H: 6' 10"|
W: 246 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|RSCI: 47||Agent: Jason Glushon |
High School: Grand Ledge
Hometown: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Drafted: Pick 3 in 2007 by Hawks
Best Case: Emeka Okafor
Worst Case: Ronny Turiaf
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 8.75"||6' 9.75"||246||7' 0.75"||8' 11"||9.1||31.0||35.5|
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 8.75"||6' 9.75"||246||7' 0.75"||8' 11"||9.1||31.0||35.5|
One may just look at the box score and assume this was a very good game for Horford, but a closer look at the game itself brings some very concerning issues to light. While Horford did play a large part in leading his team to victory, mainly with his strong rebounding and weakside presence on the defensive end, he struggled mightily trying to contain Greg Oden in the post. Horfordís post defense has widely been considered one of his greatest strengths, though when you look at this game alongside Randolph Morrisí 18-point game against Horford earlier in the season, itís not as easy to view it as an aberration, considering these are two of the toughest post players Horford has played against at Florida.
This wasnít the first time Oden matched up against Horford, as he scored 11 points on him earlier in the season in a 60-88 Ohio State loss. Oden didnít get much of anything going in the post in that game, but the difference here was that Oden now has the use of both of his hands, and that heís a less raw offensive player than he was then. Horford gave up points to Oden on the interior on many occasions in this game, most of them coming when Oden simply got better position than Horford did down low, where it would only take one step for him to get close enough to the basket to score on a lay-up or dunk. Horford unsuccessfully tried to front Oden at times, which would usually lead to Horford losing his position when he went back to playing straight up, letting Oden get the inside track. Horford also gave up a hook shot to Oden on one occasion. To Horfordís credit, he did force Oden into one travel in the post, and held his position well one or two times, mainly when he established better position prior to the entry pass, but his post defense was for the most part exposed against the 7í0 monster.
While Horford had trouble keeping Oden from scoring in the post, one area where Horford was not intimidated was on the glass. Horford actually went up to pull down multiple rebounds on both ends of the court, some over Oden and others with him in the direct vicinity. Horford came up with some very clutch rebounds down the stretch, where he fully used his length, athleticism, and timing along with a relentless hustle to help secure the game for his team. Horford did a good job boxing out when near the basket, and tracking down rebounds that flew away from the hoop.
Horford also was a strong presence on the weakside on the defensive end, heavily contesting more than a handful of shots over the course of the game, while also earning two blocks in the official box score, though many would contend there were a few more. Horford showed off his mobility by blocking cutters coming through the lane, as well as by making some post blocks on smaller players who tried to score when he was near the basket. Horford showed off a bit of his versatile perimeter defense for a big man by going step-for-step with Ivan Harris on a drive starting from behind the three-point arc early in the first half, forcing him into a missed shot from the middle of the lane.
On the offensive end, Horford started off the game shooting the ball from mid-range, as heís grown accustomed to doing over the past few months. He missed an array of shots from 15 to 18 feet early in the game, though hit two of them as the game went on. In the post, Horford had trouble getting things going when matched up with Oden, being blocked on one occasion, in which he dived on the floor to grab the loose ball and recover the possession for his team. Horford did most of his work on the inside when Oden was out of the game, as he went to quick work on the Ohio State reserves when he had the chance, scoring a nice lefty lay-up off the glass on a spin move on one occasion and drawing a foul on another spin move from eight feet out on another. Horford also hit a running 12-foot floater with the shot clock winding down late in the game.
While Horford played well in most areas for his team, and was one of the driving forces leading his team to victory, aside teammate Corey Brewer of course, he was also exposed in one key area that could shake up his NBA draft stock. Because he showed similar issues against another NBA post player in Randolph Morris earlier in the season, this is something NBA teams will look at more closely in making their evaluations. Horfordís normal style of defense in the post is to play with his hands up and by keeping his body in front of his man, forcing them into tough shots. That clearly didnít work here against Greg Oden, and itís an adjustment heís going to have to make at the next level, using more physicality and adding some more strength to his excellent frame to maintain his position down low. Thereís a chance this could push him down a few spots in the lottery, but he still has all the defensive tools in the world, excellent basketball IQ, and a great motor, which will allow him to learn to make those adjustments at the next level, should he have the right coaching.
