Miami Heat

Miami Heat Draft 2011: Introducing First-Round Draft Pick Norris Cole

MIAMI - MARCH 20:  Guard Norris Cole #30 (R) of the Cleveland State University Vikings takes a shot over  guard L.D. Williams #42 (L) of Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the American Airlines Arena on March 20, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Danny DolphinAnalyst IJune 24, 2011

The Miami Heat on Thursday night acquired the rights to Norris Cole, the 28th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

They gave up the 31st selection, a future second-round pick and cash in exchange for the Cleveland State point guard with the old-school flattop.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175
Position: PG
School: Cleveland State
Age: 22 (October 13, 1988)

Strengths

Cole was a bona fide scoring machine at Cleveland State, averaging 21.7 points a clip last season, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from three. He got his points in a variety of ways, averaging 7.4 free-throw attempts a game.

He’s proven to be solid in a number of areas. He’s an avid rebounder (5.8 RPG), which is impressive considering his 175-pound stature. He once recorded an astonishing 20 rebounds in a game against Youngstown State last season. He also happened to throw up 40 points, IN THE SAME GAME, which makes him and Blake Griffin the only two in NCAA history to accomplish the 40-20 feat. By the way, he also had nine assists in that one.

Cole’s game widely revolves around his feet, where he uses his excellent speed and quickness to attack defenses off the dribble. Last season, he ranked 16th nationally in PER, a measure of efficiency.


Weaknesses

Where he must improve, and this is critical on this Heat team, is his perimeter shooting. He shot a mediocre 34 percent from three last season, and that was from the college three-point line. If he isn”t capable of knocking down the kick-out three from NBA range on a consistent basis, his playing time will be sparse.

There’s also going to be a learning curve defensively as he learns Miami’s schemes. Once he gets enough repetition, his quickness and basketball intelligence will allow him to become a strength of the Miami defense. However, it will take time, as it would for any newcomer to Miami’s defensive principles.


What They’re Saying

“He goes out and guards the best player on every team and holds them to single digits. At the same time he’s going to score his points, and assist for his team. He does basically everything you could think about for a team to be successful.” – Gary Waters, Coach Cleveland State

“He’s not just a scorer. He can also run the offense, and he can defend. That is the key.” – Ryan Blake, NBA Scouting

“He can get his own shot. He’s a very good athlete. He’s only 6’2, but has a 38 inch vertical. Excellent speed from end to end. Good quickness. He changes speeds very well and he’s a very good rebounder. Good instincts on the ball and off the ball. Norris Cole has a chance to be a very good NBA player” – Jay Bilas, ESPN

“My game kind of reminds me of a better shooting Rajon Rondo” – Norris Cole


Fun Facts

Cole’s cousin is Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive-lineman Trent Cole.

At Dunbar High (Dayton, OH) he starred at quarterback, passing for 2,267 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior. He also lettered in both baseball and track. He led Dunbar to two state titles on the court.

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