Scouting Report: F Al-Farouq Aminu

Our draft profiles went pretty well over the summer, so I thought I'd start to institute a similar style over the course of the year. They aren't draft profiles, but they'll give the deets on players for the Deacs. So, let me know what you guys think and give me your scouting reports as well.

The first thing that stands out about Aminu is his length. The guy has an incredible wingspan and he uses those arms to poke balls up out of the reach of defenders and tip it back to himself. He can also create separation down low, allowing him to get in closer to the hoop as well as keeping him from being blocked. His length, coupled with his size in general, also makes it incredibly easy for Farouq to shoot over the top of his defender.

Now, none of that matters if a player can't use that to his advantage. Luckily for Aminu, that is not a problem. Al-Farouq knew his strengths early on. Although it took him a few games to get comfortable, he is very good at establishing position down low and reading where the ball will come off the hoop. This has led to a ton of easy garbage buckets and putback dunks.

The biggest knock on Aminu coming into his freshman season was his outside shooting. And that was warranted--he shot 18% from beyond the arc last year. But, it is well-documented that Farouq worked tirelessly at his shooting during the season and during the summer. When I talked to him last year, he said he was constantly shooting in the gym with former coach Mike Muse.

The improvement has shown already. Now it is a bit naive to think he'll keep it up, but he is shooting 57% from 3 through the first two games. If he can consistently knock down the spot up jumper as well as some pullups, he will be impossible to guard.

Another thing Al-Farouq needed to work on last year was tightening his handles. He was far too sloppy with the ball and too often tried to do too much when he should have given the ball to a guard. For 6'9", it is tough to complain about how well he does use the dribble, but it is still something that he needs to do a better job of this season as he does play on the perimeter a lot. His 2.5 TO/game should be down near the 2.0 range.

For all of his athletic gifts, the biggest advantage to Aminu's game is his work ethic. One quote I tell everyone is that after the game when he had his first double-double, I mentioned to Farouq that he had said all season that he wanted to get 10 rebounds. So I asked, what's next? He just looked at me and said, "11."

The fact that he came back to school alone shows this commitment. He knew there were things he needed to work on and he wasn't content leaving school without making those changes. Plus, he really does want to win. You could see that in the Cleveland State game. When most of the guys were hanging their heads, a switch seemed to click in Aminu. He did not want to leave that arena embarrassed. And his monster dunk and full-court chase down block really seemed to indicated that.

The only real thing he needs to make sure that he does this season is to start to take control more. In the ORU game, he had a stretch where he just went off, hitting threes and a sick drive down the lane finishing in a finger roll. He needs to bring that mentality into every game. He is the #1 scoring option on this team and although he is incredibly unselfish, he needs to demand the ball. As a freshman, it was easy to be third fiddle to James Johnson and Jeff Teague, but this could be his team, along with other veterans Ishmael Smith, L.D. Williams and Chas McFarland.

Plain and simple, Aminu is one of the best players in the ACC and can easily win Player of the Year in the conference. He has a good shot at All-American too. It is not inconceviable to think that Farouq can average 20 and 10 this year. If the Deacs are headed to the Big Dance, he will be leading the way.

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