Countdown to the Draft
Now that the Finals are over and a champion has been crowned — GO NUGGS! — it’s time to celebrate a bit and then focus on the NBA Draft, which takes place in 8 days (June 22) in Brooklyn on ESPN.
Before I share with you entirely too much MPJ content, let’s check in on some Kobe projections & news tidbits about both KB and D’Moi, shall we?
- No Ceilings NBA v.8 Big Board (June 7) $$: #50 overall prospect (+5)
- HoopsHype (June 8)- Presents an aggregated ranking of the player based on rankings found elsewhere. Listed immediately ahead of KSU’s Keyontae Johnson, who has the same super-agent, Mark Bartelstein
Previous rank: 41 on May 28 (-4) / Best rank: 36 / Worst rank: NR <— idiots
Kobe Brown was one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball, averaging 15.8 points on 55.3 percent shooting and 45.5 percent from downtown. His improved three-point shot made him a viable NBA prospect after shooting 23.7 percent in his first three years at Missouri. Brown has already worked out for the Pacers and Blazers.
- ESPN.com $$ (June 1)- #44 to Orlando Magic
- The Ringer (June 9)- #45 to Memphis Grizzlies / #49 on Kevin O’Connor’s Big Board (June 6)
Competitor who blends the strength of a forward and the finesse of a guard. Shades of Paul Millsap, David Roddy
Patient at-rim scorer who leverages his size and strength to generate space for layups.
Post presence with the ability to score over either shoulder. At the next level, he could thrive against switches.
Steady playmaker who minimizes mistakes. Missouri used him as a passing hub around the elbows. NBA teams could similarly rely on him in dribble handoffs, and he brings the versatility to handle pick-and-rolls.
Active rebounder who can crash the boards and jump-starts offense with coast-to-coast possessions.
Anticipatory defender who snuffs out opponents’ plays and constantly communicates with his teammates.
Is he a reliable 3-point shooter? Brown went from making a dismal 23.7 percent of his 3s over his first three seasons on 207 attempts to an outstanding 45.5 percent on 112 attempts as a senior.
Bully ball was Brown’s go-to way of creating offense in college, but he’ll be facing bigger, stronger players in the NBA, making it a hard transition for him.
The Grizzlies need more depth out on the wing with Dillon Brooks’ exit on the way. Kobe Brown fits the mold of a strong forward who is capable of shooting threes in Memphis. They drafted a guy like this in David Roddy a season ago, which is why Brown fits the mold of what the Grizzlies look for in the NBA Draft.
- Bleacher Report (June 2)- #43 to Portland (via Hawks) / Previously #48 to Clippers
Brown will likely have to lose some weight from his 252-pound frame, but his shooting and passing skills point to an NBA fit and second round. (RUDE. Kobe, you’re perfect)
- Sports Illustrated (June 2)- #44 to San Antonio Spurs / Previously #36 to ORL
Scouting Report: Kobe Brown— Brown has a unique skillset for a combo forward. Given he played point guard in high school, he has facilitation and passing skills that are rare for a prospect of his size. While he doesn’t play lead guard full time, he’s certainly capable of ensuring an offense runs smoothly and he surveys the floor well. He isn’t an offensive hub but can be a catalyst of success on that end even when he’s not scoring himself.
Scouting Report: D’Moi Hodge— There’s a stark difference in projected gravity and production between Hodge’s 40% clip from deep at Missouri and the 32% clip (318 attempts) in his two seasons at Cleveland State. If teams believe he’s an above average 3-point shooter to pair with his disruptive defense (3.1 stocks), he should be considered in the second round and would be a priority undrafted free agent.
