2008 NBA Mock Drunk?

By Chris Lauderback on January 22, 2008 at 7:00 am

Myself included, it seems much of Buckeye Nation has been underwhelmed by the production of freshman 'big man' Kosta Koufos. In fact, his toughness has been routinely questioned as more often than not he's looked like a total Nancy with his back to the basket. You've seen it, the wide array of fadeaway jumpers and half hooks - all with the perceived intent of avoiding any physical contact.

The lack of any go to moves against more physical competition has been apparent in conference play. Koufos is averaging just 9.4 points in in five Big Ten games while averaging 15.4 ppg in non-conference matchups.

That said, Koufos is actually faring better than you probably think in other statistical areas. Again, keeping it in conference, Koufos ranks 10th in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and 4th in blocks (1.60) against season averages of 6.8 rpg and 1.9 blocks. Both results better those of Othello Hunter.

The lack of an inside game has yet to send him reeling into 2nd round draft stock according to the mocksters however those of us watching the games every week say he needs at least one more year of seasoning to avoid getting broken in half. Draft Express was the first site to push Koufos to lottery status (4th) and their latest version still has him going 8th while mynbadraft.com has dropped him, but only to 14th.

So who's right? Is Koufos a top 15 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft or does he need at least one more year to toughen up? Of course, the third option could be that both are correct. With his youth and potential, a team could still be willing to spend a mid-late 1st round pick and wait for him to physically mature.

More importantly, can he develop into a consistent #2 scoring option behind Jamar Butler or will the continued physical play continue to take it's toll on his ability to score thus relegating OSU to the NIT or a 1st round upset in the Big Dance?