June 16, 2014
|Omar Oraby, scared of his own jumpshot.|Omar Oraby
, USC, Senior, 7'2 270lbs2013/14 stats:
22.7 mpg, 8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 0.4 apg, 0.2 spg, 3.3 fpg, 1.5 TOpg, 57.7% FG, 65.8% FT
The tallest player on the list, Oraby is also one of the best shotblockers, and also one of the biggest projects.
Self-evidently rather massive, Oraby sticks to the classic big man template of being a rim protector, rebounder and shotblocker. Slow laterally and with very little leap, Oraby nonetheless stands in the paint and protects the rim just by being in the way of it. As slow as he is, and as difficult as it is for him to get from one place to another - the foul rates are high and are born out of how exposable his lack of mobility is - Oraby is a wall if he happens to be in the right place, and he will contest everything he can on the interior. On the down side, Oraby entirely hangs back in the paint, not bothering to close out on the perimeter knowing that he cannot get there anyway, and being of more use hanging back for the rebound. In ball screen action, then, he is a liability. And should he come out to contest, just run into his hip and he'll get called for the foul.
Oraby benefitted from USC being as poor as they were by getting an increased level of usage on the offensive end. Usage, though, is not effectiveness. Employed as a screener and finisher, Oraby excelled at neither, nor indeed in any facet of the offensive end. Without a strong frame, Oraby struggles to seal off his man and finish on the interior - he can be pushed off of position on the inside, and although he is always a target for a pass over the top of the defense, he brings the ball down too often and is too easily stripped. He also rarely creates in the post, limited to a fairly rudimentary right handed hook shot off two bounces, looking panicked and rushed in post-up situations and with no counter moves or ability to fight through the contact. Endlessly screening when away from the basket, Oraby does not drive, shoot from range, roll to the basket or indeed handle the ball at all - a poor passer and poor shooter, he is a turnover threat when under any sort of pressure. He scored the points that he did because someone from USC had to try, and Oraby, as the one with the height, was the option. He will make a few shots from around the basket should he get an open look, and very occasionally a jumpshot with reasonable enough form, yet there is a lot of offensive work still to do.
Nevertheless, 7'2 is 7'2. And 7'2 is a defensive deterrent even without much in the way of core strength. Oraby will turn 23 before the start of next season and still looks as though so much of the game is new to him, yet the height is a valuable skill. As long as they don't mind the frustrations that come with his fouls, his turnovers, and his constantly bringing the ball down, someone has themselves a project to work with. Which is good, in a way.
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