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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC, Part Four (#11-15)
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations, Kyle Nelson - College Basketball Scout
October 31, 2012
We continue our coverage of the top returning NBA prospects in the SEC with scouting reports on players ranked #11-15: Erik Murphy, Johnny O'Bryant, Trevor Releford, Jeronne Maymon and Will Yeguete.

Incoming freshmen have been excluded from these previews, as we'd like to wait and see what they have to offer on the NCAA level before we come to any long-term conclusions.

-Top 20 NBA Prospects in the Big Ten
-Top 20 NBA Prospects in the ACC
-Top 11 NBA Prospects in the Big XII
-Top 15 NBA Prospects in the Pac-12
-Top 20 NBA Prospects in the Big East

-Top NBA Prospects in the SEC, Part One
(#1) B.J. Young Video Scouting Report
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC, Part Two
(#2) Phil Pressey
(#3) Patric Young
(#4) Jarnell Stokes
(#5) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC, Part Three
(#6) Ryan Harrow
(#7) Michael Dixon
(#8) Alex Oriakhi
(#9) Kyle Wiltjer
(#10) Kenny Boynton


#11, Erik Murphy, 6'10, Power Forward, Florida, Senior



Kyle Nelson

A top-50 high school recruit, power forward Erik Murphy saw limited opportunities his first two seasons in a deep, veteran Florida frontcourt before finally breaking out as a junior. While his numbers still do not jump off of the page entirely, he was nonetheless a key contributor all season long for a team that made the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and will be expected to assume a larger offensive role as a senior.

Standing 6'10 with a long 238-pound frame, Murphy has excellent size for the power forward position, even if he still could stand to get stronger. He remains, as we've written in past evaluations, more fluid, mobile, and agile than explosive, and will be considered just an average athlete at the next level. That being said, he runs the floor hard and really has worked to improve his conditioning, adding nearly 40 pounds of muscle to his once skinny frame.

Murphy's physical profile is particularly intriguing given his skill set. While he struggled initially to find a role in Florida's offense, he emerged as a quintessential face-up power forward as a junior, to the tune of 16.3 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted.

Arguably the most attractive element of Murphy's game is his ability to knock down shots with his feet set, which accounts for nearly 60% of his overall half-court attempts, and where he ranks among the most prolific and efficient shooters among post prospects in our database. Most impressive is his 3-point shooting, where he makes 42.1% of his 6.4 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Additionally his shooting mechanics are excellent, fluid and consistent and with a quick, release. What makes Murphy's shooting ability particularly tantalizing is his emergence as a legitimate pick-and-pop threat. Given the NBA's relative dearth of sweet shooting big men and the league's general affinity for running the pick-and-roll, Murphy already has a clear, NBA-caliber skill.

Murphy also shot an efficient 55.4% from inside of the arc, but his 5.9 2-point attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted situates him as one of the least prolific inside scoring big men in our database. He shows signs of a decent post arsenal, which includes a reliable hook shot and supplemented by solid footwork, agility and instincts, but didn't get too many opportunities to display that last season. He has above-average ball-handling skills for his size as well, and though doesn't possess a quick first step, he nevertheless showed flashes of being able to attack slower opponents off the dribble. Furthermore, he is capable of scoring around the basket out of the pick-and-roll, and he rolls hard to the basket while showing a soft touch around the basket.

Murphy's career has been marked by a gradual move away from the basket. His increased productivity from beyond the arc has accompanied downward trends in two key areas. His offensive rebounding has declined significantly, while he attempted just 2.0 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted, ranking near the bottom of all prospects in our database. The question is whether his senior season will reveal him to be more than a shooting specialist at this level, as the flashes of potential he displays at times suggests is possible.

