Christian Wood is a power forward for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Wood is 6’10 with a 7’2 wingspan. For the season, Wood averaged 32.7 minutes per game, 15.7 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game, 2.7 blocks per game, while shooting 49.7% from the field, and 28.4% from three.
- Long, rangy arms
- High energy
- Has ability to drive
- Range to stretch the floors
- Good face-up game
- Great overall defender
- Good rim protector
- Great on the boards
- Gets a lot of put-backs and dunks from his offensive rebounding instincts
- Very competitive
- Very skinny
- Must add strength to entire body
- Needs to work on touch around the rim
- Struggles with good shot selection
- Can be turnover prone for his position
- Awareness needs to improve on both ends
Wood is a different kind of prospect. He possesses your typical college level power forward skills, yet has all the weaknesses that hinder his style of play at the professional level. With a good face-up game, dribbling and driving ability, and his ability to stretch the floor, he has an offensive arsenal, which should allow him to thrive at the next level. With this being said, Wood needs to add strength, due to his smaller size. At the collegiate level, Wood can speed past other power forwards in college, and is bigger than other small forwards to shoot above them, but at the next level he will not have that speed or size and will need to bang down low. Due to his inability to bang down low, Wood attempts a lot of jumpers and floaters, which makes you question his shot selection ability. Wood likes to handle the ball being the tweener prospect he is. This causes him to have a higher than average turnover rate for his position. His awareness on both ends can be questionable at times. Wood will look out of place at times. He plays with such a high motor, this awareness issue just might be from trying to over analyze and this gets him out of position. On the defensive side of the ball, Wood is an electric player. He has great instincts and timing for shot blocking. He is quick and has the length to recover well. Rebounding he puts up great numbers, but as stated before his lack of strength will make it difficult for him to get these same numbers at the next level. Overall, Wood is a tweener prospect with the size of a power forward, but the skill set of a wing. He does not have the strength for the next level yet, and is not quick enough to guard the wings at the next level. In the upcoming 2015 NBA draft, Wood should expect to hear his name called in the 20-30 range. He has skills to allow for him to excel in the league, but will need a year or two of development before he can play major minutes.
John Henson and Christian Wood share a lot of the same traits that makes them almost identical. Both players physically are extremely lengthy and needed to add strength coming out of college. Their offensive similarities start from their abilities to run the floor well, soft hands, getting a lot of put-backs and dunks, and the ability to shoot outside the paint. Henson has a better back to the basket game, and has a better ability to finish against contact. Wood has a better face-up game and better ball handling skills. They share the same weaknesses as players offensively. These weaknesses are awareness issues, thinking their length will get them rebounds, instead of refining their skills to a more fundamental way, and shot selection. Defensively, the main thing that makes them so valuable is their shot blocking ability. They both possess great timing and instincts. They are also both good overall defenders with length and quickness to mask any mistake by a teammate, and guard multiple positions. Much like Henson had to wait, Wood will take a few seasons to garner any real minutes, and with his selection likely coming in the 20-30 range, he will be a back of the bench player, who will be able to refine his skills and add strength. After a year or two, Wood should be a reliable big, who can change the game defensively, and has offensive potential to be a major threat for opponents.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17