Debunking St. John’s Players’ NBA Draft Prospects

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Chris Obekpa

I smile every time I type his name, but that’s for a good reason. Oddly enough, too, I might be the one who is too high on Chis Obekpa.

I haven’t read, seen or heard a ton about Obekpa’s NBA prospects, but I actually think he has the brightest future at the highest level. Out of every thing in college that can translate to the next level, rebounding is widely thought of as the easiest attribute a player can take with them. I agree, but also think blocking shots is a close second.

There isn’t a soul walking this planet (who is eligible to play college basketball) that blocks shots better than Obekpa. Which is something that NBA General Mangers are going to be intrigued by.

Obekpa is blocking 5.7 shots a game in only 24.7 minutes of action per outing. As a freshman, he averaged 4.0 blocks per game in about two more minutes of action per outing. Not only is Obekpa blocking a lot of shots in limited action, but he’s actually getting better at it.

His rebounding abilities are also improving (last season 6.1 rpg to this year’s 7.1). NBA scouts love guys who are who they are. Obekpa doesn’t try to be some juggernaut offensive stud. He knows his strengths and plays to them. Every team in the NBA can use a guy who does what Obekpa can provide.

I’m not saying he is a lottery level player, though. I just think his ceiling in the NBA is the highest of any player on the Red Storm. Think of Obekpa as a poor man’s Serge Ibaka. Ibaka is a shot-blocking wonder and has done a lot of work to improve his offensive game. I don’t think Obekpa ever becomes as polished on offense as Ibaka, but he’s not that far behind the Oklahoma City Thunder shot-alterer as far as their abilities to block shots goes.