Jarvis Varnado and Andrew Goudelock, both of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, are making strong cases for early-season NBA call-ups. RidiculousUpside.com's new resident scout, David Scrivines, provides an evaluation after watching the pair play an away game in Springfield.
A Mississippi State product, Varnado was named D-League Player of the Week for November 23-December 2. The 6-foot, 10-inch forward averaged 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.7 blocked shots per game through the first three games of the season.
Varnado is an athletic, shot blocking post player who physically resembles the body type of Walter McCarty. He was a second-round pick (41st overall) by Miami in 2010, but was waived by the Heat in training camp this fall.
The forward spent the past two years playing in Israel and Italy, while the Heat maintained his rights. This followed a very successful four-year career at Mississippi State, where Varnado averaged 10 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4 blocks over the course of 141 career games. He finished his career as the only player in NCAA history to record at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks.
Varnado holds the NCAA record for most career blocks with 564, while becoming the first player to be named as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons (2008, 2009, and 2010).
The big man is still raw on the offensive end. He doesn't have a "go to" move and needs to develop a better idea of what to do with the ball in the post. Varnado did show some ability with his back to the basket, feeling the defense and spinning accordingly. He put up 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked eight shots against the Springfield Armor last week.
Varnado needs to work harder to defend the post, fight for position and bump the receiver out of his comfort zone. Despite this, he is a solid offensive rebounder and plays the game with energy and enthusiasm. With refinement of his offensive skills, Varnado could eventually get some NBA minutes down the road.
Goudelock, on the other hand, currently ranks fifth in the D-League in scoring at 23.7 points per game, while pulling in 5.3 rebounds per game. He is currently shooting 39.7% from the field and 84.6% from the free throw line.
The shooting guard physically resembles a taller version of Dana Barros. He was a second-round pick (46th overall) with the Lakers in the 2011 NBA Draft. Goudelock averaged 4.4 points in 10.5 minutes in 40 games with the team last season.
In his lone game on assignment last season with the L.A. D-Fenders, Goudelock scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had seven assists and two steals. A volume scorer, Goudelock average 18.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in four seasons at the College of Charleston.
He averaged 23.7 points his senior season, ranking him fourth nationally among NCAA Division I scoring leaders. Goudelock also ranks first in school history in career points (2,571) and three-point field goals made (396).
Goudelock showed tremendous confidence on the court, while displaying a fundamentally sound skill set against the Armor last week. The 6-foot, 3-inch product showed some explosiveness in the open floor, comparable to Kerry Kittles.
The guard also uses a floater in the paint successfully, similar to Sherman Douglas. He anticipates well on defense and works hard. Goudelock is a scorer who has a place in the NBA.
He is more deserving than simply a ten-day contract, and is also someone that could see an early-season call-up to the NBA.