Another area of concern is his defense. On one hand he is relatively mobile, possesses solid fundamentals, and overall did a respectable job of guarding post and perimeter-oriented big men at the collegiate level. His lateral quickness, strength, and ability to step out and guard jump shooters, however, leave some things to be desired with an eye toward the NBA. Finally, he is a very poor defensive rebounder, pulling down just 5.1 defensive boards per 40 minutes pace adjusted, one of the worst rates amongst power forward prospects.

After a breakthrough junior season, scouts will be watching closely to see if Erik Murphy can take the next step, not only becoming more productive, but also utilizing his diverse skill set to his advantage. Getting stronger and proving that he can guard NBA power forwards will likely help his case, as well. His senior season is particularly important because Murphy already is an NBA caliber shooter, which given his size, mobility, and ability to operate out of the pick-and-roll makes him a prospect to keep an eye on. For this reason and despite his inconsistent career, his stock could rise significantly with a standout senior season. Regardless, however, he should have plenty of opportunities, from high profile matchups in the SEC to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, to prove to scouts that he has what it takes to play in the NBA.

#12, Johnny O'Bryant, 6'9, Sophomore, Power Forward, LSU



Matt Kamalsky

Former McDonald's All-American Johnny O'Bryant had a solid, albeit inefficient, freshman campaign for the LSU Tigers. Averaging 8.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per-game, the 19 year-old power forward overcame breaking his hand mid-season, showing promise on the defensive end and as a rebounder while struggling at times with his efficiency and decision-making offensively. With Justin Hamilton moving on to the pros, O'Bryant will need to make the most of his experience last season as he's likely to be the focal point of the undersized Tigers' interior attack.

Standing 6'9 with a 7'2 wingspan, there is quite a bit to like about O'Bryant from a physical perspective. He may be a bit undersized for his position at the next level and does most of his work below the rim, but the Mississippi native has terrific strength and had some nice moments using that to his advantage as he aggressively crashed the boards and played a tenacious brand of individual defense.

Last season, those were the two areas where O'Bryant made the most consistent contributions. One of the top-5 offensive rebounders in the entire country per-40 minutes last season, O'Bryant simply overwhelmed his match-up with strength and energy to win the race to the ball on more than a few occasions last season. That effort and physicality carried over to the defensive end quite regularly, as O'Bryant, despite lacking great fundamentals, more than held his own in the post and in one-on-one situations away from the rim against more experienced and athletic players alike.

The early returns for O'Bryant offensively were not as promising. He proved to be a capable finisher at the rim, converting 60% of his put back attempts and 53.1% of his short range shots overall according to Synergy Sports Technology, but made just 28% of his jump shots and 32% of his shots in post-up situations. O'Bryant didn't appear to have a firm grasp of his limitations, often trying to do too much at times, especially from the midrange, a major reason he finished the season shooting under 40% from the field, which ranks as one the worst rates in college basketball for power forwards.

In one-on-one situations, O'Bryant showed some potential putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim after facing up in the post, but doesn't have a polished back to the basket arsenal, looking a bit out of control with his footwork, and proved fairly feast or famine when slashing to the basket. O'Bryant did have some nice moments cutting off the ball, finishing reverse layups at the rim, and using jump-stops to get into the paint, but will need to cut down on his 19.5% turnover rate, develop more power moves to better utilize his strength in the post, and take fewer difficult jump shots to improve his offensive efficiency in a bigger role this season.

One of the more productive freshmen in the SEC last season, Johnny O'Bryant has pretty clear cut strengths and weaknesses as a prospect. He'll have ample opportunity to showcase his development or lack thereof this season as he returns to the floor as LSU's clear-cut leader in the front court, and his play in 2013 will certainly dictate whether he gains traction as a NBA prospect down the road.

#13, Trevor Releford, 6-0, Junior, Point Guard, Alabama

Not much has changed in Releford's profile since the last time we updated his scouting report, which means we're better off waiting to see how he builds on his sophomore season before further evaluating his pro prospects.

