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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: 2012 NBA Draft Scouting Report

April 9, 2012

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

University of Kentucky
6-7 small forward
232 pounds

NBA projections as of April 9, 2012 – 3rd overall – 3rd overall
ESPN Chad Ford – 2nd overall

Prediction as of April 9, 2012

I predict that Michael Kidd Gilchrist will go on to play multiple All-star games.  He will not be a superstar will he will certainly be on the group of players right below it.  Please keep in mind that I define superstars as one of the players that contend for the MVP trophy every season.

His main weaknesses are shooting and ball handling skills.  He needs to develop a more consistent outside shot.  He could also use better ball handling skills. Despite that, I predict that he will be able to do enough to be an All-Star for many years.

See below as to why I make this prediction.  See Scouting Criteria for my definitions and examples.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG) is known for having a relentless motor.  For an offensive aggressiveness standpoint, he takes 8.2 shots a game and gets attempts 4.8 free throws.  He also picks up a decent number of offensive fouls. Offensive fouls are obviously not a good thing but these are aggressive actions nonetheless.  As his game matures, we can expect for MKG to be able to control offensive fouls in the future.  Kidd-Gilchrist’s aggressiveness is also on display on the open court where he is on constant attack mode.

Ability to Create Shots

Kidd-Gilchrist has above average but not great ability in creating shots.  MKG specifically creates shots through dribble penetration.  He does this more through pure aggression as opposed to ball handling skills.  There is a distinct difference between the two approaches.  Getting to the basket through ball handling is much more of a skill with the player more under control.  A player using ball handling will be able to make better passes while attacking the hoop.

MKG’s pure aggression style in being able to get to the basketball is pretty exceptional. See definition of his aggressive dribble drive approach.  This is similar to how he attacks on the open floor.  The combination of size, speed and strength of Kidd-Gilchrist is difficult to stop on the open floor.  However, this style though effective on the open floor is less effective for half-court offense. This is especially more difficult to execute in the college basketball because there is no illegal defense rule in the college game. Without illegal defense, opposing centers can just sit in the middle of the paint.  The fact that MKG can score points through this style is actually impressive.  For the same reason, he is at times going too fast and out of control, which explains why gets called for so many offensive fouls.  In the NBA, Kidd-Gilchrist dribble penetration through style still will be more effective than in the college game.  However, I don’t expect this skill of his to be exceptional.  He will be a referee’s nightmare as there will be plenty of calls that could go either way.

Performance agains the best teams and players

Kidd-Gilchrist thrives in big games.  The table below shows Kidd-Gilchrist performances during Kentucky’s biggest games during November and December.  His best game was against Louisville, which was an absolute battle.








W 75-65




North Carolina

W 73-72





L 72-73





W 69-62



During SEC conference play including the SEC tournament, I looked at Kidd-Gilchrist performance in games decided by less than 10.  During those 8 games, his numbers were just on his season averages.  His averages were specifically 11.8 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Additionally, I saw that MKG’s games against Vanderbilt were consistently poor.  If you took out the 3 games against Vanderbilt, his average rose to 15.4 points and 9 rebounds.  His 3 poor games against Vanderbilt consisted of 2 games, which he fouled out from.  Watching those two games, I did not see anything unusual.  Kidd-Gilchrist looked liked his usual aggressive and attacking self.  The fouls just seemed to put him out of rhythm.

Let’s now take a look at Kidd-Gilchrist performance during the NCAA tournament.  I decided to focus on the games beginning the Sweet 16 game against Indiana as they blew out their first two opponents.  See the table below.








W 102-90





W 82-70





W 69-61





W 67-59



His averages were 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds.  His points were over his season average while his rebounds took a slight dip.  What we can see is that after two strong games against Indiana and Baylor, we saw his performance for the 2 Final Four gams as below average.  The Louisville game numbers were affected by just playing 6 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.  In the championship game against Kansas, he didn’t need to do much as his teammates dominated the first half.  In the second half, the entire Kentucky team was passive, as the team seemed to be interested in waiting for the game to end and be called national champions.

Mental Make-up

Kidd-Gilchrist scores high on this area. I really value is when MKG unfortunately lost his uncle on the day he was going to sign the letter-of-intent to play for Kentucky.  He decided to add “Kidd” and be known as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  Despite having a heavy heart, Kidd kept playing hard.  I also love when he gave his starting spot for one game to Darius Miller for the SEC tournament championship game in order to let Miller out of his shooting slump.

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