After testing the draft waters last year, and finding them extremely cold after a poor showing at the NBA pre-draft camp, Sean Singletary
decided on returning to Virginia for his senior year. His team has suffered after J.R. Reynolds
graduation, going 14-13 so far this season, including just 4-10 in conference play, down from 21-11 and 11-5 last year, winning the ACC. Singletarys numbers look very much like those he posted as a sophomore and junior, and in watching the tape, there really isnt much new to be said about him this year.
With Reynolds now gone, Singletary has taken over more responsibility of the ball in the offense, and his assist and turnover numbers have gone up accordingly. While he ranks 13th in our database in assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted, he also ranks 10th in turnovers, illuminating one of the major problems with his game.
As a point guard, Singletary does much of his creating through drive-and-kick situations, where he does a very good job of penetrating with his head up, and then finding the open man on the perimeter with the ball. He also does a solid job running the pick-and-roll and feeding the post, making all the passes a point guard needs to in the half-court. He is prone to over-dribbling and dominating the ball, though, along with trying to force the issue with his drives, trying to penetrate into too tight a space, which leads to many of his turnovers through either losing the ball, committing an offensive foul, or traveling. Despite his good court vision, hes also prone to questionable passes at times, showing errors in judgment, which also cause many turnovers. Singletary's dominating style will likely be a problem for him at the next level, as he's not a good enough player to dominate the ball like a Stephon Marbury
or Steve Francis
. How he adjusts to spending less time with the ball in his hands will be important to his success.
As a scorer, Singletary is immensely talented, having an excellent jump shot, with great form and a high, quick, and consistent release. With his excellent ball-handling skills and quickness, he creates separation very well to get his jump shot off, either from behind the arc or from the mid-range. Singletary is at his best using crossovers and stepbacks to get open shots from the perimeter, which he does very well with when he gets his feet beneath him.
Singletarys decision-making problems come into play here as well, though, as hes prone to forcing up contested and/or off-balanced shots unnecessarily, and his effectiveness falls off considerably with these higher difficulty shots, as to be expected. Singletary also will pull up from NBA three-point range early in the shot clock at times, or pull up for a contested three-pointer in transition without teammates under the basket, not showing the best judgment in using his offensive abilities the best he could. To his credit, he is able to hit on some of these high difficulty shots at times, and when he does show the patience to get separation and get his feet beneath him, hes a very good shooter from both mid and long-range.
In terms of attacking the basket, Singletary uses his quickness and ball-handling well here also, mixing in changes of speeds to get deep into the lane, using screens when necessary as well. Hes not the greatest finisher at the basket due to his size, but hes very good with a right-handed floater in the lane, and is fearless in terms of taking contact to get to the free-throw line when going to the hoop. Singletary looks best attacking the basket in up-tempo situations, when the defense isnt set and he doesnt necessarily have to worry about a help-side big man on defense, where he uses his exceptional speed and ball-handling to weave through the defense and get to the basket.
Looking at his offense as a whole, while Singletarys field-goal percentage is up from 40% to 43% on the year, its slightly misleading, as all things considered, hes not a more efficient scorer this season, with his TS% being down from 58% to 56%. These changes are primarily because hes taking only one third of his field goal attempts from behind the arc this year, as opposed to nearly half of them last year. Hes also getting to the free-throw line slightly less, and these two things combined point to more of his offense coming from the mid-range.
On the defensive end, Singletary is a mixed bag, as he shows great hands and the ability to make some stellar plays, picking off steals in man-to-man defense or from the weakside, but he often overplays, leading to blow-bys. He also sags off his man when he doesnt have the ball, leading to open shots, and doesnt fight very hard through screens, leading to more open shots. Despite his quickness, he also gets beat laterally more than he should.
As a senior, Singletary will automatically be in the draft this year, and hell have another chance to go to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, where he can attempt to do a better job than he did last year, where he had a very underwhelming performance, mostly due to the same poor shot selection, dominant ball-handling and poor decision-making that hurts him at times at Virginia. Singletary will also have the option of going to the Portsmouth pre-draft camp that is in Virginia, and he should strongly consider doing that, as putting all his eggs in one basket at Orlando could spell trouble for him, especially if he repeats last years performance. With his outstanding talent, Singletary will be in second round discussions, and he has a chance at becoming a solid backup point guard in the league if he can improve on his decision-making and defense.