View Full Version : Pacers Prospect - Morris Almond

06-05-2007, 11:45 AM
As we near the draft (It's really only about 3 weeks away) I'll try to post some info. on guys who I think would fit in well with the Pacers current roster and O'Brien's foreseen gameplan. I realize that trades would have to be made to get into the draft. These are just some guys who are not Top 10 type guys that I believe could really help out.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/draft/tracker/player?playerId=18999&draftyear=2007 (http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/draft/tracker/player?playerId=18999&draftyear=2007)

Morris Almond - 6' 6" - SG - Rice University

2006-2007 Stats:
26.4 pts / 6.6 rebs / 1.2 asts / 3.4 TO's / 1.2 stls
.483 FG% / .846 FT% / .456 3PT%

Draft Projection: Mid to late first round

Notes: Almond declared for the 2006 NBA Draft, but later withdrew when he could not secure a first-round guarantee.

Positives: Big-time scorer. Good athlete. Excellent midrange shooter. Deep range on his three point shot. One of the most consistent three point shooters in the draft. Hard worker who can score from just about anywhere on the floor. Gets to the line a lot and is a solid free throw shooter.

Negatives: Some questions about his ball handling and in-between game. Not particularly quick with the ball. Average defender at best, in part, because of the lack of lateral quickness.

Summary: Almond was impressive last year in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/ /><st1:City w:st=Orlando</st1:City></st1:place> pre-draft camp and was on fire for Rice in his senior season. He may be the best shooter in the draft. He has a good shot at a mid to late first round selection if he can shoot the lights out in workouts.

NBA Draft.net
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
http://www.nbadraft.net/admincp/profiles/morrisalmond.html (http://www.nbadraft.net/admincp/profiles/morrisalmond.html)
#28 – <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Antonio</st1:place></st1:City>
NBA Comparison: Michael Redd<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Strengths: Almond possesses an NBA ready body capable of handling contact … Explosive and crafty scorer who can put up big points in a matter of minutes … Has legit NBA three point range … Does a great job of utilizing the mid-range on his pull-up jumper … Excellent rebounder who makes a great impact on the glass thanks to his long arms and awareness … Basketball IQ is very advanced, understands the game’s nuances … Despite his scoring mentality, Almond remains unselfish as he continually looks for open teammates … Moves extremely well without the ball, usually gets open by working of screens and picks … When slashing to the basket, he has no problem converting due to his body control and strength … Shows a good post up game to take advantage of mismatches … Because of his scoring prowess, Almond constantly looks to attack his defenders and draw fouls … Superior free throw shooter … Finishes well after contact due to his body strength … Defensively he does a solid job of playing the passing lanes for easy steals … Underrated athlete who may not make breath taking plays but certainty isn’t below average …

Weaknesses: While an unselfish player at times, Almond will force passes into the post resulting in most of his turnovers … Ball handling remains an issue of concern, while decent he can be uncomfortable when pressure is applied … Opposing teams have adopted the philosophy of defending him by being very physical. While he doesn’t back down it’s not unusual for him to need a period of adjustment … Must approach the game consistently with toughness and the killer instinct to dominate … Defensively Almond would benefit by playing defense with the same intensity that he uses on offense … While greatly improved from last year, Almond’s jumpshot can go through periods of streakiness … Due to his team’s personnel there are times where he will force shot out of shear frustration … Would benefit greatly by working on his overall quickness and foot speed (plyometrics etc.) …<o:p></o:p>
Draft Express
http://www.draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1026 (http://www.draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1026)
Pick #27 – <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Detroit</st1:place></st1:City>
Against SMU this past Saturday, we observed Rice scoring machine Morris Almond (http://www.draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1026) in person, along with scouts from the Bucks, Sixers, and Clippers. It was clear to everyone on hand that he is a flat out scoring machine at this level, and has a shooting stroke that extends out to NBA three point range. The Rice senior also finds other crafty ways to put the ball through the hole, making up for his lack of incredible athleticism with remarkably heady play.

The biggest asset that Almond brings to the table is obviously his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He is absolutely automatic when he has his feet set, which he has no problem doing awfully quickly when coming off screens. He gets his shot off quickly, has nice form, and releases the ball quite high. Morris is such an excellent shooter that once the ball left his hand, those in attendance were all expecting it to drop. Off the dribble he is outstanding going to his left, although he usually settles for a pull-up jumpshot instead of taking it all the way to the cup. When he does decide to take it to the rim going to his right, he generally does a great job of finishing, drawing a foul, or finding an open teammate after breaking down the defense.

