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D.J. Richardson

RCSI: 33 (2009)
Height: 6'3" (191 cm)
Weight: 188 lbs (85 kg)
Age: 28
Position: SG
Jerseys: #11, #1, #32, #0
High School: Findlay Prep High School (Nevada)
Hometown: Chicago, IL
College: Illinois
Current Team: Aix-les-Bains
Win - Loss: 1 - 0

Articles

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part Three (#11-15)

Walker Beeken
Walker Beeken
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Kamalsky
Matt Kamalsky
Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Sep 06, 2010, 10:56 pm
Jonathan Givony

Playing 31 minutes per game for Bruce Weber at Illinois, D.J. Richardson was one of the most valuable freshmen in the Big 10 last season. Not a big time scorer, but rather more of an offensive facilitator, defender and shooting specialist, Richardson showed unique poise and maturity considering his young age.

57% of Richardson's shots came from beyond the arc, which tells you quite a bit about his role for Illinois offensively. He made an excellent 39% of those attempts, giving him a nice framework to build off as he moves forward in his career. He does a good job moving off the ball and coming off screens, and is very dangerous when able to get a shot off with his feet set.

Richardson is not a particularly impressive physical specimen, as he's somewhat undersized for a shooting guard at 6-3, and doesn't possess a great frame or overwhelming athleticism to compensate for that. He struggles taking contact around the basket, lacking strength and explosiveness, and is not very efficient at all scoring inside the arc, posting a very poor 41% conversion percentage from 2-point range, and getting to the free throw line at an unimpressive rate.

With that said, Richardson is a very intelligent guard who understands his role offensively and managed to string together a positive assist to turnover ratio as a freshman. He moves the ball around nicely, rarely forces the issue, and seems to be a highly unselfish player who is always willing to make the extra pass.

Richardson is very effective as a spot-up shooter, but he is not quite as effective when forced to create for himself off the bounce. If he wants to show that he's capable of making the transition to playing the combo guard, he'll need to show that he can be a little more effective in pick and roll and one on one situations. Similarly, he could stand to improve his off the dribble jumper.

Defensively, Richardson had some impressive moments as a freshman, showing great smarts and fundamentals staying in front of his matchups, and maintaining a high intensity level on virtually every possession he played.

With that said, he has some limitations, as he often gives a couple of inches in height to wing players he matches up with in the Big 10, and doesn't always have the length, strength or explosiveness to compensate for that. He's a poor rebounder for those exact reasons, pulling down a meager 3.4 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted, playing on a team that was hardly known for its rebounding ability.

Richardson does not project as a high-level NBA prospect at the moment due to the concerns over his limited physical attributes and shot-creating ability and the question marks about his true position. Only a freshman, Richardson still has plenty of time to round out his all-around game and prove his mettle as a terrific role-player who can operate effectively in a system as a rotation piece. It might take him a few years, but there is definitely room at the highest levels of pro basketball for smart, skilled and versatile guards who understand how to play the game, which is exactly what Richardson is.

National Prep Showcase--Elite Prospects

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Nov 24, 2008, 02:12 pm
Another cog in the well oiled machine known as Findlay Prep (essentially a college team playing high school basketball), D.J. Richardson (#66 Scout, #57 Rivals, #56 ESPN) did a very good job outlining what his future role will look like at Illinois starting next season.

Undersized for the wing (listed at 6-3, but possibly 6-4), but showing a very good frame, Richardson is a super versatile shooting guard with good, but not great athleticism and a very complete all-around game. Richardson showed to be a very good shooter with his feet set, capable of elevating nicely off the floor to create separation and knock down spot-up 3-pointers, and even looking comfortable creating his own shot and pulling up off the dribble from mid-range. He is also very effective in transition, showing excellent decision making skills and the basic ball-handling skills needed to get to the rim and finish effectively. Moving off the ball, he is extremely intelligent and regularly was rewarded for his cuts with passes for easy finishes, which he executed with both hands.

Extremely unselfish and very fundamental sound, Richardson was one of the more mature players seen in Rhode Island. He plays a very controlled style of basketball, rarely making mistakes and doing a terrific job getting his teammates involved. He can bring the ball up the floor and get his team into their half-court offense, even if it’s pretty clear that he’s more of a 2/3 at the moment than he is a combo guard. He has a bit of shake to his game, but does not look very comfortable stepping up and taking too much offensive responsibility on this team, which is fine on this team considering how talented and aggressive his backcourt mates Cory Joseph and Avery Bradley are.

Defensively, Richardson was just as effective this weekend, looking intense and aware and doing a good job for the most part on most of the players he was asked to guard, even if his size isn’t always ideal.

Considering how complete a player Richardson is (think Courtney Lee), there is very little to nitpick at the moment, although there will surely be things he needs to work on once the competition level raises after he arrives at Illinois. He didn’t display much of a go-to mentality when his team was searching for a spark in certain moments against a terrific St. Mark’s team, and his upside looks a bit limited compared to some of the other players seen here. Still, it would be hard not to get excited about his prospects at the collegiate level if you’re an Illini fan, as he looks ready to step in and play for Bruce Weber right away, and should be able to contribute in a number of different areas.

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