It wasnít a banner day for the quickly rising junior, but Horford did enough against Oregon to keep his name in the neutral section. With Lee Humphrey and Taurean Green hitting from the outside, his post offense wasnít a necessity today, and Horford must be given credit for his willingness not to force the issue. While he didnít show any particular amount of skill, his strength and athleticism absolutely overwhelmed the Oregon frontcourt. He did a great job of attacking the glass, and it is impossible not to be impressed with Horfordís powerful athleticism around the rim. He came up with a couple of emphatic blocks, and did his usual superb job on the defensive end.
People wonítí remember much of Horford from this game, but he plays on a deep team with several other options that happened to be blazing hot this afternoon. The Juniorís natural tools are immense, and it appears that this is one player who did make the right decision in returning to school. His powerful presence will be very much required against UCLA.
Al Horford had perhaps his best game ever in a Gators uniform, and it couldnít have come at a better time. In a very hard fought game that Purdue just wouldnít quit on, Horford came up big on the defensive end, on the boards, with a newfound touch around the rim, and with a little perimeter shooting as well.
Horford started the game off by hitting two mid-range jumpers, one of the spot-up variety from 15 feet out, and the next on a post-up from about 10 feet away, where he turned into his opponent and put up a quick jumper right in his face. Horford missed his next two mid-range jumpers, and then drifted out of the Florida offense for the remainder of the first half.
In the second half, Horford directed his offense to the painted area, where he really started to impress with a nice array of hook shots and a great touch around the basket. Horford started off by making a drop-step lay-up off the glass which he was also fouled on, then quickly came back down the floor to hit a fading hook shot from about eight feet out. He hit two more hook shots as the game went on, one of which he used the glass on. Horford has historically had trouble with his touch on finesse post moves outside of five feet, though he did an excellent job with that in this game.
Horford did a good job scoring the ball on offense, though his greatest contribution in this game was on the defensive end, where his versatility allowed him to make big plays for Florida both in the paint and on the perimeter. Horford and teammate Joakim Noah did an excellent job contesting shots in the painted area, often working together on double teams and post fronts to give the opposition fits. Horford refused to give up position in the post and did a good job getting his hands up to contest weak-side drives in the lane. His ability to step up on the perimeter was even more impressive, where he used his wherewithal, length, and lateral quickness to make steals and force turnovers, usually when stepping up to switch on screens. Horford made two key plays with the clock winding down in the game, the first coming at the conclusion of the first half where he stepped out on a screen to contest a would-be three-point buzzer-beater. Then with 25 seconds remaining in the second half with Florida just about sealing the game, Horford went on a one man full court press, sealing off Purdueís point guard and forcing the in-bounder to throw a turnover into Lee Humphreyís hands.
Horford also made great contributions with his tenacity on the boards, pulling down a lot of tough defensive rebounds in traffic and doing a good job boxing out on both ends. Horford did a good job in the passing game as well, kicking the ball out of the post when he didnít have anything to work with and making an excellent no-look assist out of a double team to teammate Chris Richard for a wide open jam.
Horfordís numbers in the box scores havenít really improved much this season, but he has improved his stock as an NBA draft prospect by the way heís been getting things done, specifically in regards to his improved mid-range shooting and his touch around the basket, which has noticeably improved in the final weeks of the season and into the tournament. Horford currently projects as a mid-lottery pick in the upcoming draft, and as long as he continues playing the way he has been for the remainder of the tournament, he shouldnít have to worry about waiting long to hear his name called on draft day.
Al Horford had a very solid showing against Arkansas in the SEC Finals, showing off his improved jump shot along with his usual strong post defense and rebounding. Horford hit three spot-up jumpers from about 18 feet on the game, as well as one from 10 feet, looking very smooth on all three while showing decent form and a decent release speed. Horfordís succeeded in making this jumper a consistent staple of his offensive arsenal this season, and it should help his transition to the NBA next year. Horford didnít do much with his back to the basket on the game, and thatís an area he could still use some improvement in, but he did hit one turnaround jumper from about five feet and also drew a foul on a drop-step attempt.
