Overview: A talented young power forward who is one of the most underrated players in the game today. Not terribly tall for a power forward, but has a 7-4 wingspan, and good bulk. Not super quick or explosive. Simply knows how to play the game effectively, and has improved his skill-level dramatically thanks to his terrific work ethic and drive. Has a big heart, and is a true competitor. Tremendous offensive player from the midrange in. Very savvy rebounder. High basketball IQ. Had a distinguished four year career at Xavier. Won the A10 Player of the Year Award as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Was a First Team All-American as a senior. Really came on during his third season in the League. Has great chemistry with Chris Paul. Played in the All-Star game in 2008.
Offense: A very good offensive talent who makes a living with his ability to score from midrange. Gets about half of his offense from spot ups in the midrange and back to the basket opportunities in the low post. Displays a consistent midrange jumper which allows him to float out of the post and knock down the numerous open looks he sees. Capable ball-handler for a player at his position. Nice turnaround jump shot. Decent hook as well. Good back to the basket game, but not spectacular. Prefers to face-up and create a good scoring opportunity for himself in the mid-range, like a small forward would. Average finisher at the rimnot terribly explosive vertically. Moves well in transition and in half court settings. Takes contact well. Shoots a decent amount of free throws, at a good clip. Rebounds well on the offensive end. Sets very good screens. Displays good awareness when moving into open areas. Plays hard, smart, and with a polish beyond his years.
Defense: A very solid defensive power forward who isnt dynamic, but very serviceable. Uses his strength to his advantage, but lacks to athleticism or size to be a lock down defender. Blocks quite a few shots for a player who isnt an explosive leaper, mostly thanks to his timing and length. Knows how to use his feet to defend the post rather than using brute force alone. Uses his hands well when defending the block. Boxes out on every possession. Would rebound at a higher rate if Tyson Chandler wasnt around. Does a good job rebounding his area. Not foul prone. Plays like a veteran.