By Rafal Juc (April 2012). Body/Athleticism: Measuring at 7-0 without shoes Karnowski with average wingspan possesses excellent size to play at center position even on NBA level. Despite lack of impressing athleticism, 19-years old prospect is quite mobile and well-coordinated. At this stage of development, Karnowski has plenty of room to continue to work on his body, which undeniably needs trimming up, what confirms for example 16.3% body fat rate measured last year before Nike Hoop Summit. Worth to admit, that Pole, who is terrific hard-worker lost over season 2011/12 at least 6 kilos on weight.
Shooting: He shoots ball well as for a big center with range close to 3-point line. Left-handed Karnowski possesses tendency to coming out on perimeter to knock down pull-up jumper, showing really nice hands’ movement in catch-and-shoot situations. To be more efficient big man has to work on his selection and footwork, however - as we mentioned earlier - taking into account his size he is more than average shooter. From time to time can surprise with fade-away jumper being even in front of opponent.
Offense: Worth to admit that season 2011/12 was for Karnowski first at the highest domestic level, where he had to make out in new surrounding, dominated by streaky American guards. Only 19-years old center finished this year with averages of 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, however was not able to show his potential fully. Offensively, Karnowski undeniably made big step ahead, learning over all season how to read defense successfully and use advantage of better setting. In addition, he seemed to be more aggressive on one-on-one actions on low-post. Thanks to brilliant size and nice bulk, Karnowski is able to posting up well, but still needs to be more determined and stronger on legs. After receiving ball on low-post Karnowski can finish with one of his not yet polished pivots or spin moves. However, big Pole is still struggling with his right hand, what makes him a bit one-sided. Nonetheless, the place where Karnowski made the biggest progress is for sure his ability to using screens. Thanks to quicker footwork he is able now to roll more aggressively to the basket after pick&roll and finish easily from under the rim. In addition, Karnowski used to crash offensive glass more and more often, what in combination with his size, allows him to note more and more easy put backs. His best asset is undeniably amazing passing ability. Reading game well, Karnowski works well specially against zone on high post, where he is passing ball with incredible timing.
Defense/Rebounding: In comparision with older and more experienced centers, Karnowski did not present himself poorly. Of course - especially at the beginning of the season - he was used to be easy beat off dribble or by quick fakes, but with time, he became more patient and calm. Playing almost 26 minutes per game, Karnowski finished with quite poor rebounding rate (just 4.4 per game). It was caused mainly by lack of toughness and muscles. Even waiting for a ball in paint, Karnowski was very often overplayed by more mobile and smarter opponents. However, he shows nice habit to push and box out his rival always. Worth to admit that over season 2011/12 big Pole improved the way of handling pick&roll on defensive end. Losing some kilos and improving footwork, Karnowski became faster, what made him quite good in covering ground on top in pick&roll situation. Defensively, polish prospect due to lack of more than average explosiveness and lateral speed, is not major impact. However, he makes up all weakness with experience and smartness.
Overall: Karnowski, compared to young Marc Gasol, despite being top prospect of 1993 European generation, has a plenty room ahead him in many aspects of game. This applies especially to his defense, where big Pole could become more efficient shoot-blocker. Lacking solid athleticism, Karnowski makes it up on defensive end with smartness, but still has to improve his footwork and explosiveness. It is almost certain that Karnowski will join NCAA league and it would be big exam for him. First college year could be terrific for him, especially on defense, where opponents will be not only faster, more mobile, but also more athletic. From the other hand, Karnowski can dominate offensive game easy, with his ability to finish above the rim, nice posting up, amazing passing touch and understanding of game. Despite all this clear-cut strengths and weaknesses he is serious candidate to be selected in first round of NBA year draft in 2-3 years. By this time, he has to work on his body and polish his offensive repertoire.