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Is Eric Bledsoe a Lottery Pick?

Though the BBL was high on Eric Bledsoe from the moment we saw tape of his scholastic days, it appears that the secret is now out among NBA GMs. As of right now, UK faces the very real possibility of losing Bledsoe to the NBA draft after only one season.

In fact there is a large contingent of pundits and analysts who are listing him as the second best point guard on the board behind only his backcourt mate Mr. Wall. Chad Ford of NBA Draft Insider recently said that Bledsoe would already be considered a lottery pick if it wasn’t for Wall.

To think that UK could have two top five picks in the same draft in its backcourt is hard to imagine. And both are freshman.

As we see it, here are Bledsoe’s primary strengths:

• Upper body and freakish athleticism
He is a man among boys next to most college frosh. He overpowers guys on his penetration and can finish and draw a foul. Also possesses the ability to leap with anyone and block shots despite a 6-0 frame.

• Speed with the ball
If there is a player in college basketball faster end to end with the ball in his hands it could only be John Wall. He is a human blur and is a one man press breaker.

• Ability to spot up and shoot from deep
Bledsoe shows excellent technique in his ability to set his feet, square and connect from deep. He is shooting 47% from three point land and has become the Wildcats’ most consistent three-point shooter.

• Low center of gravity and ball handling ability
He handles the ball like Isaiah Thomas when he is guarded one on one. He can break anyone down off the dribble, get to the rack and drop an assist or finish himself.

Bledsoe’s main weaknesses:

• Controlling tempo
He is a frosh and can play at warp speed on every play, leading to turnovers and out of control body movements.

• An overly aggressive nature
Bledsoe clearly plays with a chip on his shoulder. He will need to tone it down a bit and learn to harness his emotions before starring at the next level.

At this point it’s hard to predict what EB will do once his freshman season ends. If he continues to improve all the way through March, we know the lure of a big money NBA contract will be hard to resist.

Bledsoe himself has stated that he wants to return to school next year, unless he is projected as a top 10 pick. The question is, are there nine guys who will go in front of him?

We’ve said it before but, as UK fans, we should sit back and enjoy the show. John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, as we boldly predicted three months ago, might end up being the best UK backcourt of all time.

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