With the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Charlotte Hornets selected Noah Vonleh. Vonleh, hailing from the University of Indiana at 6’9 247, had an impressive freshman campaign. He led the Big Ten rebounding at nine per game, while also leading the conference in defensive rebounding percentage. He was able to haul in rebounds with regularity thanks to his massive wingspan at 7’4 and gigantic hands. Vonleh is confident that is one skill carry over to NBA from the start “I’m a young guy. I have a great work ethic. I bring — right away, my rebounding translates to the next level. I’m a versatile player.” Said Vonleh.
He has good strength for such a young player and from a physical stand point he won’t have too far to go as he transitions to the NBA.
“Just the gifts from God,” Vonleh said. “I’m 6’9 1/2″. I’m 250 pounds. I was blessed with big hands and just a great body. Just the skills I possess, it’s just a blessing from everything — a gift from God to have these abilities.
I thought that’s why I was NBA ready. I just had a good year at Indiana, also. And it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA, and I thought it was time to come out.”
As well he showed the ability to knock down perimeter shots and while he didn’t shoot many threes, only 25, he did knock down 15.
Vonleh figures to eventually settle into the void left by Josh McRoberts, who has chosen to opt out of the final year of his contract. He still is somewhat raw and has some developing to do but at just 18 years old has a ton of a potential. Vonleh will give assistant coach Patrick Ewing a very talented protege to work with. His ability to knock down shots from the mid-range out to the three point line will be extremely beneficial alongside Al Jefferson.
Not only does Vonleh think he will be a good fit next Jefferson but he believes his game will work well with Kemba Walker “I think it can definitely complement those guys, playing in the pick and roll with Kemba, being able to pop, hit the shot from 18 feet, step out, hit some NBA threes, catch the ball, be able to take guys off the dribble, and just use my versatility to the best of my abilities.” Said Vonleh. If Vonleh can reach his potential, he and Al Jefferson have the chance to be one better duo’s at the four and five positions.
Nabbing Vonleh with the ninth pick is great value for the Hornets and could prove to be a real steal down the road.
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