Auburn men’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl gave an interview on Wednesday on “McElroy and Cubelic Morning” ahead of the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday.
Pearl praised many Auburn players Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler for entering the NBA draft. He also praised Duke’s product Paolo Banchero.
His words were not so kind to Gonza’s 7-foot Chet Holmgren, who is number 2 in USA Today’s predictions.
Pearl’s comments about Holmgren came in response to Greg McElroy asking him who he would take 2nd place after Jabari Smith. Pearl went with Banchero.
Bruce Pearl criticizes Chet Holmgren’s body
“Chet is intriguing, but so is Shawn Bradley,” Pearl said, referring to the Philadelphia 76ers’ 1993 NBA draft general selection.
The 7-foot-long 6-inch Bradley played in the NBA from 1993 to 2005, but never escaped the NBA star team. He drove in the NBA from 2000 to 2001 blocked and seven times he was blocked in the top five in shots.
“The NBA stands for No Boys Allowed,” Pearl continued to talk about Holmgren. “And this body scares me. It just scares me. He goes from generation to generation with the wrong man and he can break in half. That’s why I think I have to deal with what I know at the top of the draft, not what it could ever be.”
Holmgren is 7 feet and 195 pounds. Between 2021 and 2022, he scored an average of 14.1 points in Gonzaga, took 9.9 rebounds and gave 1.9 assists.
Smith is 6 feet-10 and 220 pounds. Kessler is 7 feet 1 and 245 pounds.
Bruce Pearl praises Jabari Smith’s jump
Before talking about Pearl Holmgren, Cole Cubelic asked Pearl to talk about how Jabari Smith competes behind the scenes.
“I don’t think there’s any concern,” Pearl Smith said of the competitiveness. “I think the question I think speaks to the No. 1 reason you take him No. 1. The bounce is absolutely the best of a man of his size in the last 10 years in college basketball – up to KD. (Kevin Durant) maybe. It’s clean. and that means.It’s immediately productivity.
“Another thing is that he can guard one to five because he competes in defense,” Pearl Smith continued. “Reason # 1 is that the child doesn’t lose. It’s # 1. He doesn’t lose.”
Bruce Pearl compares Walker Kessler to Al Horford
USA Today predicts that Walker Kessler will be the 25th choice in the 2022 NBA draft. Here’s what Pearl said about Kessler on Wednesday.
“He’s a great athlete,” Pearl said. “People don’t talk about his athleticism, speed, speed, ability to move sideways – obviously his ability to get up. And he’s not 7 feet tall. He’s 7: 1 and a little bit. And an inch and a half to make big, big differences. “I thought he was the most influential player in college basketball last year because he was both on the offensive and defending.”
Pearl talked about Kessler for a few minutes and ended up comparing him to Boston Celtics striker and former Florida Gators national champion Al Horford with NBA center Brook and Robin Lopez.
“I think he’ll be the next three-point dominant three-pointer,” Pearl said of Kessler. “Al Horford never hit three in Florida, never three in Florida, and he’s one of the best stretchers of his age in the NBA. Walker is ahead of him. He could be like one of Lopez’s twins – a factor on the edge and a odds of 3 points on the line.”
Here’s more Auburn basketball news:
Orlando Magic has the first choice of the 2022 NBA draft. The bill is due to begin on Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Erik Hall is the leading digital sports producer on the USA Today Network. You can find it on Twitter @HallErik.
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