Originally posted on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/8/13
The first Matchup of the Day features a battle on the low-block between NBA Draft prospects Josh Scott of Colorado and Cory Jefferson of Baylor. Scott was one of the most underrated freshman in the country last season, and was an integral part of the Buffaloes’ NCAA Tournament run. With a frontcourt composed of potential lottery pick Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson, Baylor has one of the most talented combination of big men in the country. Here is a breakdown of each player, as well as an analysis of the head-to-head matchup. #40 – PF Josh Scott – Sophomore – 6’10” 245 Pounds 2012-2013 Stat Line: 28.2 MPG, 10.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 48.6 FG%, 74.7 FT% As a freshman, Scott was Colorado’s go-to scorer in the post, yet his performance plummeted in the second-half of the season. During the first 19 games of the season, Scott averaged 13.4 points and 5.6 rebounds, while shooting 52.2 percent from the field. In the last 12 games of the season (he missed 2 regular season games due to a concussion), Scott’s per-game averages fell to 5.9 points, and 5 rebounds, and he converted only 40 percent of his shot attempts. At his best, Scott is a gifted scorer who combines a full arsenal of post-moves with a consistent stroke from mid-range. In order to improve his Draft stock and efficiency as a post-scorer (he shot only 62 percent around the rim last season), Scott needs to continue to add strength to his frame. Strengths: + Skilled Scorer + Mid-Range Game + Long & Athletic Weaknesses: - Rebounding Ability - Strength #34 – PF Cory Jefferson – Senior – 6’9” 220 Pounds 2012-2013 Stat Line: 27.9 MPG, 13.3 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 61 FG%, 70.4 FT% Jefferson’s overall production level jumped to another level last season, as he went from a reserve as a sophomore to a bonafide Draft prospect as a junior, and established himself as one of the elite big men in the country. Jefferson is a man among boys in the college ranks, boasting a defined physique and ridiculous bounce, which allows him to impose his will on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Jefferson is an all-around scorer whose efficiency is heightened by his ability to rise above defenders and finish with authority. The most underrated aspect of Jefferson’s game is the touch on his jumper, as the rising senior led his team in mid-range efficiency, shooting 43.2 percent on the year. Its only a matter of time before Jefferson’s Draft stock takes off, as he has the combination of athleticism, skill and year-to-year progression that scouts are looking for. Strengths: + Ultra-Athletic + Mid-Range Game + Elite Rebounder + Shot-Blocking Weaknesses: + Low-Post Scoring Breakdown: Tonight’s matchup will provide an excellent gauge of the all-around development and scoring ability of both Jefferson and Scott. Jefferson is a matchup nightmare for Scott, who has struggled to score against stronger, more athletic big men in the past. Furthermore, Scott is a below-average rebounder, which is one of Jefferson’s main strengths. For Jefferson, he needs to counter each and every one of Scott’s moves on the low-block, and force him to take contested shots around the basket. On the offensive end, he needs to challenge the physicality and strength of Scott, going directly at him and getting the sophomore in early foul trouble. Scott’s main priority will be sticking with Jefferson in transition and forcing him to score with his back to the basket. Jefferson possesses surprising quickness for a player his size, and is always looking to get easy baskets in transition. Scott runs the floor well, but he simply cannot take a play off tonight. Ultimately, tonight’s game provides each player a showcase to display his improvements from the summer. Next year, Jefferson will be playing in the NBA, and Scott will join him soon afterwards, so make sure you catch of glimpse of these talented bigs before they get to the next level. Check out today’s matchup of the day in action on Fox Sports South at 10:30 tonight. No views yet
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