Brian Patrick

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Shooting Guard Comparisons

Monday, May 8, 2017


Last season, six shooting guard prospects were taken in the first round, but it was a second-round pick, Malcolm Brogdon, who made the biggest impression, though it was as more of a hybrid point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. This season, there are at least six more shooting guard prospects who are potential first round picks.

 

Here is a look at some of major college shooting guards in this year’s draft, along with relevant numbers for their position:

 

Check out the previous position comparisons: PGs | Centers | SFs | PFs

 

Name

Ht.

Wt.

Age

Pts/40

FG%

3FG%

TS%

%2PJ

%A2PJ

%3P

%A3P

Josh Hart

6’6

204

22

22.6

51.0

40.4

61.9

24.8

11.1

39.5

86.5

Wesley Iwundu

6’7

205

22

16.6

48.1

37.6

58.5

29.6

23.5

27.1

68.8

Luke Kennard

6’6

202

20

22.0

49.0

43.8

63.0

40.2

20.2

41.4

76.1

Donovan Mitchell

6’3

210

20

19.3

40.8

35.4

53.4

35.0

8.6

50.9

78.8

Malik Monk

6’4

197

19

24.8

45.0

39.7

58.6

32.6

20.3

47.0

81.7

Sindarius Thornwell

6’5

214

22

25.2

44.5

39.5

59.1

34.9

32.7

33.7

89.7

Buddy Hield (2016)

6’4

214

22

28.3

50.1

45.7

66.5

14.4

6.5

54.0

67.8

Jamal Murray (2016)

6’4

207

19

22.7

45.4

40.8

59.0

28.1

13.6

51.5

89.4

Denzel Valentine (2016)

6’5

220

22

23.3

46.2

44.4

60.8

30.9

33.3

52.7

86.5

Malik Beasley (2016)

6’5

196

19

20.9

47.1

38.7

58.3

31.3

16.3

36.1

92.7

Caris LeVert* (2016)

6’7

200

21

21.3

50.6

44.6

63.6

27.2

0.0

40.1

65.5

Malachi Richardson (2016)

6’6

205

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Brogdon (2016)

6’5

215

23

21.4

45.7

39.1

58.5

32.6

36.4

38.2

80.0

Devin Booker (2015)

6’6

206

18

18.7

47.0

41.1

60.0

30.3

29.4

49.1

98.3

Rashad Vaughn (2015)

6’6

210

18

22.1

43.9

38.3

54.7

28.7

32.5

43.0

88.9

Justin Anderson (2015)

6’6

227

21

17.5

46.6

45.2

61.0

21.0

27.3

48.1

91.1

RJ Hunter (2015)

6’6

190

21

21.3

39.5

30.5

55.2

32.0

33.3

51.2

73.8

*Played just 15 games due to injury

Shooting percentages courtesy of hoop-math.com


This isn’t a very big group, with just three of the six players measuring at least 6’6, with Donovan Mitchell, who may have to move to the point guard position, measuring just 6’3. It is also an older group than what we have seen the past couple of years, with just one player, Malik Monk, a freshman, younger than 20 years old, and three of the players at least 22 years old. As we’ve continued to see, the age factor isn’t the big deal that many make it out to be, and the experience can be a benefit to many teams, like Brogdon with the Bucks.

 

As scorers, this year’s group is a bit more varied than last year, when all the prospects averaged at least 20 points per 40 minutes. This season, Donovan Mitchell fell a bit short at 19.3, while Wesley Iwundu averaged less than 17 points per 40 minutes. Scoring itself is not very telling, as there can be many factors which contribute to the number, including team personnel, coaching style, etc. The same goes for the higher end of the scale, where Monk and Thornwell both averaged around 25 points per 40 minutes. Both were the main offensive threats for their teams, with a large volume of shot attempts.

 

With the NBA becoming more of shooter’s league than ever, the next key area to look at is three-point shooting.  This class is more varied in percentages than last year’s class, and only two of the six players, Josh Hart and Luke Kennard, topped 40 percent shooting, though Monk and Thornwell fell just short of the mark. Of more of a concern is Mitchell’s 35-percent, especially since more than half of his shot attempts where three-pointers.

 

Mitchell was the only player to shoot more than half of his field goal attempts from three-point range, with Monk the next closest at 47-percent. Kennard shot almost 41-percent of this total shots from behind the arc, but hitting near 44-percent of them, which is almost ideal for a college shooting guard. Hart was also a standout in this area, hitting over 40-percent from three, with just about 40-percent of his shots coming from three-point range.

 

I’ve also included a look at the percentage of shots players took that were two-point and three-point jumpers, giving a broader look at which players were strictly jump shooters and which had a more versatile scoring game. Continuing last year’s trend, the results are more diverse, as are the offensive games of players considered shooting guards. Just 56-percent of Iwundu’s total shot percentage were jumpers, while Hart and Thornwell both came in the mid-60’s, percentage-wise. These three players had good size and strength, enough that they could get to the basket at the college level, though they will be dealing with different size and speed at the NBA level. On the other side of that, Kennard, Monk, and Mitchell all took jumpers as at least 80-percent of their total shots, though all have some ability to get to the basket. Monk and Mitchell are fantastic athletes, but tended to settle for quick jumpers. Kennard used screens well to get into the lane, but just didn’t have enough speed or strength to beat the last defender, so he often settled for short jumpers in the lane.

 

To wrap this up, I decided to look at the players’ ability to create their own shot, and I’ve included the percentage of both two- and three-point jumpers which were assisted to help give an idea. Most players showed a strong ability to create their own two-point jumpers, though there was a big disparity between the group. Mitchell was assisted on less than 10-percent of his two-point jumpers. Hart was just over the 10-percent mark. While Mitchell relied on speed to create his openings, Hart did a great job using his size, strength, and smarts to create opportunities.  The remaining four players all had over 20-percent of their jumpers assisted, with Thornwell over 30-percent. While much higher than Mitchell and Hart, that’s still a wide majority of their two-point jumpers coming as unassisted.

 

There was more disparity in three-point attempts assisted. Thornwell again had the highest percentage of assisted shots, with just about 90-percent of his three-point shots coming with an assist. Hart and Monk were both over 80-percent assisted, but both were also lucky to play with fantastic point guards to get them the ball in the right spots. Iwundu was the lowest in the group with under 70-percent, a similar number to Buddy Hield last season, though the results were much different. While Iwundu would never been considered a very good shooter, the Kansas State offense also didn’t put him in great position for open long-range shots.

 

Overall, this a strong, and diverse, group of shooting guards, with almost all of them having skills that will translate to the NBA. The big thing will be getting them into the right situation, like Brogdon last year, for them to flourish.   




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