Early-Entry List Evaluation (Derrick Caracter, Robert Vaden)

Early-Entry List Evaluation (Derrick Caracter, Robert Vaden)
Mar 28, 2008, 06:00 pm
Early-Entry List Breakdown:

Derrick Caracter


Size: 6-9 (possibly 6-8)
Weight: 265
Age: 19 years old (turns 20 May 4th)
Class: Sophomore
Team: Louisville (27-8)
NBA Position: Power Forward

Stats: 8.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, .9 blocks, .5 assists, 1.8 turnovers, 56% FG, 64% FT, 17 minutes

In Short: Strong, fluid, immensely talented big man who can create shots for himself with his back to the basket as well anyone else in this draft. Has quick feet, great hands, soft touch, and the ability to score in a variety of ways around the basket. An excellent offensive rebounder. A terrible defender who will likely struggle translating his skill-level to the pros due to his poor conditioning, below average size, and inability to face the basket, find the open man or hit mid-range jumpers the way a true power forward should. A troubled young man who has been given every opportunity to change his ways and has proven himself incapable of discipline. Rejects being coached, does not abide by rules, cannot stay in shape, and thus will likely be deemed as being far more trouble than he’s worth by NBA teams.

Chances of returning to school: 0%. The question here is more “will Louisville want him back” rather than will he have any type of choice. “I have never seen anyone so far behind in the game of life,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino about him.

Most college athletes have things like “enjoys playing chess,” and “feeds homeless children in his free time” on their college bio--Caracter has “Missed 16 games as a freshman due to off the court issues, playing in 18 games overall…missed five days in late December when he was given an indefinite leave of absence by Pitino so he could address personal issues…missed six games in Jan./Feb. after breaking the contract he had signed to remain on the team” and “Lost more than 50 pounds, down from 318 pounds when he arrived on campus as a freshman, to his playing weight of 265 with less than 10 percent body fat” on his.

Caracter likely made a fool of Rick Pitino one time too many, with Samardo Samuels coming in, there doesn’t appear to be any real need for him. He played a stopgap role out of convenience for both parties this season when David Padgett was injured or needed a blow on the bench, but it was pretty obvious that he won’t be welcomed back. He was suspended numerous times over the past few years, and after being brought back to the team under the urging of his teammates, and signing a contract, broke his curfew not once, but twice in the same night. Here is a full transcript of a press conference Rick Pitino had on the subject, which goes into a lot more depth.

For Caracter to even be on this list while his team is still alive in the NCAA tournament tells us all we need to know basically—he could have waited until the season is over as is the norm before announcing the inevitable, but in typical fashion, decided to march to his own drum.

Some team might take a gamble on him in the 2nd round—certain teams who don’t mind cutting corners will take anyone with a pulse if they think they have talent, regardless of chemistry issues or distractions it might cause—but how long he sticks in the NBA is anyone’s guess. He could also just as easily go undrafted. Luckily for him, there will always be an overseas market for back to the basket centers who can score, but he’ll never play at as high a level or make as much money as he should if he doesn’t change his ways dramatically. Then again…he could always mature at some point…but that’s a big maybe if history is any indication.

Early Projection: 35-Undrafted

Source: Jeff Goodman (Fox Sports): Louisville sophomore Caracter to go pro

Robert Vaden


Size: 6-5
Weight: 207
Age: 23 years old
Class: Junior
Team: UAB (23-11)
NBA Position: Shooting Guard

Stats: 21.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.9 turnovers, 41% FG, 40% 3P, 86% FT, 35.5 minutes

In Short: Strong shooting guard with solid size for his position, but below average athleticism. The 2nd most prolific 3-pointer shooter in the NCAA amongst all draft prospects at 4.3 per game. 2/3rds of his field goal attempts came from behind the arc, which tells you how reliant he is on that part of his game. Regardless, hit a good percentage at 40%. Can get and hit contested shots in a variety of ways—off screens, pulling up off the dribble, or on the catch and shoot. Average ball-handler who struggles creating his own shot and finishing due to his below average athleticism. Lateral quickness is questionable, leaving his ability to defend NBA shooting guards a mystery.

Chances of returning to school: 85%. All indications from the article declaring his intentions to enter the draft are that he is planning on being back next season if he’s not projected as a first round pick, which is unlikely. Like many other juniors we’ll see testing the waters this spring, Vaden has nothing to lose, so there is no reason for him not to use his “draft card” as a means of drawing exposure, possibly get an invite to the pre-draft camp, and help prepare him for next year through the experience he’ll garner, when he’ll be in for good—as long as he doesn’t hire an agent.

Early Projection: Late 2nd round to undrafted

Source: Steve Irvine (Birmingham News): UAB's Vaden will test NBA Draft waters.

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