Better Know a Prospect: Derrick Favors, PF - Georgia Tech

Favors isn't as hyped as John Wall or Evan Turner, but he might very well be the best player to come out of the draft. He's a dominant 6'10" power forward who is highly efficient on offense and grabs tons of rebounds. He fills a big need for the Hornets, who lack solid offensive options at the forward position. On defense, he's athletic, effective, and blocks tons of shots. He's inexperienced, but a good defensive coach (Thibodeau, please?) could make him a fantastic defender.

First for the bio: He was born raised in Atlanta, where he attended South Atlanta High School. His Georgia Tech bio claims he began playing basketball at the age of 10 after watching Kobe Bryant (it also says he likes to play table tennis and air hockey, which would be quite a sight). He was the MVP of both the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, en route to being named the #1 prospect in the nation by Scout.com and #2 by ESPN. And that was in a class with John Wall. He stayed in Atlanta for college, attending Georgia Tech for one year and playing in the rough and tumble ACC, where he distinguished himself among a Ramblin' Wreck team that lacked other skill players.

Derrick Favors led Georgia Tech in almost every statistical category - rebounds, points, field goal percentage, minutes played, offensive rating, blocks, effective field goal percentage, and true shooting percentage. Averaging about 12 rebounds and 18 points per game, he steamrolled through the ACC, blocking three shots a game and posting an absurd 61% field goal percentage. He has the statistical profile of a player destined for productivity in the NBA.

All this happened in a system at Georgia Tech that didn't suit Favors at all. Georgia Tech usually posted up two big men and tried to let their generally incompetent guards feed the ball into the post, which usually resulted in Favors either not getting the ball or facing a quick double team once he did. To make matters worse, the Tech guards were terrible outside shooters, so defenses were able to collapse and pack the paint, making it even tougher for Favors. Rarely was he able to isolate against his defender. Nonetheless, he was able to show his ability to finish by posting a very good field goal percentage and being the most efficient scorer on the team.

But he has weaknesses - his footwork needs polishing and he tends to turn the ball over (3.4 TO/40p), especially when he is forced to put the ball on the floor. His shooting in college was rather poor and seemed to regress from his high school career, where he was a legitimate perimeter threat. And he has significant problems finishing with his left hand.

But his weaknesses are far outstripped by his ludicrous athletic skills. He has arms that are nearly telescopic and hands that always seem to find the ball. He runs the floor with grace and can create opportunities off the dribble. His package of size and athleticism is rare, but he's not just a raw set of skills - he was the best power forward in the NCAA last year.

For the Hornets, he would fill an enormous need - we lack a forward that can post up and provide efficient offense while effectively defending. Favors can provide that ability straight out of college. He fills the two biggest statistical holes for the Hornets - rebounding and isolation defense. If the Hornets hit the jackpot in the lottery and get a top-three pick, he has to be considered very strongly, especially at the number three spot.

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