July's Rebounder: Angel Delgado

Rarely would a 6-8 prospect earn such recognition, but Delgado proved that talent and ferocity can overcome a few inches in height.

Let's face it: Most of the guys winning our Superlatives rank among the national elite. You've seen names like Tyus Jones and Emmanuel Mudiay, and of course they're highly touted for good reason.

But Angel Delgado is different. He doesn't (yet) rank among the national top 50 in the Class of 2014, but his eminence on the backboards made him a solid choice as the month's best rebounder.

He practically sealed it up at the beginning of the month, at the LeBron James Skills Academy. That event featured an extraordinary collection of big men, and Delgado became the one to enhance his reputation the most. (Cliff Alexander was the best overall player, but he already enjoyed elite status.)

Charles Barkley frequented remarked during his career that, despite his obvious physical gifts, it was his desire that made him such a great rebounder. And perhaps an even more legendary boards-man, Dennis Rodman, lacked prototypical height or strength.

From that perspective, then, maybe Delgado's performance on the glass shouldn't come as a shock. He fits the mold of ultra-aggressive and selfless forward who relishes the opportunity to retrieve the ball.

But of course desire alone doesn't produce results. In addition to his intangibles, he's very strong and bouncy and, at 6-8, obviously isn't short. It's the combination of his attributes that constitute the specialty, and he utilizes his work on the offensive glass to rack up points well. We scouts generally underestimated his offense heading into July, but no more.

Clearly, though, it's his yeoman's effort as a primary rebounder that makes him so appealing to college coaches. Extra possessions in the form of 15 offensive rebounds helped Louisville push past Michigan last spring in the NCAA final, and a blue collar Duke squad relied upon a similar formula — securing 22 offensive boards versus Baylor in an Elite 8 contest — to capture the crown in 2010.

And Delgado projects as one the guys who will boost a team's interior profile in exactly that fashion. His halfcourt offense indeed is underrated, as mentioned, but he likely won't ever be a team's No. 1 scoring option.

But he'll savagely compete on the backboard, and for that reason he should ensure himself significantly early playing time for the program of his choice.


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