NBA Draft 2011: Jimmer Fredette and the 10 Most Overrated Prospects in the Draft
Each year pundits nit-pick and scrutinize prospects entering the draft, labeling each as lottery talent, mid-rounder, or everyone's favorite—a sleeper.
This year's draft has been labeled by many as "weakened" compared to prior drafts, citing a lack of depth in terms of ability.
There certainly are a handful of star potential players in 2011, but because the talent pool is thin there are a number of players who do not deserve the high recognition they are receiving.
Let's take a look.
10. Jordan Williams
At 6'9" and 250 lbs, Jordan Williams was a force to be reckoned with in the low post at Maryland.
The issue with Williams is that his current lack of conditioning is an issue for the jump in game speed at the next level.
He seems out of shape and according to nbadraft.net, "lumbers at times because he's always running up and down the court."
Williams could find himself struggling to keep up with the quick-tempo of the NBA unless he whips himself into shape.
In draftexpress.com's latest mock draft, Williams is projected to go in the mid-second round range.
Citing his lack of fitness and inconsistent jump-shot, Williams is an over-valued second rounder. Don't be surprised if his name isn't called at all on June 23.
9. Kyle Singler
Kyle Singler is a good player. In fact, all of the players on this list are.
The reason why they are on this list is because their transition from college star to NBA rookie is in question.
Singler can flat out shoot, but his lack of pure athleticism is a cause for concern, especially if he is to play the forward position.
Though his 6'8", 230 pound frame is suitable for such a role, he lacks quick speed and explosiveness.
Draftexpress.com has Kyle Singer going 24th in the first round of the draft, which is a serious stretch.
Considering he isn't much of a slasher and more of a reliant jump-shooter, he will have trouble creating his own shots in the NBA.
Singler may be better suited for a mid to late second round look.
8. John Leuer
Having played in a Wisconsin system under Bo Ryan's tutelage, Jon Leuer knows the fundamentals and the game of basketball well.
There are a number of reasons why Leuer is over-valued at the top of round two though.
He, like Singler, acts pure athleticism and quickness. Ryan's Wisconsin is a system-type basketball team, and though they are successful, they slow down every possession at half-court and hold the ball for a long time.
Unfortunately for Leuer, not many teams in the NBA play the way the Badgers do.
Leuer is a pure shot, but he too will find it difficult creating separation and getting his own shot in the pros.
Moreover, Leuer is 6'11" but half of his shots come from 20.9 feet away from the hoop.
No 6'11" forward should be shooting that far away. Simply put, he's too passive. Leuer's thinly-framed body cannot withstand the abuse a large, NBA power forward will inflict.
In their Sweet 16 loss to Butler, Leuer went 1-12 from the field and his counterpart, a more agressive and physical Matt Howard, went for 30 points and 12 rebounds.
He could become a nice off-the-bench option for some NBA ball club, but there's no reason he should be valued at the top of round two.
7. Jonas Valanciunas
A 19-year-old talent that has performed well in the Euroleague but his youth may be one of the strongest arguments against him right now.
There's no doubting that Jonas Valanciunas has the potential of becoming a strong NBA center, but his timing is questionable.
A common knock against Valanciunas is that he lacks the adequate lower and upper-body strength to compete with NBA big men.
Granted he is still a teenager and has yet to fully develop, the claims have some validity. He just isn't fully developed physically and his mechanics suffer as a result.
Coined as a defensive-minded player, his length allows him to block shots and grab rebounds well, but too often does the Lithuanian find himself in foul trouble late in games.
On the opposite side of the ball, Valanciunas has somewhat bloated statistics because most of his shot attempts come from below the rim. He thrives off of the pick-and-roll, but needs his teammates to set him up and has trouble creating his own low-post looks.
The potential upside for Val is vast, he's just too young and raw at the moment. He needs a few more years to develop physically and polish his mechanics.
He may just get the chance to do so too according to nbadraft.net, his current contract with team Lietuvos Rytas has a buyout option of $3 million, so it could be a few years before he even sees an NBA roster.
6. Travis Leslie
Travis Leslie played the three position at Georgia, but at 6'4" that's undersized for the NBA.
Since he'll most likely be moving to the two-guard spot once drafted, his inability to shoot consistently from deep won't be able to hide itself.
This past year alone Leslie shot a dismal 30 percent from beyond the arc.
To put things in perspective, only three regular-appearance players shot less than 30% from beyond the arc in the NBA this year—Gilbert Arenas, Aaron Brooks, and Joe Johnson at 29.7%.
If Leslie wants to become a regular-appearance guy at the next level, he'll need to drastically improve his outside shot and learn how to beat defenders one-on-one.
His athleticism is superb which creates opportunity growth, but right now he needs to fine-tune his offensive creativity and learn to not just rely on athletic ability alone.
A late first round pick may be a stretch for Leslie; with his inconsistent perimeter shooting and unpolished offense, he has much room for improvement and could fall to the mid-second round.
