During the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Kenneth Faried led his 13-seeded Morehead State team past the 4-seeded Louisville Cardinals. As a freshman, Faried didn’t post a very good stat-line but has been steadily improving his game. Over the last three NCAA seasons, Kenneth Faried has shown tremendous hustle and an impressive understanding of the game.
After the 2009/10 season, Faried declared for the NBA draft, but withdrew his name before the draft came around. The decision to withdraw his name seems to have been the right one, as in the 2010/11 season, Faried led the nation in rebounding with 14.51 per game, to go along with 17.3 ppg, 2.3 bpg, and 1.9 spg.
Scouting Report: Kenneth Faried has a decent offensive game, as his 17 points per came with a fantastic 62.3 FG%. However, whichever teams ends up with Faried will have drafted him for his rebounding prowess. The player with the second highest rpg from last year’s NCAA season is Siena’s Ryan Rossiter, who averaged more than a whole rebound less than Faried (the next closest NCAA rebounder was a full 2.75 rebounds behind Faried’s average).
All that being said, Faried has his issues. The first of which is that Kenneth’s remarkable numbers came against lesser competition in the small Ohio Valley Conference. Although one game is just that, one game, Kenneth did show that he could compete with some of the better players the NCAA had to offer, when Morehead knocked off the afore mentioned Louisville Cardinals.
Another issue is that Faried’s offense game still needs developing. Although Faried did shoot a very good percentage at Morehead St. he had a lot of trouble at the free throw line shooting a poor 57.7% last season. He also lacks an offensive game outside of the paint. If Faried wants to succeed on offense in the NBA, he must develop some semblance of a mid-range game.
But, the biggest problem with Kenneth Faried is that he is just 6’6” without shoes (this boosts him to 6’7.5” with shoes). Faried has shown that he is a true power forward, but at just 6’7.5” and just 225 lbs, many NBA teams are worried that he will be simply over-powered by NBA big men. (Too put in perspective, the 6’6” Charles Barkley weighed in at just over 250 lbs in his playing days).
Faried knows he is undersized, but he doesn’t think it will hinder his rebounding in the NBA as he had this to say on the topic, “Most people don’t box out in the league, as you can tell by the Miami-Dallas game.”
With all that in mind, it is safe to say that despite his deficiencies, Faried was one of the hardest workers in college and will continue to be such in the NBA.
Judging the Fit: The Knicks have a few glaring needs to address in the upcoming draft; a PG of the future (this may end up being dealt with by trading for Minnesota’s Jonny Flynn… Or waiting for Chris Paul), defense, and rebounding. But as of now the Knicks only have one pick, and at #17, Kenneth Faried would easily fill at least one if not two of those needs. Plus, Faried is very athletic and can run the floor, which is a must to play for Mike D’Antoni. Faried doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be successful. He is a hustle player and has been compared to a better-rebounding version of Udonis Haslem (a fan favorite in Miami). Obviously not a franchise player, but Faried could become a very valuable piece in the NBA.
The Verdict: Faried does not top my list of prospects for the Knicks to draft, but barring a draft night trade he is probably the most realistic. As I said, Faried fills a whole for the Knicks and brings hustle and energy. Kenneth Faried may never (and probably won’t) become a premier player in the league, but he could be a great addition to many teams. And if the Knicks don’t move up in the draft, I expect to hear David Stern call Faried’s name at number seventeen.