Bulldog tests draft waters

Brianna Campbell / Collegian File Photo
Sophomore Paul George has filled out the paperwork and declared his submission into the NBA Draft

Since he first broke onto the scene, sophomore Paul George has gained recognition as a prospect for the NBA. And now may be his time to shine.

Following weeks of hinting at entering the NBA draft in June, George last Wednesday officially entered his name for consideration into the 2010 NBA draft. The announcement came after a long awaited confirmation as to whether or not he was going to declare his departure from Fresno State.

George is projected by some NBA mock drafts to go late in the first round.

With his versatility, athletic ability and team-leading stats, the future looks promising for talented Palmdale, Calif. native.

George’s ability to run the floor, pass the ball, and shoot from beyond the arc puts him at the top of the deliberation list for many teams. George averaged a team-high16.8 points, 7.2 rebounds this season, and as a freshman, led the team with six double-doubles.

His scoring ability is one of his most attractive assets and will likely be his major selling point to NBA scouts.

Standing at 6’8, George’s height and wingspan give him the advantage needed to play at the pro level.

His range and ability to spread the floor will help when weighing in his value as a player. Despite his natural position as a forward, George is able to read the defense and create difficult shots and passes.

George’s patience on the court pays off as he doesn’t force plays or take unnecessary shots which allows the game to come to him.

While George may seem to have all the tools necessary to make the leap to the next level, some are taking note of his room for improvement.

With 90.6 percent of his free throws made, George’s success from the line left draft experts saying he needs to draw more fouls as they would like to see him using his abilities to the fullest.

Also noted is George’s weight. Experts say he’ll need to add more in order to absorb the physical contact at the professional level. His strength should also help with increasing explosiveness to the basket as scouts say he needs to become more adept at putting the ball on the floor.

George’s willingness to pass the ball around is without a doubt another strong aspect of his game, however his average amount of assists come within close range of his average amount of turnovers. He’ll need to tighten up in that aspect.

His shooting percentages are impressive, but if he heads to the next level, he may need to improve the speed of his release on his jump shot. Regardless, George’s scoring ability is impeccable and will work in his future team’s advantage.

Defensively, George has what it takes to be unyielding on the other side of the ball, but scouts said he’ll need to work on holding his stance and be more aware of his defenders and their strengths.

George will take the next few weeks to prepare himself for the NBA workouts in late April. He has yet to hire an agent. If George hires an agent he has until May 8 to decide if he’ll return to Fresno State for his junior season.

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