College basketball is in full swing and the NBA playoff race is starting to heat up, but for franchises like the Knicks, Lakers, 76ers and a few others, there attention has turned to the NBA Draft. Therefore, we at Over The Grill are going to begin our NBA Draft Coverage with some scouting reports on the major prospects. We already profiled Duke Center Jahil Okafor yesterday and also published our initial NBA Mock Draft last week. Today we will take a look at Kentucky star power forward Karl Anthony-Towns, who posses an amazing combination of size and skill and is an above average defender as well.
Name: Karl Anthony Towns
Position: Power Forward/ Center
Weight: 248 lbs
Age: 19 years old
Current Stats: 9.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 2.3 BLK, 56.7 FG %, 78.7 FT%
Projected Draft Range: Top 3
I believe Towns may have the chance to challenge Jail Okafor for the number one pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. This season at Kentucky, he is averaging 9.6 points per game on 57% shooting, and grabs a total of 6.5 rebounds per game. These stats may seem like a lot less than Okafor, but Towns is on a team surrounding by star players and only plays 20.5 minutes per game. Okafor, being the star player for Duke, is afforded an extra 11 minutes more than Towns. Towns is also averaging 2.3 blocks per game.
Towns has excellent size for an NBA center, standing at 7 feet even. His wingspan and amazing 9’5” standing reach would make him an instant shot blocker on any team that picks him. His athleticism isn’t absurd, but he has decent mobility for his size. His good hands and great touch, along with this mobility can make him an instant threat in pick and roll situations. He is not super explosive, but does have the ability, if given enough space and time, to get up there and finish.
He has a very unique blend of offensive skills for someone his size as Towns has proven he is both an inside and outside threat. He has an excellent touch on both his right and left side with soft hands and long arms, and his time under John Calipari has allowed for Towns to improve his post game. He also excellent vision and can move the ball from both the high post and the block. Towns has great potential as a rebounder due to his size, reach and mobility. He has the ability to grab the ball in traffic, a skill that could do him well in the NBA. He also competes on the offensive glass and keeps plays alive, another skill that NBA teams would love to have.
On defense, Towns is a work in progress. He has to be able to improve his discipline and toughness in the paint, but his length and size could allow him to be a solid defender. Towns is only considered an average athlete, and a lack of explosiveness shows when he goes against lengthier defenders. He is not very light on his feet, and struggles guarding faster big men. Despite his many offensive gifts, he lacks a level of toughness and intensity that would be good in the NBA and is too willing to float on the perimeter and shoot threes rather than get in the paint and get dirty. He also doesn’t have a great body, and gets pushed around a bit and is not always willing to challenge shots at the rim.
Towns has many tools that make him a very solid haul for any team in the draft. He is a very good free throw shooter, and has great potential to be a long stretch four that can get boards, block shots and shoot threes. Maybe with time at the highest level, Towns will be able to pack on muscle and be a more intimidating threat in the post. He is definitely going with a high pick in this year’s coming draft.