Ekpe Udoh draft profile

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Ekpe Udoh (Baylor, Junior)
PF - 6'10, 240 lbs., Age: 22

Udoh is a 6'10, skilled power forward offensively and a threat to terrorize on the defensive end.  He originally played at Michigan and showed promise on the defensive end with his ability to block shots and his athleticism, but little else.  Udoh ended up transferring to Baylor and busted out this year with a great all-around game.   Udoh showed the ability on defense by increasing his rebounding while continuing to be a great shot-blocker.  Offensively, he utilized his ball-handling to take his man off the dribble and get to key spots, flashed great passing skills for a big man, and posted up to use jump hooks and turn-around jumpers.  

Offensively, Udoh has improved immensely.  He's best in open space from around 10-15 feet out where he's able to use his speed and handles to shoot the open jumper, dribble and take to the rack, or pass to an open shooter.  His size and skillset creates a mismatch for opposing power forward making him a difficult cover.  One small problem is his reliance on going left while operating in space.

In addition to his refined offensive skills, Udoh hits the offensive
glass hard using his length and speed at the power forward position.  In the post Udoh utilizes a few jump hooks to the right or left, but right now, he lacks the leg strength required to post up power forwards in the NBA.  However, the skillset is there, and he's added weight since his freshman year.  If he can improve his body under an NBA conditioning program he has potential to become a terror offensively due to his high skill level. 

While skilled on offense, shot blocking is Udoh's bread-and-butter.  Udoh came into college as a great shot-blocker skilled at rejecting shots in man defense situations and as a help defender.  His length also makes him a disruptive presence in the passing lanes. 

It's not all good news on the defensive end as his lack of strength allows opponents to back him down, and he struggles on the defensive glass for someone with his athletic ability.

How does his game translate to the NBA?

Even though Udoh is an older player for this draft, he's still somewhat raw and still has the ability to add on weight too his frame.  Adding strength will be key, as he has potential to be a dominant player on both ends of the court.

His skill set makes him a matchup problem for opposing fours, and should allow him to excel as a pick and roll player at the next level.

Right now, Udoh could be drafted anywhere from 5-20.  Udoh's game is reminiscent of a right-handed, poor-man's Lamar Odom with a bit more interior play.

How would he fit in with the Bulls?

More than likely, some GM will fall in love with Udoh's potential and draft him before the Bulls pick 17.  If he is there for the Bulls at 17 or if the Bulls can trade up then Udoh is a player I would target.  His game would really blend in with Rose due to his fit in the pick and roll and ability to shoot, pass, or drive when getting the ball after the screen while his defense would set up opportunities for more transition for the Bulls.

Comments

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  • This has been a real eye opener for me as I never considered that Udoh could potentially go in the lottery. I'd still be surprised if he went top 10, but I'll have to reconsider where I stand on him. Good work again Kevin.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Thanks man; he has a chance to be a really good player!

  • I have only seen this kid play a couple of times (twice).

    He's a decent looking prospect, but at the end of the day, I still think the Bulls go with a Shooting Guard. Don't they almost have to?

    Worse Case Scenario:

    PG - Rose, SG - Anderson, Henry, Pondexter or Williams, SF - Deng, PF - Gibson, C - Noah.

    The Bulls' management has to cover themselves, if they whiff on Wade or Johnson (blah).

    Plus, if they MIRACULOUSLY pull off a sign-and-trade for Bosh (very possible), LBJ stays in Cleveland (very possible) and Amar'e stays in Phoenix (very possible), then a sign-and-trade could come into play for DWADE.

    To Bulls: Dwyane Wade
    To Heat: Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, and their #1 Pick (a shooting guard)

    Miami would then be looking at Michael Beasley as their new franchise player.

    Miami's 2010 linueup:

    PG - Chalmers, *SG - Draft Pick?, SF - Deng, PF - Beasley, *C - Draft Pick?

    * Could be Anderson or Henry and Sanders or Alabi.

  • I don't think this guy has a high ceiling, but he seems like a hardworker, and definitely has legit size for his position. If he can get stronger and knockdown that perimeter shot in the pros, he should be a nice roleplayer for a team other than the Bulls.

    I don't think he drops lower than 15. The Bucks are dying for a traditional power forward, and Udoh would fit nicely next to Bogut.

  • Ekpe Udoh. Kevin now you're talking.

    Ekpe made my final cut of players the Bulls should draft. You already did a good job of summing up his game and skills so not much need to add to it. I'd simply say I watched him in at least five games, and his demeanor and presence are positive and strong. Wide shoulders suggest he can add some bulk, and eat up space in the lane. He has post skills/moves that are legit, and also looks fluid shooting jumpers out to 18 feet.

    I will say I would not necessarily expect him to be a prolific scorer simply because many guys that average lower numbers in college(low to mid teens) carry on with that same level in the pros - that is if they have a reasonably high field goal percentage which Udoh does considering he does shoot some jumpers and is not just an offensive rebound/seal and cut to the basket guy). I'd venture to guess his 13-14 maybe 15 ppg is what we'll see in an NBA uni.

