Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC Part Three (#11-15)

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC Part Three (#11-15)
Oct 23, 2009, 10:00 am
In our third preview of this year’s ACC draft prospects we take a look at Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney, Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez, Wake Forest’s Ty Walker, Miami’s DeQuan Jones, and Duke captain Jon Scheyer.

As a reminder, incoming freshmen have been excluded from this series.

-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10), Part Three (#11-15)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12 Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10), Part Three (#11-15)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-10 Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#5-10)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#5-10), Part Three (#11-15),
Part Four
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10),—3327
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC Part One (#1-5), Part Two (#6-10)

#11 Malcolm Delaney, 6’3, Junior, Point Guard, Virginia Tech

Having profiled Delaney already this year we’ll wait until the season kicks off to revisit his scouting report.

#12 Greivis Vasquez, 6’5, Senior, Guard, Maryland

Having profiled Vasquez late last spring, we’ll wait until the season kicks off to revisit his scouting report.

#13 Ty Walker, 7’0, Sophomore, Center, Wake Forest

Matthew Williams

After scoring just 10 points in 11 games last season, Ty Walker’s freshman season at Wake Forest was, in a word, quiet. Emerging in his senior season at New Hanover HS (NC) as one of the top center prospects in his class, Walker spent the vast majority of last season on the bench after declining the opportunity to redshirt, forcing him to improve his game in practice. With James Johnson moving on the NBA, but Al-Farouq Aminu, Tony Woods, Chas McFarland all returning, this season may be a transformational one for the young center –as he’ll likely see considerably more minutes, but will have to maintain his intensity in practice to earn additional time. As far as the NBA goes, Walker has a lot of ground to cover to legitimize his stock, but size is always at a premium, and he’s amongst the more impressive players we’ve covered in that regard.

Standing right around 7’0, Walker boasts a 9’5 standing reach and a 7’6 wingspan. To put those numbers in perspective, our measurement database shows that he ranks amongst the longest players we have data for in the last 20 years, matching Hasheem Thabeet’s standing reach and JaVale McGee’s wingspan. While those numbers are certainly impressive, Walker’s physical profile remains a bit question. Entering Wake Forest weighing in around 210 pounds, he was far too skinny to effectively utilize his excellent length in the ACC, and while he’s added a considerable amount of bulk to his frame, he’s still a ways away from being ready to handle the rigors of the NBA on the block.

Aside from Walker’s excellent length and slender frame, he displays very nice end to end speed for a 7-footer and the leaping ability to make his presence felt as a shot blocker and offensive rebounder. As Walker packs on weight, it will be interesting to see how it impacts his mobility and explosiveness, as he’s quite an athlete for his height.

Walker’s athleticism accounted for essentially the entire small sample size of possessions he had last year, as the vast majority of them came on catch and finish dunks. Considering Walker played only 42 minutes last season, it will take him some time to translate the hard work he put in during practice into game settings. Displaying nice touch, a decent feel for passing the ball, and some versatility, Walker has some things to offer on the offense end if he can improve his strength, develop the consistency of his post game, and be more physical down low.

Though most big men take at least a year to really display their talents, Walker may take a bit more time on the offensive end, but will make an immediate impact defensively. Playing at the back of Wake Forest’s rotation will allow him to come off the bench and vigilantly protect the rim without too much pressure on him to stay out of foul trouble. Walker conceivably could have offered the Demon Deacons an intimidating shot blocking presence last season, but his lack of strength certainly would have limited in one-on-one situations on the block and made him a target of teams with experienced post scorers.

Extremely confident in his ability to take his game to the next level, Walker is a focused player who will essentially be a freshman this season. Playing next to another raw sophomore in Tony Woods and a senior who was comparably unproductive in his first season at Wake, Chas McFarland, Walker will get the chance to show how far he’s come since his high school days, but may not get the minutes to put himself on the 2010 draft radar. A late bloomer on the high school level, Walker’s NCAA career may follow a similar trajectory. Considering how much work he has to do on his physique and his lack of experience, Walker seems like a candidate to use up all of his eligibility, which means we’ll be keeping tabs on him for years to come.

#14 DeQuan Jones, 6-6, Sophomore, SF, Miami

Jonathan Givony

A very highly touted member of the 2008 high school class (ranked #22 by Scout, #23 by Rivals and #28 by ESPN), DeQuan Jones only managed to garner just 2.7 points in 11 minutes per game on 34% shooting on a non-NCAA tournament bound Miami team, leaving some Hurricane fans a bit disappointed in their supposed stud recruit.

Jones’ production as a freshman is barely worth mentioning, as there are almost no bright spots to be found anywhere in his stat-line. He struggled horribly to put the ball in the basket—scoring a paltry 9.6 points per-40 minutes pace adjusted--and even when he did, was only able to do so on awful percentages, 38% from 2-point range and 1/15 total from beyond the arc on the season. He turned the ball over twice as often as he garnered an assist, coughing the ball up on 25% of his used possessions. Needless to say, Jones did not do much to show that he deserved more playing time than Frank Haith was willing to give him throughout the season.

From a physical standpoint, it’s not hard to see what got the recruiting analysts excited about Jones’ potential, as he has good size for the wing position at around 6-5, to go along with a chiseled frame, long arms and outstanding athletic ability. Jones has a terrific first step, is incredibly quick off the floor, and is capable of throwing some highlight reel caliber dunks thanks to his fantastic leaping ability, particularly in transition.

The problem is that Jones has no idea how to utilize his athletic gifts at this point, as he’s an incredibly limited ball-handler and has almost no range to speak of on his very streaky jump-shot. Jones struggles badly trying to create his own shot, often looking completely out of control with his head down on his way to the rim, being incapable of changing directions with the ball. To compound this problem, his decision making can be exceptionally poor at times, particularly in terms of his shot-selection. He tends to break off from the offense and pull-up off the dribble wildly for no particular reason, resulting in some very bad misses. Needless to say, Jones’ basketball IQ has a long ways to go from what he showed as a freshman.

