Found February 19, 2013 on NBA Draft Blog:
  Name:   Richard Howell   Age:   22   School: North Carolina State Height: 6’8         Weight: 257       Projected Position:         PF           2012-13 Stats (As of 2/18/13): 13.2 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.6 tpg (31.4 minutes per game) 57.0 FG%, 65.6 FT%, 58.9 TS%, 57.0 eFG% 15.3 OREB%, 23.3 DREB%, 19.7 TREB%, 20.4 USG%   SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN Offense Post Play/Footwork Howell has improved as low post presence, though he still needs a lot of work.  He uses his body well establish position on the block, and he gets his hands out to give his teammate a target.  He prefers to set up on the left block and make moves over his left shoulder with his right hand.  He is good at using his body to force his way towards the basket and not many defenders can force him out wide.  He has good touch around the rim and has developed a nice mini-hook with his right hand which he can hit from out to about 6 feet.  He is capable of finishing with either hand around the basket, though he doesn’t finish above the rim often.  He likes to face up out of the low post and is capable of hitting the short jumper or driving strong to the rim.  He likes to go to his right hand, so if you take away his right when he faces up, he will usually settle for the short jumper. Howell is a strong screener out of the post, though he needs to work on rolling to the basket better, including opening up to the ball, when he sets a high screen.  Howell also does a good job using his big body to seal off defenders in the lane to create room for his teammates to get to the basket.           Ballhandling Howell is an average ballhandler at best, and when he goes to his left hand, he is below average. He does a good job limiting the amount of ballhandling he actually does, and not forcing plays with his weaker hand.  He prefers a few power dribbles in the post area, but he is capable of making the occasional drive from the perimeter, though he has to make sure he keeps his head up when he does this.      Perimeter Shooting Howell has improved his shooting ability from the perimeter, but the shot mechanics are far from ideal.  He does a good job squaring to the basket and getting lift from his legs, but his release point is slightly low causing his shots to come out without much arc.  He has follows through well and that helps the shot somewhat, but his shot leaves little margin for error.  He has consistent range out to about 15 feet, and he has become a good enough shooter that post players have to come out and defend him.  He uses jab steps and fakes well to try and get defenders off balance. Rebounding Howell is an excellent offensive rebounder, anticipating missed shots well and using his big body to get good position for the rebound.  He controls the ball well, and often secures it, though he needs to watch a tendency to bring the ball low.  He may force some bad 2nd chance shots once he has the offensive rebound, and he has to work on looking to draw and shoot through contact, especially with his strength.  While Howell isn’t a high leaper, he is quick off the ground, and he works hard to at least get a hand on shots he can’t get to right away. Passing Skills Howell has decent good vision when he has the ball, both in the low post and on the perimeter.  He has done a better job anticipating double teams in the post, and finds open teammates with quick, strong, catchable passes.  He has good awareness and can find cutters and shooters on the weakside. Free Throw Shooting Howell is a below-average free throw shooter, with the same issues discussed above with his perimeter shooting.  Howell’s release is slightly low and it leads to his shots having a line drive quality with little arc.  You can he see by the amount of shots, both makes and misses, that hit the front of the rim.  More alarming is how little he gets to the free throw line for someone who gets the large majority of his shots around the basket.  He will rush shots in close avoiding contact rather than drawing, and finishing through, any contact.  He isn’t much of a leaper and many defenders look to block his shots, so simple shot fakes should lead to more than almost 4 attempts per game he gets now.    Defense Post Defense Howell has developed into a solid post defender.  He is physical and uses his lower body well to force his man away from the baskets.  He keeps a wide base, forcing any post moves to go wide around him.  His footwork and foot speed aren’t great, but he makes up for it by playing physical and looking to deny the post when he gets a chance.  He does a good job forcing post moves towards the lane and the help defenders.  Because Howell likes to try and force the player towards the lane, he has become susceptible to quick moves along the baseline area, such as a quick dropstep, and he doesn’t have the foot speed to really prevent it.  Howell is also not very good at pick-and-roll defense, having issues of not getting out to hedge quick enough, or getting caught too long on the perimeter after the ballhandler gets around him.          Perimeter Defense Howell is an average perimeter defender, though he tries to avoid coming too far out on his man.  He positions himself well, allowing him to close on a jump shot when needed but not getting so close to allow him to be beat.  He has below average lateral movement and foot speed, though he has improved and has learned to find angles to cut off penetration.     Help Defense/Shot Blocking Howell anticipates well when he needs to slide over and help, though he can be a step or two slow to get over at times.  He is not a very good shot blocker, having issues with timing, leaping ability, and choosing the right spots to attempt a block.  What Howell is good at is fouling hard and not letting players who get to the rim get a good shot off, making them go to the free throw line to get their points. Rebounding Howell is a very good to great defensive rebounder and it starts with him using his body well to seal off some space.  He always looks to put a body on someone and he does a very good job keeping his man pinned behind him before he goes for the ball.  He uses his lower body well to force offensive players to have to go over the top of him to try and get the ball.  He does a good job going strong after the ball and securing it with strong hands.  He clears out his area well once he has secured the ball and waits for his ballhandlers to get open before he makes the outlet pass.  One area where Howell can improve is anticipating where the missed shot is going go and getting to the spot quickly to clear space.     Transition Howell isn’t very fast, but he does get up and down the floor well for his size.  He isn’t going to get out ahead on the break often, but he is a very good option as a trailer, especially if he finds an opening down the middle of the lane.  When given the space, he will always go up and finish strong. Intangibles/Summary Howell is a very good role player, and he makes the most out of his opportunities when gets the ball.  He is rarely the focus of the NC State offense, but he goes out and creates his own opportunities.  He understands his teammates well and he tailors his play to make them better.  Blessed with a wide body, he uses it well to create space and get on the boards.  His improved confidence on the offensive end forces post defenders to play him honestly, and occasionally force teams to look to double him.  He is a team guy who plays with a lot of energy, and there have been more than a few games where the team needed to rely on his energy.    Draft Value:  2nd Round – Mid 2nd – #42-50 Howell will never be more than a role player at the next level, but he could easily excel in a role as a backup power forward who just needs to go out, defend and crash the boards.  He doesn’t require the ball to contribute, and he will create his own opportunities when they are there within the flow of the offense.  Some of his offensive skills still need some fine tuning, but he should be able to contribute fairly quickly off the bench.   Leave your comments below, or email me – ed@nbadraftblog.com Follow me on Twitter - @NBADraftBlog  
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