NBA Draft Edition: Larry Sanders
Larry Sanders started playing organized basketball super late. VCU's Larry Sanders came on the scene getting little attention, but that changed in his junior year. VCU played their first game of the season against Beth-Cook, you could sense Sanders was anxious to beget performances from there-on-out. First, Sanders averaged 14 ppg, nearly 10 rpg, and thanks to his wingspan, three bpg, and just about a steal.
Though his frame is very narrow, his length allows him to be a hot commodity on the NBA scene, where he should make an impact on defense from day one by disrupting the opposition's execution in half-court and by shot-blocking. It's also worthy of mentioning that his game comes to him on the most even level I've seen from a big man in a long time.
OKC and former VCU Ram Eric Maynor told the three-year-and-done prospect that he could beget problems one-day, mentioning that Sanders wouldn't be in college long. True. But many believe he's a project and whoever picks him will see to refine him within time.
He shows touch from the perimeter with his three-ball but that most likely won't transfer into the league. His emotions mimic that of Kevin Garnett, screaming after big plays and mild celebrations to pump his team up. But interesting enough, Sanders has a way of interpreting when to castrate his opponent mentally, which can be frustrating in many ways for the other team - like after a dunk he'll fling his arm and get the crowd pump in all design.
Unlike most big men, he can actually absorb contact while getting backed, which counters the theory of him weighing 235. And while doing so, the defender may face-up out of his comfort zone, and this is where Sanders starts to swipe at the ball and begets mostly steals. So he's very athletic and versatile in those means.
Rather than playing off raw instincts, the awaiting pro uses deliberate reasoning. He catches alleys-oops from moderate, difficult, to easy. Doesn't matter. He also shows great patience for someone of mold. Just as much as he's poised in the half-set, more of the same in the open. Sanders knows his limits.
Like I stated earlier, he covers a lot of ground with his wingspan and mashing that with his mobility is authentic upside. His potential, when floored, ought to be somewhere around Amare Stoudemire; his downside, when not floored, ought to be somewhere closed in on Theo Ratliff. His frame is more obvious to adding muscle than non-beneficial weight. He should be fine on a schedule of lower body tightening, some core-work ,and the general.
What I also like about him, Sanders doesn't just beat-up on a competition level that many waver, as shown through audition against OU where he scored 17-points, added three blocks, while using his alter-ego to dish out four calm assists. (Note: as expected, Sanders was out-rebounded by freshman Gallon, who in all respect is a heavy one to handle.) All that said, look for him to get morsel minutes off top and have a break away third year in the league. Thus his agenda is full.
Bulls: Gibson... or... Sanders? Gibson short-term; Sanders long-term.
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