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Jamaal Franklin

Jamaal Franklin

San Diego State Aztecs Junior Shooting Guard #21

6'5" 195 Pounds 21 Years Old From: Hawthorne, CA

17.0 PPG 9.5 RPG 3.3 APG 1.6 SPG 41.3 FG% 28.0 3P%

 

Overview: Franklin was easily the most talented member of the San Diego State each of the past two seasons. Franklin was named the Mountain West Conference's player of the year his Sophomore season and has some tremendous physical gifts that make him a great slashing shooting guard. While his scoring and percentages have dipped a little bit this season, he has developed other facets of his game to become a more well-rounded contributor. His defense and rebounding have consistently improved in his three seasons at San Diego State and he is an intriguing pro prospect moving forward.

 

On offense, Franklin's most impressive attribute is his ability to get to the rim. He is a very effective slasher at the college level. Franklin is incredibly quick and strong. He has a great first step and once he's by his defender, he seals him off with his strong frame. Once he's into the lane, he  doesn't need much free space to load up and leap towards the hoop. Franklin is a very explosive leaper and can easily get above the rim to finish with authority. He is unafraid to get into the lane and draw contact. Frankin averaged 6.8 free throw attempts per game this season and shot at a decent 78.1% clip from the charity stripe. While Franklin can be a very good slasher, one of his deficiencies is his real lack of a go-to dribbling move. Franklin typically bullies his way into the lane, using his quick first step to gain an edge on a defender and gets to the hoop. While this works at the college level, his lack of a go-to move will limit his ability to get by NBA-caliber defenders who have better combinations of strength and lateral quickness than the defenders he faces in college. Franklin also never uses his left hand to get into the lane; defenders have begun to catch on and can limit his effectiveness by playing him to shut off his right hand. Occasionally his athleticism is enough to overcome the scheming and still go right, but he'll need to shore up that weakness if he wants to be an NBA caliber scoring threat. Franklin is also turnover prone. His tendencies to try and bully his way into and through traffic lead to him coughing the ball up a bit. He also isn't much of a passer; he had an assist to turnover ratio below 1. He gets tunnel vision and can try to take on an opponent single-handedly. 

 

Franklin's jumpshot is among the more interesting shots in the college level. He has a very long windup on his jumper, which can allow defenders to close out on him before he can get an open shot off. Due to his height and wingspan, he can still typically shoot over defenders even if they pressure him. His pullup jumper is actually developing quite well and his midrange jumpshot off the dribble when he gets into the lane is very effective. He has a tendency to take a lot of off-balance jumpers and as a result he doesn't always shoot with proper mechanics. His shooting percentages dropped this season; this is probably more a result of poor shot selection than actual shooting ability, but it is concerning nonetheless. He is capable of knocking down open shots at a good rate, and even hitting some off balance shots, but he needs to improve his shot selection.


On defense, Franklin has made great strides. His physical gifts and long arms help him defend on the ball. He is competitive and fearless. Unfortunately, this sometimes translates to him gambling for steals and he has issues staying in front of his matchup. That said, with his lateral quickness, he can come up with some great pick pocket steals and can get into transition quickly. Due to the Aztecs' small ball style, he is occasionally matched up with bigger players. As a result, he gets posted up a lot on defense. While he gives consistent effort defending the blocks, he isn't a good post defender against bigger guys. This shouldn't really be held against him going forward. If anything, the post experience he got should help if shooting guards in the NBA try to post him up, and he should be able to hold his own. Off ball, his effort and quickness help him as a help defender. He has little trouble staying with his matchup and consistently gives effort to fight through screens. His best asset is his rebounding. He loves hitting the glass on both ends of the court, specifically defensively. He led the conference in rebounding this past season. His commitment to the boards, with his explosiveness, he can pull down a lot of loose balls. 

 

Overall, Franklin has physical gifts that a lot of prospects would kill for and as a result, on offense, he can get to the rim with relative ease at the college level. That said, the rest of his offensive game is unrefined and his shot can be inconsistent. His shot selection could use work. On defense, he's continued to improve as he's gained college experience. His effort, especially displayed on the glass, is promising and there are signs he can continue to improve. He projects as a late first round pick, with his shooting struggles limiting his upside a bit. He could be a high upside pick late in the first round and has all the physical tools to excel in the league with some more polish and better decision making skills.

 

Key Strengths:

  • Franklin is very athletic and explosive. He has a great first step, which helps him get into the lane.
  • His pullup jumper is becoming more and more effective.
  • He rebounds extremely well for his position.
  • His defense has improved significantly over time and he has tools to potentially be a very good defender in the NBA. 

Areas to Improve:

  • Franklin needs to develop a better set of ball handling moves to try to find a variety of ways to get to the hoop. His bulling into the lane with his right hand is not a sufficient arsenal of moves.
  • Franklin's shot selection has been suspect. He has great confidence in his shot but can take really poor shots that hurt his team.
  • He turns the ball over a lot and doesn't often look to move the ball to his teammates although his assist numbers have improved. 
  • His on ball defense needs more discipline. He gambles too often.