Monday, December 31, 2007

Tyler Smith - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 13.6 ppg, 6.7 rpb, 3.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 2.2 t/o's, 54% FG, 71% FT, 38% 3's

About Him: Tyler Smith is one of the most versatile players in the country. He can play both the wing and the post offensively and defensively at the college level, although given his height (6'7") and mobility he probably projects as a wing in the NBA. The biggest knock on Smith's game right now is his lack of a jump shot. Although his shooting was greatly improved from his freshman season at Iowa (up to 54% from the field and 38% from deep), his mechanics still look fairly awkward, and he only took wide open jumpers (he took one 3 per game). Smith is a very good rebounder, using his athleticism to attack the glass on the offensive end. He is also effective in transition because he can run the floor and finish. But the most impressive aspect of his game offensively is his passing ability. He has great court vision and awareness and can make any pass. He can pick up assists passing out of the post as well as he can throw no-look passes leading a fast break. Defensively, he is very active and can defend in the post or on the wing. He's not quite as effective in the post because of his size, but he is good at using his quickness to get around and front his man. On the perimeter, he could still use some work on his lateral quickness, but he is pretty good at positional and help side defense (he picks up a good amount of charges) and he uses his long arms to get in the passing lanes.

Comparisons: Josh Howard (stretch), John Salmons

Bottom Line: Smith could have snuck into the back of the first round if he had decided to come out, but most likely was a second round pick. But if he can improve his jump shot enough over the course of his junior season he can sneak into the lottery in the 2009 draft.

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