Centers - 1993 Usenet Draft

Name: Shawn Bradley
College: BYU
Height: 7-7
Weight: 230
Position: Center
Other positions: Virtually anywhere in the frontcourt
Strengths: Height, shot-blocking, agility, ballhandling for a forward,
           shooting ability, quickness
Weakness: Weight too low, lack of experience, generally an unknown quantity

  Shawn Bradley is one of those mystery players that can make a draft
  so interesting.  Highly touted in high school, he put up great numbers
  as a freshman at BYU, especially in shot blocking, something he does
  with great grace and little exertion.  He then took two years off on
  his religious mission in Australia, and decided to come out early,
  presumably to beat the pending rookie salary cap.  Bradley might
  either be a franchise player that could dominate the NBA or just
  another Manute Bol-like oddity--that's what makes drafting him such a
  difficult decision.

  What is known about him is that he gained 30 pounds while in
  Australia.  He still needs at least another 20-30 pounds before he can
  legitimately bang around in the NBA, but 230 isn't that much lighter
  than a number of post players in the pros.  Still, one wonders what
  someone huge like Shaq might do to him.  His strength and stamina will
  also be big factors considering a two-year layoff where he played no
  ball at all.

  Bradley does a number of things well.  He knows how to take full
  advantage of his height, knowing that he only needs to get decent
  position to block a shot.  Having Bradley in the middle will change
  entire team's offenses once they see that he'll swat away a lot of
  what comes into him.  He is a good rebounder, but will need some beef
  to be able to muscle out most pros.  He is a very good ballhandler for
  his size and a good passer.  He also is a decent shooter, but will
  need to add a consistent hook shot to really be effective.

  The other important thing about Bradley is that it make take some
  time for him to develop.  If a team needs an immediate impact player
  on the post, Bradley may not be your man.  But if you have someone
  semi-decent inside, or perhaps an aging center, take Bradley.  He is a
  likely top-five pick.

Scout: Rob Clough 

Name: Luther Wright
College: Seton Hall
Height: 7'2"
Position: Center
Other Positions: none
Stengths: Strength, Size, Shot-Blocking, Rebounding, Defense
Weaknesses: Mental attitude, weak offensive game, concerns about weight

  They say that in the NBA, you can't win without a good big man.  Well,
  Luther Wright is certainly big, if nothing else. At 7'2" and about 285  
  lbs., mostly muscle, Luther is an awesome physical specimen. However,
  this is something of a turnaround from his first year of playing at
  Seton Hall (he was a Prop 48 victim as a freshman, and has only played
  for two years). Last year, Luther was so fat that coach PJ Carlessimo
  was afraid to play him for any long period of time, so the Hall was
  stuck with 6'7" Jerry Walker in the middle. Over the summer, Walker
  told Luther to get his act together so that Walker would have a chance
  to spend a year showing NBA scouts that he could play power forward.
  Luther obliged, and when he unsuited for the first game of the season,
  the crowd was stunned. There was barely a trace of fat on him. The
  question remains as to whether or not he can stay slim. At times this
  past year, Luther used his newfound physique to great advantage,
  blocking the hell out of opponents' shots; being a terror on the
  boards, not allowing layups. Unfortunately, he very rarely had the
  concentration to do this for a whole game. The only game where he
  played consistently throughout was against North Carolina, where he
  terrorized Eric Montross for much of the game. There has been
  speculation that Luther simply gets up for the good centers, and that
  Montross was the only good one that he played all year, so he might be
  able to put out a consistent effort in the NBA, but don't bank on it.
  He does have tremendous skills on defense - his timing on his blocks
  is superb, and he knows exactly how to use that big body to box out
  and get rebounds. His offensive game is far more rudimentary; think of
  Shaquille O'Neal, but with even less range. Luther's dunks are a
  wonder to behold (he might bring down even more backboards than Shaq),
  but that's about the only shot he can make.  Someone will definitely
  take a chance on Luther, if only because there's such a lack of true
  big men in the NBA, but he would have been better served staying at
  Seton Hall for another year, where the team would have featured him
  more on defense (and possibly on offense, if Carlessimo had been able
  to get him to work on his shot). As of right now, Luther is probably
  not mature enough to play in the NBA. Then again, people said the
  exact same thing about Stanley Roberts, and he turned out to be not

Scout: Alan Sepinwall 

Name:  Acie Earl
College: Iowa
Height: 6'10"
Position: Center
Other possibility: Power Forward
Strengths: Shot-blocking, Shooting, Rebounding
Weaknesses:  Outside Shot, Mobility, Agility, Strength, Shot selection.


