Thursday, June 24, 2010

NBA Draft Prospects: Quincy Pondexter, Washington

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Stats: 19.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg (3.0 off), 1.3 spg, 1.9 t/o's, 52.3% FG, 82.7% FT


  • Listed: 6'6", 220 lb, 22 yrs old
  • Combine: Did not attend the combine

About Him: Quincy Pondexter was a highly sought after recruit coming out of high school, but through the first three years of his career at Washington, he was unable to fulfill that lofty potential. The reasons Pondexter was so highly regarded are evident in simply looking at any youtube clip of him -- Pondexter is a well-built 6'6", 220 lb wing with long arms, solid perimeter skills, and excellent explosiveness.

As a senior, Pondexter's game and the work he has put in to develop his game really began to show. The most effective part of his game right now is his ability to attack the basket as a scorer. Averaging right around 20 ppg for the entire season, Pondexter got the majority off his offense in isolation situations where he proved to be a very difficult matchup. Showing a solid -- not flashy, but serviceable and effective -- handle and a quick first step, Pondexter really attacked the basket well this season. He's an excellent finisher around the rim, using that athleticism to dunk over defenders and his strength to absorb contact. He took more than six free throws a game as a senior, which goes to show his aggressiveness attacking the rim.

While Pondexter made some great strides as a slasher in his four seasons at U-Dub, he still has a way to go to improve his jumper. To be fair, Pondexter is without a doubt a better shooter than he was when he entered school. He has developed a decent little pull-up jumper, and he can knock down some floaters and runners in the paint, shots that weren't in his arsenal a few years ago. From three, Pondexter did shoot over 35%, but it was on a very limited number of shots.

Another interesting aspect of Pondexter's game is his efficiency. For someone who took as many shots as he did in an isolation situation, Pondexter had a low turnover rate and a high field goal percentage. He doesn't jack up a lot of shots, he doesn't force the issue offensively, and in general, he seems like a good decision maker.

This is one aspect of his game that he will need to continually improve. Pondexter got a lot of one-on-one opportunities playing in Lorenzo Romar's spread offense this season, but he doesn't necessarily project as a guy that is going to dominate possession of the ball in the NBA. In other words, he's going to be a role player. That means that Pondexter will be forced to develop an NBA-caliber perimeter shot if he wants to have a long career in the league.

One aspect of Pondexter's game that I really like -- and that I think will help him latch on to an NBA team -- is his motor. He plays the game very hard. He attacks the offensive glass, using his length and athleticism to grab three offensive rebounds a game this past season. He was always moving, cutting, and coming off of screens on the offensive end. Defensively, he is active and intelligent, seeming to understand helpside defense. He leadership on this end of the floor seemed like it really helped a Washington team that, in general, regarded defense as an afterthought this year. His physical tools should allow him to be a very good defender at either the two or the three at the next level.

  • Best Case Scenario: If Pondexter can improve his jump shot and become a respectable spot-up shooter, I don't see why he can't be a starter, a la Michael Pietrus, in the NBA. I think a more likely role will be a Travis Outlaw kind of player, potentially with a career arc similar to that of James Posey.
  • Worst Case Scenario: I think Pondexter will, at the least, hang around the NBA as a defender and hustle player. Think Trenton Hassell.
Outlook: I like what Pondexter brings to the table. He's an excellent athlete with pretty ideal physical tools that plays the game hard (on both ends of the floor), is a capable scorer, and understands his limitations offensively. Its possible that he slips into the early second round, where I think he will be a steal.


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