A cursory glance at the resume of Morehead State's Kenneth Faried paints the picture of an immensely talented player who will perhaps struggle at the next level due to size. A 21 year old, 6'8" tweener has the defensive and rebounding skills of a center, but the prototypical size of a power-forward. Should this dissuade the Charlotte Bobcats from taking a flier on Faried should he be available at pick #19? I don't think so, and in fact, I think Faried could be the best man for the job.
Yesterday ESPN wrote an excellent article on Faried entitled "Board game: Is Faried a lottery pick?". Up until reading the piece I knew little of him as a player outside the basics: a good rebounder, decent scorer, did everything really well at Moorehead State-- but perhaps I unfairly wrote him off due to his college of choice. When Peter Newmann and Dean Oliver of ESPN's Stats and Information did their breakdown of just how impressive Faried's season was it caused me to sit up and take notice. The players their metrics compare him to: DeMarcus Cousins, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shawn Marion, Jerome Kersey and Antonio McDyess.
Are you a little more intrigued now? We'll look more at Faried after the jump.
On the season the Charlotte Bobcats rated 24th in the NFL in total rebounding, and most concerning is that when Gerald Wallace was traded the Bobcats fell quickly to dead last in the NBA. Over their last 10 games of the 2010-11 season they managed to pull down just 34.6 rebounds per game, almost four boards behind their competition and a full six rebounds less a game than when Wallace was on the squad. The inability to manage the glass was as much of an achilles heel for the Bobcats post-trade than scoring was, yet as a fanbase we've cast most of our attention at the need for a scorer, rather than a rebounder.
Here's where Faried comes in. On the season Kenneth Faried managed 14.5 rebounds per game on the season, but don't write him off as a one year wonder as he ranked in the top three in the NCAA each of the prior three years in RPG. It's not just the amount of rebounds Faried gets, but the rapidity of his rebounds that caused the ESPN statisticians to take notice. Currently the average starting NBA power forward averaged a rebound every 3.4 minutes against major conference play when they were in college, Faried achieved a rebound every 2.8 minutes. Please notice that we're not talking about players in the tiny Ohio Valley Conference, but this was his mark against major college opponents.
To put this number is comparison Faried's rebounding in 2010-11 was so prolific that he ranks third in the last 30 years of NCAA competition in rebounding rate. The only two players who best his mark are Shaquille O'Neal at LSU and Keon Clark of UNLV.
Finally, when I evaluate a prospect I like to get a sampling from their gamelog to see how they performed against good opponents. Here is what I found on Kenneth Faried:
- 20 pts (10/17 FG), 18 rebounds against Florida
- 15 pts (5/7 FG), 12 rebounds, 5 steals against Ohio State
- 12 pts (4/17 FG), 17 rebounds against Louisville in the NCAA tournament
- 11 pts (5/9 FG), 13 rebounds against Richmond in the NCAA tournament
At #19 you're realistically hoping to get a rotational player who can play some minutes as a starter where needed. I believe Faried has the chance to give the Bobcats some low post toughness, and much needed rebounding skill in the mold of DeJaun Blair (another player said to be too small to play C)... and as it stands I can't think of a much better use for the #19 pick.