Ed Isaacson

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Underclassmen of the '14 Draft

Thursday, May 01, 2014

27. Jahii Carson, Sophomore, G, Arizona State
One of the quickest players in college basketball, Carson was extremely tough for any guard to cover one-on-one. He uses his speed and ballhandling ability to get into the lane or create space for his jumper. Control is an issue at times, and his decision-making running an offense still needs to improve. Some teams may worry about Carson being 5’10, though if he can fix his other issues, his size will only be a minor problem.

28. Isaiah Austin, Sophomore, C, Baylor
Though he’s 7’1 and skilled, Austin never really found consistency on the offensive end. While he has shown that he can knock down long-range shots on occasion, the shot was rarely the best option. Austin showed significant improvement on the defensive end this year, especially as a shot-blocker, but at 225 pounds, he needs to build a lot more strength to be effective as a pro.

29. Sim Bhullar, Sophomore, C, New Mexico State
Bhullar is massive at 7’5 and 365 pounds with developing skill on both ends of the floor. His play was very inconsistent over the past two seasons, mainly due to conditioning issues, but by the end of this past season, he was putting together long stretches on the floor. Bhullar could be an interesting project for some team.

30. LaQuinton Ross, Junior, F, Ohio State
Ross is a similar player to Robinson in that they are both much more comfortable using their athleticism to get to the rim, though Ross doesn’t have Robinson’s strength. Ross could be a good perimeter shooter, though he is streaky and is prone to taking bad shots. He is a good defender on the perimeter and uses his length well to disrupt ball movement, but he needs to give a consistent effort on that end.

31. DeAndre Daniels, Junior, F, Connecticut
Daniels’ three years with UConn were incredibly inconsistent, especially for someone who was touted so highly coming out of high school. It took Daniels a few years to gain the skills he wasn’t taught in high school, where he thrived just on athleticism, and he took some positive steps this season. He put together some very strong games on the way to the Huskies’ National Championship win, showing he can score inside and out, as well as rebound well when he tries.

32. Spencer Dinwiddie, Junior, G, Colorado
Dinwiddie’s season came to an end in early January after he tore his ACL. Prior to his injury, he ran the point for the Buffaloes, and at 6’6, his ability to create mismatches was a major part of the offense. He has slowly improved his offensive game over the past few seasons, though he is still at his best when he gets into the lane and draws contact. His length could be an asset on defense, but he still needs to improve in many key defensive areas. Dinwiddie likely won’t be able to start playing again until late this year, but he should still get plenty of pre-draft interest.

33. Nick Johnson, Junior, G, Arizona
Coming off a season where he was Pac-12 Player of the Year and an All-American, Johnson is hoping to take that momentum to the NBA. Having been a solid role player and good defender his first two years, Johnson showed that he could add some scoring to the mix, though his shooting/shot selection can be very inconsistent. He has a good feel for the game and is a better passer than many realize, but a spot in the NBA may come down to showing he can be more of a playmaker.

34. Alex Kirk, Junior, C, New Mexico
After a strong sophomore season, Kirk didn’t build on it in his junior year the way many expected. The emergence of Cameron Bairstow probably didn’t help, but neither did inconsistent play. Kirk is a skilled 7-footer, capable of scoring inside and out, though he can have a tendency to fall in love with the jumper. While he isn’t exceptionally smooth on the defensive end, he rebounds well and can block shots. Kirk has the makings a very good backup big option.

35. Jordan Clarkson, Junior, G, Missouri
Clarkson has good size (6’5) at the point guard position, though he is still much better in transition than he is in a halfcourt offense. His perimeter shooting numbers dropped this past season, his first at Missouri after transferring from Tulsa, though the pace of the Tigers’ offense often encouraged poor shot choices. He’s a good athlete who can make plays on both ends of the floor, but his overall game still needs to be polished for the pro level.

36. James Michael McAdoo, Junior, F, North Carolina
Like McGary, McAdoo first made a name for himself near the end of his freshman season. However, this only heightened expectations, which McAdoo never fully reached. He is at his best playing around the basket, but he spent much of the last two seasons settling for bad mid-range jumpers. He’s an average defender and rebounder, though when he has his head in the game, and stays out of foul trouble, he can be disruptive.

37. Eric Moreland, Junior, F, Oregon State
Moreland returned from a 12-game suspension to start the year (unspecified team violation) to once again become one of the leading rebounders in the country. Moreland uses his length well to defend in the post, and he does a very good job blocking shots in and out of his area. Offensively, he is still very limited, but his defense is what will get him looks from teams.

38. JaKarr Sampson, Sophomore, F, St. John’s
Sampson is skilled and athletic, but he still needs to learn a lot about the finer points of the game. If you like mid-range jumpers, Sampson is your man, though when he does look to get to the basket, you just wonder why he doesn’t keep doing it. His long-range shooting needs serious work, as does his defense, but there is a good talent base for the right team to mold for a few years down the line.

39. Roscoe Smith, Junior, F, UNLV
After two seasons at Connecticut, Smith made his way to UNLV where he seemed to thrive in the chaotic style of play. Smith was one of the leading rebounders in the country, including a couple of games with 20+ boards. He isn’t much of an offensive threat other than in transition or crashing the offensive glass, but his energy would be great for a role player.

Ed Isaacson is in his second year of covering the NBA Draft for Rotoworld.com, while his work can also be found at NBADraftblog.com. Follow him on Twitter at @nbadraftblog.
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