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Draft Report: Artsiom Parakhouski

Sup sup, y'all. Late last year I had the good fortune to attend the Duke v Radford game. At this game, I learned once again that the Duke student section is a terrifying place to stand, Coach K does not like humanity, and people named "Lynch-Flour" are not very good at basketball. I also learned some stuff about Art Parakhouski, a center currently slotted in our 2nd round range in the draft. As we require a center, I thought it might be decent to post up a short summary of what I thought of the dude from my notes.

So I went and made some burritos and then I did.

Artparakhouskits11_medium

via img820.imageshack.us

 

2009-10 STATS (Parenthesis = National Rank in NCAA)

MPG

PPG

RPG

PER

EFF

AGE

34.7

21.4 (19)

13.4 (1)

31.6 (5)

26.3 (1)

22

Parakhouski is a foreign-born player (I bet you didn't expect that one!) from Belarus. He was a big soccer fan as a kid and only started playing basketball five years ago. (Sound familiar?) He's 6'11 (sniffing distance of 7 feet in shoes) and 270 pounds with ONLY 6% BODY FAT. Which is literally insane. Dude's a bruiser. If we ever needed an incomprehensibly hard foul, he'd be able to foul harder than almost anyone in the NBA.

So, that's pretty chill. 

Art is a good player. Potentially a great one. Offensively, he's got great hands -- 6-11 and can dunk with relative ease, but usually chooses instead to lay it in or take scoop shots or hook shots. And I'm not talking Dwight Howard hook shots. He has a legitimately finesse touch, and his form on his just-outside-the-basket hook looks really nice. Once he gets > 5 feet from the hoop, he'll usually switch to a jumper that has surprisingly good form. His offensive talent is obvious whenever you see him play -- he shoots great over double/triple teams and has the body that lets him take a beating in the post. And the Radford team was awful -- Art basically never got off a shot that wasn't double teamed when I saw him. And he acquitted himself well.

His other great talent is his rebounding. Like DeJuan, the White Russian has a serious nose for the ball. He's had a few 20 rebound games, and that's not flukey -- when you watch him play you can tell he's got the talent. His 7'1" wingspan is well utilized, and he's got some of the finesse skills you want in a rebounder -- for instance, very solid at back-tapping so his teammates can get it. Compound that all? Lengthy, tall, large-muscle bruiser with a very developed finishing ability on hook shots. And one with only five years of experience playing basketball, giving him a massive upside potential even beyond all this current upside talent. He got the potential to be a solid starting piece at center on a good team.

However, his footspeed leaves a lot to be desired. While he obviously wouldn't be on the floor for smallball, his lack of speed is a major problem in terms of getting back on D. The second large asterisk on his extremely good stats is that he plays with a legitimately terrible team, even by the standards of the Big South conference (rated worst in the nation by Ken Pomeroy for good reason). When I was at the game it felt like they'd probably be just as good a team if every other Radford player decided to lie on the ground and obstruct the lane while Art handled all the offense. They were that worthless. And nobody on his team could get a rebound to save their lives. Part of his prolific rebounding has to be pointed to the fact that he was virtually the only one rebounding for them, other than "people who caught his back taps". As for his gaudy scoring numbers, it's important to note that often they'd go 3 or 4 possessions in a row where a teammate threw it to Art, and the team just stood there waiting for him to do stuff. It was worse than KG-in-Minny play.

He's a very large guy, as I've highlighted, and he's made defensive strides in the last year (just watch his 2009 NCAA tournament performance vs the game I saw vs. Duke), but he's certainly not a top shelf defender. He has the tools to be a decent one-on-one defender, but his less-than-exemplary lateral quickness is a bad knock that's hard to work with -- dude can't move side to side very well, so people can blow by him if they get him far enough from the basket. It's very unlikely he'll ever be the kind of all-purpose post lockdown defender that the Spurs love. Another knock on him (and one I can attest to) is that he doesn't have an NBA motor yet. That's mostly a matter of conditioning, so it's something we can work him into, but he couldn't be expected to be instantly productive like DeJuan -- probably needs several months to a year to get used to playing in NBA games. An ideal Toros player, and after a half a season of Toros action he may actually be good enough for the real deal. But he certainly needs conditioning before he can play big minutes in the NBA.

Final thoughts? All accounts I've read talk about him having a stellar work ethic. He didn't go home to see his family for three years, because he came over without knowing English to go to junior college and he wanted to make sure he didn't lose the English he'd gained. Can't knock a guy who's that dedicated. His defensive game obviously needs some improvement, and he has a lot of conditioning to do, but legit 7 footers with a great work ethic, natural talent, and enough muscle to tear a point guard in half don't fall to the late 40s that often. 

If he's still around when the Spurs pick, I hope we pick him.

Further reading: Sports IllustratedDraftExpressESPNthis sketchy video.

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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