|His 7-figure contract should be celebrated by D-League IMO RT @RUBasketball Great debut for Morris Almond w/Real Madrid http://bit.ly/93seOT|
|@RUBasketball my guess is Morris Almond was being Morris Almond and Dee Brown just had enough. TJ Cummings has all kinds of issues as well|
|Most lopsided trade in bball history? RT @nbadleague: Springfield sends league's #1 scorer Morris Almond to Maine for Tony Bobbit+Noel Felix|
|Top 25s - Full List|
H: 6' 6"|
W: 214 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|Agent: Chris Emens ||
High School: McEachern
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA
Pick 25 in 2007 by Jazz
Best Case: Matt Barnes
Worst Case: Devean George
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2006||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 4.75"||6' 6"||214||6' 10"||8' 6.5"||6.9||31.0||35.5|
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D-League Showcase: Day Two|
January 6, 2010
Another former first round pick, Morris Almond was one of the higher profile players at this Showcase, and he's certainly backed that up in the two games he's played here. A deadly scorer who does most of his damage with his jump shot, Almond has absolutely lit up the scoreboard, creating heavy speculation of him being called up to the NBA sometime soon.
On the offensive end, Almond is still a prolific shooter, and he's been among the league leaders in scoring efficiency (55% 2P, 44% 3P) in the D-League the past few seasons. He's equally deadly spotting up as he is pulling up in space, and he does a decent job of getting separation on the perimeter off one or two dribbles.
His dribble-drive game appears to have developed substantially since graduating from college, as he makes up for his lack of extensive advanced moves by using a solid first step and excellent footwork to make subtle changes of direction, weaving through the lane and even flashing the ability to finish with either hand. He also shows no hesitation to draw contact with his sturdy frame, getting to the line over 11 times per game (ranking 1st overall) in the D-League, which is an amazing rate anyway you look at it.
There are definitely concerns about Almond's volume shooting, but it'd be unfair to classify him as a chucker, as most of the shots he takes are ones that will provide his team with above average efficiency. His efficiency this week has been absolutely outstanding even on high usage, and despite his 15 or so shots per game, it's hard to look at any of his shots and say it was an ill-advised one. Considering how much smaller his role will be in the NBA (he leads the D-League in possessions used per game at 23.5), this will be a key factor in his transition to the next level.
Defense is still not among Almond's strengths, but he has put in adequate effort here, and his physical tools in terms of size, length, and lateral quickness are enough to get by at the shooting guard position.
The biggest concern about Almond from an NBA perspective is what he will be able to contribute when he's not scoring, as he ranks amongst the worst passers in the league, and watching him play, is clearly always looking for his own shot. Data from Synergy Sports Technology also suggests Almond isn't nearly as good of a scorer coming off screens as he is spotting up, and this could limit his effectiveness in a role as a 3-point shooter in the NBA.
Regardless, he clearly is an exceptionally talented shooter/scorer, and it's hard to believe he isn't worth a minimum contract for some team, given some of the ineffective players logging minutes on the wing around the league making 5-10 times the minimum salary. Almond has developed somewhat of a reputation for being a bit aloof at times and not always open to change, so it will be key for him to show that he has the intangibles to match his terrific talent.
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Rocky Mountain Revue Day One
July 19, 2008
Almond was one of the few bright spots for the Jazz today, showing some nice improvement from last season. The former Rice star was very aggressive taking the ball to the basket today, a nice change of pace from last year when he preferred to settle for jumpers on the perimeter. He did a very nice job working off the ball, running hard off of cuts to get open. The young guard’s ball handling ability is coming around, but he still has a lot to work on. He did show great body control when he got to the rim, seeking out contact and even finishing an and-one with a pretty left handed finger roll with defender draped over him. Almond had a nice game on both ends, but he’s someone that we’ll evaluate more thoroughly as the week progresses.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/14/07-- Part One
February 15, 2007
Against SMU this past Saturday, we observed Rice scoring machine Morris Almond in person, along with scouts from the Bucks, Sixers, and Clippers. It was clear to everyone on hand that he is a flat out scoring machine at this level, and has a shooting stroke that extends out to NBA three point range. The Rice senior also finds other crafty ways to put the ball through the hole, making up for his lack of incredible athleticism with remarkably heady play.
The biggest asset that Almond brings to the table is obviously his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He is absolutely automatic when he has his feet set, which he has no problem doing awfully quickly when coming off screens. He gets his shot off quickly, has nice form, and releases the ball quite high. Morris is such an excellent shooter that once the ball left his hand, those in attendance were all expecting it to drop. Off the dribble he is outstanding going to his left, although he usually settles for a pull-up jumpshot instead of taking it all the way to the cup. When he does decide to take it to the rim going to his right, he generally does a great job of finishing, drawing a foul, or finding an open teammate after breaking down the defense.
