Noah Clowney is a 6-foot-10 freshman forward from the University of Alabama. In his freshman year, Clowney averaged 9.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks on 49/28/65 shooting splits.
Noah Clowney 2023 NBA Draft Profile
Alabama finished with a 31-6 record and the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. They ultimately lost to San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen, but it was still a relatively successful season for Clowney and the Crimson Tide.
Clowney’s impact with Alabama went beyond his stats. He was great defensively with his length and ability to contest shots. Although the stats don’t suggest it, Clowney played a significant role in Alabama finishing the season as the one seed.
Clowney is an excellent rebounder and defender. His 7.9 rebounds at Alabama are great, considering he was just a freshman and played 25.4 minutes per game.
In addition to his rebounds, Clowney provides versatility as a big defensively. He is someone that can protect the rim, both with blocked shots and shot alterations. Clowney can also switch out on the perimeter with his length and athleticism. He’s incredibly agile for his size and moves his feet well, which helps keep up with the smaller guards.
Offensively, Clowney is a great rim runner that is a threat in transition with his length and athleticism. He is tough to guard in pick-and-roll situations when he gains momentum toward the paint.
Clowney’s age is another strength. At 18 years old, he’s one of the youngest players in the entire draft. With his size, athleticism, and age, he certainly has intrigue as someone with untapped potential.
His offensive game is limited. Clowney will never be relied on as a go-to scorer, which limits his potential at the next level. He’s not a great floor spacer currently; he’s a below-average three-point and free-throw shooter. However, his shot form is better than his numbers suggest, which should give NBA teams some optimism that he can improve in that area.
Clowney also has a relatively small frame for his 6-foot-10 height, weighing 210 pounds. He needs to bulk up to guard centers at the next level.
One concern is that Clowney isn’t strong enough to defend centers or a good enough shooter to play power forward. He might have to play alongside a center that can stretch the floor; otherwise, the paint will be too crowded on offense. Clowney’s best position in the NBA might be center due to his defensive versatility and ability to switch out on guards in pick-and-rolls. But he won’t be able to play center until he gets strong enough to hold his own in the paint at the next level.
Clowney is raw and might need a few years to develop before he makes a significant impact.
NBA Player Comparison
Nic Claxton. There are several similarities between Clowney and Claxton. Claxton is 6-foot-11 and 215 pounds, a very similar frame to Clowney.
Claxton was in the running for an All-NBA Defensive Team this season but ultimately didn’t get selected. He averaged 12.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game on 71/0/54 shooting splits.
Clowney could play a very similar role in the NBA as someone that scores off of high percentage looks near the hoop, and contributes primarily through his defense and rebounding.
Claxton attended Georgia for two years. In his sophomore year, he averaged 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. He eventually became the 31st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets, similar to where Clowney is projected to be taken around.
Claxton is an excellent example of someone that can play center with a build nearly identical to Clowney’s. He was in contention for an All-Defensive Team and will likely make one at some point in his career because of his ability to rebound, rim protect, and switch onto multiple positions; these are also Clowney’s strengths.
If Claxton is any indication, Clowney’s skill set should translate well to the NBA.
NBA Draft Projection