    Due to his legit post skills and handle/face up for a big, NBA caliber athletic rebound and shot blocking, he'd be a great pick at 17, but I pictured Ekpe as more of a center then a PF. NBADraft.net has him listed at PF, but DraftExpress has him listed PF/C. Unless he's replacing Taj or Joakim in some huge sign and trade for Bosh or whoever(not advocating this, but simply addressing possible scenarios) then I don't know if we can afford the luxury of using that pick on Udoh to partner with TaJ/Joakim unless the Bulls do as I and others suggest/hope, and that is acquire additional picks from OKC(No.'s 21 and 26) and/or Atlanta(24) also possibly Minny at 23.

    Another possibility is if the Bulls acquire him/picks, and then use them as valuable pieces in a package for a sign and trade ala Jeff Green.

    Bottom line: if the Bulls either do a sign and trade or acquire additional picks as an inexpensive way of upgrading talent Ekpe Udoh stands out, particularly as a strong personality/type that usually does well in the NBA. Under those circumstances I'd love to see him in a Bulls uniform. Again, his personality from everything I've seen is someone who will succeed/guy you want on your ballclub.

    Nice job Kevin.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Appreciate your comments. To me if available at this pick, he would most likely be best player available. I think he can be a 15 ppg scorer, but a threat everywhere also. If you get him, you can do something w/ Taj as a trading piece or have a strong bench.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I have to agree he'd be someone I'd be amped/excited about if the Bulls added him to their roster.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Thanks man! I do think he would be best player available if he is at pick 17. I think he would be a strong, versatile piece to put next to Noah if we cannot sign a PF free agent. I think he would also make Taj a great trading piece or make a strong bench player.

  • If he falls, I say go for him. But I'd rather grab Alabi at 17 than try to move up for Udoh.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Don't understand the obsession with Alabi. Sure, he looks the part. But 6 rebounds a game? His blocks don't even stand out either.

  • In reply to mucha819:

    The rebounds to irk me, but we have Noah. What I like is he's extremely good defensively, and with just a little work in an NBA training program should give him the strength necessary to go up against the best post players. Plus he's shown he can knock down a jumper at times, and his free throw shooting suggests he'll continue to improve his shot.

    Those two things make him a very nice piece between Noah and either Bosh or Stoudemire (if that goes down). You can bolster the defense sticking him in their with Noah, and the shooting by sticking him with our new FA big.

    Also, as much as a shot blocker can change a game, and as much as that stat transfers to the NBA, shot blockers do have a tendency to blow assignments.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    He's not a bad rebounder; just not great!

  • In reply to msalivar:

    I haven't seen a ton of Udoh, but he seems solid. Is it me, or does he sound alot like Taj in what he does on the court (strong defensive fundamentals, can hit the open shot regularly but not really considered a huge offensive threat, pretty old age already, smart player, strong work ethic, etc?) Not that it's a bad thing...if you can draft a contributor like Taj every year when you're picking 15-25...that's how you build a deep team and a awesome bench.

    Count me as interested.

  • In reply to mucha819:

    and you can add huge wingspan and kind of underweight to the similarities as well.

  • In reply to mucha819:

    Actually, he can be a lot better than Taj. He has longer wing span, is taller, is stronger, is a great passer, and can handle the ball a little bit.

  • Especially if the PF can shoot. We talk about 3 point shooting to space the floor an awful lot, but getting a big man out of the paint for Rose and Deng is similarly important.

  • Doug,

    Come on.

    You have to know better than that.

    The Bulls need a SG, make not mistake about that. They have to take a SG in this draft, especially being somewhat set at PG, SF, PF and C.

    Hinrich isn't getting it done and Flip Murray isn't staying. They CLEARLY need to bring more upside or depth to the SG position.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Bulls need a better SG, but he is more talented than what you can get at SG at pick 17.

  • The Bulls' management needs to and can very nicely address PF via free-agency, not the draft. So, look for the Bulls to go with a SHOOTING GUARD with their #17 pick.

    Once again...

    - Quincy Pondexter
    - James Anderson
    - Xavier Henry
    - Elliot Williams

    All should be at on their BIG BOARD and getting workouts.

  • Doug and EVERYONE else,

    Look a KIRK HINRICH'S stats and then try and convince me that the Bulls' #1 need isn't SG.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3710/career;_ylt=AoXxd73ZrganRn1q_t9Oh0_PPKB4

    You won't have any luck convincing me. The Bulls #1 need is SHOOTING GUARD!!!

  • Udoh Played with my cousin Tweety carter. I watched all but two of their games over the last 2 years. He is the best big man in the draft by far!

  • In reply to brock101:

    Did you watch every other big man in the draft as much?

  • It would be a mistake if they did'nt trade up to get him.

  • Bulls need a shooting guard and the best SG in this draft would be Jordan Crawford. He is the sleeper in this draft and a lot of you guys are off on some of your picks on who they should draft. They need an athletic guard and from what I have read and seen with some of these guys, they don't fit the need. Not right now at least and the Bulls don't have years to waste waiting on a young players to develop. They have been down that road before. Right now its about drafting the most talented player that's in the draft, that's if they keep the pick.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Jordan Crawford's game is very similar to D-Wade's game. He will be the sleeper in the draft and could be the next best thing to D-Wade.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Dwayne Wade?? Crawford is similar to Jamal Crawford. He doesn't have that explosiveness Wade has! He can make crazy shots, is clutch, but can kill you to in games.

  • Thanks Doug; he just has that special skill set to be good. He needs polishing, but at least defensively he can block shots and rebound!

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