- Tankathon Mock Draft (June 1): #43 to Portland Trailblazers (via Hawks)
- Sporting News (June 13): #46 to Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans)
- USA Today Rookie Wire (June 2)- #41 to Charlotte Hornets (via OKC) / Prev. #38 to SAC
- NetScouts Basketball (June 2)- #43 to Portland Trailblazer (via ATL) / Prev. #38 to IND
- Yahoo!Sports (June 5)- #47 (+4) to Los Angeles Lakers
- The Athletic (May 16)- #36 to Orlando Magic / #41 on Vecenie’s big board on May 2
- SportsNaut (June 13)- #47 (+2) to Los Angeles Lakers
- Hoops Social Big Board (June 1)- #52 / Comp= PJ Tucker
- NBA Scouting Live (June 12)- #37 (Kobe); #77 (D’Moi) [prospect rankings & scouting reports]
- Mavs Draft Kobe Brown Scouting Report (June 12): #24-40 range
Overall, Kobe Brown has a unique skillset and frame, and an overall unique situation that most seniors don’t face. With strong intel, Kobe Brown could be one of the more immediate impact players if his game translates and his star senior season ends up being seen in hindsight as a trend, and not a fluke. Look for him to have some defensive impact, shooting ability, and finishing ability at the rim while earning trust to run on-ball reps as he develops his handle.
Expected role: Versatile two-way forward | Similar to: Robert Woodard, Tari Eason, De’Andre Hunter
Kobe Brown's intelligence on the defensive end as an off-ball defender really impresses me. I like his ability to rotate and put himself in the right spots at the right times. Can play a variety of roles defensively, and his off-ball defense is a part of why.— Mavs/Magic Draft (@MavsDraft) June 12, 2023
High motor too pic.twitter.com/pZo0R1uqa4
- NBA Draft Room (June 12)- #59 (+4) player overall
Kobe Brown is a big guard/wing with good scoring instincts and unique size/skill combination. Has a much improved 3pt shot and has become a legit threat from 3. Is a quick and nimble athlete for his size but isn’t much of a vertical leaper. Rebounds the ball well and has a nose for the ball.
D’Moi Hodge is a wiry 6-4 athlete who has emerged as a potential second round pick after transferring to Missouri from Cleveland State. He’s a standout defender with great hands, good instincts and a knack for getting steals. He moves his feet very well, has good anticipation and can really lock-up ball-handlers. Spaces the floor well and has range on his jumper (hit 40% from 3 as a senior). Can also get his own shot and shoot off the dribble. Crafty in the lane and can score over length.
More Kobe & D’Moi News
- M-I-Z to NBA: How Kobe Brown became Missouri basketball’s heart, soul and savior (Matt Guzman, The Maneater)
- The Field of 68 discusses Kobe:
- Kobe Brown 2023 NBA Draft prediction: Where will the Mizzou Forward land? (Ankush Singh, sportskeeda)
Kobe Brown is a do-it-all forward who can contribute in multiple ways on both ends of the floor. He has a powerful build and a long wingspan that help him absorb contact and alter shots. He also has a high basketball IQ and a competitive fire that make him a valuable teammate and a fierce opponent.
- Meet NBA draft sleeper Kobe Brown, who projects as the perfect ‘glue guy’ at the next level (Ryan Kalbrosky, USA Today’s FTW)
- OKC Thunder: Kobe Brown Offers Shooting, Size in Second Round (Chris Becker, SI.com FanNation)
In an NBA that continues to trend toward big men being more positionless and needing to be able to play beyond the arc, Brown’s increased 3-point ability massively helps his draft stock.
In OKC, Brown would fit in OKC as the team continues to work on improving shooting and size he helps fill in both needs. At No. 50, Brown presents solid upside and value late in the second round.
- The Box and One (May 29)- Kobe Brown: 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report
I’m ready to stamp my name to it and have seen enough to call it. Kobe Brown is worthy of a first-round grade. I hope to illustrate how his versatility, quick processing feel, and fit into those Celtics-Heat style possessions gives me that confidence, why the defense isn’t a major area of concern due to fit, and how one specific portion of his jump shot has me buying into it long-term.
- The USA Today RookieWire’s Draft Workout Tracker 2023 has an up-to-date list of players who have had official workouts. Both D’Moi and Kobe have been to Portland as well as Indy. Here’s the link to Kobe’s interview with Indy (D’Moi’s video below). Additionally, Kobe has been to Charlotte and D’Moi to LA to work out for the Lakers, per Lakers Nation.