What makes the Rice senior an even more attractive prospect is his ability to get to the foul line, where he goes nearly 10 times per game. He converts 86% of his free throw attempts, making him a player you don’t want to foul at the end of the game, as shown by SMU coach Matt Doherty’s choice not to foul with less then 50 seconds to go and his team down by three…due to the fact that Almond had the ball in his hands.
The swingman’s ability to make his way to the foul line is not so much dependent upon explosive athleticism or a great first step, like it is with so many other wing players. He finds his way to the line via his smart play and ability to move off of the ball. Almond does an excellent job of selling defenders with his shot fake, which is identical to the form of his jumpshot. He also moves quite well without the ball in his hands, setting defenders up before he cuts and then rubbing right off of the screener. This allows him to touch the ball on virtually every possession down the floor. He uses the referees to his advantage as well, pushing off all of the time but doing in it a way that the officials cannot see for the most part. These are clearly acquired skills that he has learned over his four year career at Rice, and are a huge reason why his scoring average was able to jump from 7.2 points per game as a sophomore to 21.9 points per game as a junior.
Almond’s physical attributes are also a plus for the scoring machine. He measured out at a legit 6’6 with shoes and owned a 6’10 wingspan, verified at last year’s NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando. His long frame is also remarkably muscular already, with the potential to add another 15-20 pounds if he chooses to go that route. When it is all said and done, his frame could allow him to own a Corey Maggette type body if he decides to bulk up.
It is pretty remarkable that Morris is able to average nearly 28 points per game, while not being a very creative scorer off of the dribble almost whatsoever. He does not have a very explosive first step nor is he an excellent ball handler, making his drives to the basket usually stop far short of the rim. He really seems to struggle going to his right, often settling for contested floaters and seeing his shooting percentage plummet as opposed to when he shoots without dribbling or drives to his left.
Defensively, Almond always seemed to be a step late throughout the game. He did not exert the world’s best effort on the defensive end, resulting him to get burned quite a few times when attempting to go through screens. His rotations were quite poor, as he was always getting to the necessary spot about a half second later then he should have. There were a few brief spurts in which Morris played adequate defense, but overall it was an incredibly poor defensive showing for a player who possesses such excellent length and strength for a wing.
NBA teams will know what they are getting in Almond when the 2007 NBA Draft rolls around. Scouts know they are getting a smart, crafty player who can absolutely shoot the lights out of the ball. If teams are looking for a guy who is going to break down the defense and average 3 or more assists per game from the wing, then Morris is not your man. When it is all said and done, Almond has a very good chance of seeing himself drafted somewhere in the first round due to his proven scoring prowess, ability to get to the foul line, and deadly outside shooting stroke, as well as his excellent intangibles.
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DraftExpress All-Orlando Pre-Draft Camp Teams
June 15, 2006
Almond showed off some very impressive scoring abilities at the camp, though he still could use some improvement before venturing into the NBA. He can score in many different ways, spotting up from mid and long-range, attacking the basket, or pulling up for floaters in the lane. But aside from scoring, Almond didn’t stand out in any other area here, and his scoring ability still has room to improve.
Almond’s ball-handling was respectable here, but he would do himself well to improve it to the point where he could use it to create his shot more. Most of his attacks on the basket here were predicated by him using a shot fake, not taking his man off-the-dribble with his quickness. If he could get a little bit more explosive and improve his ball-handling so he could out-quick players more often, that would make him an even better scorer. That extra quickness and ball-handling would also make Almond more suitable to playing the SG position in the NBA, to go along with SF, which is where he is best suited now.
Almond would be entering his senior season at Rice University should he choose to return to college. He may be able to make an NBA roster now, or possibly even get drafted, but would probably be best off returning to school for another year to improve on some things before heading into the NBA.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day 3 (Last Update: 10:46 AM)
June 8, 2006
Morris Almond – 24 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 9-15 FG, 2-3 3P, 4-4 FT
Almond had an extremely impressive game, scoring in every way imaginable and looking very good doing so. He didn’t do much other than scoring, but he still contributed a great deal to his team. His ball-handling, which was largely viewed as a weakness heading into this camp, was not a liability at all here, though he didn’t do anything spectacular with it, just being proficient enough to get to where he needed to go.
Almond scored nine field goals in the game with them coming from all over the floor. He hit two spot-up three pointers, a long spot-up two pointer, hit a variety of floaters and lay-ups off the glass, and got to the free-throw line by driving to the rim, usually predicated by a shot fake to get a step on his man. On one occasion he came out of nowhere to make an extremely athletic putback lay-up. He also was in constant motion off the ball, always working to get open and doing a good job of it here.
Defensively, Almond was solid at keeping his man in front of him, though did nothing especially noteworthy on that end of the court.
Almond will be entering his senior season at Rice University in Conference USA if he chooses to go back to school. Given what he’s shown here, he would probably be best served going back to college, working on his ball-handling and improving his already efficient scoring ability. He had a strong performance here, but doesn’t really stand out in any way as an NBA player at this stage in his development. Another year of college basketball could go a long way for him.
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