Bucks Draft Picks: Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer

By Michael Terrill

Now that the NBA lockout is finally over it’s time to meet Milwaukee’s 2011 draft class.

The Bucks selected Tobias Harris, forward out of Tennessee, with the 19th pick in the first round.

The 6’8 freshman power forward averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. He was voted second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team. He was a finalist for the Naismith High School Player of the Year Award his senior year of high school.

Strengths: Harris is an athletic, multi-skilled player with a high basketball IQ. He has good passing ability, a great touch at the rim, good ball handling skills, a jump shot with a 30.3% 3-point percentage, and an adequate rebounder. He also plays great defense which is the one thing the Bucks are good at. His ideal position is power forward but he is capable of playing small forward if the pace is slowed down, something the Bucks do not do often. Assuming he plays power forward, Bucks center Andrew Bogut and him will be a nightmare for players inside the paint, both on offense and defense.

Weaknesses: Harris is not a pure shooter so he will have to put the ball down and drive. He will not be able to blow past too many defenders and with his size he will have to work on his mid-range shot. He will have to use his high basketball IQ to determine when to pull-up and take the shot or drive to the basket. There will be struggles rebounding at the power forward position because of his size, but Bogut cleans up the boards nicely so it should not be to much of a problem. The part of his game that he must work the most on is his defense. Head coach Scott Skiles will train him well in this area where he will be capable of becoming a dynamic defender.

Overall Harris is a great pick and will prove to be an asset for the Bucks.

Milwaukee selected Jon Leuer, forward out of Wisconsin, in the second round.

The 6’10 senior led the Badgers with 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He also averaged 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game with a 37.0% 3-point percentage. He was voted first-team All-Big Ten, an honorable mention AP All-American, and won the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.

Strengths: Leuer has an arsenal of offensive skills with an excellent basketball IQ. His improved post-game with a turn-around shot will go great with his already established jump shot. He has good ball handling skills as he will be able to use a couple dribbles to set up a shot. He is a good passer and rebounder which is necessary from a big man. He can get up and down the court with ease for a man of his size, which is important on a fast pace team such as the Bucks.

Weaknesses: Leuer will struggle getting his shot over long defenders as well as driving past guys. He will have to use his skill to get away from defenders and make jump shots. The worst part of his game is defense. His lack of mobility and body strength will make him struggle as a defender unless the right coaching takes place. Good thing for Leuer, Scott Skiles is the best in the business when it comes to defensive coaches.

Overall Leuer was a no-brainer for the Bucks, who struggled offensively all season long. His addition as a great outside shooter will open the floor for the rest of the team to operate. Brandon Jennings will be able to control the pace of the game, while Bogut works the inside paint knowing that Stephen Jackson, Carlos Delfino, and Jon Leuer can make outside shots all day long.

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