A largely unheralded high school recruit, Ryan Anderson, unexpectedly blossomed into an immediate contributor for Steve Donahue at Boston College, averaging 11 and then 15 points per game in his first two seasons respectively.
Now as the third leading returning scorer in the ACC per-minute, and fourth best returning rebounder, Anderson will be expected to take his game to an even higher level as a junior, attempting to help Boston College return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.
Anderson does not possess overwhelming physical attributes, which is likely one of the reasons he slipped between the cracks as a high school recruit. He has decent size at 6-9 in shoes, but has an average wingspan and a frame that could still stand to add more weight. He's not particularly athletic either, lacking great quickness or explosiveness, which hampers him somewhat in the college game, and will likely become more of an issue at the pro level.
With that said, Anderson is a versatile offensive player, possessing a fairly high skill-level that allowed him to emerge as one of the best scorers in the ACC last season, and should give him at least a fighting chance to make a NBA roster by the time he's finished at BC.
Anderson sees his touches in a multitude of ways, be it on post-ups, as a pick and roll finisher, off cuts, via the offensive glass, running the floor in transition, or spotting up in the mid-range area. He's a smart and fundamentally sound big man, showing nice passing ability, good footwork, soft touch around the basket, and the ability to move off the ball intelligently and contribute to his team's ball-movement.
His back to the basket arsenal is rudimentary, consisting mostly of short jump-hooks over his left shoulder taking advantage of his solid touch and the strength advantage he'll occasionally find against smaller matchups at the power forward position in the ACC. It's not something that's likely to translate to the highest levels considering his average size and athleticismhe gets his shot blocked a decent amount, and misses some make-able looks due to his below the rim style of play--but he can score effectively at times on the low block, and he gets to the free throw line at a great rate (7.2 times per-40).
29% of Anderson's field goal attempts came from beyond the 3-point line as a freshman, but as a sophomore he only took just 13 total attempts from that range. He instead shot a decent amount of mid-range jumpers, but wasn't terribly effective, making just 33% of his jump-shots on the season. Anderson doesn't have the prettiest shooting mechanics, as he takes a mostly one-handed jumper with his elbow flailing out to the side and a somewhat rigid release.
With that said, he shows decent touch on his jumper, so it's not out of the question that he develops this part of his game as his career progresses. It's something he'll likely need to in order to reach his max earning potential at the professional level (be it in the NBA or not), especially considering his athletic limitations.
The same can be said for his ball-handling skills, which are pretty solid for a college big man and help him draw a good amount of fouls attacking opposing big men off the dribble.
Defensively is where NBA scouts might struggle the most to project Anderson at the pro level. While he's a very intelligent player who uses his body and length as effectively as he can to take charges and play solid positional defense, he's limited somewhat by his lack of quickness and explosiveness. He has a difficult time staying in front of quicker big men off the dribble, will get backed down by stronger opponents, and isn't much of a presence inside the paint, blocking just 16 shots in 32 games last season.
Scouts will like how crafty he is sticking his elbow in his opponent's back at just the right time to get him off balance and help him come up with offensive rebounds, but his average length and vertical leap won't do him as many favors on the glass at the pro level.
All in all, Anderson is likely to be deemed a fringe NBA prospect upon finishing his time in college, but his skill-level and feel for the game will certainly help him get looks in the form of workouts, summer league invites and possibly a shot at making a team's roster. Continuing to improve his skill-level as much as he can between now and then and maximizing his physical potential will help his cause considerably, as will polishing up his defense.