In basketball we make a habit of comparing players. This is a quick look at some of the names from around The Courts Pro-Am, and comparing them to an NBA player from the past or present. This week was guys only. Next week we will take a look at the ladies.
DISCLAIMER: This list is simply a comparison of game types, not skill levels and abilities.
Kameron Bundy (Drury) – Eric Bledsoe: The two combo guards couldn’t have more in common. Like Bledsoe, Bundy has freakish athleticsm. Not many teams have the luxury of running lob plays for their point guards. Both can get to the rim at will, and also wreak havoc defensively. However, both will also have to step up and lead their respective teams next year as a go-to option.
Justin Jamison (MSU-West Plains) – Andrew Bogut: Jamison will be a freshman for the Grizzlies this fall, but expect immediate contributions from the 6-foot-9 center. Obviously he lacks Bogut’s 7-foot-1 frame, however his touch around the rim, ability to clean the glass and willingness to defend the rim will remind you of the former Utah standout.
Nathane Simniok (C of O) – David West: Simniok is a difference maker at the forward spot for the Bobcats, despite being slightly undersize at 6-foot-5, inviting the David West comparison. Like West, Simniok is a great finisher around the rim, but also has a nice touch out to 20 feet. Most of all, Simniok isn’t afraid to mix it up inside, regardless of how much size he is giving up.
Jordan Epps (Central Missouri) – Monta Ellis: Instant offense. Both of these guards were born to score. Epps was the HAAC Freshman of the Year at Missouri Valley, averaging 20 PPG in conference play, before transferring to UCM. In Epps, the Mules get a guy that can create offense for himself and others off the dribble. From three, pull up jumpers, getting to the rim; it doesn’t make any difference to the former Nixa standout. His continued maturation process will lead to better decision making, proving him to be even more unstoppable in years to come.
Korry Tillery (Evangel) – Larry Johnson: Okay, if you’re under the age of 30 you may not remember LJ. But, the 6-foot-6 UNLV standout made a career in the NBA by being a matchup nightmare. Tillery also possesses that ability. With his strength he can abuse smaller defenders in the post. His athleticism also allows him to step out on the floor against bigger defenders and take them off the dribble. As he continues to become a more consistent perimeter shooter, he will be an even bigger issue for HAAC forwards.
Marcus Bell (SBU) –Kenyon Martin: If you haven’t heard of the Bearcat’s newest forward don’t feel bad. The University of Idaho transfer will likely have one season of eligibility left at SBU, but look for him to make a big-time impact. Bell, like Martin, is a high energy guy. Although his biggest strength is on the defensive end as a shot blocker and rebounder, he is also decently skilled offensively, showing that he can knock down the occasional 15 foot jumper. He is also a great finisher around the rim, emphatically punctuating his two points with a rim-rattlin’ dunks.
Emmanual Addo (MSU) – Zach Randolph: Addo is another transfer from the Rocky Mountain region that will finish his career in the Ozarks. At 6-foot-10, Aldo is a load in the post. But much like the Memphis Grizzlies star forward, Addo can also knock down face up jumpers out to 18 feet and is a great passer out of the post. They’re also both lefties.
Tate Unruh (Northern Colorado) – Klay Thompson: Defense may win championships, but it is useless if you can’t score points on the other end. Tate Unruh can do that in a big way. Last year for the Bears Unruh averaged 13.5 PPG to go along with 4.3 RPG. He was one of few players to shoot 40%+ from the 3-point line while also shooting 90%+ from the charity stripe. The former Branson star has added weight and the ability to easily create for himself to his repertoire. Expect big things from him this winter.
Devon Thomas (MSU) – Brandon Jennings: It is very fitting that both Jennings and Thomas are lefties. However, they also share slight frames, the uncanny ability to get into the paint, and unreal athleticism. Both are willing passers, but also have the natural instinct to score. Between spinning defenders like tops and throwing down transition dunks, Thomas will be a highlight reel in Springfield for the next four years.
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