Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East, Part Four (#16-20)

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East, Part Four (#16-20)
Oct 13, 2010, 09:41 am
Continuing to evaluate the top returning NBA prospects in the Big East, we take a look at Syracuse's Brandon Triche, Seton Hall's Herb Pope, Pittsburgh's Dante Taylor, Dane Miller of Rutgers, and Dominic Cheek of Villanova.

Freshmen have been excluded from these previews, as we'd like to wait and see what they have to offer on the NCAA circuit before we come to any long-term conclusions.

-Top 20 NBA Prospects in the Big Ten
-Top 15 NBA Prospects in the Big 12
-Top 10 NBA Prospects in the Pac-10
-Top 15 NBA Prospects in the SEC

Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part One (#1-5)
Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Two (#6-10)
Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Three (#11-15)

#1 Kemba Walker
#2 Mouphtaou Yarou
#3 Kris Joseph
#4 Maalik Wayns
#5 Alex Oriakhi
#6 Kevin Jones
#7 Chris Wright
#8 D.J. Kennedy
#9 Terrence Jennings
#10 Darius Johnson-Odom
#11 Austin Freeman
#12 Gus Gilchrist
#13 Jarrid Famous
#14 Yancy Gates
#15 Gilbert Brown

#16 Brandon Triche, 6'4, PG/SG, Sophomore, Syracuse
8.1 points, 2.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 turnovers, 50% FG, 40% 3PT, 63% FT

Joseph Treutlein

After a solid freshman season as a minor cog in the Orange rotation, Brandon Triche should have ample opportunity to expand his role as a sophomore with Andy Rautins and Wesley Johnson moving on to the NBA. Fluctuating minutes and production were common from game to game for Triche this past season, but it was due more to a talented roster than anything else.

Standing 6'4 with pretty good length and a well-built frame, Triche has decent size for a combo guard, though he leaves much to be desired from an athletic standpoint, not being especially explosive with his first step or his vertical leap. He makes up for this somewhat by playing with a high motor and displaying an excellent basketball IQ, but overcoming athletic shortcomings will always be a concern for Triche.

From a skills standpoint, Triche brought a nice foundation to the table as a freshman, especially when viewed in combination with his know how for putting the skills to use. Seeing plenty of time both on and off the ball in the Syracuse offense, Triche displayed a versatile package of scoring and passing.

Triche's greatest asset at this stage of his development is probably his spot-up jumper, flashing range to the NBA three-point line and showing excellent accuracy spotting up. He moves very well off the ball and does an excellent job being ready in stance for the catch-and-shoot. Triche doesn't fare nearly as well pulling up off the dribble, however, as his accuracy falls off considerably in these situations and he shows problems when contested due to a tendency to bring the ball in front of his chest before going into his motion. That said, he already has all the makings of an excellent spot-up shooter, and it will be interesting to see how his percentages hold up with an expected role expansion this season.

In terms of attacking the basket, Triche does a good job picking his spots, mostly attacking on spot-up drives when he has a good angle on his man, looking best when he has straight lines to the basket. In pure isolation situations, Triche shows a very strong handle and a pretty good command of advanced moves, though his first step is weak and he doesn't elevate very well in the lane either. His finishing ability at the rim is sub-par, though he has no qualms about throwing his body around to get to the free-throw line, while he also uses a right-handed floater often, but his accuracy will need to improve considerably on that over his next three years in school.

Triche gets a lot of his scoring in transition where his first step is less of a concern and he has more opportunities to display his strong ability to read lanes, his excellent body control attacking the basket, and doesn't have to deal with big weakside defenders contesting his shots.

In terms of ball distribution, Triche is an unselfish player who exhibits great court vision, but he doesn't appear to be headed towards a role as a full-time point guard. He gets most of his assists in simple situations, be it hitting open shooters, cutters in the lane, or drive-and-kicks after one or two quick dribbles.

Defensively, Triche shows a very good level of effort and fundamentals, though he seems to be noticeably lacking in lateral quickness, especially against point guards but against shooting guards as well. He does a good job doing the little things, however, namely closing out on shooters and keeping his hands up, really maximizing his ability despite his sub-par athleticism. Triche's lateral quickness concerns are also very much shielded in Syracuse's zone, where there aren't many isolation situations throughout the season, something that could hurt his long-term development here.

Looking forward, Triche appears clearly on the path to becoming an excellent college player, though his long-term potential as an NBA prospect is still very much up in the air depending on his development over the next three years. His spot-up shooting, passing, and high basketball IQ and motor are things that should translate well when the time comes, but how he supplements those things with the rest of his game will likely determine his long-term success. Continuing to work on his floater and pull-up jumper should be among his main priorities, while obviously doing everything to maximize his athletic potential as well.

#17 Herb Pope, 6'8, Junior, Power Forward/Center, Seton Hall
11.5 Points, 10.7 Rebounds, 2.0 Assists, 0.8 Steals, 1.8 Blocks, 2.3 Turnovers, 45.9% FG, 42.9% 3FG, 49.6% FT

Having profiled Pope late in the season with a comprehensive scouting report just before he went through a scary collapsing incident, we've elected to wait and see what type of progress he's made with a fresh perspective in a few months, rather than rehashing many of the same comments made last year based off his 2009-2010 game footage.

