Al-Farouq Aminu profile
Drafted #8 in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Clippers
RCSI: 7 (2008)
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
Weight: 216 lbs (98 kg)
Position: SF/PF
High School: Norcross High School (Georgia)
Hometown: Norcross, GA
College: Wake Forest
Current Team: Celtics
Win - Loss: 4 - 1
Al-Farouq Aminu - 2010 NBA Pre-Draft Media Day - DraftExpress


NBA Draft Media Day Interviews: Turner, Udoh, Aminu, Monroe, Henry,etc

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jim Hlavac
Jim Hlavac
Richard Walker
Richard Walker
Jun 24, 2010, 02:22 am

Al-Farouq Aminu Pre-Draft Interview & Workout Footage

Jim Hlavac
Jim Hlavac
Richard Walker
Richard Walker
May 31, 2010, 10:15 am
Al-Farouq Aminu of Wake Forest discussing his year at school, his return to school, and his future in the NBA. The interview features exclusive workout footage with trainer Dave Hopla shot at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Al-Farouq Aminu Workout Recap/Report

DraftExpress Exclusive: Al Farouq Aminu Interviewed by brother Alade Aminu

NBA Combine Interviews: Al-Farouq Aminu, Ekpe Udoh, Aldrich, Ed Davis

May 23, 2010, 02:01 pm

Analyzing the NBA Combine Measurements

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 22, 2010, 08:11 pm
Al-Farouq Aminu measured fairly well too, coming in at 6-7 ¼ without shoes with a massive 7-3 ¼ wingspan. Despite his unimpressive interviews—he looked fairly unenthusiastic and stated repeatedly that he sees himself almost strictly as a small forward—he has enough height and length to see minutes at power forward in a small lineup. His measurements compare favorably to those of Josh Smith (6-7 without shoes, 7-0 wingspan), Jeff Green (6-7 ¾, 7-1 ¼) and Danny Granger (6-7 ½, 7-1 ½).

West Coast Workout Swing Part 2: Al-Farouq Aminu in Los Angeles

Jim Hlavac
Jim Hlavac
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Richard Walker
Richard Walker
May 16, 2010, 11:49 am
Joseph Treutlein

The fifth-ranked player on our latest mock draft, Al-Farouq Aminu’s biggest selling points have always been his elite physical tools, his strong work ethic, his versatility on both ends of the floor, and his massive upside. Shooting ability is not something many would list among his strengths, which is why the work he’s putting in here is so important. While it’s hard to take away anything definitively from a single workout only three days into his pre-draft training, what we saw here was very impressive, and a great sign for the likelihood he reaches his tremendous potential down the road.

An inconsistent shooter in college (18/66 beyond the arc on the season and 0.610 points per jump shot according to Synergy Sports Technology), Aminu always showed flashes of ability with his shot, but definitely lacked some polish, which showed in the results. Here, Aminu has tweaked a few things with his shot, focusing on getting more consistent mechanics, the biggest emphasis being the balance he gets his base for his shooting motion, something he did a great job displaying here. Keeping his elbow in and maintaining full extension have also been points of emphasis, both of which he also did well here. Time was spent working on both mid-range jumpers from the 15-20 foot range and from behind the arc, with pull-up and spot-up jumpers both being used from the mid-range.

For the shots we tracked, Aminu shot a solid 16-for-31 from NBA three-point range, and 69-for-99 on spot-up jumpers from 15-20 feet, showing impressive mechanics and touch throughout, having a high and consistent release with a good base and excellent elevation. It was easy to notice how well Aminu responds to coaching, with his eyes always dead set on Hopla and Leitao when they spoke, absorbing everything while giving 100% for the entire three hours.

Aside from his shooting, Aminu impressed in other ways as well, namely by showing off his excellent athleticism in transition drills. Catching a rebound on one end, Aminu looked completely natural putting the ball on the floor and taking it for a lay-up on the other end, doing it in just three dribbles every time, giving you an idea how much ground he is capable of quickly covering. Aminu’s body in general was also impressive as expected, and not something he needs much work on, with core training being the primary emphasis of his strength work at this stage as his body continues to naturally fill out.