  Earl is one of the NCAA's all-time shot blockers.  His interior
  defense could provide immediate help to an NBA team.  But I wonder if
  he'll get stuck at Power Forward.  I think he could be used as a
  center, and this IMHO is where Acie Earl feels more comfortable. But
  will he develop a solid, back-to-the- basket game?  If not he will
  need to find a perimeter game as a Power Forward, something that he
  never seemed to have at Iowa.

Scout: Doug Mraz 

More Poop:

  Acie Earl is an effective scorer in the low post when playing against
  individuals of similar or smaller body dimensions.  He is the all time
  leading shot blocker at Iowa and has been the key to Tom Davis full
  court press for the last 3 years.  He is generally able to convert
  when he gets the ball in an effective position, but is not very good
  at creating.  Acie plays pretty good defense, but tends to rely on
  intimidating or blocking shots rather than aggressive in your face
  defense.  He has exceptionally soft hands for a big man.  When
  motivated he is a very difficult player to defend with a single
  player.  His game tends to look a little lazy, but that could be more
  a reflection on his athleticism than his heart.

Scout: Walt Maley 

More Poop:

  Besides his shotblocking presence, Earl's major strength is his
  ability to avoid foul trouble.  He only fouled out of one game at Iowa
  (his freshman year) and he rarely got into trouble during the Big Ten
  season.  You could call rebounding a strength too.  There were debates
  about his rebounding ability on the net, but the fact was that after
  the death of Chris Street Acie's rebounding picked up dramatically,
  finishing second in the Big Ten to Chris Webber by only a few boards.
  He had few assists at Iowa, but impressed a few scouts during the
  tournament with his passing game. Inexplicably, I believe he holds the
  school record for steals in a game.

  Earl will never have an effective 20 foot game in the NBA, but it
  seems almost unfair to call his outside shot a weakness.  One of the
  most effective parts of his game is an ugly but effective fallaway
  jumper from the low post, showing an extremely soft touch for a big
  man.  It works well from 10-15 feet but too many times I would see
  Earl try a desperation heave from 19-9 with the clock winding down
  (their upset at Bloomington in '91 comes to mind).  I doubt that he'll
  be called on to do that in the pros.  True, this type of shot is more
  sufficient for an NBA center than a power forward, which may explain
  Acie's desire to stay in the middle.  Also the fallaway was effective
  in college but he may have problems trying that shot against Shaquille
  or Alonzo.

  His effectiveness in the paint is by no means a certainty in the NBA.
  The Big Ten was generally filled with teams that couldn't contain his
  inside game, but Rodney Rogers and the rest of Wake Forest slowed him
  down quite a bit for much of their NCAA second round tilt.

  Attitude should not be much of a problem.  He was somewhat
  excitable his first two years, but his disciplined style of play and
  his ability to take his game up a notch after Street's death should
  dispel doubts about that.

Scout: Brian Van Dorn 

Name: Ervin Johnson
College: New Orleans
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 243
Position: Center
Other Positions: Power Forward
Strengths: shot-blocking, scoring, rebounding, work ethic
Weaknesses: needs work in inside moves, age (was 25 in December)


  Unlike the "other" Ervin Johnson, this one is a inside post player
  that relies on his rebounding skills and shot-blocking to help his
  team.  Hardly an overnight success, Johnson is one of the more 
  remarkable succuess stories around.  Johnson quit his HS team and 
  went to work in a grocery store after graduating, then he grew
  over 6 inches found a school who would take a chance on him.  Johnson
  (who was redshirted as a freshman) has shown great improvement in
  each of his four years.  He is an excellent rebounder, shotblocker
  and has some nice moves (and a nice touch).  He also runs the floor
  pretty good.  A sure first rounder.

