NBA scouts give brutally honest opinions on Niang, Uthoff
Finding your way onto "The Finch List" is, overall, a blessing.
Earning your spot on Sports Illustrated college basketball guru Seth Davis' annual critique of NBA Draft prospects means you're someone to be taken seriously.
So Iowa State all-timer Georges Niang and Iowa all-around bedrock Jarrod Uthoff should be pleased to earn their time under the microscope.
Unfortunately, the anonymous pro scouts Davis polls and publishes under the guise of "Finch" take their criticism seriously. No notoriety comes without consequence.
Davis compiled comments on 53 NBA hopefuls, and the experts didn't pull any punches. (Uthoff and Niang were the only Iowa-based players to merit scrutiny.)
Here's the take on Niang, a 6-foot-8 forward who was a two-time consensus All-America selection and this year's Karl Malone Award winner.
"He's a guy that coaches will love. He's undersized and he's a terrible athlete, but he's a basketball player. He has as high a basketball IQ as anybody in this draft. Can really shoot and you can run offense through him on the elbow because he can pass it. I don't know that he'll get drafted. He should play in Europe for 15 years and make obscene money."
He’s not listed on most mock drafts, although ESPN's Chad Ford said Niang merits a second-round choice.
The negative superlatives aren't as extreme with Uthoff, who became Iowa’s first consensus all-American since Chuck Darling in 1952. He has a unique skill set that allowed him to become just the second Big Ten Conference player in the last two decades to record 150-plus blocks and 125 3-pointers in a career.
But scouts aren't exactly sure where Uthoff, who Ford sees as a first-round pick, fits on the floor:
"Physically skilled. Needs to get stronger. He's like Gumby with his ability to contort himself around the rim. Such a weird game. Can he rebound just enough to play four? I don't think he can guard threes. NBA guys will eat him up in the post. I just picture him going up against (Washington Wizards forward) Markieff Morris. He's a good shooter but it takes a little time for him to get it off."
This year's NBA Draft is Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y.