Okay so I was checking out the fanposts earlier today and came across lightz0ut’s post “Udoh or not Udoh.” Lightz0ut wanted to hear everyone stance on the pick. Here were the basic rules
Take your current stance and post it here. In other words, let's pretend that the Warriors are on the clock right now and you are tasked to make the pick. What would be your play?
Here are the rules:
1. The first 5 picks went exactly who it went on draft night.
2. No trade scenarios of any kind were available, be it moving up, down or out of the draft.
3. Post your pick as the title of your reply
4. State your case as to why you think Udoh is a good or bad pick. Then make the case for your pick if it's not Udoh. (This is the part that will make you sound like a genius or an idiot later on. Don't you want to find out which of the two are you?)
5. Show us how the top of your board would've look like. That is, if you didn't go with the player your picked which 2 players would you have picked instead.
So I went on to list my thoughts and the darn thing got way too long. So I thought, what the hell, why not just make it a fanpost? If you don't like someone continually complaining about the draft pick, this is not the post for you. You might be better just avoiding it (heck I am not even sure if it even makes sense to be honest). This will be my final comment about the pick. I think it’s still relevant considering it has only been two days. Plus, I would prefer to have all my thoughts on one specific post. But having said that ... you can’t keep looking back in the past, so this will be it for me. Udoh is a Warrior and that is just the way it is. I threw in some pictures for a little humor (given that my writing lacks it). So, with that in mind, on to the argument!
PART I. "Who did the Warriors just pick? Whaaaaaaaa?"
I think Udoh was a bad pick. Why do I think Udoh is bad pick? For starters, I have a hard time seeing him as being anything more than a bench player and not anything more than a 6th man. I don't know, maybe he could be a fringe starter but I wouldn't want to bet on it.
First off, this is probably my weakest point, but I do think age matters because we judge player's value by how they stack up against their peers. After all, Udoh will be playing with players his own age and younger for the next 10 years and only so many young guys get a shot to make something of themselves. When I look at Udoh, I want to know how good he is compared to other players who graduated from high school between 2006 and 2009. I don't want to compare him to just college players. I want to look at Kevin Durant, Thaddeus Young, Earl Clark, Brandon Wright, Brook Lopez, Darrell Arthur, Taj Gibson, Speights, Ryan Anderson, Oden, Hawes, Robin Lopez, Anthony Randolph, Bill Walker, Austin Daye, Beasley, J.J. Hickson, Blake Griffin, DeJuan Blair, Love, DeAndre Jordan, Koufos, and B.J. Mullins. All of these guys graduated high school either in the same year as Udoh or after. These are some of the best of the kids his age and below and they are not in college.
I know that is an insanely large list (I picked SF, PF, and C just because I keep hearing people say Udoh can play all three) but when valuing what Udoh brings I think you need to compare him with these guys in mind. When comparing him to all the guys who graduated and all the guys who left early, I just don't see him having a strong presence in this league, but who knows, maybe this a historically phenomenal batch of young players coming into the league all at the same time.
But of course I have no idea how directly compare Udoh’s 2009/2010 statistics in a way to where I can compare what he did to what NBA players were doing in 2009/2010. But I can see how Udoh did with his peers in college. After all, these are the guys he is competing with to get drafted. The thing is, I just don't see how he stood out compared to other options that were left in the draft.
Udoh per 40 minutes his junior year (PF/SF?/C?)
15.8 points (off of 12.3 shots); 11.1 rebounds; 3.1 assists; 0.9 steals; 4.2 blocks; 49% FG; 26.9% 3Pt (off of 0.2 3PtA); 68.5% FT (off of 5.1 FTA)
Monroe per 40 his sophomore year (PF/C)
19 points (off of 13.2 shots); 11.3 rebounds; 4.4 assists; 1.4 steals, 1.8 blocks; 54.5% FG, 25.9% 3Pt (off of 0.2 3PtA); 66% FT (off of 6.4 FTA)
Cole Aldrich per 40 his sophomore year (C)
16.9 PPG (off of 11.0 FGA); 14.7 rebounds; 1.3 assists; 1.1 steals; 5.2 blocks; 56.2% FG; 67.9% FT (off of 6.6 FTA)
Aminue per 40 his sophomore year (SF/PF?)
