Wednesday, March 30, 2011
McDonald's All-American comparisons
By Reggie Rankin
Here is a look at the current and former NBA players with whom the 2011 McDonald's All-Americans compare favorably. It is important to remember that these prospects are still young and this comparison is based on their skill level now and how we project them to do in the future.
Bradley Beal and Ray Allen
The future Florida Gator is a terrific catch-and-shoot player who comes off screens ready to pull the trigger, just like Allen does for the Celtics.
Chane Behanan and DeJuan Blair
Behanan, a Louisville signee, is an undersized power forward who is pretty skilled, tough and a rebounding machine. He also competes on both ends and is an overachiever in the low post, like Blair.
Khem Birch and Kenyon Martin
Birch's ability to run the floor, pull down offensive rebounds and dunk on all clear paths to the rim makes this comparison an easy one.
Wayne Blackshear and Wesley Matthews
Two very tough and strong wings who can score inside and out with range to the arc. Blackshear, a Louisville signee, is also capable of being a multiple-position defender like Matthews was at Marquette and is now in the NBA.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Joe Johnson
Caldwell-Pope is long-armed shooter with deep range like Johnson who sprints the floor on the break, spots up on the side of dribble penetration and comes off screens. The Georgia signee simply shoots over smaller defenders as if they are invisible, just like the former Arkansas great does for the Atlanta Hawks.
Michael Carter-Williams and Richard Hamilton
Carter-Williams has great length and ability to make a lot of different shots in a short period of time. Like Hamilton, Carter-Williams plays in offensive attack mode and shoots over smaller defenders from beyond the arc and from midrange off pull-up jumpers.
Rakeem Christmas and Hakim Warrick
Christmas, a Syracuse signee, draws the comparison to the former Orange forward because of his ability to rebound and block shots in and out of his area in addition to his ability to finish above the rim in traffic. Both cover ground like a guard when motivated.
Quinn Cook and Darren Collison
Speed, quickness and court vision first come to mind when you compare the future Duke Blue Devil and current Indiana Pacer. Plus, both can get others involved, run the team and make midrange jumpers and open 3s with time and space. Cook and Collison can also change speeds and directions on a dime and can get into the lane when the clock is winding down.
Anthony Davis and Kevin Garnett
This comparison is relatively easy because both have great length and skill with guard skills in a big man's body. The Kentucky signee and current Boston Celtic can score inside and out, as well as off the catch or dribble. Both also rebound in and out of area and block shots on the ball or from the weak side.
Branden Dawson and Sam Young
Strength, physicality, athleticism and toughness are what Dawson and Young have most in common. Both are also working to become better shooters, but are already great wing rebounders and excellent multiple-position defenders.
Michael Gilchrist and Grant Hill
Like Hill, Gilchrist is long, athletic and the ultimate competitor who can do everything pretty well but struggles shooting from the perimeter at times, although both have improved. The future Kentucky Wildcat and current Phoenix Sun are stat-sheet stuffers and players others love to be on the same team with because they both are relentlessly looking to find a way to help their team win on offense or defense.
P.J. Hairston and Paul Pierce
Hairston and Pierce have the ability to make big shots from deep and midrange shots over smaller defenders. Misses don't bother them and they can put a team out of its misery with one big shot late in the game or drop big numbers from behind the arc very quickly.
Myck Kabongo and Patrick Mills
Not only are both natives of other countries (Kabongo of Canada and Mills of Australia), but both can push the ball at high speeds and deliver the ball to teammates. Plus, the future Longhorn and current Portland Trail Blazer score by getting to the rim and cause havoc by getting in the lane at will.
James McAdoo and James Worthy
McAdoo draws the comparison to "Big Game James" not only because he's a Tar Heel, but because of his length, athletic ability and the way he runs the floor like a gazelle. Plus, McAdoo can finish above the rim, especially along the baseline, against late help-side defenders. He can also hit the midrange jumper with time, go by other power forwards off the dribble from short distances with ease, rebound well, block shots and be at the rim in transition in the blink of an eye.
LeBryan Nash and Ron Artest
Nash not only resembles Artest, but does everything in full attack mode just like the Lakers forward on both ends of the floor.
Johnny O'Bryant and Emeka Okafor
The future LSU Tiger is a super strong, powerful rebounder and shot-blocker -- which is why he draws the comparison to Okafor. Both can also face up and attack with short drives but are more known for making opponents think twice before attacking the lane.
Marshall Plumlee and Cole Aldrich
Plumlee like Aldrich is a true center who has continued to improve. They are both space eaters, area rebounders and shot-blockers who anchor defenses and finish drop-offs above the rim. Both are also very dependable and you know what you are going to get from them game in and game out.
Austin Rivers and Kobe Bryant
Rivers reminds us of Bryant because there isn't a shot he thinks he can't make and the future Duke Blue Devil has the best killer instinct in high school basketball -- especially on the offensive end of the floor -- just like Bryant does in the NBA.
Shannon Scott and Andre Miller
Scott and Miller are both very good leaders who run the team, set the tone and make great decisions. The future Buckeye and current Portland Trailblazer can also make enough open shots to keep the defense honest and you can trust them at the end of the game.
Marquis Teague and Devin Harris
The future Kentucky Wildcat and recent Utah Jazz acquisition both attack off the dribble with off-the-charts first steps and can go by defenders with ease in order to get into the lane to score or drop off passes.
Adonis Thomas and Quincy Pondexter
Both are powerful wings who punish smaller wings and guards in the low post thanks to their ability to score through contact.
Amir Williams and Samuel Dalembert
The Ohio State signee and current Sacramento King are both super long, athletic rebounders and shot-blockers who can finish drop-off passes above the rim in traffic. Both can also run very well and change the game on both ends with their size and athletic ability.
Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin McHale
Wiltjer's back-to-the-basket footwork, fakes and ability to score over more athletic players make this an easy comparison. The Kentucky signee also passes well out of the post and rebounds everything in his area, like the Boston Celtics great.
Cody Zeller and Jeff Foster
The future Hoosier and current Indiana Pacer have great size and the ability to area rebound on both ends of the floor. Both are also great glue guys in the post who always give great energy and effort every time they are on the floor.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.