Thursday , Apr , 06 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

A look at Florida’s draft prospects

A great first four rounds of the tournament were capped off with some of the most uncompetitive final three games ever. Florida handled UCLA in a game that was never close. Instead of talking about Florida’s overly convincing victory, here’s a look at their draft prospects:

A look at Florida's draft prospects

Joakim Noah 6’11 227.

Joakim possesses a fire and desire to play this game that most players his height don’t have. He loves being out on the court, and gives it his all ever moment that he is out there. He’s awfully thin, and doesn’t appear to have a body type that can support much more weight. 250 lbs is probably where he wants to be if he wants to come in and be able to play right away in the league. His low post moves and jump shot need some work, but those are very teachable skills. He’s got a good face up game and good ball handling ability, largely in part because he played guard in high school before his big growth spurt. He’s also a very adept passer, from out on the perimeter and down on the low block.

 In the NBA he could be a power forward version of Andrei Kirilenko, with his great shot blocking ability and athleticism. He’ll never be a twenty point a night guy, but if you can put him alongside another post player who can score, Joakim will be able to get you around ten or twelve points a night, solely off hustle, along with solid rebounding and shot blocking.

Al Horford 6’9 242.

Horford shot a ridiculous 60% from the field this year, but that’s because he chose his shots wisely and didn’t really do a whole lot by himself offensively. Finishes like a man around the basket, looking to send it down strong every time he’s near the rim. Goes after the boards hard, and has some very nice hands. He’s had some range on his jump shot that escaped him after a bicycle accident. Can also handle the ball well for a power forward. At 242, he’s closer to having an NBA body than Noah, but could still use a good fifteen pounds of muscle.

 Could have a similar impact in the NBA as former Florida big man Udonis Haslem. Unlike Haslem however, Horford comes in much more polished and ready to play at the NBA level. Horford’s ability to create his own offense isn’t, and may never be, great, but he finishes strong around the basket and could have a solid mid range jumper with some work. Could be a double double guy with some experience.

 Corey Brewer 6’8 185.

Very long, lean, and athletic. Like his teammates, need some muscle in order to play at the next level. Corey’s a very active defender with great instincts, has lots of versatility offensively, and rebounds well. He’s got a good jump shot, but is more of a spot up shooter than off the dribble. Will have to develop some moves to get his shot off if he wants to do more than just spot up at the next level. If he can put on some muscle, the ability to post up and rise over his defender would just be another great weapon to an already loaded arsenal.

 With his great ball handling and versatility, Francisco Garcia comes to mind as an NBA comparison. He possesses the same skills and has the same potential to grow into the player Francisco can once they both develop.

 Other guys on Florida, like Taurean Green with his floor leadership, and Lee Humphrey with his shooting ability, have a chance to make it into the league, but not this year. Noah’s financial situation is better than some pros, and he likes being in college, but there isn’t a whole lot left to achieve in college for him. His stock will likely never be higher, and he’d receive all the tutelage he needs in the pros to continue improving his game. If Horford would stay a year, add some weight, and show some ability to create his own offense, he could see his stock go up a bit from where it is now. If Noah does indeed stay, Horford should too. Brewer however, has shown just about every aspect of his game and doesn’t have the financial stability that Noah does. Him making the jump this year may be the best decision for him.

 Vince Young and Sean May both said they were staying another year after winning National Championships, but ended up entering the draft anyway. Noah has said the same things they said, and will likely go down the same path. If Noah goes, it’s pretty much a given that Horford and Brewer will also follow along. Leaving Billy Donovan with another group of young players that will be eager to learn.