SHOOTING GUARDS: COLLEGE PROSPECTS

Yesterday we looked at a list of NBA shooting guards from which Rod Thorn and Doug Collins could choose to add a scorer to the 76ers roster this summer via the free agent signing route.  Today here at Philadunkia we will examine the crop of college prospects who appear to have the game and mental makeup to step into the Sixers shooting guard spot and really contribute in 2012-13.

The two elite, elite shooting guard prospects in this Draft — Bradley Beal (Florida) and Jeremy Lamb (UConn) — will not be around when the 7-6 select at #15 in June.  However, if the Sixers decide to go with a shooting guard who can score at #15, there will be some big-time college players still on the board (like Washington Huskie Terrence Ross pictured above) when the Sixers get placed “on the clock”.  On paper, any one of these kids we’ll look at today could help fill the glaring hole at SG on the Sixers roster.

Obviously the key for Thorn and Collins is to sort through all the information out there as well as the game tapes and grab the best mid-first round shooting guard available.

After the jump you’ll learn that will not be an easy decision.

 

Terrence Ross (6-6; 200) – If you didn’t stay up “late nite” to catch a lot of Pac-12 hoops action this past winter, then you missed the opportunity to watch one of the most exciting players in the nation.  Simply put, the kid can fill it up, which is exactly what the Sixers need.  Last year at Washington, Ross hit for 16.4 ppg. and 6.4 rpg. He shot 45% from the field and 37% on 3PAs.  He doesn’t get to the tin all that frequently, so he’ll need some work in that department, but if you leave this kid open, even slightly, he will kill you all night.  In short, Terrence is a NBS – Natural Born Shooter.  As a bonus, Ross also has a lot of personality which is something the Sixers also desperately need.

Joe Treutlin of Draftexpress.com writes, “Ross is at his best knocking down shots with his feet set, having very good accuracy in space and not needing much time or room to get his shot off due to his high and quick release. He’s also very dangerous and confident with his pull-up jumper, though is less consistent with this area of his game depending on the situation. Due to his limited ball-handling, Ross operates in this area almost strictly on quick one or two-dribble pull-ups, but is excellent when he’s able to keep his balance…”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “Ross has potential star power — he is a great athlete, has good size and can really stroke the basketball.”

Video courtesy of Mike Schmitz from ValleyoftheSuns and Draft Express

 

 

Dion Waiters (6-4, 215) – The Syracuse guard (12.6 ppg. last year) was bred right here on the streets of Philadelphia and attended the basketball factory school known as Life Center Academy.  Selecting Waiters would be a big hit with Philadunkia nation and as a bonus, he could really help the Sixers.  Waiters is a solid defensive player which Collins will like.  He can get out on the break as the lead guard or as a lane filler, which fits the Sixers current style of play.  He converts baskets at a high clip (47% on FGAs) – which the Sixers need.  Lastly, thanks to solid ball handling skills, the ability to be physical and the fact he is a strong finisher, Waiters is more then capable of creating his own shot in the half-court.  How great would it be if a hometown kid came in and solved the Sixers offensive woes?  Like “Rocky” level great.

Joe Treutlin of Draftexpress.com writes, “A physically gifted player with an excellent frame and terrific instincts, Waiters’ aggressive defense definitely fuels this area of his game by creating opportunities, but he does a very good job keeping his head up and attacking when his team has a numbers advantage. He’s very crafty with the ball in his hands and does a good job of using his shiftiness going to the basket, switching the ball between hands and showing a very good feel for weaving through defenses. While not exceptionally quick or fast, Waiters has perhaps helped himself most here by showing a good commitment to using his well-built frame to go hard to the basket, frequently finishing with power and playing with a real mean streak on the break… struggled to consistently perform at a high level in most other areas of offense this season, most notably showing troubles consistently contributing in the half court against top competition.”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes,a tough player who can get to the basket and get his own shot at the end of games…a true scorer…Dion Waiters is there right now. The fact that Waiters can also play some point guard is a bonus.”

Video courtesy of NBA Insider

 

Austin Rivers (6-4; 200) – Duke was on TV enough this year for you to know that Rivers can stroke the jumper and has ice water in his veins.  Obviously we also know that he has the DNA to be solid NBA player and that he played under Coach K, so his basketball pedigree is about as good as it gets.  What grabs me about Rivers is just how many tricks he has in his scoring bag.  Cross-overs, hesitation moves, ball fakes, head fakes, etc…you name it and Rivers has it in his arsenal.  He also possess a scorer’s mentality, so he won’t be afraid to step into that role for the Sixers (Unlike Dre).  He plays very good defense and if Collins needs, Rivers can play the point for stretches as well.  The one concern for me with Rivers is that he’s damn thin looking, so I wonder if he can hold up under the nightly pounding in the NBA.

Matt Kamalsky of Draftexpress.com writes, “A crafty ball-handler with no shortage of shifty hesitation moves or blistering cross-overs, Rivers showed the ability to create separation from his defender in one-on-one situations and turn the corner to get into the paint on the pick and roll, even splitting the defense in impressive fashion on occasion. Extremely confident and aggressive…”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “He can really shoot the basketball and has a killer crossover. He’s going to have to get comfortable playing off the ball”

Video courtesy of BSCeltics

 

Evan Fournier (6-7; 205) – Most “experts” have this Euro-baller who currently plays in France being selected somewhere in picks 20-29 at the 2012 NBA Draft, so he is a long shot to be taken by the Sixers.  However Euros always seem to skyrocket up the board as we get closer to the Draft, so we’ll include him here.  He won’t be at the NBA Combine because of an ankle injury but does plan to work out for individual teams.  However, there are rumors that he will spend at least one more year in Europe as he is only 19 years old.  Having never seen Fournier play live, we’ll just go right to the “expert” opinions.

Jonathan Givony of Draftexpress.com writes, “He possesses ideal physical attributes for a NBA wing at 6-7 with a strong frame, and has the ability to create his own shot very effectively thanks to his excellent size, strength, and ball-handling skills. Despite his height, he’s able to get very low with his dribble, showing terrific footwork and body control driving into the lane, often using crafty change of speed moves, spins and hesitations.”

ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford writes, “Fournier, a scoring wing from France, is the best European prospect on the board (1st round)”

 

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