20.2 points (off of 15.4 shots) 13.7 rebounds; 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.4 blocks; 44.7% FG; 27.3% 3Pt (off of 2.5 3PtA); 69.8% FT (off of 8.2 FTA)
Ed Davis per 40 his sophomore year (PF)
19.2 PPG (off of 11.9 shots); 13.6 rebounds; 1.4 assists; 0.6 steals; 4 blocks) 57.8% FG; 65.8% FT (off of 8.2 FTA)
I have a hard time judging defense so maybe Udoh is better than everyone else, but he better be really darn good to pass up everyone else on this list. From what I can statistically see, I really like his ability to get blocked shots compared to the competition and I like his assist rate, but that is about it for me.
When it comes to big men coming into the league, the two stats that are very important if you want to be a successful are rebounding and scoring efficiency (particularly rebounding though). If you can’t rebound, you better be quick enough to guard small forwards or at the very least score efficiently. If you can’t put the ball in the bucket at a decent rate, then you have no other option but to be a very good rebounder. You can’t just say “Hey the guy is a jump shooter, that’s why his shooting percentages are low.” Just because you take a lot of jump shots, it does not mean you are a good jump shooter. You better actually be able to hit those mid range shots at a good rate or else you are in real trouble.
So yea, with this in mind I am not the biggest Udoh supporter. For one, his shooting percentage is pretty bad for someone throwing up over 12 shots a game. I know Aminu’s is lower but I was under the impression that Aminu is a very good defender himself, plus he is a much better rebounder. I’ve read people arguing Udoh is a jump shooter and that’s why his shooting percentage is that low. I just don’t buy it as a strong argument. Monroe is a jump shooter too but his shots go in at a much better rate. Also, his rebounding rate is not great. I don’t see how Monroe is known as a bad rebounder yet Udoh supposedly is a good one (I know one gets more offensive rebounds and the other more defensive but they have the same rate. If you want to start talking about Monroe’s rebounding rate the year before then we will have to talk about how Udoh’s stats were lower across the board as well). There is just nothing else that jumps out for me.
Udoh’s rebounding statistics for his position, nor his shooting percentages, don’t really stand out compared to the other guys who were available at the 6th spot in the draft. But I also want to know how does Udoh stack up historically? I don’t think he does all that great. I looked at players who were drafted for their defensive presence (I got guys who were busts, guys who busted out in a big way, and guys who are so-so) and also some other power forwards and just thrown in there for fun. For the players who have actually made an impact in the league, their per 40 rebounding numbers while they were in their last year of college were often better than Udoh’s. What really struck me though were the offensive stats. Even players that we don’t associate as having much offensive game were, not only better rebounders in college, but were also much more efficient scorers who were also able to put points up at a higher volume.
Per 40 last year of college
Player A - 18.5 PPG (off of 11.1 FGA); 13 rebounds; 3.5 assists; 1.8 steals; 3.9 blocks; 60.5% FG; 73.3% FT (off of 8.3 FTA)
Player B - 17.0 PPG (off of 10.7 FGA); 10.7 rebounds; 1.6 assists; 1.0 steals; 2.9 blocks; 60.1% FG; 65.9% FT (off of 3.4 FTA)
Player C - 10.9 PPG (off of 7 FGA); 15.1 rebounds; 0.6 assists; 2.3 steals; 3.5 blocks; 64.7% FG; 37.8% FT (off of 5 FTA)
Player D - 15.8 PPG (off of 12.3 FGA); 11.1 rebounds; 3.1 assists; 0.9 steals; 4.2 blocks; 49% FG; 26.9% 3Pt (off of 0.2 3PtA); 68.5% FT (off of 5.1 FTA)
Player E - 20.7 PPG (off of 15.8 FGA); 10.7 rebounds; 0.9 assists; 1.2 steals; 4.1 blocks; 52.9% FG; 33.3% 3Pt (off of 1.9 3PtA); 52.5% FT (off of 6.3 FTA)
Player F - 23 PPG (off of 16.1 FGA); 15.6 rebounds; 1.3 assists; 2.2 steals; 2.1 blocks; 57.1% FG; 35.7% 3Pt (off of 0.5 3PtA); 62.3% FT (off of 7.2 FTA)
Player G - 5.9 PPG (off of 18.6 FGA); 13.9 rebounds; 2 assists; 0.7 steals; 6.8 blocks; 51.7% FG; 48.8% FT (off of 9.9 FTA)
Player H - 20.3 PPG (off of 11.4 FGA); 9.7 rebounds; 1.6 assists; 0.7 steals; 3.7 blocks; 67.1% FG; 68.6% FT (off of 6.3 FTA)
