Monday, May 31, 2010

NBA Draft Prospects: Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga

As we get closer to the NBA Draft, we will be reaching out to fellow bloggers for scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft. Today, we bring you Lazar Hayward, courtesy of The Slipper Still Fits, on twitter @SlipperStillFit

Click here to find all of our 2010 NBA Draft prospect breakdowns.

Stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.3 TO’s, 36.5 3PT%

Listed Size: 6’5”, 224 pounds, 22 years old

About Him: Even in his first couple games at Gonzaga University, it was clear that Matt Bouldin was going to be the next great guard to filter through the school. After an excellent performance against North Carolina in Madison Square Garden early in his freshman season, Bouldin moved into the starting lineup and would spend the rest of his career as an elite combo guard in the Gonzaga back court.

The first thing that most observers note about Bouldin is his elite combination of size and court vision. Bouldin is a legitimate 6'5" and has the unique ability to see over most of his defenders and locate the open man in the offense. Bouldin is a very unselfish prospect and is an excellent distributor in both the half court offense and on the fast break. While he improved his scoring each year at Gonzaga, he does not have the mindset to be a #1 scoring option in an offense, and is much more comfortable playing as a secondary option who can utilize his high basketball IQ to find open looks against the defense. Due to his size and strong build, he is an excellent rebounder from the perimeter, and is very comfortable finishing at the rim.

While Bouldin does a lot of things at a high-level, I'm hard pressed to name anything that he does great. When evaluating NBA prospects, I tend to have the belief that someone needs to be "great" at something to have a niche in the NBA. Bouldin does not possess NBA-level athleticism and will almost certainly be a liability on the defensive end. While he has the size and strength to guard an opposing PG, he does not have the lateral quickness to stay in front of a guy like Derrick Rose or Rajon Rondo. Throughout his career at Gonzaga, Bouldin struggled when facing elite BCS competition and athleticism, as he couldn't use his size and strength to get to the rim and finish. There is no doubt that his basketball IQ and the pace at which he plays the game is NBA quality, but his lack of athleticism and quickness is something that he might not be able to overcome.

Comparisons: It is really difficult to come up with a comparison for Matt, because most guys with his skill set tend to make their living playing in Europe. However, the one guy that I think Bouldin could resemble as an NBA prospect is Carlos Delfino. I think Delfino is a better shooter at this point, but the ability to rebound from the perimeter and also the high-level passing ability makes this the best comparison I could think of. If Bouldin can develop a little bit of the grittiness and toughess that Delfino has shown throughout his NBA career, he could definitely have a chance to fill that type of role for an NBA team.

Outlook: While I wouldn't bet on hearing his name called when the draft rolls around, Matt does possess the combination of size and basketball IQ that could cause one team to fall in love. If he is drafted, it will almost certainly be by a team that runs an offensive system that prefers the bigger PG's (think Ron Harper in the triangle offense with Phil Jackson) and can surround him with elite athletes. Bouldin is not the type of guy that will change the course of a franchise, but he does have the skill set to fit in as an excellent role player or option off the bench in the NBA.


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