|Soph.||6’10” 240||PF/C||Maryland||DOB: 8/15/98|
|13.6 ppg||10.6 rpg||1.9 bpg||FG: 60.7%||FT: 77.9%|
Vertical Leap: 35″
Strengths: Inside Scoring, Length, Rim Protection, High Motor, Athleticism
Weaknesses: Limited production outside of the paint, Handling Double Teams, Turnovers
Fernando considered leaving for the NBA after last season going through the pre-draft process before ultimately deciding to return to Maryland due to the feedback he received. Teams wanted to see Fernando expand his game outside of the paint and become a more dominant offensive player as a whole. For the most part he did improve in the areas that scouts wanted to see, becoming more of a threat to knock down an open mid range jump shot specifically. He has multiple moves that he can use inside to get a basket, preferring a spin on the block to set up a look at the hoop. There were times when Maryland as a team probably should have run the offense through Fernando but instead elected for jump shots, meaning his numbers could have been higher with more usage. His length is at an NBA level before over 7’4″, and he was able to use this length to become a solid shot blocker at the college level averaging 1.9 blocks per game as a sophomore. How well he can defend at the NBA level will play a large factor in what role he is placed into as a pro, and if he does struggle offensively to start his career, his defense can earn him early minutes. He plays with a passion for the game that is evident, being able to get 50/50 balls out of will at times, and this high motor will be useful at the professional level.
Despite the improvement with his jump shot, teams would have liked Fernando to show more ability behind the three point line, taking only 10 three pointers as a sophomore, making 3. His shot mechanics are solid so there won’t need to be much work in that area, giving teams hope that as his game evolves a long range jump shot will become of a part of that. He did at times struggle with a double team in the post, making bad decisions on whether or not to pass out of it or make a quick move to the basket before it takes place. Being able to recognize a double team coming and being able to handle it with consistency is a skill that every scoring big man needs, and Fernando will need some coaching in this aspect of the game. Not just in double team situations but turnovers as a whole were an issue during some points in the season, causing some concern that the speed of the NBA game could cause a problem. As an athlete Fernando would immediately be above average when compared to his peers down low, being able to run the floor very well for his 6’10” 240 frame. Fast break situations are another area that with a consistent jumper he can be effective, especially when trailing the play after a rebound. Averaging 10.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore shows that he is capable of being a high level rebounder, and being a nightly double-double threat when coupled with his physical tools makes him an intriguing prospect going forward.
These two plays show just how athletic he is at 6’10” 240 lbs.:
Bruno Fernando with the one-handed alley-oop JAM 😳 pic.twitter.com/a9LGPEaDnL— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) November 23, 2018
Bruno Fernando brings the house down!!!🔥— CollegeBB News (@CollegeBBNCAA) February 18, 2018
Fernando is a lock to go in the first round, with the potential to go in the lottery if a teams feels hit fits their need. The potential to expand his game to the three point line coupled with his inside abilities make him one of the top big men in the class. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level player, receiving significant minutes while putting up above average offensive numbers and elite defense in the paint. The worst case scenario for Fernando is that he is unable to score at a high enough level to become a starter, leading him to come off of the bench being used as an athletic big that can protect the rim and score inside.