Horford had an excellent game on the boards, using all of his abilities to track down rebounds, utilizing his strength and fundamentals to box out and maintain inside position, his length to rebound over the opposition when he didnít have position, and his mobility to track down rebounds that didnít come directly to him. Defensively, Horford did a good job in the post both fronting and playing his man straight up, and also did a good job contesting shots on the weakside. He had some trouble when forced to drift out to the perimeter against some of Arkansasís smaller lineups, as he didnít seem to heavily contest outside jumpers, preferring to stay closer to the paint where he could assist on the weakside. Then again, this seemed to be Floridaís defensive game plan from the beginning with both Horford and teammate Joakim Noah, and itís tough to argue with the 77-56 final score.
Al Horfordís had a pretty strong season thus far, consistently showing the tenacity heís become known for on defense and the boards, but also making some little strides in his offensive game as well, using the mid-range jumper more consistently and showing small signs of progress in his touch around the basket.
Horford had two pretty good showings to close out the SEC regular season, notching double-doubles against both Tennessee and Kentucky this past week. Horfordís biggest contribution in both games was his work on defense and the boards, but he did a good job playing in the post on offense as well, showing a nice array of moves, including a drop step, hook shot, spin move, the ability to use glass, and most importantly a better touch around the rim than he has in the past. Horford also showed good composure while facing double teams and made some nice kick-out passes for open shot opportunities.
Horfordís post game was certainly not flawless, though, as his feel for the game when he has the ball still leaves a lot to be desired, mainly when he has it outside of five feet. Horford doesnít have much of a face-up game, and if he canít gain superior position backing his man down, he doesnít have much success with his post moves outside of his comfort zone, which is within five feet of the basket.
As mentioned above, one area Horford has improved upon this year is his mid-range jumper, and this gives him something he can contribute outside the painted area on the offensive end. In a 23-game sample of his 29 games this season, Horford has taken 40 spot-up jumpers, mostly from around 10-15 feet, and heís hit 24 of them (60%). While this is not yet a major staple of his game, Horfordís now taking close to two spot-up jumpers per game of the 8.3 field goals he attempts, whereas he sparingly used the jumper last season and wasnít very effective with it. Horfordís release on his shot isnít very quick, but he has a high release point and decent form, and with more work in the offseason, he could develop his mid-range jumper into a reliable weapon in his offensive arsenal.
Speaking in terms of the NBA, Horford will likely never be relied upon much on the offensive end; what teams will value him for will be his excellent defensive abilities, both in terms of man-to-man and team defense. While he didnít get to show it much in these past two games due to the opposition, Horford is an excellent man-to-man defender in the post, possessing great strength, length, and a very strong fundamental base along with the wherewithal to use it effectively. Horfordís defensive prowess also extends to the perimeter, though, where he has the length and lateral quickness to guard many perimeter-oriented big men, which will make him a huge defensive asset at the next level, likely being capable of guarding most power forwards and centers in the league. In the Kentucky game, Horford did an excellent job moving between the post and the perimeter on defense, making switches, and using his length to aggressively stick his man on the perimeter. Horford did have some trouble staying with small forward Bobby Perry on some plays, but he doesnít project to guard small forwards at the next level, so thatís not too concerning.
Horfordís also an excellent weakside defender, always keeping his eye on the ball and his man, and making quick rotations across the lane when necessary, using his length and timing to block and alter many shot attempts. Horfordís shot-blocking abilities are also evident in his man-to-man defense in the post, where he causes fits when the opposition tries to shoot over him. On the boards, Horford does a very good job boxing his man out, and also has the mobility to chase down many long rebounds.
Horford projects as a mid-lottery pick in the upcoming draft, where he is pretty much a lock to declare. While not as recognizable or highly touted as teammate Joakim Noah, Horford has the chance to be just as good, if not better, a pro, especially if he can continue to make strides with his offensive game, specifically by working to have a more consistent mid-range jumper and improving his touch around the rim and feel for the game in the post. Horford should be able to contribute right away in the NBA with his versatile defensive abilities and tenacity on the boards, while also being able to play a garbage man type role on the offensive end until he puts in more work on the finer aspects of his scoring. If he continues to make more strides on the offensive end, Horford could make an impact similar to that of Emeka Okafor in the NBA, and it shouldnít take that much time.
