NBA Draft Profile: Andray Blatche

In the days leading up to the June 28 NBA Draft, will give you scouting reports on the 10 high school players with a shot to be selected in the first or second round of this year's draft. Today, we profile South Kent Prep (South Kent, Conn.) forward Andray Blatche.

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Andray Blatche
South Kent Prep (South Kent, Conn.)
Power Forward, 6-10, 230

Strengths: Although he looks like a textbook low-post threat, Blatche is more comfortable around the perimeter. He's a tall, long and extremely athletic forward with 3-point range who has been compared to Kevin Garnett and Lamar Odom. For his size, Blatche has tremendous ball-handling skills, a solid jumper and good passing ability. In fact, he excels at running the fast break even at his size. Although he's still developing a reliable low-post game, Blatche knows how to effectively use his size and athleticism to pull down loads of rebounds and score on easy putbacks. And on defense, Blatche uses that athleticism and size to block shots with regularity. He helped his stock during the all-star circuit by recording game highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds at the Jordan Classic in April after recording 13 points and 14 boards at the Roundball Classic in March.

Weaknesses: Although he has tremendous upside and a nice skill set, Blatche's game still leaves much to be desired. He's still extremely raw offensively, especially down low. Although many of his 26 points at the Jordan Classic came on putbacks following offensive boards, he often looked overmatched in the post. Despite his size, Blatche still needs to put on some muscle, as he tends to struggle against bigger players. Blatche, who tends to lose focus at times, also needs more work on his on-ball defense.

The Lowdown: Since his stellar performance at the Jordan Classic, Blatche has continued to move up in most mock drafts. He's now considered a first-round lock and could end up in the middle of the first round by the time everything's said and done. Although there are plenty of knocks on Blatche's game, he demonstrated a good attitude and work ethic by playing mostly down low at the all-star games despite spending the bulk of his prep career toiling along the perimeter. Although he'll likely play sparingly as a rookie, Blatche could be a steal for whatever team takes a risk on him.

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