he grabs (seriously), horrible feel for the game, &c.
It was a real chore to watch this guy. All he does is take long 2s. Even his highlights are tedious. I think these are pretty generous:
CEILING: Mark Blount
MEZZANINE: Jason Smith
FLOOR: Steven Hunter
Stats will either be from hoop-math.com or DX.com or sports-reference.com.