Horford is displaying many of the same problems heís shown for the past year, though is also exhibiting the same great strengths.
Horford made his impact on this game on the defensive end, where he continued to show his great ability and understanding of how to defend in the post. Twice in the game Horford impressively blocked his man in a one-on-one situation, with one of the occasions being an absolute facial on Julian Wright midway through the first half, when Wright had previously been putting together a highlight reel performance against the Florida defense. Horford also used his length on one occasion to deflect a post entry pass that resulted in a steal for his team. And on a very crucial play down the stretch in the end of the second half, after Brandon Rush had pulled down a defensive rebound, Horford used his strength to rip the ball right out of his hands and make a quick pass to Joakim Noah for a jam.
Horford also did a good job playing weakside defense, making rotations and frequently altering shots in the lane. Horford was in foul trouble for much of the game, though, so he picked his spots playing help defense, occasionally not asserting himself when he was in position to do so. Against the pick-and-roll, Horford showed off his ability, length, and understanding, consistently hedging the ball-handler and getting back to his own man in time. He also did a good job boxing out on the defensive boards, pulling down rebounds and sealing his man.
On the offensive end, Horford had some troubles, showing many of the same issues heís shown in the past. Horford started the game by making a very nice spin move for a score out of a triple-team in the post, though he didnít show much in the line of touch for the rest of the game. He got to the line a few times, but on his other finesse post attempts in the game, various spin moves and hook shots, Horford usually missed badly. Horford definitely is at his best when he gets very close to the basket, where he can use more power than finesse, as he did on a very impressive drop step out of a double team late in the game, which he ferociously jammed down.
Horford missed both of his jumpshots in the game, though one of which was a three he had to take as the shot clock was winding down. In terms of passing the ball, Horford did a good job as usual, recognizing double teams and making kickouts out of the post, though his teammates didnít make much of the open three-point opportunities he found. Horford also made some nice passes feeding the post, mainly to Joakim Noah. One resulted in a score for Noah, but the other went right through his hands.
Horford tried to step out of his comfort zone a few times, resulting in a charge on one dribble-drive attempt from mid-range and a travel when he tried to put the ball on the floor on the perimeter. But for most of the game, Horford played within himself, and made positive contributions on both ends of the floor for his team. Horford only pulled down one offensive rebound in the game, though it was from out of position, and he put it back on a powerful jam, as many have grown accustomed to him doing.
Horford hasnít improved much in terms of his touch around the basket, and his jump shot isnít falling much despite his decent form, but heís still doing everything else well, and should be a very good role player in the NBA from day one. His defense is excellent, especially in the post, and if he can improve on his touch around the basket offensively, he could become a very complete player in the NBA. Heís a likely lottery pick due to his impressive physical attributes, though he still has room for growth in some of the lesser-developed areas of his game.
One may question how Al Horford has found himself in the stock up column with two consecutive marginal statistical performances, but thereís certainly good reason to come away pleased with what Horford has shown. The statline doesnít even begin to tell the story with what Horford does for his team and what he can do in the future.
Horford played only 24 minutes, as coach Billy Donovan was very careful monitoring his foul trouble. Horford was sent to the bench immediately after both his first and second fouls in the first half, missing a good chunk of time because of it. He finished the game with only those two fouls, and definitely couldíve logged more minutes, but given the end result of the game, itís hard to question Donovanís decisions.
When he was on the floor, though, Horford made his presence felt. On the offensive end, Horford continued to show his amazing composure in handling double teams, looking like a 10-year NBA veteran in that regard. Whether he fights through two frontcourt defenders for the score, draws the foul to get to the line, or makes a pinpoint pass through the defenders to the open man, it seems as if thereís always a positive result when Horford draws the double. Out of the double, he was able to find teammates open both in the paint and behind the three-point line with his passes, netting all three of his assists from it.
