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Joseph Forte out of North Carolina
College: North Carolina
Height: 6'-4"
Weight: 185
Class: Sophomore
Birth Date: March 23, 1981
Age: 39 years, 214 days old
HomeTown: Greenbelt, MD
NBA Comparison: Notes on Joseph Forte
Sophomore guard was considered by many to be the best 2-guard in the country before a late season collapse by both Forte and UNC made some scouts look harder. As a freshman sensation in 1999-2000, drew the inevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan, averaging 16.9 points a game. This season as a sophomore, averaged 20.9 points, 6.3 boards and 3.5 assists. In ACC games he averaged almost 24 points a game. A consensus First Team All American, Forte is a scoring machine. I got to see him play his freshman season when he came down to Austin, leading North Carolina to the Final Four by scoring 28 points in a win over Tulsa. I was amazed how he could score in bunches. Once grabbed 16 boards, breaking the UNC record for rebounds by a guard in a game, to to go with 24 points to help lead UNC past Duke.

"Just an unbelievable player," said Virginia coach Pete Gillen. "A tremendous two guard. The best I have seen in college in a long time. He reminds me of Wayne Gretzky on ice. He just flows."

Strengths of Joseph Forte
He has no problems at all scoring -- very confident in his abilities. Has hit several key shots in crunch time situations. Sweet jumper with range out to three-point territory (hit 37.7% from long range) to boot. Gifted athletically and can take it to the rack.
Weaknesses of Joseph Forte
Completely faltered down the stretch, and so did his team. Responded very poorly to double-teams. Scored a career-low 6 points on 3-13 shooting in UNC's second round NCAA Tournament loss to Penn State. Had a very hard time creating his own shot during that stretch. Must become a better ballhandler.
Forte on the Rockets?
Forte is a talent, and was a sure bet to be a lottery pick at mid-season, but his crumbling down the stretch has scared some teams. Like Cuttino Mobley, is very confident in his abilities and isn't afraid to shoot himself out of a slump. That could make him a good selection with a later pick in the first round if the Rockets, anticipating a possible Shandon Anderson departure, want to shore up depth in the backcourt.