Last week the NBA drafted man of the top college players in the country. today the Pantherlair takes a quick look at a few that Pitt basketball fans got a chance to watch. We have video on several of them.[details]
Strengths: Afflalo is an excellent perimeter defender who played a valuable role on defense for UCLA. He is tough, smart and fundamentally sound. He has good feet and lateral quickness to stay in front of his man. Most of his damage on offense comes from spot-up 3-pointers with his feet set or his strong mid-range game. He is a role player in every sense, setting strong screens and always playing for the team.
Weaknesses: Afflalo does not stick out as an athlete even in college. He lacks explosiveness and does not have the ball-handling skills to create his own shot. He does not stand out with his passing or rebounding skills either, averaging more turnovers than assists. After starting off the season extremely hot, he hit a bad shooting slump and struggled the rest of the way.
Outlook: Afflalo is not the typical sophomore you expect to find on the early-entry list. He is a fine defender, but there are equally good defensive players in this draft who will likely go undrafted. He is likely burning his draft card a year too early, and will be forced to return to school when he realizes that he's a mid-to-late second round pick at best.
Comparison: Carlos Delfino
DraftExpress covers the NBA Draft for Rivals.com. Their work can also be found at Complete Bio]
Strengths: Afflalo has shown throughout his time in Westwood that he can lead a team to success. He was arguably the top player the Pac-10 had to offer these past two seasons. He is a tough player who has proven to be a lockdown defender. His body is NBA ready, and his high basketball IQ will help him greatly at the next level. Afflalo's outside shooting ability is his biggest weapon on the offensive end. He has shown the ability to shoot it out to the NBA 3-point line with regularity.
Weaknesses: He is a bit undersized for a SG/SF prospect, and has always struggled creating his shot. Having only average athleticism and first step, many wonder how well he will be able to score in the NBA. Afflalo's play has been remarkably inconsistent throughout college, so you never know what you'll get when he steps on the court.
Outlook: Afflalo signed with an agent this year after testing the waters in the 2006 draft. He is currently sitting as a second round pick, and could have benefited greatly by playing in the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. His defensive abilities should allow him to carve out a niche for himself somewhere in the league as a role player.