Pat Calathes, 6-10, Small Forward, St. Josephs
15 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 56% FG, 1-8 3P, 26 minutes per game
There arent many 6-10 ½ true wing players out there, but thats exactly what Calathes is. He is extremely adept at putting the ball on the floor (particularly to bring the ball up in transition) with either hand, and has outstanding vision to see over the top of the defense and find cutting teammates on their way to the rim. His basketball IQ is off the charts and hes particularly adept at making post-entry passeswhich is somewhat of a lost art these days. Hes an active player who is constantly looking to make things happen, whether by putting pressure on the opposition with quick, assertive moves to the rim, or with his hustle defensively or on the glasswhich gets him 1.2 steals and blocks per game and 7.5 rebounds. He has quick feet and a good first step, and is not shy in the least bit about taking the ball strong to the rack and using every bit of his size to slam the ball homelooking a lot more explosive in the process than youd initially guess on first glance, and getting to the free throw line at an excellent rate of 5.1 attempts per game. His shooting form is highly unconventionalin front of his face, but from a high vantage point and absolutely lightning quickbut it works for him, to the tune of 40% on the season from beyond the arc (on 5.4 attempts per game), although it didnt fall quite as regularly at Portsmouth.
Offensively, there is no question whatsoever that Calathes has a lot to offer a number of NBA teams who could benefit from the terrific versatility he brings to the table at the small forward position. The main thing teams will be wondering iswill he be able to hold his own on the other end of the floor? Not possessing outstanding lateral quickness, and clearly lacking in strength at just 206 pounds, Calathes could have issues staying in front of quicker wing players, and already has some problems fighting through screens and being backed down in the post. He does have some good weapons to counter that, thoughparticularly his size, length and timing, which he could clearly learn to use to his advantage to at least funnel his man into his help defense more effectively. The fact that hes intelligent and extremely active helps him out in this area.
Calathes will now need to move on into private workouts and likely the NBA pre-draft camp to continue to show teams why hes one of the more unique players youll find in this years draft. He looks to have put himself in great shape to be drafted somewhere in the second round, and now should try and find the right situation in terms of the coach and playing style to try and stick in the league for a while.
Gary Forbes, 6-7, SG/SF, UMass
15.7 points, 7 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 2.6 turnovers, 42% FG, 45.5% 3P
Standing just a shade under 6-7, with a nice build at 216 pounds, good strength, an excellent 6-10 ¾ wingspan, and solid, although not freakish athleticismForbes was well equipped to overwhelm virtually any defender that was thrown at him on the wing. The fact that hes tough, aggressive, an excellent ball-handler and has a very advanced scoring instincts clearly did not hurt. Forbes can go either left or right with excellent body control and loves to use crafty spin moves and hesitation dribbles to keep his defender guessing about his next move. Hes strong enough to just bully players to the rim at the collegiate level, and gets to the free throw line at a superb rate, but at times isnt quite explosive enough to finish around the rim. At times he got caught over-penetrating into the lane, looking a bit out of control in the process. Forbes is also a very adept passer as his outrageous 8.7 assists per game in this tournament would indicatehis court vision is strong and he seemed very motivated to create shots for others, which wasnt always the case at times at the collegiate levelwhere his shot-selection often seemed questionable. He shot just 41% from the field and 29% for 3 at UMass, dominating the ball on a team that probably needed him to play a bit selfishly at times. Forbes can hit 3-pointers, as he showed at this tournament and by connecting on 1.6 attempts per game, but hes still way too streaky and will surely need to improve this part of his game if hes going to stick at the next level.
Defensively, Forbes did not have to guard power forwards like he did at UMass often his senior year, which helped us evaluate his pro prospects more effectively. His size, length and strength are all impressive for a swingman, and will clearly help him at the next level, but his average lateral quickness raises some doubts about whether hell be trusted enough on this end of the floor to see many minutes. Shedding some weight, getting smarter and improving his footwork will be a must for him to stick in the NBA down the road, but he has the tools to do so if he commits himself.
All in all, Forbes clearly helped himself with his performance here, even if his work is nowhere near finished to ensure that hes on a roster in November. Hell be taking the next step to the pre-draft camp next, where he has the talent to continue to stand out even against stronger competition.
Jamar Butler, 62, Point Guard, Ohio State
23.3 minutes, 14.0 points, 3.3 assists, 17-39 FG, 8-18 3PT, 0-0 FT
Butler struggled to start the tournament, looking to have some jitters in his first game, never really hitting his stride and getting into a comfort zone. He picked things up after that, though, and progressively improved with each passing game, finishing with 18 points and 5 assists in the final.
On the dribble drive, Butler showed the same shiftiness and craftiness he showed at Ohio State, but got into the lane a bit more frequently here, mostly off high screens or when his defender didnt have his feet completely set. In the lane, he converted with lay-ups, finger rolls, and floaters at times, but didnt show the vertical explosiveness to consistently finish.
Butlers outside shot has long been considered one of his greatest assets, and that looked to be true here, as he hit an impressive 8-for-18 from behind the arc, on spot-up and pull-up shots alike, mostly coming around screens. He had a few outbursts during the tournament where he got hot and hit a few in a row.
Butler didnt dish out very many assists here, but thats a misleading way to look at his point guard abilities, as he did a good job bringing the ball up the court and initiated his teams offense, which was an extremely unselfish one that frequently saw a handful of players with 3+ assists each game. He showed proficiency in the pick-and-roll as he did in college, when given the opportunity.
