NBA Draft Spotlight: Bruno Fernando

Bruno Fernando has made solid strides on both ends and is now the top NBA frontcourt prospect in the entire Big Ten. He continues to improve his game for a Maryland team that is a looking for a deep NCAA Tournament run. I would be shocked if he fell past the 20th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Position: PF/C From: Maryland Class/YOB: Sophomore
Height: 6’10 Weight: 240 Wingspan: 7’4

Strengths:

  • Grown man build with excellent physical traits. One of the most physically imposing players in college basketball. Strength, timing, and energy helped build his reputation as an elite rebounder that can create offense on the glass without having plays run for him. Has no problem playing bully ball in the paint
  • Anticipates well as a help side defender. Has done a better job this year of quickly rotating over to protect the rim and go vertical. Offensive players will have a problem finishing through him, so if he can continue to improve his reaction on the help, he can be a plus shot-blocker
  • Improving footwork in the post. Relies a lot on his strength to score with power moves. Has surprisingly good feet at his size. Does a lot of damage with the drop-step and has flashes some use of the up-and-under
  • Solid screen-setter. Opens up a lot of space for Anthony Cowan to attack. Will be a big asset in a heavy P&R offense where his threat as a roll finisher will flourish
  • Underrated post passer that can do more off the dribble than people think. Has a natural feel for throwing out of double teams, especially to cutters
  • Constant rim-runner with the athleticism and strength to seal off defenders that he beats down the court. Big finishes and blocks energize the entire team

Weaknesses:

  • Limited shooting range. Takes an occasional mid-range shot that looks like it could be decent from 15-feet over time. Free throw shooting has been around 75% during his two years at Maryland
  • Runs into problems when he isn’t able to muscle defenders in the post. Secondary moves are lacking. He is a powerful finisher with long arms, but he can still be affected by length on the inside
  • Has to continue to work on containing ball-handlers on the perimeter. Has a tendency to be a step slow guarding against the pick-and-roll. He looks quicker laterally this season. Definitely has the physical skills to be able to handle switches
  • The game moves a little too fast for him at times. Plays so hard it looks rushed sometimes. Can be pressured into turnovers if he gets the ball too early on a cut. Can commit unnecessary fouls trying to block shots to make up for being late to help

Stats:

PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%
14.2 10.5 2.0 0.6 1.8 2.8 64.7% 25.0% 76.7%

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