"I'll be the first-ever in the history of the BVI to make it, so just that alone, it carries a lot of weight." @MizzouHoops' D'Moi Hodge (@Dmoi_VI) discusses trying to be the first player from the British Virgin Islands to play in the NBA.@NerdWallet | #GoldOnTheClock pic.twitter.com/KzuQhndxek— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) June 13, 2023
HE IS THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!
Here’s some news links to check out:
- Michael Porter Jr.’s gritty, imperfect NBA Finals was a preview of potential (Mike Kosmider, The Athletic)
“Shout out to Mike,” Jamal Murray said of Porter afterward. “He’s gone through so many different injuries, and to see him constantly locked in, be a team player, grow his game in different aspects, have an all-around game even if he’s not shooting well. It’s just really great to see the growth of this team.”
“I just stayed with it. Even tonight, it wasn’t my best shooting night, but I just kept playing hard,” Porter said. “That’s all you can control is your effort. I could have scored zero points. I don’t care, we won a championship. Can’t nobody tell me nothing.”
Porter showed a willingness to attack the middle of the floor with pace, allowing him to see the floor and distribute. He also attacked close-outs, taking outside jump shots only when he had adequate space.
“This is a great experience for him because I think he realized, as I continue to tell our team, there are no specialists allowed on this squad,” Malone said. “If your jump shot is not falling, do something else to help teammates. Not yourself, help your teammates — defending, rebounding, hustling, whatever it may be.”
- Michael Porter Jr. Finds Meaning After Almost Losing Basketball (Mirin Fader, The Ringer — she wrote the Giannis book). In case you didn’t read this when I told you to a few weeks ago...
- Calling his shot broken, Michael Porter Jr. has impact on Game 5, Nuggets’ NBA Title (Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today)
Throughout the Finals, Nuggets coach Michael Malone defended Porter’s performance. He said the Nuggets don’t have specialists who do one thing only, such as score. He said the Nuggets have basketball players, guys who can do multiple things so if that they’re not scoring, they’re contributing in other meaningful ways.
“It’s a maturation, a continued maturation,” Malone said. “We all know that Michael didn’t shoot the ball as well as we know he can. That’s going to happen at times. This is a great experience for him because I think he realized, as I continue to tell our team, there are no specialists allowed on this squad. If your jump shot is not falling, do something else to help teammates. Not yourself, help your teammates: defending, rebounding, hustling, whatever it may be.”
- Nuggets forwards Michael Porter Jr’s message to critics after winning NBA Finals despite struggles (Jedd Pagaduan, ClutchPoints)
- Nuggets’ culture... this is great.(FWIW, I also think #HeatCulture is very good)
Man, this is awesome...— Scotty Gange (@Scotty_G6) June 13, 2023
Just witnessed a very very cool moment between Michael Malone and MPJ
"You helped us win a championship...Don't [say] like 'Oh I didn't make shots' we won the championship because of you...and we're gonna win another one" #9sports pic.twitter.com/djCDmg68Ih
On to the Links!
— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) June 13, 2023
A night to remember for MPJ as he is now the fourth Tiger to win an NBA Championship as a player! #MIZ
Med Park (1958 St. Louis Hawks)
Win Wilfong (1958 St. Louis Hawks)
Clay Johnson (1982 LA Lakers)
Michael Porter Jr. (2023 Denver Nuggets) pic.twitter.com/4yK4AdKmBC
Yesterday at Rock M
- Dive Cuts time— Summer recruiting is heating up! Matt & Sam were concerned they weren’t going to have anything to talk about...
- Nate’s football previews continue— it’s time for Georgia, who just keeps winning natty’s
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Parker wrote, Mizzou football’s annual quest to pick up four wins in non-conference play | Matt Harris looked at what void does Mizzou have to fill with Isiaih Mosley out the door? | Jaden Lewis, in his first Rock M post, said a diverse rushing attack is key for Mizzou in 2023
- How often do new coaches make consecutive March Madness trips? (Drew King)
- Noah Time?!
