|Team: Los Angeles|
H: 6' 10"|
W: 240 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|RSCI: 125||Agent: Mitch Frankel |
High School: Etiwanda
Hometown: Etiwanda, CA
Drafted: Pick 31 in 2009 by Kings
Best Case: Fabricio Oberto
Worst Case: Jordi Trias
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2009||NBA Draft Combine||6' 8.75"||6' 10"||240||7' 1"||8' 11"||5.5||31.0||35.0|
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2009||NBA Draft Combine||6' 8.75"||6' 10"||240||7' 1"||8' 11"||5.5||31.0||35.0|
Solid, yet unspectacular, Jeff Pendergraph showed some nice things in the two games we saw him play, solidifying his status as a potential role player for the next level. He’s having a pretty nice season thus far, upping his scoring and rebounding rates from last year and currently ranking #1 amongst all prospects in points per possession. He’s one of the most efficient players in college basketball, shooting 67% from the field and 79% from the free throw line, which speaks to the role he plays for ASU and the fact that he understands his limitations.
Pendergraph is a meat and potatoes type player, mostly living off scraps offensively. The overwhelming majority of his points come off the ball--cuts, offensive rebounds, pick and rolls, and in transition. He’s smart, has terrific hands, and finishes pretty well around the basket—which makes him a reliable target inside. Arizona State is one of the slowest-paced and most offensively efficient teams in college basketball, and having a passer of James Harden’s caliber on the floor obviously doesn’t hurt.
Pendergraph is fairly mechanical trying to create his own shot with his back to the basket, although he can find some success doing so at the collegiate level. He rarely if ever attempts to do anything outside the paint, although from the small sample size of clips we saw it appears that developing a solid 15-17 foot mid-range jumper is not out of the question based on the mechanics he shows. Putting the ball on the floor is currently not in his repertoire. Based on his combination of size, athleticism and limited skill-set, Pendergraph does not project to be anything more than a fourth or fifth option at best when he’s on the floor. Pendergraph is a solid passer and almost never turns the ball over, which is a good combination for a future role-player.
Defensively, Pendergraph is very solid, showing extremely active feet in Arizona State’s zone. He’s not particularly tall, long or bulky, but his effort level, smarts and fundamentals allow him to be effective. He has nice timing and will block the occasional shot, although this probably isn’t something that is expected to translate that effectively considering his average physical attributes. He’s a good, but not great rebounder on top of that.
In terms of intangibles, Pendergraph is pretty much the entire package, as he’s a smart, well-spoken, hard working player on and off the court who graduated in three and a half years and is very well respected by his teammates. He’s a little bit young for his class, though, not turning 22 until the end of April, which means he might not be a finished product just yet.
At the end of the day, Pendergraph is unlikely to blow anyone away with his upside, but might be able to find his niche in the NBA regardless and develop into a solid role player. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder here, and if he gets with the right team it’s not out of the question that he sticks around for a while. Otherwise, he’ll have a nice career overseas and will probably make some old-school coach very happy.
Pendergraph has been on the NBA radar now for several years, gradually progressing during each of his three seasons in Tempe. He is a player who certainly had the opportunity to test the waters last season as a junior, but opted to focus on his development at Arizona State instead.
Much has been written already about Pendergraph’s physical gifts and there is little not to like. He has nice size and length for a power forward, to go with a frame capable of putting on size and solid athleticism. The senior can certainly pass the look test of a power forward prospect as far as the NBA is concerned.
Pendergraph’s offensive game is still more of that of a traditional back to the basket player, rather than that of today’s hybrid power forward. He favors turning towards his left shoulder the majority of the time, showing off a good right hand jump hook with soft touch and nice extension. Pendergraph is still incredibly raw going towards his right shoulder, tending to put up an uncomfortable looking left hand hook shot. Either way, he is an incredibly efficient player in the post, as seen by his 59% field goal percentages.