All in all, not much has really changed in regards to our opinion of Butler. His game is still what we thought it was when we scouted him in January, though his performance here does bring him one step closer to the NBA, as he was able to perform well in this setting. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to thrive at the Orlando pre-draft camp, which hes virtually assured of being invited to. Hes definitely someone who could catch on as a back-up point guard in the NBA sometime down the road, and possibly even immediately in the right situation, such as Mario Wests with the Atlanta Hawks.
Mark Tyndale, 65, SG/SF, Temple
24.3 minutes, 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.0 blocks, 12-24 FG, 3-4 FT
On the offensive end, while Tyndale may not have the most fluid handle in the world, he shows good control, getting to the basket using hesitation dribbles and crossovers, and even playing some point forward at time, as his 7 assists per game here would indicate. Tyndale is a versatile passer, driving and dishing, pushing the ball ahead in transition, and showing the vision to hit an open teammate on the other side of the court. Hes an unselfish player who didnt make very many mistakes here, but his 3.4 turnovers per game on the season is a bit concerning.
In terms of his own offense, Tyndale isnt a huge threat to score, though he does show some skills. His jump shot did not look very good here, but he shot a respectable 71% from the line on the season, along with 37% from three, on a decent sample size of 87 attempts. His mechanics are not very pretty, with a noticeable hitch in his shot and a fairly slow release, while he also gets inconsistent with his motion on pull-ups or when rushed. When hes given the time and space to get his shot off comfortably, though, he has decent success, and this is an area he can and should improve on.
Where Tyndale really excels, though, is on the defensive end, where he plays excellent man and team defense, using his athleticism and strong frame to harass his man and crash the passing lanes, making deflections, steals, and blocks all over the court. He shows good anticipation skills and has excellent hands, while playing a pretty smart game overall. Hes effective on the boards as well, where he has the strength to pull down rebounds in a crowd, and shows the effort level to do so.
Tyndale definitely shows some problems in terms of an NBA future, specifically with his lack of a reliable outside shot and the fact that hes just 65, so he has an uphill battle to make and stick in the league. Similar players in his mold, such as New Yorks Renaldo Balkman, have found niches in the NBA, but he is a bit shorter than those players typically are. Regardless, if he can continue to make impact plays at the pre-draft camp and in summer league, hes someone a team might give a roster spot to, as he brings great intangibles and a nonstop motor to the table, while being a very good athlete as well.
Kyle Hines, 66, Power Forward, UNC Greensboro
17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 3.3 blocks, 2.3 steals, 3 turnovers, 78.6% FG, 72.7% FT, 27 minutes
The majority of Hiness touches come in the post, although he isnt a traditional back-to-the-basket player by any means. At 66 he is certainly undersized for his position but makes up for it with his tremendous strength and incredible 72 wingspan. The senior lacks a well developed post game, tending to rely more on smarts, brute force and hustle when on the block. It isnt rare to see Hines post up and lose control of the ball, only to regain possession and force his way to the basket for field goal. While this type of hard work inside is appreciated by scouts, this routine forcing of the issue is where the majority of Hiness turnovers come from. He is also very smart moving off the ball, knowing exactly when to cut to the rim and having terrific hands and knowledge of how to use his strong body to get his shot off.
Hines has showed us that he will play away from the basket, although a large percentage of the time it is merely to screen for teammates. When he does get the ball facing the basket there are flashes of potential, but clearly work needing to be done. Hines had decent quickness for a player of his strong build, but his average ball handling skills really hold him back from being a major threat to attack the rim. At this point he only shows success when he has a straight line to the basket, as changing directions often leads to him losing control of the basketball. Typically when defenders beat him to a spot rather than trying to change direction, Hines will spin and post up, reverting to his comfort zone on offense.
We havent seen a whole lot of perimeter shooting from Hines. It doesnt appear as though he is very comfortable attempting shots from beyond the immediate area of the basket. Several times in Portsmouth we saw him pass up fairly open looks, preferring to put the ball on the floor. On the few mid-range jumpers that he did attempt Hines showed a long, slow release, due mainly to his freakishly long arms. As a tremendously undersized front court player he will definitely need to develop the ability to be a consistent shooter from this area on the floor.
Defense is where Hines really shined during his three games at Portsmouth, and his numbers here were consistent with what he did during the regular season as well. Hines tied with Drexels Frank Elegar for the tournament lead in blocks. While he isnt tremendously explosive, Hines shows a pretty good vertical jump when he is able to get a step or two in front of him first. Combine this with his great sense of timing and his length and Hines created all kinds of problems for opponents who attempted shots in his area. Particularly impressive was his ability at points to execute tough blocks while avoiding contact with the shooter. His aggressiveness did get the best of him though as he fouled out in the final minutes of the tournament championship game.
Hines also proved to be a threat to steal the basketball. His 2.3 steals per game during Portsmouth were slightly higher than his regular season average of 1.8, but he was able to achieve these numbers by showing a good understanding of how to play the passing lanes. As a whole, Hines shows great defensive instincts which allowed him to cover players all over the floor. While he spent a good portion of his time inside covering other post players, Hines was just as effective when he stepped outside to cover smaller players on the perimeter. This defensive versatility will make him a valuable asset to someone at the professional level.
While Hines may have not played himself onto anyones draft board, he showed that his early season 25-point 9-rebound performance against Georgia Tech was no fluke. Hines frame and abilities make him an interesting enough prospect to invite to the NBA pre-draft campwhere he can continue to try and prove people wrong. Clearly he is too undersized and not versatile enough to get drafted as a frontcourt player in the NBA, but his strength, length and basketball IQ have allowed him to more than hold his own against very good competition at the college level. At this point he may be a long shot to break into the league, but Hines will no doubt find a roster spot somewhere at the professional level.