FIVE DEGREES OF DENVER NUGGETS: Faried played the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament last season at the Pepsi Center. He led Morehead State to a first round win over Louisville, before falling to Justin Harper and Richmond.
WHAT THEY SAID: ‘Everything he does is hard — the guy ties his shoe hard… and when I watched him up in Chicago, all of the drills, everything he did out on the floor was hard,” -Portland’s coach Nate McMillan ‘That’s Dennis Rodman all over again. If I was an NBA general manager, I’d be taking him with my pick,’ Billy Donovon, Florida’s basketball coach.
FACTOIDS: Kenneth Faried is by far the biggest thing to come out of Morehead State since Phil Simms. The Denver Post just did a nice story on Faried, about his religious faith and his mom’s battle with lupus and him being raised by his mom and her wife. Faried broke Tim Duncan’s NCAA rebounding record, which was previously set at 1,571 and is now set at 1,673. He also has battled asthma throughout his life.
STRENGTHS: The best rebounder in the country, with a big-time motor and is tough. Explosive leaper and is a good shot-blocker. Huge wingspan, with great work ethic (ESPN). High energy post player who excels at doing the dirty work, in particular rebounding, defending and banging in the post. Plays with exuberance and aggressiveness. An above average, fluid athlete who is willing to sacrifice his body. Huge hands help him to secure rebounds. Athletic body. An excellent run/jump athlete with explosive leaping ability. His long arms and explosiveness help to compensate for his lack of ideal size. One of the most dominant interior forces on the college level, lead the nation in rebounds. A good shot blocker with timing and instincts. Also extremely active defensively – leading the OVC in steals. (NBADRAFT.NET)
WEAKNESSES: Needs to continue add strength. Lacks ideal size for his position. Still raw on the offensive end of the ball. (ESPN) Undersized to play the 4 position. Has to overcome the disadvantages of playing at Morehead, Kentucky in a smaller conference. Needs to further develop his post skills. His moves are too predictable even against lesser competition. A poor free throw shooter. Passing and vision are limited. Needs to decrease turnovers. Average at finishing non-dunks around the basket. (NBADRAFT.NET)
BOX SCORE IMPACT: Faried has been a hoss on the boards since his freshman year at Morehead, but, only, averaged 8 rebounds a game. The next three seasons he averaged double-digit rebounds and topped the OVC in rebounds each season. His rebounding is so impressive that the fewest rebounds he grabbed in 2011 was seven and didn’t have double-digit rebounds in only four of 35 games. Five times he grabbed more than 20 boards and he did have 16 games in which he had 20 points or more. He blocked eight games against Austin Peay. During his senior season Faried led OVC in points, rebounds and blocks, while being fifth in steals.
SHORT TERM ROLE: With George Karl there is never a guarantee on minutes for rookies. But if Faried brings his work ethic and motor, he’d quickly become a favorite of Karl and could earn himself minutes. However, fans should keep it in perspective, he is still a rookie and will have growing pains.
LONG TERM ROLE: Dennis Rodman…Ben Wallace… He has similar skills and motors to both and Nuggets fans would accept either or both over the next few years.
Born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado, Jonathan R. Maness grew up in the days of Broncos' great John Elway and Nuggets' greats Laphonso 'The Fonz' Ellis. As a lifelong Nuggets fan, he has followed the Denver Nuggets through the worst of times (and there were a lot of them) and currently through the best of times. This 30-year-old sports journalist has had the honor of taking photos of the Nuggets home games from the comforts of the Pepsi Center's floor. In his free time he works on the Sports Copy Desk at the Fort Collins Coloradoan.