There has been some nice improvement in the California native’s face-up game, however. He appears to be much more comfortable facing the basket, capable of drilling a quick release jumper out to about 14 feet. Pendergraph will obviously have to extend his range if he hopes to play the four position full time in the NBA, but his progress in this area leaves some room for optimism.
Obviously there are still some major holes in Pendergraph’s game offensively. He is more of a center then a power forward at the moment and still isn’t very comfortable putting the ball on the floor. Pendergraph also doesn’t read the double team exceptionally well (something he will be facing quite a bit this year), and could use some improvement in terms of finding the open man.
Arizona State’s tendency to run zone defense makes it hard for players to box out and often allows a number of offensive rebounds, which might explain why ASU was the second worst rebounding squad in the conference. Pendergraph was worse on the boards this season (11.9 per-40 as a sophomore, compared to 9.7 as a junior), but things were a little more difficult for him given the lackluster job Sun Devil guards did of boxing out.
Given ASU’s desire to run zone, there were few situations to evaluate Pendergraph’s actual man-to-man defense. In the few instances we did see, we were able to gather that he is a tough defender on the low blocks who does a very nice job of holding his own position. Pendergraph did a good job of rotating and displayed decent timing in terms of blocking shots. Overall, he appears to be a very solid defender from what we have seen.
Currently projected as a second round pick, Pendergraph is a player who has a chance to earn a spot in the first round with a strong senior season. He will surely have the chance to play at the NBA pre-Draft Camp if he desires to do so at the conclusion of the season. The rate of development throughout his senior campaign as well as the success his team finds will determine how attractive of a prospect he is deemed to be come June.
With the arrival of freshmen teammates James Harden and Ty Abbott, Jeff Pendergraph had to make a slight adjustment with his game. While his minutes are down some, Pendergraph’s shooting percentages and most of his other numbers are up, and the Sun Devils would obviously much prefer this year’s 18-11 record to last year’s 8-22.
The 6’9 power forward has improved his efficiency this year, which is to be expected with the arrival of Harden, who is now clearly the focal point of opposing defenses. Pendergraph’s game doesn’t look much different, but he has grown more comfortable with his jump shot from the 10-18 foot range, which has become a more consistent staple of his game. In the 12 games we charted from conference play, Pendergraph went just 11-for-35 from this range, but he looks confident taking the shot, which boasts a high release and decent form. He still obviously has work to do in this area, but he’s making progress, as evidenced by his free-throw percentage being slightly up from 73% to 79%. One thing he could work on is taking a few less contested or off-balanced shots, and focusing on keeping his feet underneath him.
In the post, Pendergraph is still fairly raw, mostly relying on a right-handed hook shot, though he has mixed in a few other things at times. He uses fakes well to get his man off balance and draw contact to get to the free throw line, which he’s doing much better this year. He predominantly turns off his left shoulder in the post, but will go off his right shoulder on occasion to keep the defense honest, and shows flashes of a developing left hand. He also is improving with his turnaround jumper, showing range out to 10 feet, though he forces these shots up at times. Pendergraph has had some problems in the post, though, mostly with being a bit too slow in going into his moves at time, leaving him vulnerable to guards coming over to pick the ball out of his hands. He doesn’t show great poise handling double teams in general, which is something he’ll need to work on. Also, he’s been susceptible to having his shot blocked at times, especially when matched up with centers like Devon Hardin and Brook Lopez.
Pendergraph’s at his best on offense when he’s playing without the ball, showing excellent court sense, being very efficient getting his scoring by getting inside position in the post, cutting off the ball, or playing the pick-and-roll. Pendergraph shows very good understanding of floor spacing and shows good hands to catch and finish on cuts to the basket, which accounts for a very good portion of his offense. Looking at the rest of his offense, Pendergraph could definitely use some work in the ball-handling department, not being much of a threat to take opponents off the dribble, rarely even attempting it. Also, per 40 minutes pace adjusted, his offensive rebounds are down considerably, which accounts for most of his fall-off in rebounds per game. While he still makes some nice plays at the rim by outworking the opposition and slipping beneath the defense, he’s not doing this nearly as much as last season.
