COLUMBIA — With the NBA Draft looming on Thursday, ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford was asked for his opinion on the pro potential of former Mizzou players Phil Pressey, Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Here’s what he said.
“Phil Pressey is one of the most frustrating players to scout for NBA scouts and for myself because when you want to talk about a floor general, a guy that can see the floor, he’s as talented as any point guard in this draft. He is a special passer who really, I think, can run a team.
“The problem is, he doesn’t always see himself that way. And you saw at Missouri, over and over again, as games would get tight, he would start to try to play hero ball, try to do too much, and then commit mind-boggling turnovers and take horrible jump shots and almost single-handedly lose games for Missouri after playing so well for the first 35 minutes. And so, is Phil Pressey the guy that you see in the first 35 minutes of a Missouri game or is he the guy you see in the last five minutes?
“(Then) he goes into Brooklyn, in front of a horde of NBA general managers and scouts, and does exactly the same thing — at first he’s making some great passes, he’s running his team well, and then all of a sudden, like a switch goes off in his head and he thinks that he needs to be Kobe Bryant and get out there shoot and score and you’re almost screaming at him from the sidelines ‘No, no, just keep passing it and a team will take you in the first round.’ And then he’s undersized, and you just question that about him, and I think that’s why he’s in the second round and not in the first round.
“Oriakhi and Bowers, most likely both guys go undrafted. Oriakhi obviously has a big body, which is something that intrigues NBA guys but he’s a bit undersized and just wasn’t particularly that productive at the college level. Bowers was more intriguing until he got injured this season. I think he was making a case for himself as a second-round pick but he struggled to make his case since then, including the workouts. While I think Bowers is a possible second-round pick, most likely he goes undrafted.”