Jimmy Graham caught the eyes of the DraftExpress staff during the Hurricanes surprising upset victory over Maryland and the subsequent hard-fought overtime loss to BC in the following game. Graham was the heart and soul of Miamis team in these two games as he fought and clawed for every inch of turf underneath the basket on both sides of the ball. His defensive efforts were substantial in both help and man situations, particularly against ACC player of the year Jared Dudley.
Graham plays with an edge to his game, which makes him slightly foul prone. Some would even call him dirty, but we prefer the term scrappy. But Grahams aggressive nature makes him an intimidating presence around the basket, as he will bump shoulders and throw elbows when securing a loose ball just as readily as hell dive on the floor to go get it. Graham didnt put up amazing rebounding numbers, averaging 8.9 per 40 minutes on the season. His technique for rebounding the ball is very solid however, especially on getting inside position for offensive rebounds. Graham sneaks in front of his man when the ball is in the air and has very good timing for releasing off his man and jumping for the board. As is often the case with players in his mold, he just seems to want the ball more than his opponents.
Grahams offensive game is almost non-existent unfortunately. He has poor touch from the free throw line and didnt show much more than the rudiments of a running hook when he had the ball in scoring position. As a tweener power forward, Graham will have to add some type of offensive element to his game beyond toughness and timing. Grahams rebounding, shot blocking, and steals numbers arent off the charts, so relying on those skills to get him to the professional level simply wont be adequate based off of the level theyre currently at. A tough competitor and energizing player, though, he has some athleticism and certainly a good deal of strength and will. Graham has two years left at Miami to round out his game. He would be well served to watch tape of Eddie Najera, a player he resembles, and see how the Denver Nuggets combo forward secures his NBA paycheck with a similar approach to the game.