5. Chandler Parsons
During his senior season at Florida, Chandler Parsons shot 55.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Someone who is known for their shooting ability should never shoot that low from the free-throw line.
Parsons has good range and can spot-up from just about anywhere, but the 6'10" forward seems to lack the offensive assertion that an NBA small forward must have.
An upside for Parsons is his strong rebounding ability because of his height, but at nearly seven feet, he needs add weight in order to compete with the bigger bodies of the NBA.
With work and time the offensive aspects can come around, but his defense may be the biggest aspect of his game he needs to improve on.
Parsons could struggle guarding athletic three's or physical four's since his size falls somewhere in between the two.
Draftexpress.com projects Parsons at the fourth pick in the second round, which is a bit high considering he's undersized for his position and isn't Kevin Durant—someone who can get away with the same dimensions.
4. Reggie Jackson
The Italy-born prospect has a physical upside for a point guard in terms of height and length, measuring at 6'3" and a seven-foot wingspan.
There are major reasons for doubt though, with his shooting touch being the prime concern.
Watch Jackson shoot the ball—his release is slow and methodical. You can get away with shooting from your hip in the WNBA but not at the NBA level.
He struggled against the more athletic teams in the ACC this year also, which raises concern about his ability to get good shots off against better defenders.
Shooting percentages from his sophomore year to his junior year increased, but he is going to struggle getting off shots unless he doesn't change his release.
Jackson recently fell from a projected late first-rounder to the first pick in the second round, which still is a reach. Michigan's Darius Morris or Kansas's Josh Shelby show more promise at that position in the draft.
3. Tyler Honeycutt
At 6'8", 187 lbs. Tyler Honeycutt is thin for his height. If he is to be a small forward, how is he expected to compete with arguably the best athletes on the court at the three position?
Honeycutt will be an easy target in the low-post and under the rim since he won't be able to keep-up physically with the opposition's big bodies.
Voted the most overrated player in the Pac-10 by a Contra Costa Times media poll taken this spring, Honeycutt has the athleticism to keep up in the transition game on both ends of the ball but just isn't a pure enough scorer to be valued as a first-rounder.
With a higher turnover (3.0) than assists ratio (2.8), Honeycutt needs to work on more than just putting on pounds and toughening-up this summer.
Projected as the 25th overall pick by draftexpress.com, Honeycutt is overvalued. If teams are looking for a versatile three or four at this stage, Richmond's Justin Harper or a rising Trey Thompkins out of Georgia would better suit.
2. Klay Thompson
Averaging 21.6 points per game, Klay Thompson was a standout in the Pac-10.
The problem is the Pac-10 was one of the weakest represented major conferences in the country this year.
He was out performed by Arizona standout sophomore Derrick Williams, and lacks the offensive creativity to create his own looks at the next level.
He's best known for his outstanding shooting ability, but his shot alone won't carry his less-than-stellar athleticism.
Character issues may be another cause for concern as Thompson was cited for Marijuana possession March 4.
Shot selection may be the strongest argument against Thompson as he's been known to force shots. He lacks good foot speed which prohibits him from beating defenders one-on-one, thus forcing the issue.
Such a hindrance could see him get lost in the quick transition game of the NBA.
Draftexpress.com has him listed at the tail end of the lottery with Houston snagging him 14th overall—a high valuation considering all of these issues. Thompson seems more like a late first round or early second round pick.
1. Jimmer Fredette
Fredette averaged nearly 30 points per game this season, won player of the year in the NCAA, and led his team to a Sweet 16 birth in this year's tournament.
The guy can flat out shoot too. His range extends to the door of the gym.
He's an offensive talent, but he's not THAT talented. Most, if not all mock drafts have Fredette in the top 14 picks. He is not a lottery pick for many reasons.
First and foremost, he lacks athleticism. That may be his most-heard knock, but plain and simple he won't be able to keep up with the athletic bodies in the NBA consistently.
He'll be able to knock-down open looks at the next level, but the problem is what will he do when there's a defender in his face?
He could get away with that in the Mountain West Conference, but the defenders in the NBA are longer, more athletic and better than Jimmer has even seen before.
In addition, he can't play a lick of defense. He's not athletic enough to keep up defensively when he actually plays defense, which is rare. His lateral foot speed is just too slow to hold pace with the rest.
Also, Fredette is listed as a point guard. What kind of lottery talent has an assist to turnover ratio of 4.3 to 3.5?
His decision making is an issue because he is not a pass-first point guard. Unless he moves to the two-guard position, he will struggle handling the ball and making good decisions with it.
Fredette is used to being "the guy" on the floor and getting most of the offensive looks. He will be far from that guy on any NBA roster, that's for sure.
Just because he led the nation in scoring this year doesn't mean he will pan-out to be a prolific scorer. Remember, J.J. Redick led the nation in scoring too.
He's better remembered for his pre-draft DUI in 2006 and getting his ankles broken.
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