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9/9: Ekpe Udoh

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 7:19

My 2 main issues with Udoh are passiveness and lack of aggressiveness, at times, and being very light below the waist. I don!t see him playing center at all because he gets moved around easily, similar to L.Aldrige.He reminds of Monroe, from 2 years ago, as a guy who disappeared at times intensity wise and is a finesse player. To quote you from yesterday, at this point he is a safe pick but to me Monroe, if he can play the 4, and Montiejunis, because of his scoring and shotblocking potential,both would intrigue me a little bit more.

I don't really have an opinion on Montiejunis. Havne't seen him play at all, and judging by DiLeo's comments at the end of the season, I don't think he's even on the team's radar in the 6-8 range. Monroe, I just don't like as a pro at all.

Like I said above, he needs to add some bulk and the defensive rebounding worries me, but overall, I think he's got the best chance to be a solid two-way contributor for the Sixers up front at the four or the five if the guys ahead of him on my board are all gone. No one's perfect at this level of the draft, I just like his strengths/weaknesses better than Monroe, Aldrich, Davis and Whiteside.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 7:39

Derek, if your out there, are the listed weights fairly accurate because Monroe looks bigger physically than Udoh yet is also listed at 240. And who, out of these 2 is the better picknroll defender and low block individual defender because Udoh definitely is the better shotblocker, right?

I would expect Monroe to be slightly bigger. We'll find out more in a little over a week at the pre-draft camp.

Udoh is significantly better at defending the pick and roll. Neither are significantly good post defenders, as both will give up position and neither have the lower body strength to really hold position. Udoh at least gets some blocks off of post-up situations, so he might get the slight edge, but its neither of their strengths.

Just haven't seen enough of him. The workouts will provide further insight. Agree Brian. We don't want to draft any player this high who has red flags AND we don't want another Sharone Wright(soft & lazy).


Jeff reply to anon on May 12 at 9:58

My god, can you imagine all the dumb semen jokes if he made it to the nba?

A) Is he doing situps?

B) I'm not so concerned about the age thing. I want the best players I can get so that I have a team capable of playing team basketball. I'm not as high on having a bunch of young knuckleheads trying to figure out the game with only raw skills.

I want to preface my earlier post by saying that I do not think the Sixers are all young knuckleheads. Actually, it's a pretty veteran team, with a blackhole at the SG, and the PG is a bit more raw than not, but he's getting there.

As a fan though, I want to see them bring in someone with a high basketball IQ and have him meld to help create an environment for strong team basketball. I mean for god sakes, we have Elton Brand for what, 9 more years? Let's at least try and make our young players learn how to play a real brand of basketball.

I think you have to take age into account, and I tend to favor younger guys because they have more room to grow (Jrue vs. Lawson, Thad vs. Al Thornton being two prime examples).

But there are advantages to drafting a 23-year-old as well. Derek brought up on SixersBeat a while back that when draft an older guy, he's 26 or 27 when he's coming off his rookie contract and you can make a more informed decision on whether you should extend him or not. Rather than trying to project whether a 23-year old is worth big money. There's less risk involved.

Tom Moore on May 12 at 10:56

Sharone Wright was the sixth pick in a five-player draft. The Sixers could find themselves in the same situation this year.

Shawn reply to Tom Moore on May 12 at 11:52

Tom, I think you've found yourself the right blog to comment on - you're a depressed fan for real.

Yep. Here we go again.......................

Dutch reply to Tom Moore on May 12 at 12:22

That's probably true, Tom. However, there's reason to believe that the GM for one of the teams picking ahead of us will make an unexpected pick (e.g. Aminu, Whiteside, who knows?). Just saying that either Wes, Cousins, or Favors could fall to six and I wouldn't be surprised. Heck, we deserve a little bit of luck, don't we? :)

We can only hope. Maybe may 18th will be a good day.

Tom Moore reply to tk76 on May 12 at 17:41

Look at the Raptors inexplicably taking Araujo, who is already out of the league, leaving Iguodala for the Sixers.

JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on May 12 at 19:25

Scared the hell out of my gf and my pets when the raptors made that really stupid mistake

With a reasonable coach/season Udoh would be the type of player I'd be hoping the Sixers land with their pick at about 12th. He projects to be a nice piece to have on this team. And having a decent role player big on the rookie scale is an asset.

The problem is that the wheels fell off last year, and the desperately need more than a role player.

In terms of upside, physically i don't expect Udoh to be ever more than a role player (either as a fungible starter or a good reserve.) He won't hurt you on the floor as long as you don't expect him to be your anchor.

Monroe actually has a chance to be an above average starter, because he has some unique skills. But he will need to be put in a system that utilizes his strength and masks his weaknesses- and I don't see the Sixers becoming that system, unless they hire another Princeton style coach.

Sort of reminds me of a talent like Rashard Lewis (although not as high of a ceiling.) Rashard would hurt a lot of teams if he was expected to be a real PF. But on the Magic he is the perfect stretch PF. Monroe has a different skillset, but he is the same type of unique fit player- who could be an impact player on the right team. Whereas Udoh will contribute anywhere, and especially on a running team like the Sixers.

