Projected Position: PF/C
Hometown: Dayton, OH
Side Notes: Adreian Payne is the most explosive big man in this draft. He entered MSU as a very raw prospect, but coach Tom Izzo developed him into a play maker. Made huge strides in each of his four seasons. Known to have huge character. Became one of the nation’s elite by his senior season.
Strengths: A “one of a kind” athlete. Developed a 3-point shot in his junior and senior season. Shot 42.3% from behind the arc in his senior season. An excellent free-throw shooter (around 80%) in his junior and senior season. Decent post moves, but can be developed. Can finish with both hands effectively. A sweet shooting stroke. Very physical and is sure to gain some weight to fill out his slender form. A good rebounder (7.3 rpg) in his senior season. Very physical in the post; also has a 7′ wingspan. Great post defender with great shot-blocking ability. The sky is the limit for Payne. Undeniable potential.
Weaknesses: Lacks focus in big moments. Has exceptional raw talent, but a suspect basketball I.Q. Had a hard time passing out of double-teams. Struggles to create shots for teammates, or create his own shots off the dribble. Settles for lazy jump-shots instead of driving to the lane. Slow shooting motion. Limited ball-handling skills. Has a tendency to disappear for minutes at a time.
NBA Player Comparison: Drew Gooden, Markieff Morris
Summary: Payne is a projected late first-round pick according to ESPN and DraftExpress; which means he will potentially still be on the board for Chicago at the #16 and #19 pick. The dynamic forward could be a perfect fit for Chicago because of his ability to shoot and rebound. Also, Payne could be converted into a legit NBA center to back up All-Star Joakim Noah. One of the most raw talented players in the draft, but could become something special. He has great character, something that the Bulls reek of. Below I posted the video of his 41 point game against Delaware in the NCAA Tournament.