The first thing that was evident about Foster in the gym was the excellent physical condition hes in, with very little body fat on his long, lean frame. While not the thickest player in the world, his build is impressive nonetheless, and hes put on three pounds of muscle since being here. Athletically, Foster wont blow you away with his first step, which isnt especially quick, but here he showed some nice strides with his ball-handling and the ability to sell his moves by shifting his body weight in one direction and quickly coming back in the other, showing good change of speed and direction in the ball-handling drills and scrimmages.
Watching him partake in various drills using in-and-out, crossover, and behind-the-back dribbles, its hard not to notice the increase in fluidity and comfort with his handle, which is pretty low to the floor. He looks competent with either hand, though is definitely better with his dominant right, but he did show some problems protecting the ball in the scrimmage against the aggressive Green. Foster also looked good in the hand-eye coordination drills, doing a good job dribbling the heavy ball, executing advanced moves such as crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles, while catching and passing the regulation ball to Powell, who was running with him as he went across the court.
In the shooting drills, Foster didnt excel quite as much as youd expect, as this looked like an off-shooting day for arguably the best shooter in the country this season. Fosters shooting mechanics are not something hes worked on here, aside from putting in extensive repetition, as its clearly something that doesnt need to be changed. Sporting an unorthodox release in the Michael Redd
mold, Foster shoots the ball from over his head with a high, quick, and consistent release, slightly fading away on most of his shots as well, making it incredibly difficult to block. Aside from his arm drifting slightly to the right at times, theres very little to be concerned about here. In shooting from the top of the key and both wings from NBA three-point range, Foster hit 79-of-132 (59.8%) uncontested shots. This didnt seem to be his best shooting day, but thats of little concern, considering the high difficulty shots hes shown a propensity to consistently hit in college. Its also worth noting, though, that on most of his shot attempts, Foster was probably a foot behind the NBA three-point line.
In the two-on-two scrimmages, Foster showed some good and bad, ultimately letting Green get the best of him on both sides of the ball, albeit by not a great margin. His shot wasnt falling consistently, being affected by Greens very aggressive on-ball defense, but he did have some nice hot streaks, and showed his well-known ability to hit tough shots on the move with a hand in his face. As hes shown in college repeatedly, he can hit shots equally well going in either direction, and here really did a good job pulling up while dribbling to his left, hitting multiple long-range shots in this manner. What really stood out with Foster, though, was how his ball-handling strides translated here, as he looked fairly comfortable taking Green off the dribble, even with his very aggressive defense. He did a good job selling his moves, crossing the ball over, and using his shiftiness and fluidity to attack the basket, showing some good creativity, using up-fakes, stop-and-gos, and finger-rolls in the lane. It is worth noting, though, that he had a few shots blocked by Green even after he got past him, with Green recovering from behind. Foster showed some nice ability as the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll as well, making good reads on his man rolling to the hoop. On the defensive end, Foster was solid but unspectacular, playing tough defense, moving his feet, contesting shots, and not making life easy for Green.
Foster is set to play at the Orlando pre-draft camp next week, where hell look to show off his improved ball-handling and overall versatility, while still showing off his deadly shooting stroke. Hes currently projected as an early-to-mid second rounder, but is somewhat of a sleeper and has a chance to move into the late first if he can impress scouts and executives over the next month. Breaking down his numbers from college, you immediately notice that he had a much better senior season (particularly as a shooter) than both Jason Kapono
and Kyle Korver
, two players who have found a great niche in the league thanks to their perimeter shooting and overall scoring ability. It wouldnt be a shock to see Foster develop similarly.