Kosta Koufos will be a Mid 1st Round Pick and
Othello Hunter should be a Late 2nd Round Choice
After three Buckeyes
were taken in the first 21 picks of last year's draft, OSU figures to have two
players selected this year. This is my
scouting report on these players.
By Bill Smith
Koufos is a true 7 footer. That sounds
strange to say but some of the players in the draft were listed as 7 feet tall
and were found at the combine to be as short as 6-10. Going into the 2007-2008 college season,
Koufos was projected to be a lottery pick in the 9-12 range. Despite a good but not spactacular year at
OSU, his stock has not risen as much as some other players. As a result, he had fallen to the 20-24
range. But like the stock market what
goes up sometimes comes back down.
Several players have seen their stock fall down past Koufos. As of Wednesday morning (and these things
change quickly) Koufos is ranked in the 12-16 range.
One of Koufos'
strengths is his play around the basket.
He is seen as a finesse player with back to the basket skills. However, he is very right handed. He will not pivot to the left except for a
turnaround jumper and even that is a little awkward. Because player scout him and know that he
goes right, his shooting percentage is not as high as you would like. It also leads to a higher turnover percentage
than is optimum. He has good touch off
the glass and excellent O rebounding and put back skills.
He has a
solid jump shot and his effective shooting range is at least to the college 3
point line. He hesitates sometimes to
take a long shot but can hit them. He
passes well out of the post and from the wing.
Facing the basket, he can hit those shots with a very high release point
that is difficult to block. With a
little more experience, he will learn to go left and that will dramatically
improve his game.
He has been
very effective at establishing his position in the paint but doesn't get to the
free throw line often because he plays soft for a 265 pound 7 footer. He is not a driver and won't dribble into
Koufos is a
solid defender and effective shot blocker.
He uses his height and arm length effectively but tends to foul with his
body. That is not unusual for young 7
footers. The OSU defensive system gave
him few 1 on 1 opportunities. He helps
well and moves effectively in the paint.
He is a consistent D rebounder and has the court presence to make the
long pass for the break.
As I said
in an earlier article, Koufos and most of the freshmen going into the draft
would have been better served to go back for another year in college. If he had, he would easily be a top ten
choice next year which is expected to be a much weaker draft. But unlike many of the players, you know
exactly what you get with Koufos. He is
someone that will be a dependable part of a rotation for whatever team he is
drafted to play for. He will work hard
and get better with experience.
to several NBA 2008 mock drafts that have been reliable in the past, former
Buckeye Othello Hunter is projected to be a late 2nd round
choice. He is projected to be anywhere
from the 46th choice to the 55th choice. He has the advantage of being one of the most
experienced players in the draft.
developed nicely over his career at OSU.
That resulted from a combination of hard work on his part and great
coaching. His improvement in his mid
range jumper is just one example of that.
The coaching staff worked hard on his mechanics of the shot that
improved the accuracy and added to his reliable range. His footwork in the post has also improved
greatly during his career. He is
effective with both a hook shot and a turn-around jumper in the paint.
Hunter has a great motor and will outwork the opponent for a rebound or to
block a shot. He is a better than
average jumper and has a 72” wingspan that gives him a significant advantage
over other 6-8 1/2 players. That will
help make up for the 2 to 4 inches he will give up to opponent PF in the
NBA. He has only played competitive ball
for six years. He has a lot of upside
and works hard enough to continue to develop his skills.
have to bulk up to play in the post in the NBA.
He has to muscle up his 225 lb body to work in the paint. His best position will be power forward. He will have trouble anchoring down against a
heaver man working down to the basket.
He rebounds well and ranked 10th this year in rebounds per
minute on the floor.
very well at both the Portsmouth and Orlando draft camps which
improved his stock. Buckeyes taken in
the second round of the NBA draft have been productive for the NBA teams that
picked them. All star guard and 2008
Olympian Michael Redd was a second round pick.
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and