Karl-Anthony Towns was the first player to commit to play for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats in 2014. Towns played for Cal as a teenager when the coach headed up the Dominican Republic National Team.
Towns was viewed as a good five star recruit, but most recruiting experts had him outside of the top five. Jahlil Okafor was actually the consensus number one high school player in the country. Fast forward to NBA draft week, and it now looks as if KAT, not Okafor, will be the number one player drafted to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With a combination of exposure, body transformation, and trusting the coaching of Cal and Kenny Payne, Towns has elevated his game and has become the ideal center for the modern NBA.
Important Stats at Kentucky:
Points Per Game (2014-2015)- 10.3
Rebounds Per Game (2014-2015)- 6.7
Blocks Per Game (2014-2015)- 2.3
NBA Draft Combine Measurables:
Height- 6'11.25" with shoes
Draftexpress.com- #1 Overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Yahoo Sports- #1 Overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA.com- #1 Overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Strengths: As far as a big man is concerned, he pretty much has it all. Towns didn't come in ready to be a low-post player. He was a big man with range that preferred to hang around the outside of the paint instead of banging down low. But John Calipari transformed him into a dominant post player that can score with either hand and keep defenders honest from mid-range. He became a force in the paint and was close to unstoppable near the basket when it came time for the NCAA Tournament. He's also a much better defender than he's given credit for as he averaged the most blocks on the team; even more than Willie Cauley-Stein. Towns can also run the floor in transition quite well for his size and is an excellent free throw shooter. And the scary thing is that he's just scratching the surface of his ability.
What Needs Work: Like any rookie post player he needs to work on his strength in the post. He's much improved in that aspect of his game but it can always be better. He has the ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arch but he didn't showcase that much during the season. Part of the reason was that Calipari didn't want him messing around on the perimeter when he was so dominant in the paint. In the NBA, his shooting prowess will definitely be an asset the more he refines it. In all honesty, there isn't much of a downside to Towns. He defends, runs, hustles, and is a major offensive threat.
Final Analysis: He's going number one, there isn't much of a question at this point. It's even been reported that the Wolves have already contacted him and let him know that he's their guy in the top spot. KAT is going to be a good NBA player for years, but how good can he be? With the tools he possesses at such a young age, it's foreseeable that Towns is going to have an NBA All Star caliber career as long as his trajectory continues upward.