Monday, December 31, 2007

Davon Jefferson - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.0 bpg, 2.4 t/o's, 58% FG, 70% FT

About Him: Davon Jefferson first said that he was coming back to USC, then apparently changed his mind because he has signed with an agent. Jefferson is a very risky pick. He has incredible physical tools. He is 6'8" (but slender and weak) with out-of-the-gym athleticism, very long arms, explosive quickness, and a great ability to get out and run the floor. The problem is that his game is limited to what he can do physically. He is a poor ball-handler with almost no ability to dribble with his left hand, he does not have much of a jump shot to speak of (from mid-range or three), and does not have a feel for the game or understanding of the game at all. He averages less than an assist per game, turns the ball over three times as often, and routinely gets beaten and is out of position defensively. But what he does do well, he does very well. He has a terrific first step which allows him to get by defenders (either from the wing or the post - he played the four for USC this year, but probably projects as a three in the NBA) and uses his athleticism to allow him to finish at the rim. When he gets the ball, he normally is going straight to the rim, and draws a lot of fouls, but also picks up a lot of charges because he doesn't change direction or avoid contact. He does play very hard however, crashing the glass (especially offensively) and running in transition, the two aspects of his game where he picks up most of his points. His biggest question mark is work ethic - he failed to qualify academically in both the 2005-2006 season (with UNLV) and in 2006-2007 (with USC) and played a PG year, which means that although he was a freshman this year, he is almost 22 years old.

Comparisons: Tyrus Thomas, Wilson Chandler

Bottom Line: Jefferson will be a high risk pick if he goes in the first round, because even though his potential gives him a high ceiling, he looks like he has had so little coaching and needs so much development that he may not reach that point by the end of his rookie contract. There are a lot of 6'8" athletes that are much more polished right now. Probably a second rounder, but he could sneak into the end of the first if a team really likes him or he has a great Pre-Draft camp.

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