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Daniel Gibson NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
June 24, 2006
Strengths
In terms of physical attributes, Gibson passes the test for a modern day point guard or combo guard. He has decent size at 6-2, aided by his above average wingspan and excellent athleticism. Gibson is a shifty athlete, possessing very good quickness and overall footspeed, along with a nice first step, which allows him to move fluidly on the court and get by his man in half-court sets. His lateral quickness is excellent, which allows him to play good defense out on the perimeter.

Offensively, Gibson is a deadly threat on the catch and shoot, with range out to the NBA 3-point line, although he can get streaky depending on the flow of the game. He is excellent moving off the ball and possesses very nice shooting mechanics and an extremely quick release which makes him an excellent option to bring off screens and knock down shots in half-court sets or off the drive and kick. He elevates high off the floor and gets his shot off instantaneously even with a hand in his face. His physical attributes lead you to believe that he has the potential to develop into a bit more than just a spot-up shooter, though, mainly in terms of getting his man to overcommit to his shot and then blow by him for an easier mid-range shot or layup at the hoop.

Defensively, Gibson puts pride into this part of his game and was known as one of the top perimeter defenders in the Big 12. He gets low to the ground and has excellent lateral quickness and the smarts to know how to stay in front of his man. Gibson is also an accomplished ball-thief, with good length and excellent hands to get in the passing lanes and ignite the fast break.

In terms of intangibles, Gibson is a coach’s son and is never one to cause problems off the court. He is quiet, a very good student, and has an excellent attitude towards the game, with a solid work ethic and an overall good court demeanor.

Being only a college sophomore, he still has a considerable upside to continue to improve considering the intriguing tools he brings to the table. He was a very highly touted high school player, and many penciled him in for the lottery in 2006 before he failed to live up to expectations in his sophomore year after regressing significantly in his point guard skills.

Weaknesses
Gibson is a 6-2 shooting guard and has proven time after time that he cannot be trusted to run an offense at the college level. His ball-handling skills are average and he lacks great vision (some would say tunnel vision) to find open teammates when putting the ball on the floor. When asked to play a lead ball-handling role or when pressured excessively bringing the ball up the court, he can be quite turnover prone and has a tendency to overdribble aimlessly.

His decision making often leaves something to be desired, as he’s either too aggressive and forces the issue excessively or gets very passive and is not a factor in his team’s offense. At this point in his career he is still learning when and how to slow down or speed up and play at the tempo that the game dictates. He has a tendency to float around aimlessly on the court at times and will struggle to make his presence felt. He was extremely inconsistent throughout the season, with huge highs like scoring 37 points against Baylor to extreme lows like his 3 point game against West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. His shot-selection in particular needs work.

As a slasher, Gibson still has a ways to go to be able to fully utilize his excellent tools. His ball-handling, as noted, is sloppy, and he does not look fully comfortable putting the ball on the floor going all the way to the basket. When he does get there, he is not a great finisher, as his lack of size and strength hinders him from finishing strong at the hoop in traffic. He would be well served to add polish to his floater and a better pull-up jumper to his game.

Gibson regressed from his freshman to sophomore season, and his team was often just as good with him off the court as they were with him. He had yet to establish himself as a great college player before entering the draft for good, and doesn’t have a wealth of experience under his belt to rely on when things get tough.

Competition
Gibson was one of the most highly touted players in the country and was named a McDonald’s All-American for his efforts. He came into Texas as a freshman and made a name for himself very quickly, being forced to take the team on his back midway through the season when PJ Tucker was named academically ineligible and LaMarcus Aldridge finished the year with a hip injury. Gibson was voted Big 12 freshman of the year and helped his team reach the NCAA tournament, where a poor game on his part saw his team lose to Nevada in the first round. He averaged 14.2 points a game with 3.9 assists, shooting 40% from behind the arc. There was some thought that Gibson would declare for the draft after his freshman season, and many considered him a top 20 pick or even a lottery pick before he announced he’ll be staying another year.

Coming into his sophomore season, expectations were sky high both for Gibson and the Texas Longhorns, considered possibly the most talented team in the country. Gibson started off the season as the team’s point guard, but was quickly moved off the ball when it became obvious that he doesn’t have the ball-handling skills under pressure or playmaking ability to effectively run a team. Gibson still struggled with inconsistency throughout the season and had to take a bit of a backseat offensively to players like PJ Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kenton Paulino. He was used mostly as a catch and shoot threat coming off screens, where he actually excelled due to his superior perimeter shooting ability. He finished the year averaging 13.2 points and 3.1 assists, shooting 38% from behind the arc.

Outlook
Gibson never regained the starting point guard spot at Texas and there were major questions whether he would be given the chance to work on his point guard skills in his junior year after the recruitment of McDonald’s All-American point guard DJ Augustin and the emergence of rising sophomore AJ Abrams. Gibson announced he’ll be staying in the draft at the pullout deadline and is widely believed to have a promise after conducting only two workouts (with Cleveland and Houston) and withdrawing from the Orlando pre-draft camp at the last minute.

Gibson’s eventual success in the NBA will largely be determined by the team he lands on. If asked to play the role of a true floor general who sets up his team’s offense and is expected to make everyone around him better, he will likely struggle. If he’s allowed to focus on his strengths—perimeter defense and shooting—playing next to a more traditional playmaker, he could certainly play a role in the NBA.


 


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