Horford wasnít much of a scoring force on the night, getting quite a few of his points in the final 10 minutes when the lead had ballooned well into double digits. He actually had four monstrous jams in this time period, all of which were tremendous displays of power and clear setbacks for UCLAís comeback effort. Throughout the game, Horford was either fighting hard for position in the post or out setting screens for his teammates, but just not getting many scoring opportunities. With Floridaís balanced attack, itís hard for him to show what heís fully capable of doing on this end of the floor.
On the defensive end, Horford continued to impress, making rotations, altering shots, crashing the boards, and doing whatever else his team needed. He made two blocks on the night and, along with teammate Joakim Noah, made UCLA look very tentative in attacking the basket as the game went on. Horford also showed off some of his mobility once again, stepping out to deflect some passes.
Horfordís one turnover on the night came when he stepped out of bounds attempting to dribble the ball up the court against UCLAís press. Given the fact that heís shown the ability to take the ball up the court many times in the past few games and months as well as on a few other occasions just in this game, itís hard to fault him for this one mistake.
Horford now has a very tough decision to make in choosing whether or not to test the draft waters. One thing that will certainly affect his decision is the brief professional career of his father. Tito Horford, a 7í1 Center, came out of school early following his sophomore season in 1988, going on to play only three seasons in the NBA, never fully reaching his potential. Tito has stated publicly that he doesnít want his son to make the same mistake he did. What his father probably realizes by now is that his son is already a thousand times more of a basketball player than he was, although he just doesn't have the same height.
Given Joakim Noahís rise to stardom during Floridaís tournament run, Horford has been mentioned as mostly an afterthought. But donít let that fool you. Anyone who has done their due diligence knows that Horford is well worthy of a lottery pick in this draft. Coach Billy Donovan has stated publicly that Horford is the most intelligent player heís ever coached. Combine that with his length, size, strength, athleticism, and skill, and you have quite the prospect on your hands. Horford would definitely benefit from returning to school and continuing to improve his game, most notably his mid-range jumper, but with his frame, skill-set, and versatility, he would likely be able to make an impact in the NBA from day one. And just coming off a national title, with a very good chance of being a lottery pick, thatís going to be very tough to pass up.
Horford had an up and down game, exhibiting his excellent awareness, intelligence, and ability on the defensive end, while showing his lack of polish on the offensive end. He still played a massive role in getting his team to the National Championship game, though, which is enough reason to land him a spot in the stock up column.
Defensively, Horford used his length and athleticism to pester his own man and also make some great contributions with team defense. He wasnít credited for any blocks in the box score, but Horford altered a countless number of shots with his length, possibly getting a graze on a few of them. He made all his necessary rotations and helped double-team in the post on a few occasions. He used his length to block passing lanes and force opponents to change their shot. He also showed his excellent mobility for a big man, frequently showing on the perimeter and recovering in more than enough time. When matched up with the overpowering Jai Lewis in the post, Horford countered Lewisís strength with his length and strong hands, poking at the ball and causing discomfort.
On the offensive end, Horford put himself in position to score on many occasions, but had trouble finishing at the rim. He showed flashes of a face-up and post-up game, though wasnít able to capitalize on either. He was able to use his court awareness and unselfishness to find an open teammate on many occasions, though, racking up 4 assists in the process, a few of them resulting in dagger three pointers by Lee Humphrey. Heís a very good passer both out of the post and to his partner in crime Joakim Noah. Horford also did very well running the floor both with and without the ball. On three or four occasions, Horford dribbled the ball from one free-throw line to the other, looking fairly comfortable and fluid. He even made a crossover on one of the drives. He wasnít able to turn any of these exhibitions into easy baskets, but itís still a rare skill for a PF to have that level of ball-handling.
Horford was all over the place on the boards, using his length to get to rebounds he was in no position to get. His mobility allows him to easily chase down long rebounds even when initially stationed near the basket.
On the negative side, Horford made four turnovers in various situations, including an inbounds pass and facing up his man. He also had a few lapses on defense, letting George Mason forward Will Thomas move right past him in the post on one occasion, partially due to foul trouble.