Aminu’s work here is geared primarily toward making him a more complete player, with the specific work he’s doing likely to ease the transition to the small forward position should a team want to play him there. He certainly has the versatility to play either the 3 or the 4 with his outstanding defensive tools, but if he can really step up his shooting as he did here today while also continuing to refine his ball-handling skills, his best long-term potential likely lies at the small forward spot.

Aminu isn’t scheduling workouts until after the lottery drawing next week, and will continue to stay in Los Angeles working on his game in between workouts up until the draft. At only 19 years old, despite being a sophomore, Aminu is just 15 days older than John Wall and 38 days older than DeMarcus Cousins, which is another reason why many consider his upside to be so high. Unlikely to fall out of the top 10, Aminu should get plenty of looks early in the lottery and could definitely help himself with some good team workouts, especially if he keeps on improving during his training.

Interview with Al-Farouq Aminu

Jim Hlavac: How are the workouts going so far?

Al-Farouq Aminu: They've been going good. I've really been able to work on my shot and my handle and things like that.

JH: What has it been like working with the legendary shooting coach, Dave Hopla? What he has worked on with you?

AA: He's been working on my technique. Making sure I get my arm up, getting my elbow at my eyebrow. And he's really been helping me with my jump shot.

JH: Overall, how are the workouts different here then they were in college?

AA: It's just more attention to detail. It's not just “get the shot up”, its make sure you stay low, make sure you get your hand up, make sure you finish.

JH: We just saw you work out for three hours. What's your average day like here at workouts?

AA: We go three hours in the morning and then we come back and do another three.

JH: Any strength training or weight room stuff?

AA: Yeah we do that at night. We do our core workout and a little bit of resistance, just some pushups and things like that.

JH: You could have been a top-10 pick last year. What made you come back to Wake Forest?

AA: I really wanted to play another year with my point guard and also I wanted to get another year of school in, get closer to graduating and become a better player.

JH: Do you feel that you accomplished those goals at Wake Forest?

AA: Yeah, I feel I did.

JH: Are you planning on going back to school to get your degree?

AA: Yeah that's something that Mom and Dad want and I want to make sure that I can have a diploma up in my office.

JH: You played some three and some four in college. What do you see yourself playing in the NBA?

AA: I just want to be a complete basketball player wherever they put me. I just want to excel.

JH: We saw you work mostly as a three today. Do you think you will be able to play some four in the NBA?

AA: I think I have to gain a little weight but yeah I think I could do both.

JH: What are you looking to improve on in the next week here?

AA: Ball-handling and shooting.

JH: Your shooting looked much improved from what I saw.

AA: Yeah I've really been working on it. Hopla has made a big improvement to it.

JH: What's the biggest adjustment you think you will have to make going from college to the pros.

AA: I think shooting.

JH: Do you see yourself as somebody who is ready to start in the NBA?

AA: I think I could start on some teams.

JH: Which player in the NBA do you think that you resemble?

AA: I've heard I play like Luol Deng

JH: Who do you watch in the NBA to pattern your game after and try to get better?

AA: I watch everybody. I watch guards, big men, slashers, everybody.

JH: Have you scheduled any workouts with NBA teams yet?

AA: No not yet.

JH: Well, we will conclude it with that and say good luck to you and we'll see you in the Green Room.

AA: Thanks.

NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/25/10

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Scott Nadler
Scott Nadler
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Feb 25, 2010, 10:12 am
Jonathan Givony

With James Johnson and Jeff Teague moving onto the NBA, we’ve finally gotten a chance to evaluate a more mature Al-Farouq Aminu in a featured role. While his turnovers are up and his efficiency has taken a hit, there is no question that Aminu brings some pretty coveted things to the table as an NBA prospect.

The biggest change that much be discussed is the new role Aminu has found himself in. Mostly asked to operate last year a raw and awkward looking small forward, likely due to assurances that were made on the recruiting trail, Aminu has looked far more comfortable as a face-up power forward this season. This appears to be his likely position in today’s hyper-athletic and increasingly small-ball oriented NBA as well, playing a similar role to that of Josh Smith, Thaddeus Young, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and many many other combo forwards.

His rebounding numbers have skyrocketed in turn, up from a solid 10.3 per-40 minutes pace adjusted last season to an outstanding 13. He’s also using his terrific length and athleticism to make more plays on the defensive end, averaging more blocks and steals than he did in the past. Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio gives him the freedom to grab a rebound and initiate the fast break himself, and some of Aminu’s most impressive moments come in these sequences.

