Top Power Forward Draft Prospects
Any NBA team in need of a power forward are in luck. The power forward draft class for 2009 is deep. So deep, it makes Devin Harris’ recent buzzer beater look like a layup.
1. (1) Blake Griffin – Oklahoma – SO
The undisputed king of the 2009 NBA draft. No one appears able to give Blake Griffin a run for his money to be the first name uttered by David Stern on draft night. The physical, athletic Griffin has been a one man wrecking crew for the Sooners, with the team’s recent struggles while he missed time with a concussion all the more proof. While the Amar’e comparisons are probably not totally warranted, Griffin should still be an above average pro. Just ask the boys at Texas Tech—he dropped 40 points and 23 boards on them recently.
2. (5) Jordan Hill – Arizona – JR
While Griffin was dominant from the moment he donned a college jersey, Arizona’s Jordan Hill took a little while longer to get acclimated to the big time. However, he has shown steady improvement each year to the point that he’s putting up a stat line of 18/11/2 on the regular and has the Wildcats’ peaking at the right time. Athleticism and length are the buzzwords for Hill.
3. (6) Greg Monroe – Georgetown – FR
While the monstrous Big East has eaten up the Hoya’s NCAA tournament hopes and spit out the bones, Greg Monroe has held up pretty well in conference play. He’s in the midst of 17-straight double-digit scoring games and has a maturity that belies his years. Probably the best passing and most cerebral 4-man on this list.
4. (8) Gani Lawal – Georgia Tech – SO
To average a double-double (15 points, 10 boards) as a sophomore in the ACC is pretty heady stuff. Another long, athletic big man, Gani Lawal has more than doubled most of his stats from last season and has had some big games versus some of the nation’s best teams (17 boards versus Duke, 25 and 10 versus Wake Forest). If he decides to enter this year’s draft he should go first round, probably shortly after former high school teammate Al-Farouq Aminu gets snatched up.
5. (3) Patrick Patterson – Kentucky – SO
While teammate Jodie Meeks’ unexpected scoring assault this season got more attention, Patrick Patterson still remains Kentucky’s best NBA prospect. Similar to Elton Brand, he uses his huge wingspan and bulk to make up for a lack of height in the post. Athletic, explosive and physically strong, he should be a solid pro.
Next in line:
DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh; James Johnson, Wake Forest; Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina; Craig Brackins, Iowa State; Jeff Pendergraph, Arizona State.
Not expected to enter draft:
Samardo Samuels; Michael Washington.
Jeff Fox also writes about college hoops and the NBA Draft at College Hoops Net.