On the defensive end, Pendergraph has definitely improved his game, which can most notably be seen with his blocks per game up from 0.7 to 1.6, despite playing less minutes. Pendergraph has shown good attentiveness in his team’s zone defense, being very mobile and always contesting shots, either on the perimeter or in the paint. He uses his length well to contest, and shows good recovery ability when he’s playing from behind. In man-to-man defense, Pendergraph is solid in the post, keeping his hands up, forcing tough shots, and not backing down easily. He can be backed down or shot over by bigger opponents, though he is very active in fronting the post to keep the ball from getting to his man when matched with tough assignments.
Pendergraph, a junior, could possibly test the draft waters, since it’s his last chance to before he becomes automatically eligible next year. Pendergraph seems like a perfect candidate for the Orlando pre-draft camp, where he could attempt to stand out in front of NBA scouts and executives, and show off some of his improving game. It’d probably be in his best interest to return to school next year, though, as he has a lot of things he could improve with his game, most notably his mid-range jumper, which will be very important for his success at the next level, as his post game may not translate very well due to his size. If Pendergraph does come out, he should be in second round discussions, though he could probably improve his stock some by spending another year developing his game.
If Arizona State is looking to improve their abysmal 8-22 record from a year ago, then junior Jeff Pendergraph is going to have to step his game up even more from a year ago. As a sophomore, Pendergraph posted averages of 12.1 points and 9.1 rebounds, both of which led the Sun Devils.
At 6’9” and 230 pounds, Pendergraph has a decent frame, but isn’t an ideal prospect physically for a power forward at the next level. He has good length and is a solid athlete, but his tremendous timing and hustle inside, especially on the glass, make him more effective than maybe he should be. He’s put up good numbers in college so far playing on a very bad team, so the question is how his production will translate over to the next level.
The majority of Pendergraph’s scoring comes from inside the paint. He sets good screens, moves off the ball well, goes strong to the basket and shows some signs of explosiveness with the occasional thundering dunk if given the opportunity. Overall though, Pendergraph’s post game is very raw and needs to be further developed. He shows some nice touch on his baby hook shot and is working on a turn around jumper as well. Pendergraph’s biggest problem right now is he tends to rush his moves. More often than not if he has his defender on his back, he will go to the turn around, but he tends to release the shot before he is actually squared to the basket. If he can work on slowing down this move, there is potential for it to be very effective.
Pendergraph shot 55.1% from the field last season, mainly due to how many shot attempts he gets off of offensive rebounds. The junior has outstanding hands and pulled down just under four offensive boards per game last year, which is a fantastic number. Two numbers need to improve in conjunction with his offensive rebounds prowess however. Pendergraph averaged 12 points and just three free throw attempts last year. He should probably be getting more touches in the post next year and should try to make more of them despite his lack of strength.
When he isn’t doing work inside, Pendergraph has slowly started to develop a mid-range game. As the season progressed he was growing more comfortable releasing the ball from out as far as 16 feet, which is a good sign. He likes to float along the baseline and sneak behind zone defenses to spot up, and he also likes to catch, turn and shoot from the baseline. Pendergraph needs room to get his shot off, though, due to his lack of ability to create any sort of shot for himself off the dribble, sometimes leading him to fade away on his shot.
Defensively, Pendergraph played solidly inside for Arizona State. While he does a poor job fronting the post and preventing entry passes, he does a good job holding his ground and using his wingspan to make life tough for opponents. He doesn’t box out tremendously well on the defensive glass but again he makes up for it with his great hustle and very quick second jump. Pendergraph does get into trouble when he is forced to play defense out on the perimeter. He doesn’t have great lateral quickness,, so it is fairly easy to beat him off the dribble. His lack of a tremendous vertical jump also doesn’t make him much of a shot blocking threat at this point.
