Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NBA Draft Prospects: Tyreke Evans, Memphis

Stats: 17.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.1 spg, 3.6 t/o's, 45.5% FG, 27.4% 3PT, 71.1% FT

Listed Size: 6'5", 195 lb, 9/19/1989 (19 years old)

(photo credit:

About Him: Tyreke Evans had a bit of an up-and-down season. He struggled early on in the year, as he appeared to be a bit uncomfortable with his role on the team and the amount that the Tigers relied upon him creating shots. But midway through the season, Calipari slid Evans over to the point (where he played during prep and AAU ball). Evans was much better at the point, and the Tigers subsequently went on a long win streak.

Evans proved himself an effective scorer in his one year at Memphis, but it was not a result of his shooting ability. Not to be harsh, but Evans is a flat out bad shooter from the perimeter. He averaged just .86 PPP (points per possession) in catch-and-shoot situations and .69 PPP in jumpers off the bounce. His form is pretty terrible, and will need to be overhauled once he gets drafted if he wants to ever be an effective long-range shooter. Right now, he shoots from almost behind his head, while having a natural fade (not in a good way) on just about every jumper he takes.

Evans is a pretty creative player getting to the basket. While he struggles a bit in half-court, 1-on-1 situations (just .54 PPP in those scenarios), he is very effective in the open court. Not an overwhelming athlete, Evans instead gets by because he has a crafty handle, full of hesitations and fakes that he is very adept at using to keep defenders off-balance. He also has an insane wingspan for someone his size (over 7 feet), which allows him to finish effectively at the rim despite not being the most explosive leaper.

Evans also proved to be a pretty good creator for his teammates as well, averaging almost four assists per. While he had a tendency to force the issue (not only passing the ball, but off the bounce as well), leading to higher turnover numbers than scouts like, much of Evans inefficiency offensively can be attributed to him being thrust into a tough role with the Tigers - he was the only guy on that team that could create his own shot.

The place where Evans can be a game changer in the NBA is on defense. His length and anticipation make him a terror in the passing lanes, and he is a good enough athlete that he should be able to guard both points and twos in the league.

Comparisons: Best Case: Larry Hughes on a good day; Worst Case: washed up Larry Hughes.

Bottom Line: The biggest question mark regarding Evans right now is the role he will play in the league. He does have some point guard skills, but he was inefficient at Memphis and really dominated the ball offensively. And while he can put points on the board in a hurry (especially if he plays in an uptempo system), his jump shot is not good enough for an NBA two-guard. Evans clearly has a nice feel for the game and how to score - he is very poor fundamentally - and some nice tools to work with. If he puts in the work and ends up in the right system, he could be a solid starter/scorer down the road.


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