Scout:  Craig Simpson 

Name: Ed Stokes
Height: 7'0"
College: Arizona
Position: center
Other Positions: Power Forward
Strengths: Size, Height, Defensive presence
Weaknesses: Slow, Lacks aggressiveness, Poor footwork in post

  Stokes has shown little improvement in his game since
  displaying good promise as a freshman. Although building
  up an NBA type physique the past few years, his game is light
  years away from being NBA quality. At Arizona, Ed would disappear
  for very long stretches, which must have frustrated the hell
  out of Lute Olson and the Arizona fans.
  On the defensive side of the court, Ed does provide
  a presence in the half court set and is able to establish
  good position in the post. However, they should call this
  guy the real Gumby, cause by the way he jumps you would
  swear GUM-BE stuck to the bottom of his shoes. He blocks
  very few shots for a seven footer, and even more troubling
  is the few number of tough rebounds he comes up with. I 
  believe this is due more to a lack of a quick jump, instead
  of lack of desire. Also, It was troubling the number of times
  this guy would get beat buy quicker guys who were only 6'6"-
  6'8". I can only imagine how ugly it will be when the guys
  are 6'10"- and quicker.

  Stoke's offensive game makes his defensive game look
  dominating. I mean this guy has the worst footwork I have
  seen in the post since I don't know when. In addition, his
  range from the field is oh- about nine inches. The only way
  he'll be able to help a team in its half court set is by setting
  picks. Finally, unlike Mills, he is extremely slow and has
  not shown ability to fill the lanes.

  IMHO Stokes is definately not ready for the NBA at this
  time. He is a project pick that will take at least three years
  to develop, if he is going to develop at all. The thing he has
  going for him is that big 7' frame, and that can't be coached.
  So I would not recommend drafting this guy until the second 
  round because the only thing he will offer in his first year
  is a little potential and six fouls to give when your team
  plays agianst an elite center.

Scout: Jason Shachat 

Name: Richard Manning
School: Washington
Height: 6-10 (6-11??)
Position: center
Other Possible Spots: power forward
Strengths: low post offense, medium range shooting, free throw shooting
Weaknesses: dribbling, passing

  Manning was first team All Pac Ten each of the last two years.
  He averaged about 18 ppg and 9.5 rpg during the 1992-3 year. 
  As the main offense on a fairly average team, Manning was able
  to score even against fairly heralded opponents such as Scott
  Haskin (Oregon State), Ed Stokes (Arizona), and Brent Scott (Rice)
  while holding them down fairly effectively.  He is an above average
  defensive player, but may not have the strength to keep the likes
  of Shaq, Robinson, and Ewing off of the blocks (despite his 250
  lb muscular frame).  He is an excellent jump shooter and easily has
  range to 17 feet although he didn't shoot many three point shots.
  He has a tremendous work ethic and likes to practice hard.  He's
  likely headed for a career as a 10-15 minutes per game center off
  of the bench, but could develop if placed in the right system.
  Likely late first round to mid second round pick depending on
  team needs.

  Other info:  Rich Manning slipped somewhat in the pre draft combines 
  held last week.  As things stand, he may be a mid to late second 
  rounder rather than late first to early second rounder.

Scout: Cliff Slaughterbeck 

Name: Scott Haskin
School: Oregon State University
Height: 6-11
Position: center
Other Possible Spots: power forward
Strengths: low post offense, medium range shooting, free throw shooting,
           shot blocking
Weaknesses: avoids physical play on occasion

  Scott Haskin should do well in the NBA, since as the main offensive
  threat of the Beavers his numbers in college reflect constant double and
  triple teaming. Has range in the 10-15 foot range easily, and has a nice
  hook shot going either direction. Good free throw shooting, set school
  record in blocks. Consistency was at times an issue. Was heavily scouted 
  by the pros his senior year. Most liked what he did with the ball after
  the entry pass, going straight up with it instead of fooling around. His
  250 lbs will not be enough to deal with the top centers in the league, so 
  he may make a better forward than center. 

  Low first round, early second round unless he does something to 
  improve his stock between here and there.

Scout: Rajeev K. Pandey 

Name: Mike Peplowski
School: Michigan State
Height: 6'10"
Weight: 270
Position: center
Other Possible Spots: none
Strengths: strength, size, physical play
Weaknesses: no outside game, slow feet, unrefined


  Peplowski is coming off a decent senior year which saw him score 14
  ppg, and grab 10 rpg. His role in the Spartan offense was expanded, 
  and you saw Mike taking a greater variety of shots from the post. This
  carries on a tendency on his part to improve his game each year. He
  continued to play hard-nosed ball, giving and taking plenty of
  punishment. He gets rebounds by using his big body effectively, and
  getting decent position.

  In the expansion of his role, we may have seen the limitations which
  will restrict Mike's success. He is not quick around the basket. If he
  isn't in position, quick inside players can hurt him on the glass and
  in the lane.  He has shown no outside game at all. This may be more
  Heathcote's doing than anything else, but a big guy has to be able to
  hit the 10-15 footer if left open, especially if they are as limited
  in the post as Mike is.  Perhaps the ability and work habits which
  have allowed him to expand his talents throughout school will enable
  him to get past these shortcomings.

  All in all, it seems Peplowski will be at best a late first round
  pick, barring a miracle at the camps. With work, he can be a capable
  reserve.  Even with good habits, it could be CBA here I come...

Scout: Rob Skrobola 

Name: Spencer Cunkley
School: Delaware
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 230 lbs
Position: Center
Other Possible Spots: none
Strengths: Strength, Defense, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Offense, Raw

  Dunkley has been playing basketball for only 5 years, but has improved
  each year he has played, since coming over to the states from England.
  The "man in the middle" for the Blue Hens, he was a major force in
  Delaware's 2 NCAA tourney appearances.  Dunkley is a strong inside
  player, who is a good defender and shot blocker, and an excellent
  rebounder.  While he did score a bit at Delaware, that was mostly
  because he was able to take advantage of his size and strength on a
  smaller school level.  Otherwise, his offensive skills are very raw,
  and his range is almost nil.  He is, however, improving, and could be
  a good project to take a gamble on in the 2nd round.

Scout: Jazzy J 

Name: Sascha Hupmann
School: Evansiville
Height: 7'1"
Weight: 252 lbs
Position: Center
Other Possible Spots: none
Strengths: defense, rebounding, shotblocking
Weaknesses: injuries (broke bone in foot twice), offense


  Hupmann is a German native who runs the floor well and can challenge
  defenders' shots.  While he needs to develop a more complete game,
  some good overall tools make him a possible second-round choice.

Scout: Basketball Weekly via Craig Simpson 

Name: Geert Hammink
School: LSU
Height: 7'1"
Position: Center
Other Possible Spots: none
Strengths:  Post scoring
Weaknesses: Soft, Slow, Defense

  After being Shaquille O'Neal's caddy for 2 seasons, Hammink came into
  his own last season, and became a 1st-team All-SEC performer.  That
  either says he performed really well -- or shows U the weakness this
  year at center in the SEC (probably the latter).  Hammink is a good
  scorer in the post, and possesses a great touch for a big man.  He
  has soft hands, and catches the ball well.  However, Hammink lacks
  athleticism, and is rather slow.  He also is not a dominating 
  rebounder.  He also is not an intimdator on defense, and hardly blocks
  any shots.  Weight has also been a problem at times for Geert.  However,
  he does work hard, and would be a big body on the end of the bench for
  an NBA franchise.  Definitely a project, look for him to be taken 
  somewhere in the 2nd round due to his size.

