|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Missouri PF Ricardo Ratliffe||06.13.12 at 5:10 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Power forward
Weight: 250 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Big 12 second team, 2011 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, 2011 All-Big 12 honorable mention, 2011 Big 12 All-Rookie team
Key 2011-12 stats: 13.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 69.3 FG%
What he brings: Ratliffe is very strong and brings toughness and aggressiveness under the basket. He’s undersized at 6-foot-8, which likely positions him as a power forward at the next level, but his athleticism and ability more than makes up for it. His production as a senior at Missouri was particularly impressive considering he only played 26 minutes per game.
Ratliffe is an extremely good finisher in the paint, making his presence felt by cleaning up misses and using his soft and reliable hands to receive passes and convert easy makes under the basket. Ratliffe’s offense really only revolves around the rim and he rarely steps out of the paint to take jumpers, which could hurt his NBA stock. He doesn’t have an array of post moves but does possess basic ones. Still, he thrives on others creating baskets for him, whether it’s on pick and rolls or second-chance opportunities.
Rebounding-wise, Ratliffe has improved over his college career and has the skills necessary in that area to make it at the next level. He uses his tools and size to excel both on the offensive and defensive glass, which will no doubt please NBA scouts. Defensively, Ratliffe might find trouble finding his identity. His 6-foot-8 frame makes him too small to defend centers and he isn’t quick enough to guard power forwards, but he does have the capability and size to develop into a good defender.
Where the Celtics could get him: If Ratliffe gets drafted, it’s likely to be late in the second round.
Notes: Ratliffe spent two years at Central Florida Community College prior to going to Missouri because he didn’t meet the NCAA‘s academic standards coming out of high school. He was a highly touted JUCO player and ranked as the No. 1 incoming junior in the country upon his commitment to the Tigers.
Video: Ratliffe shows how he has been preparing for the draft.
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