Offensively, it’s still difficult to describe Aminu as being an overly skilled player. Although capable of beating his defender off the dribble and getting to the basket in a straight line thanks to his quick first step and tremendously long strides, his ball-skills are still fairly rudimentary. He often loses the ball or is called for traveling immediately upon making his initial move, and really struggles to change directions or pull-up off the dribble if a defender rotates into the lane. His turnover rate (3.7 per-40p) is, as you would expect, extremely high in turn, and his 2-point percentage (50%) is a bit lower than you might expect.

Aminu’s lack of strength and at times toughness, combined with the fact that he’s often already out of control by the time he gets into the paint makes him just an average finisher around the rim in traffic. The incredibly impressive manner in which he finishes in transition (often in highlight reel fashion) leaves a lot of room for optimism in this regard, though. He does manage to draw quite a few fouls thanks to his sheer athleticism and aggressiveness, which is obviously a big plus.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to project Aminu developing into a great shot-creator at the NBA level, at least in his first few seasons, which is why it’s important that he ends up on an up-tempo team with talented guards who know how to utilize his strengths.

As a shooter, Aminu doesn’t appear to have made great strides since last season, at least in terms of the results we’re seeing thus far. He’s made just 23% of the 79 total jump-shots he’s taken on the season according to Synergy Sports Technology (down from 27% last year), converting 29% of his 3-point attempts. His shooting off the dribble (1/19) has been abysmal, as he’s struggled badly to make pull-up jumpers from mid-range all season long. The fact that his free throw shooting has improved slightly (67% to 71%) is a good sign, but the poor touch he shows on his jumper and the way he tends to just fling the ball at the basket hoping for the best surely isn’t. Aminu will most likely have to find other ways to produce in the NBA, at least early on in his career.

Where Aminu is currently at his best is in transition and crashing the offensive glass. His ability to go out of his area and come up with loose balls is truly impressive, as he seems to excellent timing running to the front of the rim with great purpose, as well as an outstanding second and third jump he utilizes to simply outquick opponents around the rim. His fantastic wingspan obviously helps a great deal here, as does the aggressiveness he shows trying to come up with extra possessions.

Aminu appears to have made some strides in the post, seeing nearly twice as many possessions with his back to the basket as he did last season, and finding solid results in turn. He’s making more of a commitment to use his body to carve out space in the paint, and has terrific extension on his jump-hook to get his shot off cleanly. As his frame continues to fill out and his footwork improves, this could become a major weapon down the road.

Defensively, Aminu continues to impress, as he not only has outstanding physical tools to help get the job done, but he also seems extremely committed to the task. Aminu’s freakish wingspan makes it nearly impossible to shoot over him in the post, as he appears to alter pretty much everything that is in his area thanks to his length. Improving his lower body strength will help him even more, as at times he tends to give up position too deep in the post to stronger big men.

Unlike on the offensive end, he is equally effective as a small forward or power forward, and is versatile enough to switch onto pretty much any type of player in pick and roll situations, making him extremely valuable in today’s NBA. Oftentimes Wake Forest’s coaching staff elects to put him on the opposing team’s point guard for short stretches, something he’s capable of doing thanks to his terrific length and lateral quickness. Even when he gets beat off the dribble, he’s often athletic enough to just recover and come up with a big block from behind.

A year younger than most players in his class, Aminu still has considerable amount of upside he’s yet to tap into. As it is, he’s already a potentially valuable contributor thanks to his tremendous physical tools, which should make him a useful and highly versatile rebounder, defender and transition finisher at the very least. He still has plenty of room to grow on the offensive end as well, which should define exactly how successful a pro he ends up becoming.

LeBron James Skills Academy Player Profiles

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jul 13, 2009, 10:59 pm
-Al-Farouq Aminu- Although he showed flashes of great potential, Aminu was somewhat of a disappointment here, looking quite limited offensively and only amplifying that initial impression with the way he repeatedly forced the issue.

Aminu seemed to have his heart set on trying to prove to the scouts in attendance that he’s a legit small forward prospect, but he only appeared to do exactly the opposite. His jumper looked quite poor in the drills, showing poor footwork coming off screens and a very slow release, leading to extremely inconsistent results. He was able to make some open mid-range jumpers, but looks a long ways away from becoming a reliable threat from the college 3-point line, let alone NBA range.

