NBA Draft 2011: 10 Prospects with Killer Crossovers
Whenever players starts to dribble in one direction before quickly switching directions and blowing by their defenders, the crowd gasps. The defenders instinctively look down to make sure their ankles are still working and the offensive players can't help but let a smile creep across their faces, knowing that they have just completed a successful killer crossover.
Some prospects are blessed with the ability to execute this crowd-pleasing move better than others. Kemba Walker is just one of those players.
Read on to learn who the other nine members of the 2011 draft class with this ability are.
Even though Marshon Brooks is listed as a shooting guard, he's one of those 2-guards who needs to play with the ball in his hands at all times.
Brooks improved during each of his four seasons at Providence and part of that improvement was his ball-handling skill.
The shooting guard has a remarkably quick first step and the crossover was a vital part of his ability to score 24.6 points per game during his senior season.
Although most people haven't seen Alec Burks play because he was a member of the Colorado Buffaloes, one game is all it takes to see him cross over a helpless defender.
Burks, a 6'6" combo guard, was able to mask his lack of outside shooting by blowing by defenders on his way to finishing at the rim—much like a certain point guard for the Chicago Bulls.
Now a potential top-10 pick, Burks has enough handles to get by in the NBA just like he did in college.
Kyrie Irving was only on the court for 11 games as a member of the Duke Blue Devils, but the freshman point guard crossed over as many defenders as some point guards did over the duration of the entire 2010-2011 season.
Irving might not be the most athletic person in the world (not that we'll ever know since he sat out of the drills at the combine) but he still manages to get into the lane.
The reason he's able to do so is because of his fantastic ball-handling skill.
While Reggie Jackson can occasionally be quite careless with the basketball, the Boston College guard is also quite flashy with it at times. In fact, his ball-handling ability is one of the reasons he’s consistently ascending up draft boards.
Jackson managed to average 18.2 points per game during his senior season for the Eagles thanks to both his great shooting and his ability to get past defenders with ease.
The guard has a killer crossover and doesn't ever seem too embarrassed to use it.
The 6'5" combo guard from UCLA is known more for his defensive abilities than anything else right now, but don't make the mistake of underestimating his crossover and dribbling skills.
Malcolm Lee won't hesitate to fake one way, go the other and leave you clutching at your ankles in the process.
Lee's ball skills are superb and he's quite adept at confusing defenders to the point where they're off-balance and he can blow right by them on his way into the paint.
Darius Morris improved more than any other guard during his latest season as a Michigan Wolverine and he's on the way to becoming a true point guard.
Being a true point guard requires Morris to be able to score, which he can do, but he also has to be able to dribble and pass the ball effectively.
Morris' passing has gotten rave reviews lately, but don't discount his dribbling skills either. The Wolverines guard has been able to get around his fair share of defenders during his time in Ann Arbor.
Immaturity may have plagued Josh Selby during his brief time as a Kansas Jayhawk, but it didn't take away his skill with the basketball.
Selby is as explosive as they come and seems to have the ball attached to his hand by a string at times. Even during his brief time on the floor, the freshman still managed to have his crossover leave its mark.
A potential first-round draft pick, Selby is going to have to market his dribbling skills pretty hard during the next month to distract scouts from all the red flags surrounding him.
A recent addition to the first-round puzzle in many mock drafts after a stellar combine is the point guard from Georgia Tech named Iman Shumpert.
Last season, as a junior, the Yellow Jacket averaged 17.3 points and 3.5 assists per game thanks in part to an ankle-breaking set of dribbling moves, including none other than the famous crossover.
Part of the reason he was able to put up those kinds of numbers is the fact that he was able to get by defenders, just like the other players on this list.
Nolan Smith was used to having the ball fed to him by point guards like Kyrie Irving but then he had to adjust his game when Irving went down with a toe injury.
Smith took over the ball-handling duties for the Duke Blue Devils and had to prove that he could create his own shot.
Smith proved just that, to the tune of 20.6 points per game, leaving a trail of defenders in need of medical attention in his wake.
Just ask any of the opposing point guards that Kemba Walker faced during the Big East Conference tournament or the NCAA tournament. I guarantee that they'll have nothing but good things to say about the crossover possessed by Walker.
With lightning-fast movement and ball skills virtually unparalleled by the other members of the 2011 NBA draft class, the best was saved for last here. To be fair, that was pure luck because Walker is last alphabetically among these 10 guys, but still.
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