Horfordís lack of polish on the offensive end is evident, but he shows a lot of promise in that he frequently puts himself in high-percentage shot situations. He also is able to contribute in many other areas of the game, while competing with ferocity and playing intelligently. He says he intends to return to Florida next season, though that may change if they win the national title. Horford could definitely use the extra polish he would gain in another season of college, but with his natural ability and versatile game, he should be able to get minutes in the NBA immediately, even if he was drafted this season. Itís hard to tell where heíd project to be drafted, but the lottery is certainly not out of the picture with his total package and prototypical PF build.
Although heís nowhere near as heralded on the national level as his frontcourt mate Joakim Noah, Horford was just as important to his teamís victory tonight and beyond the stats played just as good of a game.
Horford started out the game in dominant fashion, coming up with two early baskets where he displayed impressive footwork, explosiveness and body control in traffic. As the game progressed, he remained a steady presence on the boards throughout, using his body, smarts and terrific strength to shield the ball from the other team. On the offensive end of the floor, Horford established very good position and made some nice moves trying to be aggressive.
Though he missed his fair share of shots in the post, he was there to collect the offensive rebound on a few occasions, which led to a couple of thunderous dunks. Horford also displayed a high basketball IQ, especially by making a nice pass to the cutting Joakim Noah late in the game, which led to yet another Florida dunk. He also showed the ability to put the ball on the floor, bringing the ball up out of the double team, and weaving through a few different trap attempts from Villanova.
As far as skills go, there are few that Al Horford hasnít displayed at some point in the NCAA tournament. Against Villanova, his mid-range shot wasnít falling, but he has shown the raw ability to hit the 15 footer in the past. Horford also has excellent quickness and leaping ability to go along with a chiseled body to compliment his array of skills. He has a bright future in the NBA, whether he leaves after this season or waits for the 2007 draft.
This was a fairly quiet night for Horford on the stat-sheet, but he did everything his team needed him to do for them and more, while continuing to show sparks of what gets NBA types so excited about his upside as a draft prospect.
His defense on 7-2 Roy Hibbert was a huge factor in his team coming out on top in the end, as the way he managed to take it to him on both ends of the floor had the talented big man bent over holding his shorts after all the energy he was forced to expend.
Horford rebounded with purpose, coming up with some massive boards on the offensive end especially, and did what his team needed to do in their half-court sets by scoring with a jump hook with his back to the basket, knocking down another mid-range jump-shot, putting the ball on the floor with his quickness before elevating and dunking emphatically, and knocking down a couple of clutch free throws that sealed the win for his team.
There wasnít anything all that pretty in the way Horford played tonight, but everything he did was effective and efficient and played a huge role in the final score that will send his team to the Elite Eight on Sunday.
Most considered Al Horford to be Florida's top prospect going into the 05-06 season, as his size, length, athleticism and pro body made him an extremely important cog in Billy Donovan's frontcourt already in his freshman year. Horford has had his moments this year, but has not stepped up to the plate on many occasions, instead deferring to his teammates when his team needed him most. His offensive has not developed the way many might have hoped it would, although he has shown more potential in terms of knocking down the mid-range shot, as well as his typically excellent passing and ball-handling skills in the open floor. Horford looks more like a 3 or 4 year player at the moment, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Gators would like to see him do his job defensively and on the glass (which he usually does very well) as well as contribute with 10-12 points per game just by being opportunistic around the hoop.[Read Full Article]
An NBA frame, including an outstanding wingspan and fantastic hands make this fundamental big man the most intriguing post player in the SEC right now. Horford has the physical attributes NBA scouts look for, including the quickness and a nice first and second bounce off the floor, but he also combines that with the type of intangibles that are extremely hard to come by these days. Horford is a smart and tough post player, showing outstanding instincts on the glass and the type of hustle and grittiness needed to survive as a freshman in one of the most physical conferences in the country. He has also added plenty of weight to his excellent frame over the summer, meaning that there will be no need for an undershirt this time around.
His offense is still lagging far far behind his defense, but Horford has shown enough sparks of potential, including surprisingly good ball-handling skills, as well as the attitude to lead us to believe that he will develop that as well down the road. What's even better is that he might even still be growing, already surpassing David Lee (according to Lee himself) despite only being listed at 6-8. Horford has a chance to really make a name for himself this year in Gainesville as Floridaís #1 option in the post. The only question is whether the hype is coming too soon, as his offensive game in general truly is a work in progress.