Aminu shows a great first step beating his man off the dribble with his left hand, but struggles trying to utilize his right hand or create shots in pure isolation situations. Defensively, he did a great job guarding both forward positions, using his outstanding length and athleticism to emerge as an extremely disruptive presence.

With Jeff Teague and James Johnson off to the NBA, Aminu will have to show that he can shoulder a much larger offensive role than he did last season, and it will be interesting to see how efficiently he will be able to do so. No one will deny the upside Aminu possesses at this point in time, but potential is only going to win Wake Forest so many games.

NCAA Tournament Performers, 3/26/09-- Part Two

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mar 26, 2009, 01:42 am
With Wake Forest's season coming to a disappointingly early end, it's time to take another look at Al-Farouq Aminu, especially with the NBA door knocking. Not much has changed for Aminu since we last looked at him in January, but a few more observations can be made.

On the offensive end, Aminu's skill set is still pretty raw, where he relies mostly on his tremendous physical tools to get the job done. Aminu excels at getting open without the ball, showing a high motor and doing a good job of finding ways to put his tools to use, attacking the basket in transition, on the offensive glass, and on off-ball cuts. At the basket, in addition to his excellent athleticism and length, Aminu shows pretty good body control and coordination, taking advantage of his tools to finish around and over defenders.

Things aren't quite as easy for Aminu when he's attacking off the dribble, however, as in addition to his lack of advanced ball-handling, his footwork and decision-making aren't up to par yet either, which can be seen in his 2.6 turnovers per game. His handle is too high off the ground and he lacks great control of the ball, looking shaky at times even when not making hard changes of direction. He's usually able to compensate for this in the open court, where his speed makes up, but in the half court things don't turn out as well.

Aminu's jump shot is also still a problem area, as he's hit for just 18% from behind the arc on the season, and isn't much better from mid-range or even the free-throw line, where he's shooting just 67%. As a set shooter, Aminu's form isn‘t terrible, as he has a solid base and a high release in spite of the push motion in his mechanics, though he is very inconsistent, and his mechanics fall apart when he's contested or shooting on the move.

Defensively, Aminu is still lacking in the fundamentals department, but his attentiveness and effort level have been impressive, and that combined with his length and athleticism make him an effective defender at this level. In spite of not getting much flex in his legs, keeping a high center of gravity, Aminu is able to stay with most of his covers on the perimeter, a testament to his great lateral quickness. He's been switched onto everyone from point guards to centers over the course of the season, not looking much out of his element, and if he can improve his fundamental base, he has the potential to be an immensely versatile and effective defender.

Word we're hearing is that Aminu is heavily considering entering the draft, however no decision has been made yet, and it's certainly possible he returns to school. Despite his underdeveloped skill set, Aminu is a likely lottery pick due to his outstanding potential, and it'd be hard to fault him for passing that opportunity up. Most would agree another year in school would be best for his long-term development, especially if he wants to make the transition to being a full-time small forward.

College Road Report: BYU-Wake Forest

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jan 05, 2009, 12:40 am
In an incredibly disappointing freshman class thus far, Al-Farouq Aminu definitely stands out as one of the more intriguing prospects this group has to offer, at least as far as the long-term is concerned. Having turned 18 just over three months ago, Aminu makes up for his limitations on the offensive end with a superb package of size, length and athleticism—which gives him possibly the most upside of any freshman in college basketball.

Where Aminu stands out the most at the moment is in his ability to crash the offensive glass and operate in transition. He already ranks as one of the best rebounding forwards in the NCAA, at 12-boards per-40 pace adjusted, despite spending heavy minutes at the small forward position. He regularly kicks off Wake Forest’s fast-break by pulling down a rebound and then dribbling the ball up-court himself, something he is very capable of doing. Quick and extremely explosive, he gets to the free throw line 5 times per game, which is an accurate reflection of the havoc he wreaks on the floor when he’s really dialed in.

Where he gets into trouble at times is in the half-court, where his limited skill-set can get exposed. His inability to change directions with the ball limits him as a ball-handler to a certain extent, causing him to barrel his way into the paint and turn the ball over on 22% of his possessions. Like many freshman, he plays too fast and out of control, relying very heavily on his instincts rather than reading the floor and patiently surveying his options. Another part of his game that needs plenty of work is his perimeter shot—he’s just 2/15 (13%) from beyond the arc on the season thus far, typically looking very off-balance on his mostly rushed attempts.

It’s not quite clear why Aminu doesn’t spend more time in the paint—the place where he’s clearly most effective considering his freakish wingspan and athleticism. He is too quick for most college players to stop when he’s operating with his back to the basket, and considering his average ball-handling and perimeter shooting skills, he would probably be best served focusing more on sticking to those strengths as an outstanding mismatch threat at the 4-spot (where he’s more than big enough to compete, even in the NBA). His situation seems a bit similar to Thaddeus Young’s back at Georgia Tech—he famously insisted on playing as a 2/3 in college, which completely exposed his limitations and eventually hurt his draft stock, but then became a terrific weapon at the 4-spot in the NBA.

Defensively, Aminu is doing a very nice job thus far, showing great tools (length, quickness, intensity) to get the job done, despite possessing average fundamentals and experience on the perimeter. He looks a bit flat-footed at times, but is more than athletic enough to compensate and recover back onto his man, being capable of absolutely smothering his matchup with his fantastic wingspan.

All in all, Aminu is clearly a superior talent with a huge upside to continue to improve down the road. He’s nowhere near ready to compete in the NBA right now, and probably won’t be for a few years, but someone would probably gamble on him with a lottery pick regardless if that’s the route he decided to pick. The question is whether he wants to come into the league on the red carpet--ready to play and produce-- or whether he’s just anxious to get his foot into the door. Either way, his future looks bright, as long as he continues to improve.

Jordan Brand Classic Games (Day Three)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Apr 20, 2008, 10:09 pm
Al-Farouq Aminu had a mixed performance here (12 points, 13 rebounds, 4-13 FG, 3 turnovers) on one hand doing a great job attacking the offensive glass and getting out in transition for a lot of easy baskets, while also hitting a nice spot-up three-pointer, but his skill-set, specifically in terms of ball-handling and shot-creating, looked very alarming, as he really struggled doing anything off the dribble, making one pause about calling him a small forward just yet. With his 7'4 wingspan on his 6'8 body, along with his very good athleticism, he definitely has some great upside at the 3, but it's going to take some time. While he's a bit more developed as a post player, he struggled around the basket a bit as well, not finishing strong on his put-backs, clearly needing some more bulk to his lanky frame. Speaking of which, his balance also doesn't look very great, which is evident on his drives to the basket, so strengthening his entire body should be a priority.

Nike Hoop Summit Recap: Team USA

Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Apr 16, 2008, 07:56 pm
A talented combo-forward attending Wake Forest next season, Aminu displayed impressive all-around abilities in the 2008 Hoop Summit. His explosive athletic ability was on display on multiple occasions, starting on a drive to the rim where he made an impressive finish, followed by a tip-dunk later in the game. His ball-handling looks to be average right now, but Aminu controls his body very well at the rim and draws contact very effectively as well. His offensively ability goes beyond scoring; the young forward passes the ball effectively at times, seeing the floor well for a forward at the high school level.

To take his game to the next level, Aminu’s long range jumper must improve. He shows the ability to hit the mid-range jumper and can pull up off the dribble from time to time, but struggles to shoot even the college three with any patterned consistency. With improved ball-handling, he can likely play the small forward slot full time in the NBA, but he must continue to get stronger as well.

Aminu can be compared to a Marvin Williams type of player, but will be relied upon heavily his freshman year at Wake Forrest. With added strength and improved shooting, he could make a real impact next season. He’ll likely need a couple years of college to reach his full potential, but all the tools are in place to make him a very interesting prospect down the road.

Aminu Outshines Monroe on National Television

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jan 12, 2008, 10:44 am
Al-Farouq Aminu responded nicely after his relatively disappointing showing at the Amare Stoudemire Invitational, willing his team to victory against the consensus top player in the nation (according to the Rivals and Scout networks). Although he has faced Monroe a number of times on the Nike AAU circuit, it was clear that the Georgia native came out looking to disprove the notion that his Louisiana counterpart was hands down the top player in the country, and that he did.

