Monday, December 31, 2007

Derrick Rose - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 14.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.7 t/o's, 48% FG, 71% FT, 34% 3's

About Him: Derrick Rose came into this season about as hyped as a freshman could be, and early on he didn't live up to those expectations. His assist numbers were low while his turnovers high and he was trying to rely too much on his athleticism - flying towards the basket and taking bad, off balance shots. The problem probably more a result of Rose's freakish athleticism that his potential as a basketball player - he didn't need any advanced moves playing at the high school or AAU level because he could get by strictly on athleticism. Those habits carried over to the start of his freshman year, but he got much better as the year progressed, and after his performance in the NCAA tournament he may have played his way into the first pick over Michael Beasley. Rose has outstanding size and athleticism for a point guard, overpowering smaller defenders. He is very strong in the air and can absorb contact, but also is slippery enough that he can slide through the defense. The biggest improvement he made during the season was his mid-range game. He probably will never be more than an average perimeter shooter (he was not much of a threat as a stand still shooter and defenders consistently went underneath ball screens against him), but the development in his pull-up mid-range jumper and floaters in the lane have made a huge difference. He already has incredible confidence in the shot (he was taking it without hesitation throughout the NCAA tourney and Final Four), and if he can keep improving it, it will be an unstoppable shot because he can elevate higher than most defenders. His court vision is not superb, but its better than 4.7 apg. Part of the reason his assist numbers were so low during the season was the style of offense that Memphis ran (a dribble drive motion) and the lack of perimeter shooters on the Tigers. If more pick-and-rolls were run, his numbers would have increased, as they would have if the kickouts on his penetration didn't result in his teammates attacking the basket. Defensively, he is very focused. He plays hard, and has the strength and quickness to be very good in the league. He is great at closing out of defenders because he has such a quick first step. He had a tendency to lose focus this year, but that could have been as much of a result of the scores of the games as his effort.

Comparisons: Dwayne Wade, Deron Williams

Bottom Line: Rose has all the makings of a star. The only question is how good can he be. He will be a much better distributor playing in an NBA offense, and has already shown that he is willing and able to make the right pass when it is there. He is intense and determined and plays hard. He won't fall past the second pick.

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