North Carolina State Wolfpack Senior Power Forward #1
6'8" 261 Pounds 22 Years Old From: Marietta, GA
12.7 PPG 10.9 RPG 1.7 APG 1.0 SPG 57.0 FG% 64.8 FT%
Overview: Howell has been one of the best rebounders in the NCAA for the past two years now and was the backbone of the Wolfpack team this season. A power forward who's unafraid to do the dirty work, he racked up quite a few boards and a decent amount of quality fouls this season. He doe face questions though about how well his game translates to the NBA. He is undersized for his position and while he plays with intensity, he isn't the most athletic player either. Rebounding is one of the skills that translates almost seamlessly from college basketball to the pros, but it will be interesting to see whether or not a team takes a chance on him given the other holes in his game.
Offensively, Howell is a limited player, but he does do well to play within his means and not force the issue by trying things he isn't great at. A good amount of his points come on putbacks off of the offensive glass. He grabs a decent amount of offensive rebounds, and while he has a tendency to bring the ball down below his shoulders too often, he does get quality looks at the hoop when he doesn't do that. Howell's limited athleticism hurts his ability to play above the rim and be explosive, which isn't advantageous given that many undersized power forwards can still remain threats if they have are more athletic than their matchups. Powell isn't a great post scorer; he has one or two basic moves, typically his baby hook shots from either block, but his lack of foot speed really limits his ability to become a huge scoring threat from the post. His go to scoring move is the baby hook shot with his right hand over his left shoulder. Howell does make good use of his body down low, but it always results in him creating space for him further away from the hoop than desirable. He has begun to improve his midrange game though, which does add another dimension to his offensive game. He's getting better at scoring from the elbows around the foul line as he possesses a jumpshot with better touch than would be expected given his power-oriented game. In addition to using his body well for himself, he uses it well for his teammates as well. He sets excellent screens to get his teammates open for better scoring looks and does a good job of passing the ball when he catches the ball in the high post.
Howell is an interesting defender. His strength certainly helps him as a post defender, although his effort on defense should start earlier in possessions. He often will allow his matchup to get ideal position on him before beginning to push back and try to keep him away from the basket. Howell has very good strength and therefore should be able to limit the opposing player from getting post position so deep. His lack of lateral footspeed makes him an absolute liability when defending on the pick and roll. If he's dragged away from the hoop, he has trouble defending and hedging on a guard. This also limits his ability to be a great help defender because he has trouble sliding in to help his teammates if they're beaten off the dribble. One thing he does do particularly well is foul. Howell isn't afraid to use his whole body and make sure that if someone draws contact on him, that they aren't getting the "and 1". His best attribute on the defensive end is his ability to rebound. He seals off offensive players very well and knows how to use his body to get to the ball. Due to his lack of general explosiveness, he needs superior positioning, and he does a good job of generating it. Off of the rebounds, he does a good job throwing outlets in order to help his team start the fast break.
Overall, Howell's rebounding game should translate well to the NBA. He works hard to secure boards. That said, there are huge questions about whether or not the rest of his game will get better. He has size and athletic limitations that severely hurt his potential upside. He may find a niche as a 15th man on a NBA roster but probably doesn't warrant even a second round pick right now. His workouts will be key, especially after he decided to pull out of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Howell could certainly find a slot on a D-League team, which can allow him some time and opportunities to improve his game further. As of now though, he's not an NBA-caliber player.
· He is an elite rebounder. He hits the boards with intensity and he knows how to box his matchup out.
· His range on his jumpshot isn't bad; he has range out to about the elbows. He occasionally hits a three or two but it isn't very consistent.
· He is extremely strong which should help him as a post defender.
Areas to Improve:
· Howell doesn't have much of a post game or any really reliable post moves.
· His lack of athleticism and size for his position eliminates any real upside he may have had
· Howell has a tendency to bring the ball down below his shoulders before his putback attempts which leads to him turning the ball over occasionally, negating the offensive board.