From the tip, Al-Farouq made his presence felt through his vast array of physical talents. His long arms, quick leaping ability, and ability to run the floor enabled him to control the game on both ends of the floor. While he clearly leaked out for a few buckets early in possessions, Aminu ran the floor exceptionally well and was able to beat Monroe up and down the floor for a few of his countless dunks. Staying on the subject of his athleticism, his ability to get off the ground in a hurry allowed him to corral plenty of rebounds and convert those on the offensive end easily, getting the ball right back up to the rim instantaneously upon hitting the ground.

Aminu did a pretty good job of showing his full offensive repertoire, displaying the ability to score inside and out for a player standing a legit 6-foot-8. He handled the ball well in the open floor and stayed under control (unlike at the ASIC), making his potential as a combo forward clear to any onlooker. Showing off a nice first step he was able to make his way past the bigger Monroe on the baseline a few times, where he tried to punish the rim at every available opportunity. The future McDonald’s All American put his mid-range game on display as well, converting on a couple of nice-looking pull-up jumpers off the dribble in the half court setting.

Just as impressive as Farouq’s ability to score was his ability to contain Monroe on the defensive end, where he held his counterpart to a meager 8 points despite giving up 2 inches and 20 plus pounds. His length and refusal to back down seemed to frustrate Monroe, although he had plenty of help from his Norcross teammates. On the glass Aminu did an outstanding job of boxing out Monroe at times, trying his best to keep the freak from Louisiana off of the boards at every opportunity.

While it was an impressive game for Aminu, there were certainly some areas of his skill set that could use improvement. For starters, he must improve the consistency on his outside jumper if he hopes to play the wing full time at the next level. Showing the capability to shoot the ball out to three point range, he has seen mixed results in terms of accuracy. The younger brother of Alade Aminu could also tighten up his handle a bit, as he struggles to change directions on the fly and avoid traffic in the half-court. Blessed with a great frame, he could certainly add some more strength to his 210 pound body, which would allow him to play both forward positions on the next level consistently.

All of the raw tools are there for Aminu to eventually become an elite draft prospect. He will enter Wake Forest in as the centerpiece of an absolutely outstanding recruiting class, teaming up with elite seven footers Ty Walker and Tony Woods. With the considerable amount of improvement that Aminu has shown over the last few years and the upside he possesses, chances are that we will see him wearing an NBA jersey by the time it is all said and done.

Top Prospects at the 2007 Amare Stoudemire Invitational Classic

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jan 02, 2008, 02:35 am
We seemed to come away with more questions than answers after taking in blue-chip prospect Al-Farouq Aminu (#8, #11 Rivals), as he played fairly poorly relative to expectations in the two separate occasions we watched him. Billed as either the #1 or #2 small forward prospect in the country by the various recruiting services, Aminu played mostly the 4 and the 5 for Norcross at this tournament, and looked noticeably more productive at those positions than he did when he decided to step outside and show off his perimeter game.

On first glance, it’s not hard to see what people like about him. Standing 6-8, with a very nice frame, Aminu has an excellent wingspan and terrific athleticism to complete a very intriguing physical profile. He’s instinctive and explosive off his feet, and possesses an excellent first step to get around the big men that defended him when he decided to face up and attack the basket with his dribble.

A force inside the paint whenever he truly put his mind to it, Aminu absolutely dominated the glass with his terrific combination of length, leaping ability and outstanding hands. He has excellent touch around the basket and can finish nicely after making a quick catch thanks to his excellent reactivity and extension around the hoop. He also has solid footwork in the paint for a player his age, being able to finish with some nice pivot moves and generally just get around players with his quickness.

Aminu got himself into quite a bit of trouble in the two games we saw by forcing the issue with his ball-handling. He often created his own shot wildly from the perimeter and then just barreled his way into the paint for an offensive foul, showing poor body control in the process. In transition play (where he’s obviously most comfortable) this isn’t as much of an issue as it is in a half-court, where he doesn’t quite have the advanced ball-handling skill needed yet to weave his way in and out of traffic. On one occasion for example he looked outstanding grabbing a defensive rebound and then taking off going coast to coast with outstanding speed, only to bulldoze his way into the paint and get called for a charge when a brave guard stepped in his way.