#14, Jeronne Maymon, 6-7, Senior, Power Forward, Tennessee



Jonathan Givony

A top-100 recruit according to many high school scouting services, Jeronne Maymon played just nine games at Marquette as a freshman before electing to transfer. Maymon's father has gone on the record stating that he was unhappy with the way his son was being utilized by Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, who has taken his team to consecutive NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances since Maymon transferred.

“They didn't want to play the game right, so now we're going to watch them lose every game. That's just how it works,” Tim Maymon told Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal. "You don't bring a kid in and not use him the way he's supposed to be used. So this kid has left the state of Wisconsin as one of the premier players in the state. "

Maymon transferred to Tennessee and became eligible mid-way through his sophomore season, but wasn't able to make much of an impact, only seeing nine minutes per game, about half of what he played at Marquette. His first real minutes finally came this past season as a junior, where he was productive enough to be named second team All-SEC. He announced his presence to the world early on with a monster 32 point, 20 rebound outing against Memphis in the Maui Invitational, but was somewhat inconsistent against non-conference competition before finishing out the season very strong in SEC play.

Severely undersized for a power forward at 6-7, Maymon has with a long wingspan and a chiseled frame that allow him to remain very effective at the college level. He's not an incredibly explosive athlete, playing the game noticeably below the rim, but is mobile and knows how to use his strength to his advantage.

Left handed, Maymon is utilized in a variety of ways offensively, scoring at a good rate (18 points per-40), and very efficiently (57% 2P%) at that.

Maymon's most reliable source of offense comes facing the basket from around 17 feet, where he shows good ball-handling skills, a powerful first step and long strides taking slower defenders off the dribble. He gets to the free throw line prolifically, nearly 8 times per-40 minutes (second best in the SEC), and knocks down 66% of his attempts once there.

Maymon would be well served to continue to develop his mid-range jumper, as he made just 7 of the 25 attempts he took last season. He'll need to do that at his size if he's to reach the highest levels of professional basketball, as very few 6-7 players can get by off strength and hustle alone.

He also sees a decent amount of possessions with his back to the basket, where he can be effective against smaller power forwards thanks to his ability to establish deep post-position with his chiseled frame. It's difficult to see this part of his game translating to the highest levels of basketball due to his average height and leaping ability.

He's a good, but not great finisher around the rim, lacking a degree of explosiveness to score over longer opponents in traffic at times, but having the strength to take a hit and draw fouls, as well as a soft enough touch needed to use the glass effectively.

Maymon's biggest strengths as a prospect revolve around his rebounding ability, ranking seventh in the SEC last season per-40 in this category, tied with fellow frontcourt mate Jarnell Stokes. He uses his strong frame, long arms and excellent competitiveness to go out of his area on a regular basis crashing the offensive glass.

Defensively, he certainly puts the effort in, but can be slightly overmatched at times due to his average combination of size and fundamentals, particularly on the perimeter. He tends to lose his focus at times here, not getting a hand up on shooters, and letting opponents drive by him attacking off the dribble. In the post, he's a bit more effective thanks to his strength and length.

Projected to be an extremely important part of Tennessee's rebuilding effort in his senior year, Maymon is instead on the shelf indefinitely after having surgery in both knees over the offseason, and suffering what his head coach deemed “a setback” recently in one of his surgically repaired knees. He will be out for at least the start of the season, putting a bit of a damper on what is expected to be a very important season for both him individually and Tennessee's basketball program as a whole.

Regardless of his injury status, Maymon does not project as a great NBA prospect at this stage due to his lack of size, even if he certainly could have a very productive career overseas. Playing just 274 total minutes and losing almost the first two years of his college career does not look like the best move in hindsight considering the significant amount of experience he's lost out on not being on the basketball court, which makes this upcoming season more important than ever for his long-term growth.

#15, Will Yeguete, 6'7, Junior, Power Forward, Florida



Matt Kamalsky

After barely playing as a freshman, Frenchman Will Yeguete saw his role expand significantly as a sophomore, making an impact for the Gators as a role-player with his energy on both ends of the floor, before finishing his season with a fractured left foot in late February.

