LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 07: Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators shoots the ball during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on February 7, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Today the Bobcats are bringing in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Darius Johnson-Odom, Bernard James, Kris Joseph and Quincy Acy. So what better time to break down the two big names than now?
Another piece of that dominant Kentucky Wildcats machine, the man more commonly known as MKG is pegged to be one of the other guys whose draft peg is floating between two and five. He has a relentless motor and desire to improve himself, both on and off the court (as shown by admirably overcoming his speech impediment). His defense is easily his best strength, permitting him to guard arguably up to four positions, depending on matchups. He's quick, has springs for legs, all with a the defensive basketball IQ and footwork to have the potential to be one of the best defenders in the league. Offensively, he's fantastic in transition. It's where his offense starts, and it should come as no surprise that MKG has the best transition scoring efficiency at 71 percent, per Draft Express. He finishes well at the rim, and has the ability to score in a variety of ways. However, he hasn't shown to be a consistent scoring threat. The major problem here is his jumpshot. MKG's shot mechanics are, um, poor. He releases the ball on the way down to the ground and has a hitch that makes it looks very unnatural. It shows, too. Just watch Draft Express' video breakdown and try not to cringe watching as they point out his shot's flaws. He shot 25.5 percent from the college three. Ouch. What's more, via Draft Express and Synergy, he made only 30 percent of spot-ups and 25 percent of jumpers. That will probably need some work. But he does drive to the hoop and cut well, even though he's not much for creating his own shot in isolation and isn't great at ballhandling. Rebounding-wise, there probably isn't a better SF prospect. He boxes out well with good fundamentals and has the strength, size and motor to translate that skill easily in the NBA.
On the other side of the coin, we have Bradley Beal, a talented scorer from the University of Florida. Though he was merely an average shooter from deep this year (33.9 percent), his shot is really nice: it's quick, he gets good elevation and has solid fundamentals. Beal maintains his balance in squaring up with the basket and stays vertical midair. His range extends well beyond the college three, as well. He can also handle the ball decently well and get to the rim. Beal's awareness is impressive in driving under complete control and finishing at the hoop or finding the open man. He does need to improve his ability to create his own shot, especially in isolation and off the dribble, as well as consistency in his shooting range (though with his form, I'm not sure I'd be too worried about that part).
Defensively, he's certainly no sieve. Beal has good lateral speed to stay in front of his opponent and fine awareness of rotations. His size can be a concern, but he's strong enough to defend well regardless. He also excels at defensive rebounding. With his strength, effort and commitment to getting a body on an opponent, he proved to be one of the best rebounding guards in college basketball.