His perimeter shot also looked like a major weakness at this point, bricking most of the outside shots he took both in warm-ups and in the actual games. His shot doesn’t look broke, but it certainly needs some work before he’ll truly be able to play on the perimeter full time, at least in terms of having some range on his shot. He attempted some pull-up jumpers which didn’t look all that bad, but did not fall for him at this tournament. From 12-14 feet he looked pretty solid, though.

Defensively, Aminu has very good lateral quickness, allowing him to make some nice plays from time to time. The problem is his effort is often lacking, only really looking like he’s going full speed when things are clicking for him offensively. His body language often leaves a bit to be desired here, as his motor is inconsistent and he’s noticeably immature in the way he approaches the game still. He seemed to disappear for long stretches in the games we saw him play.

All in all, Aminu seems to have excellent tools to play the game, and also an emerging skill-set both facing the basket and inside the paint, but he failed to overly impress with what he showed in the two games we took in. He obviously usually plays much better, thus his lofty recruiting rankings. He seems to have great potential to develop at the collegiate level at Wake Forest, and it will be interesting to see what type of role he’s used in initially when he arrives.

LeBron James Skills Academy Day Two

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jul 07, 2007, 11:33 pm
Farouq was outstanding Saturday, contributing in every imaginable area of the floor. He was great handling the ball in the open floor, making decisions with the ball in his hands, and scoring when the opportunity presented itself. Despite his slender frame, he did a great job guarding the stronger, more athletic Greg Monroe when the two were matched up. Also pleasing was Aminu’s improvement on his biggest weakness (his outside shot), as he knocked down at least 3 three pointers on the day by our count.

Getting To Know Al-Farouq Aminu

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
May 21, 2007, 07:38 am
Norcross high school has produced two outstanding forwards in the last two years in Alade Aminu and Gani Lawal. They have a third coming for the class of 2008, in the form of Alade’s younger brother Al-Farouq.

Al-Farouq Aminu is regarded by many to be the top small forward prospect in the class of 2008. He is an excellent athlete, and is capable of getting to the basket by putting the ball on the floor from the perimeter thanks to his excellent first step. The 6-foot-8 forward is an adept passer for either forward position, as his natural feel for the game generally allows him to see things on the floor before they happen.

“Farouq” possesses great size for a small forward prospect, with an outstanding wingspan to add. He is able to alter shots on the defensive end via his length and excellent timing, while showing the ability to stay out of foul trouble. His man to man defense on the perimeter could be improved upon, but we are looking at a player only 16 years of age, so there is plenty of time for development.

The most glaring weakness in Aminu’s game is his lack of post moves. When receiving the ball down on the blocks, there are times when the Georgia big man looks a bit lost. He often reverts to a turnaround jumper out of the post, not fully utilizing the height advantage that he has over smaller defenders. Aminu is also not a great shooter at this point in time, which hinders his ability to play on the perimeter full time.

Georgia Tech, Florida, North Carolina, and Wake Forest are the four finalists for Aminu with all put Georgia Tech recruiting him as a combo forward. With improved strength and low post moves, there is no question why Aminu couldn’t wind up being a Marvin Williams type combo forward in a few years. He already owns superior perimeter skills in comparison to the current Atlanta Hawk forward in his high school days, and could eventually become a full-time small forward if he decides that is what fits his skill set best. Either way, we are looking at an incredibly skilled forward who is going to come in and make an impact upon whatever college he attends from the day he steps foot on campus.

Rodger Bohn: Can you give me a brief description of your game, for those out there who haven’t seen you play?

Aminu: I’m a 6’8 player who can handle the ball, has a little range on his jumpshot, and can also post up.

Rodger Bohn: Tell me why you feel you‘re the best player the class of 2008 has to offer.

Aminu: Because I do a lot on the court. I don’t think I do anything phenomenally well, but I’m able to do a variety of things out there on the floor that most players can’t do. You have a scorer who might be able to score very, very well where with me, I can score, pass, and rebound.

Rodger Bohn: What areas of your game do you feel you need to improve upon most?

Aminu: I would say my strength, ball handling, and low post moves.

Rodger Bohn: Tell me what the typical off-season day for Al-Farouq Aminu is like.

Aminu: I pray, work out in the morning, and then have a pretty normal day. My basketball workouts go for about an hour with my AAU coach. We work on whatever he thinks I need to work on from how I played in my last AAU tournament.

Rodger Bohn: What schools are you currently considering?

Aminu: Georgia Tech, UNC, and Florida.

Rodger Bohn: So just those three schools?

Aminu: Wake Forest as well.

Rodger Bohn: Who is your leader right now?

Aminu: I’m not sure. I would say that it’s a tie between all four that I’ve listed.

Rodger Bohn: What schools have you visited so far?

Aminu: All of them, except Wake Forest.

Rodger Bohn: You bring up Wake Forest, it seems as if they’ve really emerged in your recruitment. Can you tell me how they got in the picture?

Aminu: They’ve kind of always been in the picture. The only thing with them is that they haven’t offered yet.

Rodger Bohn: Tell me what you like about Wake Forest.

Aminu: I like the coaching staff there, and some of the players. I know that they had a point guard who led the ACC in assists and I know they have a big guy coming in, so that’s going to allow me to play more on the wing.

Rodger Bohn: The big guy that you’re referring to that Wake has coming in is Ty Walker. Do you have much of a relationship with Ty?

Aminu: No.

Rodger Bohn: What are the main factors in your recruitment?

Aminu: I want to make sure that the college coach is a good coach all around. I also want to make sure that the players that I’m going to be playing with are people that I really want to be around. I don’t want it to be people that I don’t like or anything like that. Then of course the school, and everything like that.

Rodger Bohn: What position are you looking to play at the next level?

Aminu: Small Forward.

Rodger Bohn: So are all of the schools recruiting you as a small forward, or are they recruiting you as a combo forward?

Aminu: Georgia Tech is recruiting me only as a small forward. The other three are recruiting me as both a small forward and power forward.

Rodger Bohn: But if it’s up to you, you’d be playing small forward in college?

Aminu: Yes.

Rodger Bohn: When looking at potential colleges, are you looking for a school in which you will have the opportunity to come in and go one and done?

Aminu: No, not really. I think I might want to stay two or three years, so I don’t think I’m just going to go and play one year.

Rodger Bohn: Did you feel disrespected by North Carolina with them not offering you a scholarship until Delvon Roe had already committed to Michigan State?

Aminu: No, I didn’t think about it like that. I really didn’t mind.

Rodger Bohn: So with the Roe situation aside, what is it you like about UNC?

Aminu: The tradition that they have is amazing. The coach is real high energy and is just really fun to be around.

Rodger Bohn: How big of a factor is playing close to home to you?

Aminu: It’s not going to be a real big factor. There are some days though where I might want go and others where I think I might want to stay close to home.

Rodger Bohn: How close are you and Alade (Aminu, his older brother who plays for Georgia Tech)?

Aminu: We’re real close. We talk about playing with each other sometimes.

Rodger Bohn: If Georgia Tech is recruiting you only as a small forward, one might assume that you would play a role similar to that Thaddeus Young played this past season. Were you happy with the way Georgia Tech used Young this year?

Aminu: Yeah. It’s kind of hard to say that because we’re each our own player. I saw him play in high school and college and I really liked the improvement that he made.

Rodger Bohn: What is it that you like about Georgia Tech?

Aminu: I have brothers who go there. A lot of people who came through Georgia go there as well. It’s kind of like an extended family for me at Georgia Tech.

Rodger Bohn: Finally, what is it you like about Florida?

Aminu: I went down there and they were real nice. The whole coaching staff was real cool. They were down to earth and really peaceful. The players on their team were interacting with each other, and they just seemed like family.

Rodger Bohn: Have you set a timetable as to when you’re going to make your decision?

Aminu: I think I’m going to wait until the end of the summer, after I can take one or two officials. Then I’ll commit and I’m going to try to sign in November.

Rodger Bohn: Tell me about your matchup with Greg Monroe in April. How do you think you fared?

Aminu: It was fun. He’s a good player and it was something to look forward to. I think I did pretty good against him.

Rodger Bohn: How did your high school season go, both for your team and individually?

Aminu: I did pretty good and we won the state championship, so I can’t really complain.

Rodger Bohn:What are your thoughts on the NBA’s age limit?

Aminu: I think it’s cool. I think that some players aren’t ready and some are. I don’t think it hurts to go to college for one year, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Then sometimes I think if that’s what you want to do and some people need the money, that it kind of takes away from them.

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