(Note: this is the first in a series of NBA Draft profiles of players from the Mountain West Conference)
NAME: Jamaal Franklin
SCHOOL: San Diego St. Aztecs
POSITION: Everyting in college, but a shooting guard in NBA
VITALS: 6'5", 205 LBS
AVERAGES (3 seasons): 13.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.9 APG; 87 GAMES
ACCOLADES: 2012 Mountain West Player of the Year
4-time Mountain West Player of the Week
2-time First Team all-Mountain West Conference
The summer is heating up, and with it the 2013 NBA Draft is on the near horizon. While the Finals play out on our TV's, the Mountain West Connection takes a look at some of our favorite conference players that are hoping to hear tjeor named called at the NBA Draft.
The draft is being held on June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Hailing from Hawthorne, Calif., Jamaal Franklin is an enigma. He's lanky, cocky, and talky. He was a fan-favorite on Montezuma Mesa, for many reasons; undoubtedly his flashiness was one of them. There were many career highlights (read: ridiculous plays that gave Steve Fisher more grey hair than he already has), but the pass-off-the-backboard-to-himself-dunk against Fresno State in early January made the name ‘Jamaal Franklin' a household one.
Franklin is aggressive. To say the least. Here's a small forward who had no problem driving the lane, taking the shot from afar and putting on some showmanship while in the process of leading the Aztecs in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals; becoming the only player in the nation to do so at the time. He started every game this past season, and averaged 33.1 minutes a game. So it's tough to argue against his endurance and energy.
Are there worries about Franklin in the NBA? Sure, everyone has their flaws. Franklin turned the ball over plenty, usually trying to make some ridiculous play. When it worked it was pretty, when it didn't, well it could look awful at times.
Ball defense has been a tad questionable (a career turnover stat of 2.5 times per game looms large), so one can probably expect this part of his game to be worked on most.
If improvements on the defensive side translate to fewer opportunities to shoot the ball, so be it. But in his defense, Franklin found himself all over the court at times, providing blocks and defensive rebounds from whichever position he was asked to play. That kind of versatility will go far and can only be improved upon with relentless practicing.
Franklin is more than likely going to be a mid-first round selection. What we don't know is this: are the long sleeve t-shirts coming too? He's (possibly) going to need to buy some new colors to match.