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Eric Bledsoe

Scouting Report

The other freshman point guard alongside John Wall in Kentucky's backcourt, Bledsoe flew a bit under the radar in his lone year in Lexington, but NBA general managers certainly were paying attention. Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson were the focal points of the Wildcats' high-flying offense, but Bledsoe started 35 of 37 games, averaged 11.3 points and shot better overall (46.2 percent) and from 3-point range (38.3) than Wall. Bledsoe is listed at 6-foot-1 but has a wingspan at least five inches greater, which allows him to play the passing lanes with ease. He can fly up the floor like Wall, and he's an outstanding leaper around the rim. The most impressive part of Bledsoe's brief college career was that he got better as the year progressed. Just as he appeared to be fading down the stretch of the regular season, Bledsoe stepped up and averaged 15.1 points while shooting 55.2 percent in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. Perhaps the question mark with the Birmingham, Ala., native is whether he can successfully run an NBA team, and that's tough to say right now given that Wall did most of the ball-handling in Lexington. Bledsoe also had more turnovers than assists. Much of his time as a freshman was spent as a spot-up shooter rather than running a team like he'll be asked to do at the next level, and although John Calipari lauded his toughness, he'll have a lot of learning to do. Once his body fills out he'll have the tools to be an above-average defender, but in the meantime he needs to work on elevating more on his jump shot and speeding up a relatively slow release. Bledsoe is likely at least a year away from earning rotation minutes for a contender, but a team picking somewhere from the late lottery to the early 20s will consider him too talented to pass up.

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