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Dwayne Jones NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
April 16, 2005
Strengths
Dwayne Jones has all the physical tools you look for in a solid big man rotation player in the NBA.

He is built like a rock and has great size at about 6-10 (although he's listed at 6-11) on a terrific NBA body that is already chiseled to perfection. He is extremely athletic, he runs the floor very well, possesses a very good vertical leap and is extremely quick off his feet. He has gotten better consistently every year in many key areas since his freshman year, and there is no reason to believe that he won't continue to do so since he has a very good work ethic.

Defense is Jones' forte as of right now. He is a terrific shot blocker, thanks to his strength, wingspan and outstanding vertical leap, and can block shots with either hand which is a nice skill to have from a player his size. Weak-side shot blocking is where he excels the most right now, he is very quick to rotate over and elevate for an emphatic rejection. His timing is extremely impressive and this leads you to believe that this is certainly a skill that will translate over to the NBA.

Thanks to his body, timing and athletic ability, Jones is a terror on the offensive glass. This is where he scores most of his points, as getting touches offensively are very hard for him to come by in St. Joe's extremely perimeter oriented offense. That, along with setting picks seems to be his main role right now in St. Joe's offense. Occasionally he will get the ball after sealing off his man, and Jones is always sure to finish strong around the basket with an emphatic dunk.

Weaknesses
Jones is an extremely raw player offensively. He is unable to generate any points unless he is located and catches the ball directly under the rim, and even here, he can only finish with his right hand. He gets confused when receiving the ball in a position where most players would just lay it in with his left, he'll have to switch the ball to his right and only then go up, and by then its often too late. Footwork, post-up moves, hook shots, etc...those are things we'll hopefully have to wait until next year to talk about him showing sparks of, because its WAY too early right now for that.

Jones has no range outside of five feet, as his 53% from the line would attest. His hands are a bit questionable at times, as he has trouble catching balls that aren't thrown right at him. When he does try to create offense for himself, he will often cause silly turnovers like spinning right into a double team for an offensive foul or trying to put the ball on the floor which is a big no-no for him right now. He's a very mechanical player offensively, and has trouble passing the ball out of the double (or sometimes even single) team.

Defensively, while he is a terrific weak-side shot blocker, he still has his work cut out for himself. He often risks his defensive position to come up with blocks, and will get punished for that by leaving his man open for an easy lay-up, or by getting caught out of position on defensive rebounds. It's not rare to see him bit on pump fakes still, although he has gotten a little bit better in this area. Generally speaking, his man to man defense needs a lot of work. This is the type of thing that can only come from playing time, though, as its mostly a matter of experience and learning from mistakes. If he is pulled away from the basket than Jones and his team are in real trouble. He has serious problems defending the perimeter, as his footwork here is not good enough and he uses his hands way too much instead of his feet.

That's an issue for Jones and the NBA draft, as at 6-10 NBA teams would like to be able to see him play at least a little bit of power forward, but he lacks the skills to do so on both ends of the court. If we're already nitpicking, it would be nice to see him get even stronger in his lower body, as he'd probably be even more explosive off the floor should he do so.

His decision making in general is not up to par right now with his physical ability, he's simply a raw player mentally, experience-wise, and in terms of his skill set. Luckily for him, he'll be the best player on his team next year at St. Joe's, and should have every opportunity in oodles of playing time and hopefully more touches (its hard to imagine them not needing some offense from him) to get better at his mostly correctable (but very obvious) flaws.

Competition
Plays at St. Joe's, a strong team in a decent mid-major conference that was down this year. Last year, led by Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, his team made the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. This year they reached the Finals of the NIT and lost to South Carolina.

He had a rare NCAA triple-double this year against St. Bonaventure with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks.

Outlook
Jones has declared for the draft in order to get feedback from teams on what he needs to improve on and see how he stacks up against other NBA draft prospects at his position. In my mind, there is absolutely no way in the world that he gets drafted in the 1st round, although I suppose stranger things have happened before. He is most likely a mid-2nd rounder or so at this point if he stays in, with a strong possibility of going undrafted. He most definitely needs to go back to school for another year and work on ALL of his skills, because besides weak-side shot-blocking, there is nothing he does even close to well enough to play in the NBA at this point. Athletic big men who can't score don't make as much money as you might think in Europe either.

Next year, if he improves, he will have a shot to move himself into the first round. He has some serious physical tools that most draft prospects can only dream of, he just has to be patient and learn how to use them.

 


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