Breaking down DeJuan Blair

Blair's energy and rebounding prowess make him a safe first-round pick in the 2009 draft.

Blair's energy and rebounding prowess make him a safe first-round pick in the 2009 draft.

Blair’s career at Pittsburgh was short but very sweet. He averaged 15.7 ppg and 12.3 rpg last season while leading the Panthers to the brink of the Final Four. He also showed NBA scouts he can compete against taller inside players, something he will have to do at the next level.

TTT presents a look at DeJuan Blair’s NBA future:

Strengths

Very strong upper-body, solid base. Shows good footwork and agility for a big man. Big hands, able to grab the ball in traffic. Has shown the ability to catch tough passes. Doesn’t try to do too much around the basket; will settle for a lay-up rather than attempting a difficult dunk. Vastly improved his passing and decision-making during his sophomore campaign. Developed a variety of post moves, displayed good patience and rarely forced shots. Long arms compensate somewhat for lack of height. Attitude and toughness make him a very popular player with teammates and fans.

Weaknesses

Listed at 6’7″, but probably closer to 6’6″, making him very short to play inside in the NBA. Not overly explosive off the floor. Tends to pick up silly fouls, needs to learn how to control his body. Not great defensively in college, mainly because he was afraid to pick up fouls. Will likely struggle on defense against bigger players in the NBA. Has a good touch around the basket, but needs to improve his left hand. Needs to continue to develop his offensive game at the next level.

Breakdown

DraftExpress.com projects Blair as the 15th pick in the 2009 draft. Although he has somewhat limited upside, Blair should have a nice career. He has similar size to Jason Maxiell, but lacks his explosiveness. Needs to develop a jump shot to maximize his pro potential.

Blair won’t be a star, but figures to be a very good role player for many years.

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