Player I - 22.6 PPG (off of 13.7 FGA); 12.8 rebounds; 1.1 assists; 2.0 steals; 4.6 blocks; 57.8% FG; 74.4% FT (off of 9.0 FTA)
Player J - 20.8 PPG (off of 12.9 FGA); 12.3 rebounds; 0.9 assists; 0.9 steals; 2.0 blocks; 60.5% FG; 68.9% FT (off of 7.5 FTA)
Player K - 22.6 PPG (off of 16 FGA); 13.4 rebounds; 3.0 assists; 1.2 steals; 3.0 blocks; 56% FG; 58.1% FT (off of 7.4 FTA)
Player L - 21.8 PPG (off of 14 FGA); 14.2 rebounds; 1.2 assists; 1.2 steals; 5.0 blocks; 59.9% FG; 51.8% FT (off of 7.5 FTA)
Player M - 16.4 PPG (off of 12.4 FGA); 11.9 rebounds; 4 assists; 1.1 steals; 4.4 blocks; 47.1% FG; 58.6% FT (off of 6.9 FTA)
Player N - 16.9 PPG (off of 10.5 FGA); 11.5 rebounds; 0.7 assists; 1 steal; 4.6 blocks; 60.2% FG; 57.4% FT (off of 6.2 FTA)
Okay so I cheated, Player D is Udoh. I just wanted everyone to see how low his FG% and especially how his rebounding does not stand out in this group. As far as offensively speaking, he seems way and above Player C. Player C had some beastly rebounding and block stats but his offensive ability was definitely worse than Udoh and because of his offensive deficiency’s he is struggling to even stay in the league (by the way Player C is my good friend Joey Dorsey). Player M is very similar in the offensive. Actually they both are real close. When it comes to rebounding, Player M and Player N are about the same with Udoh.
The only players with lower rebounding rates are Player B, Player E, and Player H. Player B is Taj Gibson. I think Udoh can beat out Taj Gibson and his stats reflect it (except for the shooting percentage). The only other guys with lower rebounding rates are Player E and Player H and they both have yet to show the ability to rebound in the NBA. Not the biggest fan of those two players but I think I would rather have Player E and Player H (but it’s very very close) just because I think they will be able to maintain their ability to block shots at a high rate given they are over seven feet tall. By the way, Player E and Player H are JaVale McGree and Roy Hibbert. Not sure if they will be as good as Udoh in the defensive department but I would rather trust them given their height advantage and the fact they can score at an efficient rate. Maybe Udoh is more versatile defensively then those two but at the end of the day I would trust them to be just as good at defending at the rim. Even though they both have rebounding deficiencies, Udoh hasn’t exactly shown he can do much better.
What about Players A, F, G, I, J, K, and L? I think coming out of college they were superior to Udoh. They were better rebounders, although Player I beats out Udoh by a fairly small amount. I think Player A, Player G, and Player L really separate themselves from the pack. Player F is not as good a shot blocker but his scoring and rebounding keep him above Udoh. To be honest Player J looks like a better player in my eye (He had a mid range shoot in college. And was a senior when he graduated. And was known for his defense and hard work. And is known as a good character guy.).
Overall though, Player M and Player N are the closest comparisons to me. Particularly Player M. He’s about an inch shorter than Udoh and has played the SF and PF position in the NBA, although he usually only plays the SF (not the best rebounder in the world). He also transferred schools in college (from the Pac 10 to the WAC) and went pro around the same age. Player M was known as an athletic forward with impressive passing ability and the tools to be a lock down defender. He still has a ways to go.
[Before I jump onto the next point, here’s the list of players I was talking about.]
J: D. J. White
L. Emeka Okafor
M: Want to save this one for later
N: Etan Thomas
UPDATE: I looked up players largely based on looking up NCAA stats by blocked shots with players that are already in the league and then by combing over about 8 different drafts and picking guys randomly that I was just interested in looking at. When I did that I was largely looking for seniors. The only guys who I picked that I excluded were Sean Williams (it was the pot not the talent) Eddie Griffin (it was the porn, addition problems, craziness, and dying not his skill) Boozer (that was dumb) Thaddeus Young and Julian Wright (just one year and I felt the list was getting too long.) In retrospect, I wish I used Artest and Battier but oh well. Oh, and I really wish I thought of Luc Richard Mbah A Moute but I didn't).
Picture Break: WATERMELON SHARK!!!
