by Jeremy Bauman / @JBauman13
The college basketball season is here, which means so is the season of constant evaluations of these players about their potential for the future. When I do these evaluations, the goal isn’t just to talk about how these players can dominate the NBA in the future. No. The goal of these evaluations (which will be posted more and more often in my first full season with SLAMonline) is to discuss what makes these players unique and why they will even be in the conversation when all the “draft guru’s” begin discussing them. It is important not to judge a player by one game, but there are certain things that you can pull out of each particular performance. The following evaluations took place from midnight on Monday night until about 1 am on Wednesday morning. Needless to say, the action was jam-packed.
Perry Jones, Freshman, Baylor University: Mid-range jumpers from the elbow, skillful catches in transition for easy lay-ins (after running the floor hard), and timely blocks on the defensive end are some of the ways he effects the game. Most of it doesn’t even come in the box score yet, but in time it should come in much larger quantities than the 12-point, 11-rebound, 4-block double-double. The things that impressed me the most about watching the immensely gifted, 6-11 Jones in just his second game were the pride and focus that he played with, in just his second game. I liked his body language throughout the contest and the fact that he didn’t force his offense, even though he shot 6-14. The makes, boards, and blocks will come—right now he just needs to focus on getting to the right spots on the floor at the right times. The rest should follow suit for Jones.
Shelvin Mack, Junior, Butler University: He is a 6-1 point guard that flat out makes his team better by doing everything on the court. He is more than capable of setting up his teammates, but for this Butler team he will be relied upon to carry the scoring load against better teams more so than he did in previous years. He set his teammates up for success early on, but his teammates weren’t knocking down shots. In the first half Mack scored 17 points on 5-11 shooting with 5 rebounds and an assist, which accounted for all but 4 of Butler’s 23 first half points. He finished with 25 points on 8-17 shooting, and his Butler team was overmatched in its first test of the season.
Kenny Boynton, Sophomore, University of Florida: A 6-2 guard with a score-first mentality, Boynton can fill it up with a diverse combination of mid-range shots, getting to the rim, and a newly improved three-point shot. His freshly enhanced jumper would be greatly aided by increased consistency shooting the ball and an upgraded ability to make plays for his teammates, as far as the NBA is concerned, but Boynton is a special scorer who is more than worth tracking for NBA GM’s.
Chandler Parsons, Junior, University of Florida: With excellent size and the ability to handle the basketball with a steady ease, Parsons can make things on the floor happen in a (much talked about) Kyle Singler-esque way, without as consistent of a jumper—both mid-range and from three (a BIG difference). His maturity is nice to see—he doesn’t press the issue and swings the ball at the right time, but can score enough to keep the defense honest to his diverse scoring arsenal and passing abilities. Still, though, Florida could have used a more aggressive Parsons last night against Ohio State.
Scoop Jardine, Sophomore, Syracuse University: In a game that many didn’t expect to be as tight as it was, Scoop simply took the game over from start to finish for his team, and it needed him to do so badly. In some cases the numbers don’t tell the story, but this masterpiece by the versatile and maturing guard captures the show quite well: 27 points on 11-18 shooting (4 treys), 8 assists, 5 steals, 1 block and 3 turnovers. Jardine didn’t have the most consistent year last year, but look for him to take matters into his hands a bit more this season for an Orange team in need of a leader.
Jared Sullinger, Freshman, Ohio State University: The big-bodied power forward has amazing hands and will give you bruises when going up for the basketball on a rebound or a loose ball. When he gets the ball in the post he is composed with the basketball, extremely steady/balanced, can put the ball up over both shoulders, and is decisive—in the sense he that reads the defense and reacts to the situation accordingly. Sullinger is the biggest reason that Ohio State will be a factor to win a championship this season because he gives them a go-to option on the inside and an extremely solid defender on the inside. I was always impressed whenever I watched him in high school, and watching him last night against the senior laden Florida squad that has National Championship aspirations. Talk about convincing the scouts early… (Note: Sullinger had 6 dunks and a few other lay-ins.)