Friday, May 13, 2011

Most Underrated Player(s) in the 2011 NBA Draft

The 2011 NBA Draft will be held June 23rd in Newark, N.J. The draft will consist of 2 rounds. The players that are drafted in the first round will receive guaranteed contracts, the players in the second round won’t. This post is about the most underrated player(s) in this year’s draft. You know, the guys that a bordering between first and second round, that we think should be getting a nice guaranteed contract come June 23rd. We don’t want to see these guys get looked over like Marc Gasol (48th pick 2007 draft). We want them make the money of guys that shouldn’t have (Joe Alexander, 8th pick 2008 draft). So, take a look at our picks and email us at with your picks. We will throw a shout out to you on our podcast if we hear from you.

Kenny’s Pick-

JuJuan Johnson-PF Purdue (Projected 25th)

Now, if you know me, you know I’m a Big Ten fan, so this pick might seem a little bias. With that being said, I DO NOT like Purdue. It killed me watching JuJuan Johnson work over any big man the Gophers ever threw out there in the 4 years that he played. JuJuan really didn’t start logging big minutes and numbers until his sophomore season. In that season, he averaged 27 mins, 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2 blocks. All while shooting 54% from the field and 74% from the free throw line. Not bad numbers for a PF in the rough paint of the Big Ten. His numbers have increased every year since. He finished his senior season averaging 35mins, 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. All while shooting 50% from the field and 81% from the free throw line. Not to mention, he added a nice mid-range to college 3 range jump shot in the mix. He shot 30% from deep, not bad for 6-10 PF. All in all, JuJuan Johnson is a great player and a great leader. My friends and I have been calling him the “College KG” for years now. If you have seen him play, you would understand why. Now, KG was the 5th pick in the 1995 draft by the Timberwolves. With this draft being considered by most as, “Weak”, would you want to let a KG fall to 25th? I don’t think so.

Ben’s Pick –

Keith Benson, C, Oakland (Projected: 34th)

Simply stated, if Keith Benson was 3 years younger (currently 22, turns 23 August 13) he would be a 1st round lock in this year’s NBA Draft. Benson redshirted one year at Oakland, then in his 4 year playing career improved every year going from averaging 5.2 pts, 3.5 rbs and 1.5 blks per game his freshman season to averaging 17.9 pts, 10.1 rbs and 3.6 blks per game his senior year. He has shown that in college he could go from a pure athlete only to a more polished offensive product to go with his athleticism, rebounding and defensive ability. Oakland tried to schedule tough while Benson was in school, unfortunately for Benson his best games did not come against the highest quality schools in the schedule. This has added more doubt to his ability to play at a high level when going against high level competition. Yet when you look at Oakland’s 8 biggest games last year (West Virginia, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State and Texas) his numbers, although below his season average, are still impressive at 15.8 pts, 10.8 rbs and 2.5 blks. To compare let’s look at Tristan Thompson of Texas, projected at #7 overall on, he averaged 13.1 pts, 7.8 rbs and 2.4 blks against Big 12 competition. Thompson though will be 20 when the NBA season starts next year, at 23 going into his rookie season Benson maybe older than some of the “potential” filled big men (Thompson and Biyombo). Yet, Benson still has untapped potential even with his age and has already proven an ability to improve greatly over a short amount of time. I think in the late 1st round Benson should be looked at hard by teams. I see him possibly turning into a more offensively minded Tyson Chandler type player.

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