Now, about Udoh’s shooting percentages. Of course, there is always the argument that Udoh can’t be compared to low post players offensively because “Udoh is a jump shooter.” This doesn’t explain away his shooting woes. Simply put, his lower percentage isn’t because he is a polished jump shooter but it’s because he doesn’t have much of a NBA ready offensive game, period. Here are some other forwards (including Udoh) who were known as jump shooters coming into the NBA.
D.J. White - Senior
20.8 PPG (off of 12.9 FGA); 60.5% FG (didn’t shoot 3s but was a mid range jump shooter); 12.3 rebounds
Jason Thompson - Senior
23.6 PPG (off of 16.7 FGA); 56% FG; 57.8% 2Pt (off of 15.5 2PtA); 32.4% 3Pt (off of 1.3 3PtA); 13.4 rebounds
Channing Frye - Senior
20.3 PPG (off of 14.3 FGA); 55.4% FG; 57% 2Pt (off of 13.7 2PtA); 17.6% 3Pt (off of 0.2 3PtA); 9.8 rebounds
Ike Diogu - Senior
24.9 PPG (off of 13.7 FGA); 57.5% FG; 59.8% 2Pt (off of 12.1 2PtA); 40% 3Pt (off of 1.5 3PtA); 10.7 rebounds
Ekpe Udoh - Junior
15.8 PPG (off of 12.3 FGA); 49% FG; 50.5% 2Pt (off of 11.5 2PtA); 26.9% 3Pt (off of 0.8 3PtA); 11.1 rebounds
Ryan Anderson - Sophomore
25.8 PPG (off of 17.3 FGA); 49% FG; 53.0% 2Pt (off of 11.6 2PtA); 41% 3Pt (off of 5.8 3PtA); 9.9 rebounds
Charlie Villanueva - Sophomore
19.9 PPG (off of 14.4 FGA); 52.1% FG; 52.2% 2Pt (off of 13.8 2PtA); 50% 3Pt (off of 0.6 3PtA); 12.9 rebounds
Brandon Bass – Sophomore
20.7 PPG (off of 12.7 FGA); 56.7% FG; 57.7% 2Pt (off of 11.6 2PtA); 46.2% 3Pt (off of 1 3PtA); 10.9 rebounds
Donte Greene - Freshman
17.7 PPG (off of 14.9 FGA); 41.8% FG; 49.2% 2Pt (off of 8.3 2PtA); 34.5% 3Pt (off of 7.5 3PtA); 8 rebounds
Lou Deng - Freshman
19.4 PPG (off of 15.4 FGA); 47.5% FG; 51.4% 2Pt (off of 11.5 2PtA); 36% 3Pt (off of 3.9 3PtA); 8.9 Rebounds
19 PPG (off of 15.5 FGA); 46.4% FG; 46.6% 2Pt (off of 14.8 2PtA); 10.5% 3Pt (off of 0.7 3PtA); 10.4 rebounds
Out of the seniors, Udoh stands out as the worst shooter (I wish I had shooting percentages from 15 feet away). Out of the sophomores, it’s much closer. Although Udoh is still at the bottom, it is pretty close and he has company with Ryan Anderson there; however, when looking at Ryan Anderson’s stats he shot the ball a heck of a lot more and shot a lot more 3 pointers. Only the Freshman stick out as being as bad or worse than Udoh (players who had more raw talent when they graduated college. How is Udoh a polished shooter again?). Udoh is the King of the freshman, beating out Deng, AR, and destroying Donte Greene. Randolph (and definitely to a lesser extent, Donte Green) both have shown potential but are still raw when it comes to shooting. Lou Deng is interesting here though because he turned out pretty darn good so maybe there is some hope for Udoh (even if Deng was 18 at the time).
But there is a reason I threw up the rebounding number. These guys were good shooters coming but if they can’t rebound or play defense, they are going to have a hard time finding anything more than a 6th man’s role in this league. Deng is able to play small forward so I think he is okay in regards to his rebounding, and has always been able to defend okay (plus he has gotten pretty good offensively. Again he was 18 at the time he graduated but who knows, may Udoh can do the same). Donte Green’s rebounding and his lack of a decent shot are killing him (again, just because you shoot a lot of jumpers doesn’t mean you are a good jump shooter). Charlie V can never be a starting power forward on a good team because of his rebounding and defense (his defense hurts him from playing SF too). Same problems with Frye (I know he was on Phoenix this past year but I don’t see him working out long term and that system was basically built for him. I still think he’s a role player). Jason Thompson was a starter on a 25 win team last year. He’s an okay rebounder but I am not sure if his defense is enough for him to ever be a starter on a good NBA team. Randolph has improved his rebounding but, like Deng, he was 18 years old when he put up his college stats (same with Deng).
