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Know the Prospect: Eric Bledsoe

Editor's Note: Here's a guy who really intrigues me. I wouldn't be surprised if Bledsoe goes long before the Knicks' pick, but he should certainly be in the conversation. Thanks to ny knickerbocker.

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via grfx.cstv.com

What's shakin, Knickerbrothers.  Having covered Dominique Jones, a relatively unknown combo guard from USF, now let's take a look at one of the most athletic (read: promising?) point guards in the draft, Eric Bledsoe.  More after the jump that even white men can make with a simple left-click.

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via kentuckysportsradio.com

ERIC BLEDSOE

Freshman, University of Kentucky

6-1, 195 lbs.

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Birthday: Unknown

It can be somewhat easy to overlook a college player in the same backcourt as one of the most tantalizing prospects in the country, but Bledsoe showed during his time at UK with John Wall that he has considerable talent of his own.  As has become increasingly important in the NBA, Bledsoe has a lightning quick first step and the ability to finish in the lane.  At 6-1, one might initially consider his size an issue, but he's built like a brick wall at that size.  NBA Draft Express even compares him to a running-back, which seems legit.  Let's take a look at some highlights at this point to get a feel:

Eric Bledsoe UK Highlights

And now for some absolute craziness, including an impressive leaping block that demonstrates his athletic / defensive ability:

Eric Bledsoe - Three Great Plays

At the very least, you have to be impressed by his competitive play and athletic ability.  Now let's take a look at some numbers!

SEASON TEAM GP MIN FG FGA FTM FTA 3PM 3PA PTS OFF DEF TOT AST TO STL BLK PF
2009-10 UK  37 1122 144 312 82 123 49 128 419 19 95 114 107 112 52 12 82

(taken from http://www.nbadraft.net/players/eric-bledsoe)

For those whose calculator watch batteries are low, that's a shade over 11 PPG and 3 APG over 30 MPG with a 47 FG%, 41% from downtown, with 1.4 SPG.  Especially spectacular in transition, one could see how this freshman PG overshadowed by John Wall may be an asset in a D'Antoni system.  Generally, he is considered a high-risk / high-reward type pick, which I like from the PG position where the reward can be especially high.  I know we already have Toney Douglas, but Bledsoe's game isn't exactly the same and they could even share time in a small-ball unit..  It needs to be stated that he has some room to improve, particularly in his mid-range game and his ability to draw fouls, but those are things that often improve with maturity, gym time, and proper coaching.  He also plays a little bit recklessly, but again, he was a college freshman receiving big minutes in a high-pressure environment, so he will probably improve in this area as well.  Finally, let's take a look at an interview to get a better feel for Bledsoe the man:

Eric Bledsoe 1 on 1

Let me know what you guys think.  Having looked around at the various options we'll have in the second round, I singled out Jones and Bledsoe because they both seem like the type of second rounders who, a few years down the line, will have people scratching their heads at how they were picked so late.

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