Height/Weight: 6’10, 240 lbs.
Bruno Fernando is a young intriguing draft prospect that has a lot of potential. At 20 years old he has unbelievable athleticism, which is his biggest asset. He is able to use his strong broad shoulders to muscle his way into a good position on the block, where he normally operates on offense.
However not only is Fernando strong, he is quick for his size and has excellent foot work. Due to his excellent foot work and large wingspan, he is able to cover smaller forwards on the perimeter and is able to switch off of screens effectively. This will translate to the current style of NBA play where some teams like to employ small ball line ups. He is also extremely mobile for his size and beats most of the big men he has played against down the court when the Terrapins are in transition.
He also has exceptional hands and is able to handle entry passes in the post and passes in transition as showcased there.
Another strength that Fernando possesses is his rebounding. He crashes the offensive and defensive glass with the same level of intensity, making it extremely hard for defenders to keep him off of the offensive glass. His activity on the offensive glass is a big help for the Terrapins because it allows them to have multiple opportunities on offense. Fernando will, more than likely, average a double double this season with ease. Due to his energy and athleticism, Fernando will be able to contribute on the boards at an above average level in the NBA.
Fernando is also one of the best shot blockers in the NCAA as a sophomore. His strength of being a solid rim protector is crucial because it is needed for most big men at the next level. He uses his elite athleticism and his length to swat his opponents’ shots, with most of them being emphatic rejections.
His shot blocking and shot altering abilities make him a tough paint presence that challenges most offenses. Since he is able to switch off of screens on to wings he is able to challenge perimeter shots with his length.
On offense, Fernando’s greatest ability is his toughness around the rim. Not only does he have a nice baby hook that he loves to go to, but he’s also able to finish through contact with both hands and has the ability to draw fouls. Once he gets to the free throw line he is a consistent shooter with a promising looking shot, which is rare for his age and size.
One of Fernando’s biggest weaknesses is his overall offensive game. He has improved significantly from his freshman season, adding some ball fakes and spin moves to his repertoire, but he doesn’t have too much in his arsenal. He is shooting at an efficient clip from the field this year, however, most of his shots come from the paint. He does not have a consistent mid-range jump shot and he cannot stretch the floor to the three point line too often. This can be a problem against a bigger and tougher opponent because he lacks the versatility to take a rim protector away from the basket to find a way to score.
Fernando sometimes struggles with decision making when he gets double-teamed in the post, which leads to turnovers.
He also struggles with putting the ball on the floor, which can be a challenge at the next level in situations where he will need to have the ability to create his own shot. Sometimes he gets caught dribbling too much when he plays with his back to the basket and tries to get better position in the paint, where it is easy for guards and smaller defenders that help out to get their hands in there to force a turnover.
If Bruno is going to stick to the post, something that NBA teams move away from, he has to decrease the turnovers he creates from there.
Fernando has a high ceiling and is a potential first round pick in the NBA’s 2019 Draft. He has an NBA ready body that would fit into the league right away. He will be able to contribute at the next level almost immediately with his rebounding and rim protecting abilities. In order for him to increase his stock he needs to continue to develop his offensive game, specifically a consistent mid-range jump shot. Also, he needs to develop his basketball IQ and make smarter decisions with the ball.
Right now, I could see him falling in the late first round, but can move up with good showing in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament play.