Simply put, Udoh’s defense must be pretty amazing or he better work on his rebounding if he is going to ever be a staring PF or C in this league. I personally don’t think he is a great shooter for a big man NBA prospect. But that might be okay because I’ve read that it’s okay if he isn’t much of a scorer because he is a smart offensive player. Yeah I get it, he can distribute the ball okay but he needs to be able to score somehow in the NBA in order to be some sort of threat on the court. If he can’t score down in the post and can’t consistently hit his jump shots he is in trouble. He can obviously improve his rebounding and shooting but we don’t know yet. Maybe he will be able to improve one of those two areas. If he can’t find a move that will allow him to get the ball in the hole (whether by a jump shot or in the post or cutting to the basket) PLUS he can’t rebound … I’m sorry but that’s just not very good.
Here’s another way of looking at it. If you’re a forward coming out of college and you can shoot the ball, but can’t rebound or play defense, you’re looking at an upside of Charlie V, Channing Frye, or Ryan Anderson. If you’re a forward coming out of college and you can rebound but you can’t play much defense and don’t have much of a post game, at best you are Jason Thompson (decent jump shot) and at worse you are Reggie Evans (horrid jump shot).
And finally, if you’re a forward coming out of college who can only sort of shoot, can’t score down low, don’t rebound much, but you are good at defense? Well then you better be able to play small forward or learn how to at least rebound better. If you don’t you are looking at an upside of … Boris Diaw? I don’t have college stats of his but he sure seems to fit the bill. In fact the closest college player I could find was Player M. I really hope Udoh improves the rebounding or the jump shot because I would hate to see him turn out like … Dominic McGuire
[UPDATE #2: For some reason I didn't think of Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and I think it warrants special mentioning here. He is about 3 inches shorter than Udoh and his Per 40 numbers his last year of college were: 12.1 PPG (off of 10.2 FGA); 8.3 Rbs; 2.1 assists; 1.4 steals; 0.6 blocks; 47% FG; 68.9% FT (off of 3.1 FTA).
It's funny how the Camaroon Prince is viewed as not being much of a jump shooter yet Udoh apparantly is one. Personally I think they are fairly similar in that regard (especially when looking at their percentages for their college careers). Either way, the UCLA product has shown he may very well fill a role in this league as a defensive stopper. He has played some power forward but I see him being a small forward long term given his lack of a post game and lack of rebounding ability. The only reason I bring this up is that he is a pretty good example of someone with worse stats than Udoh who in fact has a pretty good role in the NBA. Might not be a starter in this league unless he adds a jump shot or rebounds a bit better (although still pretty short for a PF) but another good example for comparison. So I am revising a little here at the end. Maybe Udoh has the upside of Diaw, perhaps with a bit more potential than Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and the downside of McGuire.]
Picture Break: CATS ARE EVIL!!!
PART II. “Wow that first part was way too long.”
Okay, so who would I rather have over Udoh? I think Monroe was the BPA and Ed Davis is somewhat underrated. It was a real hard choice but in the end, I would go with Aminu. I know he has holes in his game (particularly the shooting) but he is young and when I looked at young guys who couldn’t shoot (Deng, Randolph, Greene) I at least had one guy on that list who turned out alright and one other who looks like he can at least score fairly decently close to the hoop. Plus, I like the fact Aminu can defend at the small forward position and his rebounding rate is fairly high. I know Udoh had a much better block shot rate but I would rather have a higher rebounding rate from a prospect.
Of course, all anyone remembers of Aminu is this darn picture.
However, when this guy is on the court he is flying everywhere. This guy has a ton of energy on the court but just because he looks bored out of his mind on media day everyone seems to think he is lazy. I don’t get it. Every time I saw him play he was running all out.
Part III. “That was better.”
I would have personally picked
Monroe second (sorry but the offense is too good to pass up.)
Ed Davis third
Yes Udoh fifth. Kind of brutal but I think all the guys above him on this list showed a little more in my opinion. I would go into detail but I am afraid I would waste your youth. You can stop reading now. Congratulations, you just aged 3o years. If you have kids, in the time you read this, they already moved out, graduated college, and got real jobs. Sorry about losing that chunk of your life.
THE END!!! Sorry for the length. Lightz0ut made me do it.