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Nitpicking picks: Scout dishes on KU’s Aldrich, Henry, Collins

Three Kansas University products — from left, Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins — are expected to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft. At least one scout says Aldrich and Henry are first-rounders, while Collins likely will go in the second round.

Three Kansas University products — from left, Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins — are expected to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft. At least one scout says Aldrich and Henry are first-rounders, while Collins likely will go in the second round.

June 21, 2010

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Now, more than ever, scouts who work for NBA teams wear a muzzle. That’s why now, more than ever, Jim Clibanoff, an independent scout several NBA teams use, is a man in demand. He works without a gag order and has no agendas.

Clibanoff shared his thoughts Sunday night on the three Kansas University players and a few other Big 12 players eagerly awaiting the outcome of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Clibanoff said he thinks KU center Cole Aldrich could leave the board as early as No. 6, to Golden State, or as late as No. 14, to Houston.

“I personally wouldn’t pick him that high,” Clibanoff said from his Philadelphia home. “I’d take him somewhere in the 18-to-24 range. If someone puts him under a serious microscope, is he well-conditioned enough to play up-tempo? I watched him play against Temple, and he was the last guy up and down the court.”

Any other concerns?

“He’s not smooth, graceful or elegant with his finesse game, nor is he brawny or powerful enough as a power player,” Clibanoff said. “He’s somewhere in between. Usually, that’s not a recipe to become an NBA starter. However, the NBA is a center-starved league, so depending on time and place, he could get a lot of minutes.”

On the plus side, according to the operator of a scouting service known as Clib Hoops, Aldrich has proven he knows how to fit in with talented players and knows how to embrace his role.

“It’s easy to like his game and really hard to love it,” Clibanoff said.

He added that a former North Carolina center Brendan Haywood is as good a guess as any for what sort of a career Aldrich might have in the NBA. Haywood’s career averages: 7.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 24.6 minutes per game.

Moving onto Xavier Henry, KU’s only one-and-done player, Clibanoff voiced the opinion that if he had stayed in school longer and developed more scoring weapons, Henry could have worked his way to becoming something along the lines of a No. 6 pick.

“Because he didn’t stay at Kansas longer, he didn’t develop a versatile skill set,” Clibanoff said. “He didn’t show that off-the-dribble game. My concern is he might be a one-dimensional shooter. He does have that poise and NBA-readiness some players never will have.”

Clibanoff said he expects Henry to be taken somewhere in the 12-to-20 range, which is higher than where he graded him. If Clibanoff were doing the picking, he said he’d have him going somewhere in the 18-to-26 range.

The scout said he would be surprised to see a third Kansas player chosen in the first round. He does like the chances of stocky 5-foot-11 point guard Sherron Collins going in the second round and earning a job.

“When it gets down to that last round of cuts, I’ll put my money on tough guys who have that football mentality,” Clibanoff said. “Character kept Jacque Vaughn in the game for many, many years. I think toughness is the ingredient that could keep Sherron in the NBA for a long career.”

Collins, Clibanoff said, helped himself greatly by staying in school four years to polish his game and would be good fit for an up-tempo team.

Comments

maxcrabb 4 years, 6 months ago

"Moving onto Xavier Henry, KU’s only one-and-done player, Clibanoff voiced the opinion that if he had stayed in school longer and developed more scoring weapons, Henry could have worked his way to becoming something along the lines of a No. 6 pick."

Hm, you don't say. Well, come Thursday he'll probably sign for more money than i'll see in the next decade. So, you know, he's got that going for him.

drnater 4 years, 6 months ago

he'll probably sign a contract that pays him a lot more than this guy makes for his "opinion" on players. I'm interested in who he actually has in his top 10.

Don Whiteley 4 years, 6 months ago

I'd go more with Clibanoff's personal picks. The 1009-2010 KU team showed its considerable lack of poise and ability against under-rated opponents such as UNI, Colorado, and Nebraska this year, as well as a total lack of poise and a near complete collapse when they played an under-staffed Tennessee team with nearly all its starts sitting on the bench. Makes one believe that some people on the team thought they could coast through these games. Given his record of losses to unranked opponents (add Bradley, Bucknell, and a host of others), Self may want to re-evaluate his coaching style as well. As far as Collins; good God, who wants a player on their team who hits 20% of their shots in clutch situations. I'd send them all to the EU league for a few years and see if they can mature there.

maxcrabb 4 years, 6 months ago

"Through six seasons at Kansas, Bill Self is 169-40 (.809 percent). Overall, Self has coached 16 seasons with a 376-145 (.722 percent) record.

In Self's six seasons as head coach at KU he has won one national championship, five straight regular-season Big 12 titles and three league tournament championships. In his first trip to the Final Four in 2008, Self's team won the title. He was named just the eighth head coach in Kansas basketball history on April 21, 2003.

Self has guided his teams to 11-straight 20-win seasons and 12 overall. Self has won nine league crowns in the last 11 years, including five straight at KU. The other two seasons resulted in runner-up conference finishes."

I think you should mature, and realize you can't win them all, but Self has come closer than most.

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