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Meyers Leonard
Ht/Wt: 7-1 / 245 lbs
Position: C
Team: Illinois
Class: Sophomore

2012 Draft Profile - Meyers Leonard

For most of the season Meyers Leonard has been one of the most rising prospects in college basketball, but with the collapse of the illini team in Big 10 play could retract some of the great progress he made his sophomore season. Leonard has always been blessed with size as he has topped out as a legit 7ft and has finally put it to good use this season with steady and impressive play down low and with his comfort playing out to mid range. Meyers is one of the dying breed of back to the basket post players which helps his draft stock, I see that he does a lot of things that you ask a center to do well without probably being great at any one thing. His offensive repertoire is probably his greatest strength, at 7ft1 245lbs he has no problem getting good position on the blocks and has a nice touch and finishes efficiently. He is comfortable in the high post, has a nice feel, for a center you feel comfortable giving him lots of touches because his fg% is high and he doesn’t turn the ball over much, and can shoot out to mid range. Although Meyers probably has room to grow in adding strength and explosion, he changes ends well and has played long minutes for the Illini. His rebounding is good but not great and so is his shot blocking ability. His toughness is pretty good too, and he provides a solid anchor defensively.

Meyers is a fast rising prospect so there is not a great body of work, and for how dramatic of a collapse it has been for UI I don’t think bodes well for Meyers, as his play has gone down some during the drought. I wouldn’t say that Meyers is an explosive athlete, he is not a guy that is going to catch the ball down low in traffic and finish efficiently, he is better in iso or the high post, he could benefit in developing in 2 man game situations. Meyers has worked hard to get to 245lbs but if he can add another 20lbs would make him more equipped to start in the NBA. Also, he does not add a lot in setting screens or hustle play.

What I like about Meyers is the experience he is getting as a go to guy for his team. I really hope he stays in school and builds on his sophomore season. Back to the basket 7ft centers are a commodity and can usually get drafted high even when considered a project, but for every Marc Gasol there are a few BJ Mullens and Kosta Koufas (also Big 10 alums) who leave school too early and are wasted picks. I hope that Roy Hibbert could reach out and encourage him to return to college and if he makes more strides in his jr year he will be better equipped to slide into the NBA more prepared to start for a team. Right now he looks like a backup center that you hope can develop into a started but in the NBA if it doesn’t come quick you will be recycled.
Player profile submitted by: Tom Patterson

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NCAA Basketball

Meyers Leonard Videos

Meyers Leonard 2012 NBA Draft Video

Meyers Leonard Highlight Mix

Meyers Leonard Mid-Season Highlights Illinois

Meyers Leonard Super-Sectional Dunk: March 9, 2010

Meyers Leonard dunk

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