A severely undersized, but extremely athletic power forward, Yeguete finished the season ranked fourth in rebounding and eighth in steals per-40 amongst SEC players. With nothing in the way of perimeter skills or post-up moves to speak of, the 21 year-old's energy, leaping ability, quickness, and length make him a versatile defender and a capable finisher on the offensive end.

The power forward's offensive game is limited to essentially just that as this point, finishing. Some 86% of his shot attempts came at the basket according to Synergy Sports Technology, with the majority of those attempts distributed between put backs and cuts. Yeguete finishes those looks at a very solid 58% clip, creating his own opportunities by outworking his man in the post and remaining active without the ball in his hands. He rarely gets to the free throw line, and makes just 36% of his attempts once there—one of the worst rates in college basketball indicating just how limited his skill-level is at this point in time.

The rising junior shows a decent feel for the game when forced to make decisions with the ball, seldom trying to do too much and showing the ability to attack the basket with simple straight line dribbles, but has a skill set that matches his limited role at this juncture. He'll need to become a more diverse offensive player to improve on his meager 8.1 points per-40 minutes pace adjusted and become a bigger part of Billy Donovan's game plan in the coming seasons.

At this point, Yeguete does his best work crashing the boards. A very good rebounder on both ends of the floor for his size, Yeguete's 11.6 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted was among the top-40 marks turned in by NCAA power forwards last season. He pursues the ball very aggressively off the rim, never hesitating to attempt to rebound out of his area in traffic, doing a nice job winning the battle for position under the rim, and getting a hand on plenty of loose balls even if he's not always securing them.

Yeguete is also a standout defensive player, possessing the lateral quickness to pressure the ball and deny penetration out on the perimeter against small forwards as well as the length and tenacity to defend big men near the basket. Yeguete struggles at times with traditional back-to-the-basket scorers due to his lack of height, but his versatility is a definite asset at both forward positions. He does an excellent job getting a hand up on shooters, possesses solid fundamentals, and competes every possession, helping him make an impact in the passing lanes and force his man into some difficult shots.

With two years left at Florida, Yeguete is a prospect with clear strengths and weaknesses at this point. If he can develop the offensive skills to compliment his defensive ability and rebounding prowess, he'll put himself in terrific position to garner some attention from scouts playing for a talented Florida squad. Otherwise, there's little doubt that he'll find a team in Europe that would be happy to help him make use of his valuable French passport.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com matt.kamalsky@draftexpress.com kyle.nelson@draftexpress.com .

 

Erik Murphy
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 10/26/1990
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Mark
Previous Team: Austin , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #19 in 2013 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
8.8 Pts, 3.7 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Johnny O'Bryant
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 257 lbs.
Birthday: 06/01/1993
21 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cleveland East Side
Previous Team: Bucks , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #6 in 2014 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 0.3 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Trevor Releford
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 197 lbs.
Birthday: 12/23/1991
22 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bishop Miege
Previous Team: Szczecin , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
17.9 Pts, 3.4 Rebs, 4.9 Asts


Jeronne Maymon
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 265 lbs.
Birthday: 03/06/1991
23 Years Old
Teams:
High School: James Madison Memorial
Previous Team: Hapoel Tel Aviv , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
7.4 Pts, 5.7 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Will Yeguete
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 10/16/1991
23 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Florida Air Academy
Previous Team: Le Havre , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.7 Pts, 3.8 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Justin Hamilton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Birthday: 12/19/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Booker
Previous Team: Florida , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Jarnell Stokes
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 263 lbs.
Birthday: 01/07/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Memphis Central
Previous Team: Grizzlies , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2014 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 6.3 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Billy Donovan
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 05/30/1965
49 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Agnes
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 3, Pick #22 in 1987 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
2.4 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


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