Koufos is fairly athletic for his size and has good post moves, but he still has a ways to go before really contributing big in the NBA. Early in his freshman year, he wasn't that impressive, but as the season wore on and he adapted to the college game, he asserted himself more and lead his team to an Post-season NIT Championship.
The Warriors could use additional depth at Center with only the original Kosta backing up Biedrins if Harrington is traded. Players of Koufos' size and skill don't grow on trees so if he is available at #14, Mullin needs to seriously consider him. It could be like getting a 2009 Top 5 Pick a year early.
ESPN Game Log
- Birthday: 2/24/1989
- NBA Postion: Center
- Class: Freshman
- Ht: 7-1
- Wt: 252
- College Team: Ohio State
- Hometown: Canton, OH
- High School: Glen Oak
Joshua Motenko - 7/29/2006
March 7, 2008
Kosta Koufos’ solid but unspectacular freshman year is near its conclusion, as his team looks like a long shot at the moment to make the NCAA tournament, and he will soon have a tough choice to make regarding his future. While a seven-footer with his tools would warrant a lot of looks in the first round, and he’s coming off a decent season production-wise, Koufos still has much development to do with his game, which became apparent over the course of this season.
Looking at Koufos’ game, there is certainly a lot to like, starting with some of his abilities in the post, specifically his back-to-the-basket finesse game. Here, Koufos heavily favors a right-handed hook shot and turnaround jumper, or occasionally a shot that’s somewhat a hybrid of both. With his good hands, touch off the glass, size, and ability to establish post position quite easily at this level, Koufos gets a lot of good looks in the 5-10 foot area. Koufos’ post game is fairly limited, though, in that his repertoire doesn’t extend much beyond here, primarily because he has no left hand to speak of. Koufos will rarely try to turn off his right shoulder, and when he does, it usually results in a turnaround jumper with his right hand at an awkward angle, that’s also prone to being blocked. No matter how close he is to the rim and no matter how obvious it may be that using his left hand is the best option, he simply never does it. This predictability about his post game leads to some problems as well, resulting in some of his right-handed hook shots being blocked by smaller opponents, because most teams know its coming. Koufos compounds things further by sometimes rushing his shots in the post or not fully following through on his moves, not getting full extension on his hook, resulting in some flat-looking shot attempts.
Also, while Koufos has a nice finesse post game, he doesn’t have much of a power post game, as most of his moves are fading away from the post, which results in him very rarely going to the free-throw line. Of all the college players in our 2008 and 2009 mock drafts, Koufos ranks sixth from last in free-throw attempts per game, with four of the players behind him being wings and the other being a perimeter-oriented big in Connor Atchley. In that same player pool, Koufos ranks 12th from last in true-shooting percentage, once again with mostly guards and wings behind him. This kind of inefficiency and inability to get to the line from a player who spends most of his time in the post is a serious concern. Koufos’ passing is also a concern, as his assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth from last amongst this same player pool.
Moving away from the post, Koufos has a very nice jump-shot from the mid-range, possessing good form and a high release point due to his size. His range extends out to at least the college three-point line, though he’s only shooting 33% on 52 attempts on the season. Watching the tape, Koufos appears to be a better shooter than the numbers would indicate, and this is an area he could certainly improve his effectiveness with in the future. As for the rest of his perimeter game, Koufos will occasionally show a brief flash of the ability to face-up from the mid-range, putting the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles, but he struggles doing it when not in space.
On the defensive end, Ohio State plays virtually all of their possessions in a 2-3 zone, with Koufos being one of the protectors of the rim, and this gives him very few opportunities in one-one-one defense. As a help defender, Koufos is attentive and mobile and shows good timing on his shot blocks, where he uses his size well, blocking almost two shots in just 27 minutes per game. In man-to-man defense, Koufos plays solid in the post, maintaining his position and using his length to contest, while doing a good job staying in front of his man. His lateral quickness doesn’t get challenged on the perimeter much, but he does a good job running out to contest the spot-up jump shots that OSU’s zone defense forces. Koufos is solid on the defensive boards, but excels on the offensive end, where he does a good job getting behind the defense to use his size to pull in boards over the opposition.
Koufos may be tempted to enter the draft early this year, as it’s tough to see a big man with his tools falling very far, but in analyzing his game, it’d definitely be best for his development for him to come back to school, where he could more easily improve on many aspects of his game. Among the things Koufos needs to work on are improving his left hand, getting to the free-throw line more, becoming a more efficient jump shooter, and continuing to make gradual improvements in all aspects of his game. Because he’s not the most quick or explosive big man in the world, further developing all of these skills will be very important to Koufos’ long-term success in the league.
Draft Projection: Lottery to mid first round
Similarities: Darko Milicic
Notes:Koufos has declared for the 2008 NBA Draft, but hasn't hired an agent, preserving his college eligibility.
Averaged 26.5 points, 13 rebounds, 3.5 blocks or 1.4 steals in the U-18
European Championships this summer.
Positives: Skilled big man with excellent size, length and good body. Has a 7-foot-4 inch wingspan. Has great strength and good, but not great athleticism for his size. Has offensive skills both inside and out. Nice moves and footwork in the paint. Excellent midrange shooter with very consistent range out to 18 feet. Has 3-point range as well, but is much more streaky from there. He lacks the explosiveness to be an elite shot-blocker, but his timing is good. Decent rebounder. Good passer out of double-teams. Is pretty mobile for a big man.
Negatives: Needs polish and experience. Can be a disinterested defender at times. Lacks aggressiveness at times. Lacks lateral quickness. Can sometimes lose his confidence and then his game falls apart. Needs to be able to handle contact in the paint better.
Summary: His excellent play in the summer for the Greek national team seems to have only carried over so far. Scouts still think Koufos is a terrific prospect with great size, basketball IQ and the ability to stretch the defense with a silky smooth jumper. But his inconsistency against college big men, lack of rebounding and so-so shot-blocking numbers all have scouts saying he may need to wait another year if he really wants to strike gold in the lottery. Nevertheless, Koufos has declared for the draft and projects as a late lottery to mid first round pick.
Kosta Koufos MVP U-18 European Championship(13-8-2007)
Kosta Koufos NIT Postgame Interview