Finch is tired. Real, real tired.
In the last year he has traveled thousands of miles. He slept in more than a hundred hotels. In the last two months alone he has pored over video for scores of hours, watched dozens of workouts and sat through countless meetings while his co-workers shared opinions and plotted strategy.
So yeah, Finch is tired. But he's ready for his big night.
That night is Thursday, when the NBA holds its annual draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Regular visitors to this space know all about Finch. He is my amalgam of NBA scouts who have given me their thoughts on college prospects on the condition of anonymity. I usually do my Finch column late in the college basketball season, but I am offering a bonus edition now in advance of the draft.
Over the last week I interviewed six NBA scouts plus one coach to get fresh opinions that were informed by the workouts prospects have gone through for the benefit of those teams. Then I combined all the quotes into a single opinion uttered by a fictitious character named Finch. (That name was created several years ago by my highbrow colleague Alex Wolff, who selected it because Finch was the character Scout's surname in
This year's draft features an especially strong crop of international players, but since college hoops is my bailiwick, I have limited my list of prospects to collegians. The two exceptions are Enes Kanter, the Turkish native who was a student at Kentucky but was ruled ineligible, and Jeremy Tyler, the Southern California big man who skipped his senior year of high school to play in Israel and Japan.
Here, then, are Finch's evaluations of 40 prospects who are hoping to hear their names called Thursday night. I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Finch good luck at the draft. Most of all, let's hope he gets a good night's sleep.
He's been said to have a promise from Boston at No. 25, a promise from Oklahoma City at No. 24. He hurt his knee, but we hear he'll be ready. When a kid skips Chicago and skips workouts, you know something is going on. But I saw him play in the ACC Tournament and I thought he did a real nice job running his team. He reminds me a little bit of B.J. Armstrong.