NBA Draft Darkhorse: Josh Owens, Stanford

        Arguably the strongest measurables in the New Jersey (Brooklyn) Nets' workout over the weekend, Josh Owens, the Stanford power forward cemented himself as a solid second-round selection despite not even getting an invitation to the senior-only Portsmouth Invitational last month. He's just a hair under 6'9" in shoes, but boasts a 7' 1/2 " wingspan and 41" vertical leap. At 230 pounds, Owens led the Nets' combine in bench press reps while simultaneously performing better than the position average in the 3/4 court sprint- showing terrific athleticism, strength and quickness for a player of his size.

        Owens didn't stand-out over the course of his senior year at Stanford, but was a huge part of their NIT championship run at the end of the year with three games of 15 points and two games of double-digit rebounding despite some inconsistencies in his minutes given the nature of the blowout wins. His strong efforts around the rim as an efficient scorer (.571 field-goal mark, third in the Pac-12 last season) and rebounder (82 offensive rebounds, sixth in the conference). He utilizes his speed, quickness and explosive leaping to be an effective post defender- blocking and altering shots from the low-blocks and help side, but also jumping around his defender to create steals and deflections as well. We just wish we would have seen him utilize his athletic gifts more as an aggressive rebounder- despite his extremely positive profile, he netting just 3.6 defensive rebounds per game. If scouts feel that Owens' lack of aggressive mentality and production on the glass can be overlooked in favor of his athletic nature, then he will make his way from the undrafted ranks into a second-round selection. And surely there will be some coach looking for a 6'9" big with a 41" vertical leap at that point in the draft.

By President Corey Ruff - 5 - 22 - 12