What makes the Rice senior an even more attractive prospect is his ability to get to the foul line, where he goes nearly 10 times per game. He converts 86% of his free throw attempts, making him a player you don’t want to foul at the end of the game, as shown by SMU coach Matt Doherty’s choice not to foul with less then 50 seconds to go and his team down by three…due to the fact that Almond had the ball in his hands.

The swingman’s ability to make his way to the foul line is not so much dependent upon explosive athleticism or a great first step, like it is with so many other wing players. He finds his way to the line via his smart play and ability to move off of the ball. Almond does an excellent job of selling defenders with his shot fake, which is identical to the form of his jumpshot. He also moves quite well without the ball in his hands, setting defenders up before he cuts and then rubbing right off of the screener. This allows him to touch the ball on virtually every possession down the floor. He uses the referees to his advantage as well, pushing off all of the time but doing in it a way that the officials cannot see for the most part. These are clearly acquired skills that he has learned over his four year career at Rice, and are a huge reason why his scoring average was able to jump from 7.2 points per game as a sophomore to 21.9 points per game as a junior.

Almond’s physical attributes are also a plus for the scoring machine. He measured out at a legit 6’6 with shoes and owned a 6’10 wingspan, verified at last year’s NBA Pre-Draft Camp in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Orlando</st1:place></st1:City>. His long frame is also remarkably muscular already, with the potential to add another 15-20 pounds if he chooses to go that route. When it is all said and done, his frame could allow him to own a Corey Maggette (http://www.draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1026#) type body if he decides to bulk up.

It is pretty remarkable that Morris is able to average nearly 28 points per game, while not being a very creative scorer off of the dribble almost whatsoever. He does not have a very explosive first step nor is he an excellent ball handler, making his drives to the basket usually stop far short of the rim. He really seems to struggle going to his right, often settling for contested floaters and seeing his shooting percentage plummet as opposed to when he shoots without dribbling or drives to his left.

Defensively, Almond always seemed to be a step late throughout the game. He did not exert the world’s best effort on the defensive end, resulting him to get burned quite a few times when attempting to go through screens. His rotations were quite poor, as he was always getting to the necessary spot about a half second later then he should have. There were a few brief spurts in which Morris played adequate defense, but overall it was an incredibly poor defensive showing for a player who possesses such excellent length and strength for a wing.

NBA teams (http://www.draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1026#) will know what they are getting in Almond when the 2007 NBA Draft rolls around. Scouts know they are getting a smart, crafty player who can absolutely shoot the lights out of the ball. If teams are looking for a guy who is going to break down the defense and average 3 or more assists per game from the wing, then Morris is not your man. When it is all said and done, Almond has a very good chance of seeing himself drafted somewhere in the first round due to his proven scoring prowess, ability to get to the foul line, and deadly outside shooting stroke, as well as his excellent intangibles.

06-05-2007, 03:13 PM
I like Morris and I wouldn't mind if we picked him.

But if we trade for a pick and we can't get Law or maybe Nick Young then I want D.Cook. Cook is already the second best scorer in this draft IMHO. Right behind Rodney Stuckey. Cook can just flat out score the ball. The guy can shoot it deep too. He is very quick. He has as much potential (I know some don't like that word) as anyone in this draft. I really am hoping that Cook is a guy that we really try and get, assuming that the others high on the list is out of reach.

I think Cook is the real sleeper in this year's draft. Much more than Almond is. Just like Shawne Williams had the most potential of anyone that could be taken after the lottery last year I think Cook is the same way. Not a lottery pick this year but could very well turn out to be a top 10 player or so from this draft. Cook is in the shadows of Oden and Conley but don't forget him.

06-05-2007, 05:20 PM
One of the things I read about Morris Almond on his NBA DraftExpress profile is that he is very good at making it to the Foul line by drawing fouls. From what I have read...he is,,,,by far...the best shooter coming out of college. He can shoot the 3pt shot....can draw the foul and is a 85% FT shooter.

I am pretty sure that some team drafting 25 to 30 will draft this kid....if he is available in the 2nd round...I hope we can snag him.

Given JO'Bs 3pt offense....I think that we have to figure out a way to acquire some 3pt talent.