Iowa Basketball: Jarrod Uthoff’s NBA Prospects

Mar 17, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Jarrod Uthoff (20) warms up during a practice day before the first round of the NCAA men
Mar 17, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Jarrod Uthoff (20) warms up during a practice day before the first round of the NCAA men /

Jarrod Uthoff is coming off a season in which he averaged nearly 19 points and seven rebounds and was a first team All-Big Ten selection.  What does he have to do to succeed at the next level, though?

Fran McCaffery has sent a player to the NBA in the past two seasons.  Back in 2014, it was Devyn Marble, who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, but now plays sparingly for the Orlando Magic in his second season.  Last season, it was Aaron White, who was drafted by the Washington Wizards, but plays professionally overseas with the Telekom Baskets Bonn of the German Basketball League.

This year, the Iowa Basketball program hopes to make it three straight when Jarrod Uthoff tries his luck.  Uthoff has a number of things that pro teams look for.  He’s 6’9″ and he can shoot from deep.  His length enables him to bother shooters, which is why he led the Big Ten in blocked shots this past season.

He is able to use his length to shoot over defenders as he proved many times this season.  He’s even mastered the fade-away jump shot, which is nearly impossible to block for most defenders.  He runs the floor well and understands the game, which will be an advantage at the next level for him.

One thing he may get knocked for is his weight and his strength.  He isn’t exactly the strongest player in this years draft.  This could turn some teams away because a player like Jarrod could get pushed around in the NBA, especially down low.

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However, it isn’t like he won’t get any bigger in the NBA. He’ll be working out each day and getting bigger, so that shouldn’t be a gigantic area of concern.  Uthoff’s skill set makes him a pretty attractive draft pick, especially if you’re drafting later in the second round.  He could wind up being a steal for a team.

Right now, has him heading to Oklahoma City to be part of the Thunder.  They have Uthoff going 57th and playing for Billy Donovan in OKC.  That could potentially be a good fit for a pretty good outside shooter like Jarrod.  With a guard like Russell Westbrook penetrating and kicking it out, he could knock down some shots.  Although, if Kevin Durant sticks around, there probably won’t be many shots to go around.

Draft Express has him heading to Indiana at 47.  That would be only a few slots behind Maryland’s Jake Layman, who is a lot like Uthoff.  Finally, has him going 57th to Memphis.  In their mock draft, he gets taken one spot behind Iowa State’s Georges Niang.

Wherever Uthoff does wind up, I think he could bring a lot to an NBA team, especially when he fills out a little more.  He may not impact a team right away, but could definitely have a bright future with the skills that he possesses.  Along with getting bigger, he will have to become more aggressive as well.

We kind of saw him fade a little bit down the stretch of the season.  He wasn’t demanding the ball like players of his caliber should late in games or when the team needs a basket.

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Getting quicker off the bounce is going be another area where he needs to improve.  He’s long enough to get an advantage around defenders, but sometimes his first step is a little slow.  He did show that he will be able to shoot in the NBA.  We saw him show off his range several times this past season.

With his length and shooting ability, he’ll be able to see over smaller defenders and make shots from all over the court.  The NBA Draft will take place June 23rd at 6:00 p.m. CT inside the Barclays Center.