I guess it's fair to say Monroe could be good if he can find a team that doesn't need it's 4/5 to defend or rebound, but outside of Orlando, does that team exist?

Udoh has a lot of the same skills that Monroe does on the offensive end, and I believe he could be as productive of a player depending on system. The difference is I think he'll contribute on the defensive end. To me, he projects as a solid starter with the potential for more.

I think Monroe has more unique offensive skills in terms of thinking the game, passing and a good handle. Not sure how that will translate against superior atletes in the NBA, but it does differentiate him from other bihgs in the draft and league.

Remember DiLeo's extended interview when he said you rarely get a chance to draft a highly skilled big? I wondered at the time if Monroe was his target.

I'm not sure the offensive skill set is as far off as you're saying.

Derek, if you're reading, can you check the shooting percentage for Monroe vs. Udoh on short jumpers? Like pick-and-pop situations?

Maybe I don't know Udoh's skill set well enough. Is he known for a particularly high BB IQ or handle? I though he was just a solid big in the Camby/Sam mold but without the elite rebounding.

Chad Ford and DraftExpress seem to disagree on Udoh. From what I saw, he could handle the ball and pass very well for a big. Seemed comfortable facing the basket from 15 feet away. Probably wasn't as much of a threat to drive as Monroe. What I'm really interested in seeing is how each guy shot the jumper from that distance.

Monroe's a pretty inefficient jumpshooter
All short range jumpers (<17') 26.7%, midrange 16.7%. He does very little off the pick and pop (more apt to roll).

Also, for his ballhandling, he has absolutely no right hand.

Udoh shot 39.6% on jumpers, 42.3% adjusted. 41.4% from < 17' and 45.4% from midrange. He used pick and pop a little more, and shot 43.3% on those situations.

Excellent, thanks Derek.

What's your take on these two? Is Monroe head and shoulders above Udoh on the offensive end, or are they comparable?

I have a very hard time gauging. On the one hand, the age difference is substantial (Udoh will be 23, Monroe 20). Monroe's certainly more advanced in the post, and far more advanced for his age. And, at least offensively, most of Monroe's problems are correctable, whereas I'm not sure Udoh's ever going to have the lower body strength to really be effective in the post at the next level.

Whiteside needs to go to a really solid organization with good internal leadership for him to even have a chance of reaching his potential.

Sadly, the Sixers are not that franchise.

Take a look at the #6 pick over the past 22 drafts

88 - Hersey Hawkins
89 - Stacey King
90 - Felton Spencer
91 - Doug Smith
92 - Tom Gugliotta
93 - Calbert Cheaney
94 - Sharone Wright
95 - Bryant Reeves
96 - Antoine Walker
97 - Ron Mercer
98 - Robert Traylor
99 - Wally Szczerbiak
00 - DeMarr Johnson
01 - Shane Battier
02 - Dajuan Wagner
03 - Chris Kaman
04 - Josh Childress
05 - Martell Webster
06 - Brandon Roy
07 - Yi Jianlian
08 - Danilo Gallinari
09 - Jonny Flynn

Man, that is depressing as hell. Roy is really the only perennial all star on the list. Kaman is the best big. You've got a couple of solid role players in Hersey Hawkins and Battier. Employee #8 was popular, for a time, though I don't think he was ever really good. A couple bust big men in Reeves and Traylor.

Going back through the years, everyone points at Hughes over Pierce as the fateful draft choice, but what if the Sixers had taken Garnett over Stackhouse in 1995?

Anyway, what happened at 6 in the past doesn't really mean anything for this year's draft, unless you believe in curses. Plus, we don't have to deal with that reality until next week, if at all. Come on top three!

Shawn reply to Brian on May 12 at 13:19

You're right, you get a pick below 5, and above 9... be prepared for role player/ high potential bust type player. It's the worst place to draft for good reason, all of the sure things are pretty much out because your draft order is late, but then your draft pick is too early to pick up the Amare's and the Pierces who are definite gambles. so you get the wierd mix. Shane Battier, Chris Kaman. Roy was a total fluke. Johnny Flynn was a fast riser who probably should have been taken around 12-14 behind j-ru the damaja.

personally would rather go up or down, but definitely not stay still in this draft.

Pick #6 has been a black hole. Pick 7,8,9 have all had better results. I think it is partly due to luck, partly due to teams at #6 being desperate for a star and reaching. because the draft is rarely deep enough to have sure fire stars outside the first 4-5 picks.

sfw reply to Brian on May 12 at 13:53

Gug's was a good pick until injuries curtailed his career.

I'm hoping the Sixers draft Roy Halladay.


johnrosz on May 12 at 17:43

I want Hassan Upside. This year was far too painful to get a decent role player that might be a rotation guy. I'd rather the Sixers completely flop on Whiteside than make a safe pick that does very little to change the fortunes of the franchise.

Brian, I think Monroe rebounded very well this year and may rebound better at the next level but my main concern is "can he play the p.f." for 15 to 20 minutes a night. If Elton and Spieghts are not in the equation than Monroe may be worth drafting and get an athletic shotblocker to put next to him if Sam leaves.

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