After an excellent sophomore season that put him firmly on the NBA draft radar screen, Kevin Rogers may have taken a step sideways in his junior season, not really capitalizing on the added attention that came his way. Baylor as a team was much better than the previous year, but Rogers numbers appeared to stagnate a bit in a slightly smaller roleas his scoring rate fell off slightly and his field goal percentage dropped, but his rebounding improved and he managed to cut down on his fouls and turnovers significantly. All in all, he didnt have a bad season, but you just couldnt help feeling that he could have offered a bit more. Luckily for him, as well as Baylor, he is back for his senior year and will be scrutinized very heavily as one of the top big men prospects the Big 12 has to offer.
Rogers is always going to be fighting an uphill battle as far as earning respect as a serious NBA draft prospect is concerned. Standing somewhere around 6-9, hes not particularly big for a power forward, and he doesnt bring any one incredible skill to the table that truly sets him apart from the pack when looking at players at his position in the NBA.
Thats not to say that he doesnt have anything to offer, though. For one, Rogers is a very good athlete, quick off his feet, even explosive, showing nice quickness, and capable of making all kinds of plays around the rim because of that. Offensively, Rogers is used primarily as a back to the basket post option at Baylor, which isnt his biggest strength, as he has just average footwork and lacks the size and girth to make much headway posting up inside against other centers, which often forces him to settle for difficult shots. He does do a good job running the floor in transition and cutting to the basket in half-court sets, particularly on pick and roll plays, where he shows good hands and the ability to maneuver his way inside and finish plays effectively thanks to his athleticism and strong overall offensive instincts.
Facing the basket is where Rogers could still stand to improve significantly. Left-handed, he isnt skilled enough to consistently take his man off the dribble from the high-post and make his way to the basketoften instead just preferring to pull-up off the dribble wildly from mid-range due to his average ball-handling skills. His jumper shows potential, but is still too streaky to be counted on regularly-- he hit just 14 of 37 jump-shot attempts (38%) logged in 20 games, according to Synergy Sports Technology. He does have solid form and touch, though, particularly from 15 to 17 feet, so its not of the question that he becomes more comfortable with his jumper in time, which hell surely need to in order to take his game to the next level, both literally and figuratively.
Defensively, Rogers isnt quite as effective as you might hope considering that he will surely have to be a role-player at the next level. His intensity and awareness leave something to be desired on this end of the floor, particularly on the perimeter and defending pick and roll plays, while his lack of size and strength limits his potential as a post-defender inside when matched up against more physically imposing big men. At the collegiate level he is often athletic enough to regardless be able to make plays, but in the NBA things wont be quite as easy. The fact that hes a very good rebounder statistically will definitely be a feather in his cap as far as scouts are concerned.
All in all, Rogers has some nice tools to work with, and is clearly not a finished product at this point in time. To make himself stand out as a draft prospect in his senior year, though, he will need to show that he has a bread and butter that teams can count on if they decide to take a chance on him. Right now he looks like someone that will probably need to play in Portsmouth and likely the NBA pre-draft camp, but a big season playing for a very good Baylor squad could help his draft stock substantially.