Defensively is where Jones is more than capable of compensating for his shortcomings on the offensive end, as he has all the tools to be a lockdown defender, and then some, even at the NBA level. His size, length, frame and terrific athleticism should allow him to guard multiple positions down the road, and you already saw flashes of that this past season where Frank Haith would ask him to defend the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer. Unfortunately Jones isn’t there quite yet on this end of the floor either, as both his fundamentals and awareness are fairly poor, and he tends to lose his focus easily and get out of his defensive stance, letting mediocre college guards blow right past him as if he wasn’t even there. He’s capable of making some big plays from time to time, mostly in the form of steals and blocks, but has a long ways to go before he reaches his full potential here.

In terms of productivity or actual skill-level, Jones has no business being named amongst the top players in pretty much any conference, let alone the ACC. Looking at his physical attributes and long-term upside, though, there is a lot to like here from an NBA perspective. Jones should be able to at the very least develop into a Dahntay Jones-type defensive stopper if he continues to put the work in, and considering that he’s only 19 years-old right now, could still develop considerably at the college level over the next few years.

#15 Jon Scheyer, 6’5, Senior, Shooting Guard, Duke

Matthew Williams

A staple of Duke’s rotation for the last three years and a captain for the upcoming campaign, Jon Scheyer enters his senior season looking to build on a year where he led the Blue Devils in steals (1.6), assists (2.8), and three-point percentage (38.5%). After seeing his minutes decline from his freshman to his sophomore season, Scheyer rebounded last year with improved productivity, though he posted the worst field goal percentage of his career at 39.7%. A capable spot up shooter who has built his resume at a top program; Scheyer certainly has some things going for him from an NBA perspective, but will have to earn a spot in the second-round with his play this season due to his obvious shortcomings.

A known commodity at this point, Scheyer’s physical profile remains his biggest weakness from an NBA perspective –making the way he performs on the floor this season that much more critical to his draft stock. A bit undersized and a step slow, Scheyer has never been projected as an NBA star and certainly won’t be picked in the draft based on his upside. However, with three seasons of work under his belt, he has developed some tools that could allow him to make a roster as a roleplayer. His ability to showcase those tools and improve his efficiency will dictate where we have Scheyer slated next spring.

A very capable perimeter scorer, Scheyer’s best asset for the next level is his shooting stroke. Nearly half of the shots he attempted last season were catch and shoot jumpers, regardless of whether they were coming from spot up situations or from running off of screens. The sheer ratio of outside to inside shots Scheyer took accounted for the dip in his overall field goal percentage from 44.4% as a sophomore to 39.7% as a junior. Displaying a smooth release and textbook form that he doesn’t often alter under pressure, the Glenbrook North product makes opposing defenses pay dearly for leaving him open, scoring 1.36 points per possession on open spot up jumpers according to Synergy Sports Technology. Unfortunately, Scheyer’s efficiency falls off the map when he’s well defended with his feet set or after putting the ball on the floor, as his points per-possession on contested catch and shoot jumpers falls all the way to 0.84 in spite of his quick release. Not elevating well on his attempts, Scheyer has an outstanding shot selection for a pure jump shooter, but his inability to create separation with his first step and lack of consistency when defended will be two aspects of his perimeter arsenal to keep an eye on, as they detract from his overall efficiency and ability to be considered a shooting specialist.

In the rare occasions Scheyer drives into the teeth of the defense, he displays some unusual talents, though they aren’t likely to translate to the next level. Not much of a finisher due to his lack of leaping ability, Scheyer gets to the line at an outrageous rate for a jump shooter, landing amongst the top 20 qualified players in our database in FTA/FGA. For someone who doesn’t venture to the rim often and is lights out from the foul line, Scheyer’s basketball IQ is never more apparent than it is when he’s drawing fouls from the midrange.

Unlike most pure shooters, Scheyer can be an asset in other ways, and while his athleticism will limit his ability to make a big impact on the next level, his extremely high basketball IQ helps him fill smaller roles. An extremely steady guard who doesn’t make many spectacular plays, Scheyer is a heady passer and crafty ball handler –two things that helped him perform admirably after moving to the point guard position for stretches late last season. With more opportunities to prove his mettle as a playmaker likely on the way this season, Scheyer’s ability to handle pressure and create baskets for his teammates will be important to his stock and Duke’s success. Though he won’t be a major drive and kick threat on the next level, if Scheyer can improve his ability to run an offense it certainly won’t hurt his cause moving forward.

Defensively, Scheyer’s savvy and anticipation help him make an impact on the college level, but aren’t as advantageous from a NBA perspective. Already showing a lack of lateral quickness against lesser competition, Scheyer doesn’t project as a good defender on the next level. Showing excellent fundamentals, a high effort level, and outstanding awareness in the passing lanes, the young guard’s lack of physical strength and foot speed will likely make him a target in isolation situations and force his teammates to compensate for his shortcomings should he make it to the NBA.

It is hard to discount the basketball IQ and winning mentality Scheyer has displayed during his time at Duke, but his poor shooting percentage, lack of physical tools, and defensive ability will require him to have a big senior season to cement himself as an NBA prospect. With Gerald Henderson moving on, Scheyer would be well served to take advantage of his absence to have a career year. A strong candidate to compete in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament if his past performances are an indication of what he’ll show this season, Scheyer could sneak onto the bottom some draft boards with strong play in the ACC, but he faces an uphill. Playing for a big program, any progress he makes will be magnified, putting his skills, consistency, and lack of athleticism under than much more scrutiny.

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