Illini Meyers Leonard and Brandon Paul testing NBA Draft waters



The 2011-12 Illinois Fighting Illini alpha dog (Brandon Paul) and second banana (Meyers Leonard)  have submitted their names to the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee to receive feedback on their draft stock. Therefore, they will have the chance to receive feedback from NBA scouts on their game, but still retain the ability to return to school next season.

I think I know what they’ll hear.

For the sophomore Meyers Leonard,

they’ll probably talk about how he’s got great size and strength, and how he has a decent amount of post moves. On the other end, he’s a natural shot blocker/alterer But the first thing they’ll want to know is why he appears to be so soft, and mentally weak.

Even his own coach has called out his mental toughness, and the lasting images of him crying on the Illini bench towards the end of that horrific debacle at Nebraska don’t help. Also, Leonard had a tendency to really only show up for one half of most games. Look at his statistical splits, it’s striking.

Meyers is still looking like a late lottery pick this year despite his rawness and inconsistency. His height and natural athletic abilities will indeed take him that far. In our latest NBA mock draft, we currently have him at #19 overall to Philadelphia.


For the junior Brandon Paul,

Straight up late second round in 2013 prospect. BP3 will likely return to Champaign as much as Leonard will stay in the draft. Paul’s positives are his ability to slash, attack and create his own shot. A very solid leaper and perimeter shooter, who unfortunately falls in love with the three way too often.

Negatives include his well deserved reputation as a chucker, the fact that he’s taken some really ill-advised shots in critical situations, and turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. What’s even worse about his turnovers is that they almost always lead to opponents’ points. It’s actually quite uncanny, whenever he turns it over it seems to be turned right into points for the opposition immediately.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.


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