|Really quite amazing dunk face.|Ben Aird
, Utah Valley, Senior, 6'9 230lbs-ish2013/14 stats:
29.6 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 3.0 fpg, 1.4 TOpg, 45.5% FG, 71.9% FT, 32.3% 3PT
At 6'9 and an unknown weight that looks to be about 230lbs or so (Utah Valley do not list their player weights for whatever reason), Aird is slightly undersized for a centre, but too unathletic to be anything else. At the right level, he is a centre. And at the right level, he will make money.
Aird has a long wing span, big hands, and plenty of intelligence, all of which are what make him the solid rebounder and shotblocker than he is moreso than any explosiveness. He is not fast nor especially strong, but he uses what little strength and speed he has, playing hard, and playing smart. Not creating in the post all that much, and certainly not when up against those with true centre size, Aird nevertheless has the handle and skill to score around bigger or significantly faster players, an effective offensive role player. Against said bigger or significantly faster players, though, Aird often defends via the foul.
Offensively, Aird has a few moves. As long as it's with his right hand, and as long as his defender is very slow, Aird can take opposing centres off the dribble, and has a feet-set mid-range jumpshot to open up the drive that occasionally extends to three point range. He is an option in the pick-and-pop, and can get to the rim off curl plays, which is an extremely Utah Valley thing to do. He can also hit other players coming around said screens, a smart passer who operates within a playbook-heavy offensive system. A below-the-rim player on the interior with an occasional righty hook but few counters, Aird is more of a finesse scorer than a powerful one, and while he can drop a hook shot down low, he projects better as a perimeter and/or mid range jumpshooting big man, something at which he will need to further improve. (Barely jumping on his jumpshot perhaps explains why Aird seems to not have the legs for three point range.) Utilising a spin move and with good offensive awareness to know when and where to slip open, Aird needs the improvements in his jumpshot to further open up the driving part of his game.
Defensively, the projection is less fortunate. Whilst not a stiff, Aird is not fast, nor all that strong, not all that big, and often has to foul to stop the opponent's shot. Aird contests everything, rotates well, demonstrates good awareness and uses what strength he has to do his best to bang, yet without being especially fast or strong, there is no matchup that favours him unless against someone similar to himself. Aird's foul rates are therefore quite high, sufficiently so that when he is on the court, he has to feature in the offense quite highly so as to offset that which he takes away defensively. His rebounding rate, however, is good.
There is of course a chance that Aird takes a normal life job and does not go pro at all. But still. If he does, there's a role.