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Favors' shot-blocking skills stand out

Updated: November 25, 2009, 12:30 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla

About 30 NBA scouts traveled to San Juan to take in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off last week for a look at some of the top college talent that had gathered there. The one player that stood out as a likely NBA lottery selection was Georgia Tech's outstanding 6-foot-10 freshman, Derrick Favors, though he showed that his game remains in the developmental stage.

Here's a look at Favors and some of the other potential NBA prospects I was able to scout in Puerto Rico last week.

Derrick Favors, 6-foot-10, Fr., Georgia Tech

Favors was the best high school big man in the country last year for a reason. He has a nice combination of NBA size -- a great frame to add muscle -- agility and basketball acumen. He will get much stronger over the next three or four years as he puts on 15-20 pounds of muscle. Those close to the Georgia Tech program swear by his attitude and work ethic, as well.

Favors showed excellent quickness around the basket and, though he doesn't handle the ball like a perimeter player, he is more than capable of putting the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles to get to the rim. His agility around the hoop is enhanced by very good footwork and he is patient in his post-up game for a young player.

A cerebral approach in a basketball player sometimes manifests in some of the game's subtleties. Twice Favors blocked shots that he could have punched into the third row, but in one instance he swatted a shot that he recovered and another time he softly blocked it toward a teammate in the corner.

Because coach Paul Hewitt returns inside muscle in the form of 6-9 Gani Lawal and 6-8 senior Zach Peacock, Favors will not be asked to carry the Yellow Jackets on his back. Instead, he will get the opportunity to grow as a player at a nice pace this season. There's a lot to his game that I like and a lot more to improve. An aggressive disposition to demand the ball will come in time, and if he develops a more expanded low-post arsenal, he will be on his way to a bright basketball future.

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