Celtics Draft Preview: Kenneth Faried

For the next month, Celticsblog.com is taking a look at potential Celtics draft picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. For a look at previously featured players, click on names: Markieff Morris, Klay Thompson, and Justin Harper. Fourth up in the series, Morehead State's Kenneth Faried.

 

His measurements from the Draft Combine:

Birthday: 11/19/1989     Height: 6'7.5"     Weight: 225.0     Wingspan: 7'0"     Standing Reach: 9'0"     No Step Vertical Reach: 11’6.5" 

His per-game stats from his senior season at Morehead State:

Mins: 34.7     Pts: 17.3     FG: 6.7     FGA: 10.7     FG%: 62.3      FT%: 57.7     Rebs: 14.5     Blks: 2.3     Steals: 1.9     Turnovers: 2.6

 

For Celtics fans, there's been perhaps no more popular name in draft talks than Morehead State's Kenneth Faried.

Faried, a senior power forward, led the nation in rebounding this season, averaging a staggering 14.5 per game. But Faried isn't just a one-season wonder, and has actually exceeded his prior season in almost every statistical category. He averaged 8.0 rebounds his freshman season, and 13.0 rebounds his sophomore and junior season. Those numbers added on to this year have made him the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history with 1,673. Not too shabby.

The Celtics, while their style of play keeps rebounding numbers relatively low, could definitely still use rebounding coming off the bench. But not only will the C's get rebounding, by all reports they'll get a guy who goes 110-percent when he's out there, obviously a valuable asset and something to be desired on every team.

We've seen countless times in the past (although not so much in the second half of last season) where Glen Davis was that guy who came in off the bench and provided the energy that boosted the rest of the team. Faried seems to have that quality, minus the somewhat more polished offensive game. And with Davis as a free agent, maybe the C's think to replace him with someone like Faried.

"A lot of teams say that my offensive skill could be a concern," Faried said at the recent draft combine. "I'm working at it and they accept me for that. And they say you could play a great role in just being on the team. And bringing hustle in practice or on the floor, you're going to want to play me."

His offensive game, unlike that of the previously featured Justin Harper, is not anywhere close to where it needs to be if Faried is to be counted on on the offensive end.

But maybe he won't be. There have been players in this league that have had much success just being pure defenders and scrappy guys out there.

"A lot of teams need a rebounder, a lot of players aren't going to make every shot," he said. "So I'm just going to get it and score, and that's the way my numbers speak that way.

"I have great confidence in that [I can be a great player without an all-star level offensive game]. Ben Wallace was definitely in the league because (some) things he did was block shots, rebounding, be a great defensive presence. And he started for the Pistons and won championships and made All-Star games. But it's going to take time and progress and I'm going to just keep getting better every day.

Ben Wallace was bigger than Faried is though. It's one thing to grab rebound after rebound playing at Morehead State, but coming into the NBA, how will his 6'7.5", 225-pound frame hold up as a power forward? Energy can only take you so far and eventually skill and size will overcome - and there is plenty of that in the NBA.

But there's another player strongly on the side of Faried, and he was pretty good at rebounding himself - Dennis Rodman.

Alex Raskin over at the Wall Street Journal has that story and more on Faried, and it's definitely worth a read if you're interested in Faried's story. Here's a quick excerpt:

"I told Kenneth not to listen to anyone saying you are too small," said Rodman, who, like Faried, hails from New Jersey, stands just under 6-8, and became a national star despite coming from a small college (Southeast Oklahoma State). He said he told Faried, "You need to know your role and think every rebound is yours and go after it that way.''

Rodman added: "Kenneth has a good motor that keeps going and that's what reminds me of [myself]."

Another Faried must-read comes from Chris Dortch at NBA.com. In it states where Faried's inspiration to grab rebounds comes from (hint: his mother).

Also in the piece are these telling quotes from big name opponents:

"That's Dennis Rodman all over again," Florida coach Billy Donovan said after Faried torched his frontcourt, thought to be the best in the Southeastern Conference, for 20 points and 18 boards. "If I was an NBA general manager I'd be taking him with my pick. That's what a next-level guy looks like."

"The big kid is legit," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said even before Faried went for 15 and 12 against the Buckeyes. "... He's on the glass on every shot. ... I think he's the epitome of a power forward."

Hoping that Faried could one day turn into Ben Wallace or Dennis Rodman is unfair, but it's not too often you get a guy who cares more about his impact on the defensive end than on the offensive end. At the same time, Rajon Rondo needs players who can score the ball and hit shots -- because to this point in his career, that's not really part of Rondo's game. He's always relied heavily on his teammates to do the scoring.

If Faried is to work here in Boston, he will have to be able to do more offensively and be able to score on his own and not off others' misses.

Here is some of what NBADraft.net, who gives Faried an overall score of 92, says about his weaknesses:

"Scouts are less likely to give credence to standout stats against lesser opponents ... Needs to further develop his post skills. His moves are too predictable even against lesser competition ... Lacks any real face the basket skills. Touch and consistency are not great. Scores mostly on put backs and buckets where he gains deep position in the paint, or is able to outclass opponents with his athleticism ..."

So in a nutshell, his offense isn't quite there yet, but he'll win you over with his effort, defense, and rebounding. What do you guys think?

 

Kenneth Faried Getting National Attention (via MSUEagleAthletics)

 

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried with an Unbelievable Blocked Shot (via bawireman)

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