With Kobe Brown's departure, Noah Carter appears poised to be front and center as Mizzou's playmaking forward.— Order On The Court ⚖️ (@DataMizzou) June 13, 2023
Noah came on strong at the end of the season. Over his last 8 games he averaged 11.8 PPG, 4 RPG and 2.1 APG (only 9 TO) while maintaining a superlative 67.4% eFG. pic.twitter.com/ZMgMSL9UYa
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mizzou football’s Luther Burden III becomes new spokesman for Imo’s Pizza (Dave Matter)
- PowerMizzou: 3-star TE Gavin Hoffman recaps Mizzou official (Sean Williams) | RB target Joseph Dodds “loving” Missouri after OV (Williams) | Mizzou “definitely in the mix” for OL Ziron Brown after weekend official (Williams)
- The Athletic ($$): The SEC’s perception problem becomes a real problem if great rivalries aren’t played each year (Seth Emerson) | The NCAA’s hopes to control NIL laws hinge on Congress. Will it get what it wants? (Nicole Auerbach)
- The 2024 SEC schedule will be announced tonight! It looks weird to see those.... other helmets in there, right?
- LB3 hard at work:
- Congrats to all the Phil Steel All-SEC Team! Rake is feeling some sort of disrespect about this, understandably.
- In the lab...
Other Mizzou Sports, Etc.
- Congrats to Luke Mann on his ABCA/Rawlings Division I All-Region 2nd Team recognition! (More info at MUTigers.com / Missourian staff)
- MIZZOU BASEBALL: Where does Missouri’s baseball spending stack up with the rest of the SEC? (Matt Stahl)
- WOMEN’S GOLF: Mizzou women’s golf signs Arkansas transfer and native of Wales, Ffian Tynan. She posted 73.50 scoring average for the Razorbacks over six rounds during the 2022-23 season. (Calum McAndrew, Missourian)
- Mizzou Club Hockey highlights from a great season
MIZ HOCKEY BOSTON MINI-SERIES EPISODE 4:— (8) Mizzou Club Hockey (@MizClubHockey) June 13, 2023
Episode 4 highlights the end of our historic season with our final game at the 2023 ACHA National Championships. pic.twitter.com/MpcaOWR1XB
- Congrats, Dennis Gates! And Dr. Spain! (more here)
Congratulations to Coach Dennis Gates and Vice Provost Jim Spain for their well-deserved honors from Heart of Missouri United Way (@UWHeartMO)!— Mizzou (@Mizzou) June 13, 2023
These outstanding Tigers have made a remarkable impact on our community, touching the lives of many. MIZ! https://t.co/xIJMIqkXbh pic.twitter.com/34bL08aL6T
From the release:
University of Missouri men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates was awarded the Charlyn Y. Law Memorial Award for compassion, commitment and resolve. This award is presented to an individual or group in the community who promotes activities and special events that enhance and improve overall quality of life.
Gates selected Read Across Columbia as the beneficiary of the Fight for Literacy effort with Mizzou men’s basketball and raised more than $20,000. He was also the keynote speaker at the United Way’s Pacesetter Breakfast.
More Mizzou in the Pros / Former Tigers News
- SOPH had a good game, but the Merc continues to struggle, only 2-6 this season. Cunningham scored a team-high 21 points in 30 minutes on 7-16 FG (2-6 from 3PT). She also had 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO and 3 PF. She was -11 (not her fault!)
You know the energy’s up when the tongue comes out pic.twitter.com/1iBq9i5CEL— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) June 14, 2023
- Former Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk will take over at his alma mater, Western Washington (Connor J. Benintendi, Cascadia Daily News)
- This is great. Nicodemus Christopher is his trainer, in case you’ve missed that. Lil’ Nic (his son) is the cutest. Some cute videos in here
- A rare social media post from the man himself
Drafted 14th overall out of Missouri in 2018 and now NBA CHAMPION in Year 5... Michael Porter Jr.! pic.twitter.com/JyQNOljpkF— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2023
- Congrats to former Tiger softballer Megan Schumacher, who has chosen to continue her career as a grad transfer at Grand Canyon.
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