July 17, 2007

Scout's View: Inside look at Pan-Am talent

NBA executives and scouts found the weekend U.S. Pan-Am tryout camp to be filled with talent.

After polling several league evaluators in attendance, here's a look at eight intriguing prospects - five of whom made the cut and three who didn't.

Pan-Am finalists

D.J. White, Indiana, 6-9, 251 pounds, junior: "For the first time in a long time, he looks healthy with a bounce to him. I don't think what we had seen in the past couple of years was the real him. He's running well, in shape, and hopefully the foot trouble is behind him. Up to this point, he's been a good college player, but if he stays healthy he'll be one of the best bigs in the country. I wish he would play above the rim and rebound above the rim, but hey, a lot of guys in our league don't do that."

Wayne Ellington, North Carolina, 6-4, 195 pounds, sophomore: "It's scary how good he can be. It seemed like he was trying to press a little too much in the trials. He put up a lot of shots, but he's as talented of a wing player as anyone. At his size you look at him a little like (former Carolina guard) Rashad McCants, but I think he can be much better than that."

Joey Dorsey, Memphis, 6-9, 290 pounds, senior: "I'm trying to figure out if he's going to be the next (Detroit forward) Jason Maxiell. Jason was better offensively in college, and he played harder, but Dorsey reminds you a lot of him. The thing that will worry some people around draft time next year is that he'll be only a few months away from his 25th birthday. You have to consider that in your mind when you're comparing him to a 19- or 20-year-old. At that age, you have to believe that he's a lot closer to what he's ultimately going to be as a player."

Josh Carter, Texas A&M, 6-7, 195 pounds, junior: "It's easy to label him as a shooter, but he's a much more complete player than that. He's got great size for his position. He's someone who exploded in the last part of this past season and everybody's got an eye on him."

Bryce Taylor, Oregon, 6-5, 205 pounds, senior: "To me, an efficient, effective player because you watch all of those guys who shot a lot and you remember their misses. When you think about Taylor, you remember his makes because he doesn't just jack up 3s. He gives a shot fake, or repositions himself to shoot. He'll run the floor, make the good pass to the open cutter. There's just a great maturity to him."

Pan-Am Cuts

Mario Chalmers, Kansas, 6-1, 195 pounds, junior: "He's got so much speed, so much talent that it doesn't bother you that he didn't play that well at the trials. You have to go by his bigger body of work, and the fact that he plays hard, gets coached in a great program and has two years left to prove himself."

Ahmad Nivins, St. Joseph's, 6-9, 235 pounds, junior: "He's an interesting player because of how much he's improved since getting into college. He's really caught the eyes of everybody in the league. If he keeps getting better at the rate that he has, he has a chance to really elevate himself into a first-round guy."

Jerel McNeal, Marquette, 6-3, 195 pounds, junior: "Few play on- or off-the-ball defense in a team situation better than him. He comes up with steal after steal with those quick, active hands. He's got to be more consistent making shots, but because of what he does on the defensive end, he's a guy who can help you. Everyone talks about having a guard who can pick up 94 feet and how valuable that is, so you have to keep watching McNeal."

Hibbert taking the road less traveled to NBA

Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports.




 

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