The much discussed, and very often scrutinized, Purdue Boilermakers Center A.J. Hammons will finally be drafted into the NBA in a little over a month. A four year guy, this seems like it’s been a very long time coming as there was chatter the last two seasons about whether or not Hammons would or should make an early entry into the professional ranks.
ESPN College Hoops and International Draft expert Fran Fraschilla discussed the 2016 NBA Draft on a media conference call, and he was asked about a handful of prospects from the state of Indiana.
In short, Frischilla: sees A.J. Hammons as a mid first round prospect, thinks fellow Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan is better served by going back to school, projects a decently bright future for Demetrius Jackson, doesn’t seem every high on the draft prospects of Indiana’s Troy Williams or Yogi Ferrell.
Here’s the entire transcript of the Q&A below, via an ESPN release.
Q. Guys like A.J. Hammons, Demetrius Jackson, they are at the Combine, Swanigan I think also is, Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell aren’t. What do you think they need to show to get the correct decisions made about the draft?
FRASCHILLA: Well, A.J. Hammons, there will be good buzz about him as long as his interviews check out and the background stuff checks out, because it’s hard to find a guy that’s seven feet tall that does what he does defensively.
Even though he’s a four-year player, and we talk about the speed and space game, you still need a number of big guys on your roster, and A.J. I think is a perfect guy in the middle of that first round.
Demetrius Jackson, you know, again, perfectly made for the NBA game because you can’t hand to hand check. He’s going to get wherever he wants on the court. I compare him to, as I said before, an Eric Bledsoe type, terrific athlete. He has to shoot it a little bit better if he’s going to go from being a rotation guy or a backup point guard to a starter.
Swanigan, you know, not a lot of buzz from him right now. To be honest I think his best bet is to go back to school. I would say work on his hands and his lateral movement. You know, I’m not going to tell him what to do but that’s my opinion.
Yogi and Troy are going to be two guys, if they are not drafted, they are going to be in the NBA Summer League, playing for NBA teams, trying to prove themselves and to that point, Isiah Thomas was the 60th player taken a few years ago, and is now an NBA All-Star.
And by the way, one game doesn’t mean anything but I thought Yogi acquited himself very well against a guy that everybody has in the first round by the name of Tyler Ulis. He blew by him three different times in that game.
Here’s where we have Demetrius Jackson projected in the first round of our latest NBA mock draft, and AJ Hammons projected in the second round of our NBA mock draft.
24. Philadelphia (from MIA)-Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame, 6-2, Jr.
The Sixers point guard play has been all over the place this season so they have to address that with one of their picks. Jackson is a true point guard who can score and dish the rock.
32. L.A. Lakers-A.J. Hammons, C, Purdue, 7-0, Sr.
Consistent effort has been a concern but Hammons has the size and good skill on the block but can also step out on the perimeter and knock down jumpers. Go here for more on Hammons.
We do not currently have Farrell, Williams or Swanigan included in our mock drafts at this time.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.Follow paulmbanks