#18 Dante Taylor, 6'8, Sophomore, Power Forward, Pittsburgh
4.1 Points, 3.7 Rebounds, 0.6 Blocks, 58.4% FG, 57.4% FT

Having profiled Taylor before his freshman season, we've decided to reassess what type of progress he's made in a few months rather than scrutinizing his development with a small sample of game footage.

#19Dane Miller, 6-7, Sophomore, Small Forward, Rutgers
9.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.7 turnovers, 1.0 steals, 1.1 blocks, 41.6% FG, 27.9% 3FG, 56.9% FT

Kyle Nelson

Though he was neither overwhelming productive nor efficient, Rutgers small forward Dane Miller nonetheless emerged as an intriguing prospect. Miller displayed tantalizing versatility throughout his freshman campaign, but he rarely performed to his potential.

Though his skill set is rough at this point, Miller is a special player from a physical standpoint. He has ideal size for an NBA small forward at 6'7 with good length and a solid 210-pound frame. Athletically, he is well equipped for the wing position, both in terms of quickness and explosiveness, and should transition easily to the next level.

While Miller's size and athleticism allowed him to play a versatile role, he is not a very polished offensive player. He averaged just 13.2 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted on 11.7 field goal attempts and 41.6% FG.

Miller scores most often in transition, though his 46.4% two-point shooting percentage represents his limitations in this area. His athleticism helps him in the open floor, but he is a surprisingly mediocre finisher around the basket due to his questionable shooting touch. Similarly, he has a good first step, but he struggled adjusting to defensive pressure last season, which often resulted in charging violations and turnovers. He is also a left-handed dominant player at this stage, which limits him as a slasher and shot creator.

Miller was used as a spot-up shooter last season, as well, but he shot just 27.9% from beyond the arc and made just 56.9% of his free throws. Miller has quite a few shortcomings as a shooter, primarily his lack of elevation, propensity to fade away, and deliberate shooting motion. Despite the bleak percentages, however, Miller's mechanics are far from unsalvageable and, as he is just a sophomore, he will have ample opportunities to improve upon his reputation as a shooter.

While he struggled in other areas, he did show some ability to create his own shot, displaying developing instincts and flashes from mid-range. He must continue to improve his ball handling and tighten up his shooting mechanics, but he was able to create space to pull up and shoot at the collegiate level. Miller occasionally ran the pick and roll for Rutgers, as well, showing solid passing instincts even if he was overambitious at times.

Miller is above average on the defense end at this point, but he has the potential to be spectacular. He is a very good man defender due to his length and lateral quickness. Even when he gets beaten off of the dribble, he has excellent timing and is able to disrupt his man. He is just average guarding the pick-and-roll, however, and he runs under screens far too often, relying on his athleticism to compensate for his mediocre fundamentals. If he wants to develop into an elite defender, then he improve his fundamentals while must maintain his awareness on the floor.

Ultimately, Miller will develop into a serious prospect when and if he becomes more consistent. His size and athleticism coupled with his versatility are certainly intriguing, but he was a remarkably inefficient scorer last year and rarely translated his potential into production. Without Mike Rosario and Hamady N'Diaye, Miller will play a larger role on both ends of the floor and scouts will be watching to see how he responds to the added responsibility.

#20 Dominic Cheek, 6'5, Sophomore, Small Forward, Villanova
4.9 Points, 2.5 Rebounds, 0.7 Turnovers, 45.3% FG, 65.4% FT

Having profiled Taylor before his freshman season, we've decided to reassess what type of progress he's made in a few months rather than scrutinizing his development with a small sample of game footage.

Recent articles

13.8 Points
5.3 Rebounds
3.5 Assists
16.8 PER
13.5 Points
10.3 Rebounds
1.6 Assists
15.8 PER
5.0 Points
3.9 Rebounds
0.5 Assists
20.7 PER
19.0 Points
11.8 Rebounds
4.0 Assists
27.3 PER
13.8 Points
5.7 Rebounds
3.3 Assists
12.8 PER
8.0 Points
1.8 Rebounds
2.1 Assists
15.3 PER
11.9 Points
6.5 Rebounds
1.3 Assists
22.6 PER
3.7 Points
1.8 Rebounds
0.5 Assists
6.7 PER
12.5 Points
0.0 Rebounds
2.5 Assists
27.3 PER
3.0 Points
6.3 Rebounds
0.7 Assists
9.0 PER
16.5 Points
6.8 Rebounds
1.3 Assists
23.3 PER
7.7 Points
1.1 Rebounds
2.5 Assists
9.8 PER
9.0 Points
4.6 Rebounds
2.4 Assists
19.3 PER
8.1 Points
6.2 Rebounds
0.8 Assists
17.0 PER
14.0 Points
2.7 Rebounds
4.0 Assists
25.0 PER
7.7 Points
3.0 Rebounds
2.3 Assists
8.3 PER
5.2 Points
4.8 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
10.6 PER
12.0 Points
7.8 Rebounds
1.4 Assists
20.0 PER
9.4 Points
5.5 Rebounds
0.6 Assists
18.3 PER
6.0 Points
3.0 Rebounds
4.0 Assists
2.8 PER
10.1 Points
2.1 Rebounds
1.1 Assists
10.9 PER
8.2 Points
3.4 Rebounds
1.7 Assists
19.0 PER
11.4 Points
3.0 Rebounds
1.3 Assists
6.5 PER

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop