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Hasheem Thabeet
Ht/Wt: 7-2 / 260 lbs
Position: †C
Team: Connecticut
Class: Junior

2009 Draft Profile - Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem Thabeet has one of the biggest upsides of anyone in the draft, but also contains a few risks. Is he Olajuwon or Olowokandi, or maybe somewhere in the middle. Most compare him to Dikembe Mutombo, which is a pretty good comparison but I think Thabeet can actually be better.

What I like most about him is his sheer athleticism. At 7í3 he runs the floor like a deer. He is not as rigid or stiff as say a Roy Hibbard or a Joel Przybilla, but is one of those guys who havenít been playing basketball forever, so heís still adapting and developing. His jumper and free throws show reasonable form, but you can tell he needs repetition and confidence, both of which take time.

Thereís one thing he does, that I have never seen anyone else do in the history of the game. Iíve seen him dunk the ball and actually rise higher after the dunk. Itís happened when he has been fed the ball and is all alone, but itís like he dunks it on the way up, and then rises up another six inches before the aircraft carrier begins it downward descent.

Hasheem needs to work on a few things and to guarantee his success, the team drafting him must bring in a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or a Patrick Ewing type to coach him. He doesnít have a true back to the basket game, but is a hard worker and is definitely coachable.

What he needs to work on are the finer points of the game, things like keeping the ball over his head, so a guard cannot swipe it, free throw shooting and noticing the help defender. A polished big man coach like a Jabbar or Ewing will have this young man ready in a year or less, but without them, the risk increases.

The team drafting Thabeet cannot look at him as an impact player on the offensive side of the ball, because thatís not his game. Thabeetís game right now is on the defensive side, and he guards the rim, like few others before him. His help defense is specifically designed for the NBA. When you go to the hoop and he slides over, you need to pass the ball or heíll make you eat it. Itís like trying to shoot over a tidal wave. Hasheem also does a great job of waiting till the last second before committing, so the pass to his man isnít such a gimme.

Where he has problems, is with physical players that bump and grind. DeJuan Blair ate him up when they played and scored a lot of baskets down low. Michigan State played him extremely physical as well and did a great job of neutralizing him. Players that are strong and have a low center of gravity have been able to box him out and at times score on him down low. My opinion, this is all coaching. Hasheem needs to learn the proper footwork on how to hold your post position and how to counter many of the moves opposing players are using against him.

If I were working with Hasheem I would recommend he play a lot of one on one basketball. One on one is where you learn the offensive game of basketball. There is no one to pass to, and no one to help you out; itís all you. Heíll get more shots in a week of one on ones, than he got in 3 years in Connecticutís system. This will accelerate his basketball acumen and teach him all aspects of the game. It will improve his shooting, dribbling and teach him how to score. There is no better way to hone your offensive skills, because of the amount of shots youíre able to take.

Stat wise, he put up some good numbers, but they wonít blow you away. The two most impressive stats are blocks per game 4.2, and his field goal shooting percentage, which was 64%. Overall, heís a pick for the future, but will probably go top 5.
Draft Profile provided by Ed Ziti of SportsPolyMath.com

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Hasheem Thabeet Stats
† † Career

2008 Draft Profile - Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem could go anywhere from top 5 to the 2nd Round. What we do know is that he and his 7í2Ē 260 lb body WILL be drafted. Playing for Calhoun, there is no doubt he is receiving a great education -- he would be advised to spend a few more years under Calhoun's tutelage. He is all defense and fortunately for him, 7í2Ē players that can block shots and play D are in high demand. Look for him to come out, and if he stays healthy and develops a low post game, he is a top 10 lock.

Draft Profile provided by: Brad Reynolds
Hasheem Thabeet is the best prospect physically in the entire draft. A fluid athlete with the physical resume that could one day make him the creme of the crop in the NBA, Thabeet is "raw" but gifted. With another productive year under his belt, Thabeet is most certainly a first-round lock.

Strengths: Shot-blocking. At 7'2'', there isn't much his wide wingspan can't get to. Defensively makes a difference without much effort. Is surprisingly athletic, unlike most his size, and gets to a lot of shots that opponents don't assume. Offensively, has a nice soft touch around the basket, and finishes decently despite not being the most coordinated naturally. Is developing back to the basketball skills, and although still really raw, have come a long way. Again, physically is a freak of nature. Could be the next monster post player in the NBA, and definately has the large frame to add weight as well as develop a skill set to play full-time at the next level.

Weaknesses: Is still extremely 'raw.' Isn't very authorative down low, lays in the ball instead of flushing it home, and defensively doesn't get as 'amped' as one might want from their shotblocking big man. Is a bit soft overall, and needs to develop some toughness to hang with the NBA's post players. Also needs to look for the ball more often, sometimes hides dormant on the offrensive side of the ball, completely wasting his minutes. Rebounding effort needs to increase on both sides of the ball, as does overall effort. Has a long way to go before becoming polished fundamentally.

Outlook: Again, look at the frame. 7'2'', 260lbs. A whole load of talent awaits anyone willing to develop a game with that size. Is coachable and improving noticeably, and therefore has a bright future. If he drifts to the late first round, he will still be drafted over Hibbert, who had a terrible end to his season. Needs to improve finishing as well as intensity, but is a perfect choice for somebody like Minnesota or Memphis, both looking for a big man to anchor the paint behind solid frontlines.

2007 Draft Profile

A big-time rebounder and shot blocker an excellent athlete who runs the floor very well, explosive leaping ability with good hands. Does a great job of getting initial post position by using his body wide and sealing off his defender. Shot blocking skills are top shelf, has learned to be a very patient that rarely bites on pump fakes. Although his post moves are unrefined, he has shown reasonably good touch around the basket. Needs to work on his post footwork and learn how to block out more aggressively while rebounding. Added strength to his lower body will help hold his position in the block.

Hasheem Thabeet Video Clips

Hasheem Thabeet Hightlight Package

Block then a put back

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