Scout: Jazzy J 

Name: Eric Riley
School: University of Michigan
Height: 7'0"
Weight: 220 lbs
Position: Center
Strengths: Shot-blocking, position defense, height, decent post-play, 
Weaknesses: needs upper body strength, WEAK hands, slow feet

  Riley has played signifigant minutes for the Wolverines all 4 
  years of his college career. His minutes have dropped off since 
  the advent of Webber and Howard, but he has made a contribution. 
  He shows a lot of energy off the bench, and has often provided UM 
  with a big lift.  On the bad side, his energy is sometimes 
  misdirected, and he picks up a lot of fouls.

  His height, long arms, and good timing make him a valuable lane 
  presence, and decent rebounder. His post skills seem to
  consist largely of a pretty quick turnaround jumper which he 
  takes going to his right. He rarely shoots facing up. He has 
  never shown a hook or any sort of drop step. 

  His defensive rebounding skills are ordinary at best, being 
  hampered by slow feet and weak hands. Strangely, he seems to 
  be a much more aggressive offensive rebounder, though much of 
  his success here comes against smaller opponents. His passing 
  and ballhandling skills are negligible.

  Many of Riley's problems stem from poor hands and a weak upper 
  body. He has bulked up since coming to Michigan, so now he 
  doesn't get blown off the blocks on either end, but he still 
  has very poor hands. Finally, he is fairly slow getting up and 
  down the floor.

  Given some of the players who have made it in the NBA, Riley 
  does have a chance to be a valuable reserve for a pro team. 
  Continued work with weights and on his post game will help, 
  but slowness and bad hands are tough to overcome.

Scout: Rob Skrobola 

Name: Matt Wenstrom
School: University of North Carolina
Height: 7'1"
Weight: 260 lbs
Position: Center
Strengths: size, strength, rebounding
Weaknesses: slow, limited offensively

  Matt's first two years did not go well at Carolina.  He was slow, a
  fact compounded by his poor footwork.  Additionally, he had no
  offensive game apart from dunking and was a fouling machine on
  defense.  He could rebound.

  After a trip to Europe with an ACC All-Star team in the summer of
  1991, Matt appeared to pick up some confidence.  He came into practice
  that year in better shape, with better footwork, and a right-handed
  hook shot that was pretty darn consistent.  He did much better in spot
  work that season, including 22 points against Cornell.

  This season, Matt's footwork and conditioning appeared to be very good
  right from the beginning.  Wenstrom moves down the court now very
  well, almost quickly.  He plays defense without fouling as much, has
  improved his shot blocking, and has a short jumper to go along with
  his hook shot.

  One also cannot dismiss the fact that Wenstrom has banged against many
  other tall players during his time on the Carolina pine.  He has three
  years against Montross and Salvadori and one year against Scott
  Williams and Serge Zwikker.  All of this practice time probably adds
  up to much more time against quality big men than anyone else in the

  So what will an NBA GM that drafts or signs Matt Wenstrom get?  He'll
  get a Carolina prepared player, which is a big plus right off of the
  bat.  He'll get a legitimate 7-foot center with some bulk.  He'll get
  a guy who's raw offensively (no left hand), but who does have the
  ability to score.  He'll get a guy who can box out and rebound.  He'll
  get a guy who can play a bit of defense and block some shots.  And
  he'll get a guy who's pretty durable.  What he won't get is a NBA
  superstar.  He won't get a guy with a lot of game minutes.  He won't
  get a guy who's real smooth around the basket.

  For a team looking for someone to bang against Shaq 5-10 times a year,
  Matt would be a good choice.  I'd certainly rate him to be as good as
  Koncak or Kleine - possibly better.  Whether or not I'd send him to
  Europe or Australia for a year of seasoning is a call I can't make
  right now.  The game seasoning would probably help.

  For this season, in limited minutes, Wenstrom was better than Montross
  and Salvadori in rebounds per minute and was close to Montross in
  points per minute.

  I do know that for the donut teams in the league, you could do a lot
  worse than to put Matt Wenstrom on your roster next season.

  Projected: mid 2nd to free agent
  Chances at being on NBA roster next season: 50%

Scout: Curtis Hill 

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner