Today’s NBA Draft Blog Scouting Report will take a look at one of the greatest rebounders in college basketball history Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried. Faried, who plays with energy almost unparalleled, made himself a national name with his game-saving block against Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. However, people who have been following his career know that he is a very unique talent. Just how high will we see him go in this draft, and where does he fit in? Let’s take a look at Kenneth Faried:
Forward- 6'8, 228
17.3 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 62.3% FG, 57.7% FT, 2.3 bpg
Post Skills- While not possessing many traditional post abilities, Faried has found a way to be very effective around the rim. He uses his body well to seal off the defender and get solid position on the blocks. His footwork is average and he doesn’t have many actual post moves. He relies on speed and power to force his way to rim, but he needs to develop even basic back-to-the basket moves. He has shown the ability to face up out of the post and try and get to the rim, but his movements are far from smooth, and he relies on his athleticism to get to the basket. He has developed a much better touch around the rim, but he needs to work on being able to finish with either hand. Out of the face up, he can hit out to 10 feet, but even that shot is not as consistent as it should be. He is very powerful and can finish strong with the best of them, but he relies on the guards penetrating, forcing his man to step in and help, leaving him open. He is a very good screener – gets good position and holds it well – but he needs to work on opening himself up to the ball after the setting the screen.
Footwork- As I mentioned above, Faried’s footwork is average at best. One major issue is he seems to try and do everything at full speed, often leaving him with few options if the defense stops him. In the post, he needs to learn to take bigger, more deliberate steps as he tries to make a move instead of making moves with no clear reason behind them. His foot speed is good and he is deceptively quick, but even one or two legitimate post moves would make him much more effective.
Ballhandling/Hands/Penetration- Faried has a lot of work to do on his ballhandling skills. Again, part of his problem is that everything he does seems rushed, so he never seems to have solid control over the ball. He forces all of his movements to his right, and without any other moves, he finds himself in position to need to power through his man. His dribble is a bit high and a little far from his body, leaving him susceptible to help defenders stripping the ball. He has big, strong hands and controls passes to him easily, also with the ability to get up high and get the ball. When he is out on the perimeter, he has a quick first step to the basket, but as I discussed above, he has control issues with both his movements and his ballhandling. He needs to know that not everything is effective at full speed. When he can get to the rim, he has an outstanding ability to get up and finish strong, though he needs to work more on finding other ways to finish when going up against larger NBA players.
Perimeter Shooting- Faried really needs to become more consistent from 8-15 feet. His shooting motion is not bad, but he just hasn’t spent enough time on it to be able to hit it regularly. At the next level, he is going to need to be able to draw defenders out of the lane to be effective in any offense.
Rebounding/Passing- Faried may be one of the best offensive rebounders I have ever seen. He goes after every miss with the same intensity and his ability to jump, land and jump again makes it very tough to stop him from grabbing boards around the rim. He does an excellent job anticipating where missed shots will go and gets excellent position and makes sure to grab the ball up high. Faried is an average passer. He knows he was going to be double-teamed when he got the ball, but wasn’t very good at finding an open teammate quickly.
Free Throw Shooting - Faried did a very good job getting to the line, but he needs to become a much better free throw shooter, especially with the style of game he plays. Hopefully, as he improves his jumper, he will find himself more comfortable at the free throw line as well.
Post Defense- Faried is a very good post defender, using his body well to force players away from the lane, and keeping his arms up to alter any shot. He needs to improve his footwork a bit to be able to handle more advanced moves at the next level. He does a good job denying entry passes into the post, and has become much better at fronting the post when necessary. He is a also a very good help defender, rotating quickly to the ball and with good instincts to know where the ball is going next.
Perimeter Defense- Faried has shown great improvement defending out on the perimeter when he gets drawn out. His lateral movement has improved, as well as his positioning, though they are still not optimal to guard at the NBA level. Against the pick and roll, he needs to do a better job hedging and recovering to his man, but he does do a good job keeping his arms out to try and disrupt any passes. He closes on shots well, though he can be a bit too aggressive and is prone to head and ball fakes.
Rebounding/Blocking- As on the offensive end, Faried is a fantastic rebounder. He goes after every ball hard and does a good job getting to it before anyone else. The one thing he needs to watch for at the next level is to actually box out. He is so used to easily getting rebounds against smaller and less physical players, he often didn’t need to box out. To go along with this, he is also a fantastic shot blocker – he has great timing, leaping ability and goes after the ball straight up and extended. Again, he just needs to watch about being over-aggressive.
Summary & Intangibles
Athleticism – Very Good
BB IQ - Good
Faried is a unique talent and is certainly NBA-quality. What needs to be determined is where exactly he fits in. Right now, he is a great defender and rebounder, but I’m not sure he has the offensive ability to really be a threat against NBA players. He can be a great role player, but if a team thinks they can make him much more than that, they may be disappointed. He is easily a first rounder, but I think his best fit is with an established playoff team, that needs some youth and energy off the bench. Teams will definitely be attracted to his demeanor and love for the game. Look for him to go somewhere in the 20-25 range, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he went as high as 16 or 17. I just don’t see him ever being to develop enough to justify a lottery pick on him.