Better Know a Prospect: Jae Crowder, F - Marquette

[Bumping this from the FanPosts. Some high quality stuff here on a possible second round option, if he's available. Thanks 'unnamed' for the story, and as always, if anyone would like to profile a prospect* with a FanPost ahead of the draft, we'll definitely try and front page it to get some more discussion.

*Perhaps a positive Austin Rivers BKAP in response to my critique of him?

- R]

Ask and you shall receive. A fan shot BKAP: Jae Crowder - Forward, Marquette

(Disclaimer: This is my second fanpost and 1st player write up and I am no expert or even experienced amateur at any of this. Comments, criticisms and questions are welcome)



Like a number of players and prospects, Crowder has an NBA pedigree: his father played for Utah and San Antonio and also played professionally in France. His path to the 2012 NBA draft, however, wasn't smooth or certain. He wasn't well recruited out of high school and went to JuCo. After attending school for a year he was tipped of by a Division 1 coach that it wasn't accredited. Long story short, he transferred to Howard College, took two years of classes in two semesters (plus summer school at Marquette) while leading his team to a national championship, winning tournament MVP honors. He was named the State Farm Junior College POY for '09-'10. Then he transferred to Marquette.

In his first season at Marquette, Crowder showed the basketball IQ, work ethic and motor that got Buzz Williams to recruit him. In his senior year, Crowder improved his shooting (FT%, .61 to .73), defense (Stls, 1.9 to 3.1 per 40) and scoring (TS%, .57 to .60) and continued to do the other things he does well on his way to winning Big East POY. Projected as "tweener" forward in the NBA, he is better than the average NCAA SF and PF in nearly everything. He grabs 10.2 rebounds per 40, makes 2.5 Asts per 40 (putting him in the top 10 among SF/PF), and is an extremely efficient, high scoring player. For his senior year he averaged 13.7 possessions per game, 21.3 pts and 1.5 TOs per 40 (.09 TOs per possession). According to the Wages of Wins blog, "he ranks sixth in turnovers per 40 minutes among all NCAA players who average at least 20 points per 40 minutes".

Described as undersized for the forward position at 6'6 and not mobile enough for SG, Crowder is built like a tight end (in fact he played quarterback in high school), but has a good wingspan and decent athleticism. As a player he is described as decisive with an excellent work ethic and motor. He is smart and has an excellent feel for the game. As far as basketball skills that translate to the NBA, he plays great defense (5th in all NCAA prospects in steals per 40) using his strength and intelligence to compensate for the difference in size or quickness, shoots a respectable % from the line and is a very good rebounder (despite his size). He can (and has) guarded all positions at the college level relying mostly on his strength and smarts.

On offense, he operates best off the ball and does it well enough to score a nice amount of efficient points despite not being able to create his own shot. He excels in getting "garbage points" and in scoring off assits. He uses his basketball IQ and decisiveness to find slips in his opponents defense, get into good scoring position quickly in the half court and transition, and almost immediately decide to take the shot if available or make the pass. His efficiency is a testament to his solid decision making. He is a versatile and smart scorer usually finding and using the most effective way of putting the ball in the basket.

Crowder is the type of player that coaches and fans love (I mean, just look at that hair!). He's smart, works hard and will do whatever it takes to win. I could see New Orleans fans quickly falling in love with the guy who is always taking the timely charge, going all out for a rebound, making the big time steal, getting that basket at the end of a scoring run to tie the game. (If Davis is The Man, Crowder would be the man behind the man.)

He developed a very strong work ethic at Marquette and takes pride in playing defense, both team and man-to-man. I think this fits well with Monty William's philosophy. With a defensive anchor of Davis/Gordon/Crowder, New Orleans would have a mobile shot blocker, a lock-down guy on the perimeter and a smart, strong defender who can cover the next best offensive mark in man-to-man, defend well however is in front of him in zone and always play smart team defense. The three could cover defensive weaknesses at PG and C and Crowder would make-up for what they lost with Ariza.

With Gordon, Jack (or whoever takes over as starting PG) and Davis (potentially) dominating the ball and scoring, Crowder's skill set of off the ball, opportunistic scoring will fit perfectly. He and Gordon have good assit numbers so I can see the offense of the whole team going from weakness to strength with the addition of one player. There's only one SF on the roster now and Crowder starting would give Aminu an even better situation in which to develop.

He's a star in a role-players body.

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