Pendergraph is a raw player who is very much still developing his game on both ends of the floor. Despite this, he has already put up solid numbers in his two seasons with the Sun Devils. He is simply a smart, opportunistic player who just gets the job done. With his development over the course of last season, there is no reason to think he won’t be able to surpass his eight double-doubles from last year. While Pendergraph may not be receiving the same exposure as some of his more hyped Pac-10 opponents, an increase in his numbers from last season would certainly draw some attention.
Somewhat lost on the national radar screen amongst the sea of outstanding talent that the Pac-10 conference boasts has been the emergence of a highly intriguing sophomore big man prospect, Jeff Pendergraph of Arizona State. With numbers like 18 and 8 against Washington, 18 and 9 against Oregon and 19 and 10 against Oregon State, Pendergraph is producing at an extremely high rate against legit competition while showing some extremely intriguing tools for the next level.
Standing 6-10 with a decent frame, outstanding length and very solid athletic ability, Pendergraph passes the initial test to put himself in a very rare class of NCAA big men. He has very good hands, a high basketball IQ and is fundamentally sound on top of that, which further separates him from this very exclusive pack of NBA caliber collegiate big men.
Pendergraph runs the floor exceptionally well and is extremely active on both ends of the court. He plays solid position defense in the man to man setting as Spencer Hawes would probably attest (he held him to 9 points on 4-12 shooting last week), keeping his hands high in the air at all times and moving his feet extremely well. He uses his length well here to bother opponents into difficult shots, and will get the occasional steal by anticipating and being in the right place at the right time. Thanks to his excellent size, wingspan, hands and smarts, he’s also a terrific rebounder who boxes out extremely well and goes after loose balls with tenacity.
Not one to gamble or risk his position for rebounds, nor a freakish jumping jack-type, Pendergraph isn’t much of a shot-blocker at this point in his career. Generally speaking, he has a very calm, mature demeanor on the floor, and he doesn’t seem to get caught up in the emotions of the game like many players his age. Being a pretty skinny guy who clearly has plenty of room for improvement in the strength department, he will get outmuscled on occasion in the post when trying to box out or hold his spot on the block. He could also stand to improve his team defense, such as hedging screens on the perimeter or knowing when to rotate and how to challenge a slashing guard in the paint, but these are things that should come with added experience.
Offensively, Pendergraph has shown considerable improvement from last season, but still has plenty of work to do. He sets excellent screens and is super intelligent moving off the ball, meaning he’ll regularly score off pick and roll plays or other cuts off set plays. Arizona State tries to get him the ball as much as they can, but their guards don’t seem to be very good at making post-entry passes. When he does get the ball in the paint, he doesn’t have a very wide arsenal of moves he can rely on, but he does do a good job keeping the ball up high and shows a pretty nice touch from close range. Once again, his lack of strength can be an issue here at times when trying to finish strong at the basket, and it’s not rare to see him get pushed around by his defender.
To counter this problem Pendergraph is developing a raw, but promising turnaround jump-shot he can go to, and is generally beginning to expand his game outside the post. Over the past three games he’s stepped outside more and more to knock down mid-range jumpers, usually from 14-16 feet out around the baseline. He doesn’t enjoy the prettiest mechanics in the world, but it’s nothing that can’t be cleaned up with solid repetition. He does shoot 72% from the free throw line, so the potential is obviously there. Something that’s encouraging is seeing the way Pendergraph passes out of the high post, regularly feeding backdoor cutters with some very intelligent bounce passes.
Playing for possibly the worst team in the Pac-10, NBA decision makers don’t have the luxury of waiting until March to go out and see the progress Pendergraph is making in his sophomore season. Like his high school teammate Darren Collison of UCLA, Pendergraph is scheduled to graduate in three years. This makes him leaving after this season highly unlikely—he’s not ready anyway—but it does mean that he’ll be in prime position to test his stock in 2008. He doesn’t seem to have superstar potential by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly has the makings of the type of player every NBA coach would like to have in his rotation. He not only looks like PJ Brown, but he also carries himself similarly on the court and seems to have many of the same strengths and weaknesses.