-Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 1
(#1) Stanley Johnson (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 2
(#2) Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 3
(#3) Norman Powell (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 4
(#4) Jabari Bird (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 5
(#5) Delon Wright
(#6) Nigel Williams-Goss
(#7) Brandon Ashley
(#8) Kevon Looney
(#9) Reid Travis
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 6: Prospects #10-14
(#10) Joseph Young
(#11) Anthony Brown
(#12) Kaleb Tarczewski
(#13) Josh Scott
(#14) T.J. McConnell
#15, Chasson Randle, 6-2, Senior, PG/SG, Stanford
After a successful season that saw Stanford build on their 2013 NIT championship by advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament before losing to Dayton, Chasson Randle returns for his senior year hoping to build on a junior campaign that saw him finish as the fourth leading scorer in the Pac-12 at 18.8 points per game. He will once again be the team's top offensive threat and will hope to show scouts he has the skills needed to be on the radar of NBA teams, while attempting to lead the Cardinal back to the postseason.
Listed at 6'2, 180 pounds, Randle has an average build for a player of his size and skill set but has a very solid 6'6 wingspan to complement his frame. Randle also has solid quickness with the ball in his hands in the open court, making him a dangerous player in transition opportunities, which makes up 24% of his offensive possessions, according to Synergy Sports Technology. His wingspan and speed give him some interesting attributes to build on, but overall, he does not possess exceptional physical tools.
Randle has a variety of ways to score on offense and will need to highlight the ones that translate best to the next level to solidify his standing as a draft prospect. His most marketable skill is his outside shooting, as he shot 39.8% on all jump shots last season, according to Synergy, which included 38.9% on three point attempts. He is most comfortable in catch and shoot situations, where he shot 41.9% according to Synergy Sports, but he also demonstrated an ability to shoot off the dribble as well, hitting 40% of his 55 attempts. His wingspan allows him to shoot over taller defenders and he has strong fundamentals that show he can continue to be an accurate shooter.
Charged with being the first offensive option for the Cardinal, Randle often had the ball in his hands in the frontcourt. He was an efficient scorer as he posted a 55% effective field goal percentage, but he struggled to create for his teammates at a high rate. He had only 2.4 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season and posted an unimpressive -2.24 pure point ratio, one of the lowest rates among point guard prospects in our database. Randle struggled to find open teammates on drives which caused him to turn the ball over in traffic. When he did try to distribute, he wasn't able to find the proper pace and placement on his passes to allow his teammates the ability to catch and create. He will need to improve his passing skills significantly to complement his scoring skills and become a serious draft prospect.
Randle doesn't provide much value on defense, but his speed and length show some potential to have some impact on that end. However, he's not the hardest worker here, as he often is not in a defensive stance which means he is easily beaten off the dribble as he is not able to move his feet quickly. He then gives up easily when the ball is past him and doesn't always fight hard through screens. He will need to work harder on defense to make up for some of his physical limitations.
Elsewhere on the offensive end, Randle has some marketable skills but needs to show they can translate to the next level. He has improved his scoring around the basket as he shot 54.1% on attempts around the rim, up from 47.9% the previous year, according to Synergy Sports. He is great at drawing contact, attempting 7.0 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season. Despite his smaller stature, he goes to the rim looking for contact and is often able to finish for an And-1 opportunity, which he had 20 of last season.
Randle can also create his own offense out of the pick and roll, as he can use his quickness to carve through the defense and get to the rim. He was unable to find open teammates when the defense collapsed on him, which limited the effectiveness of the ball screens. In his senior season, he could boost his draft stock by improving his decision making on ball screens by doing a better job of knowing when to look for his own shot and when to find open teammates.
Randle is one of the best returning scorers in the country, but will need to show he can do more than that, including creating more for his teammates when his own shot isn't falling, and playing with better intensity defensively. Stanford lost some key players from their roster, so Randle may have to shoulder an even larger scoring role this season. Randle has an intriguing skill set for a point guard, but he will need to show a more rounded game on offense and a more concerted effort on defense to become a viable draft candidate.
#16, Xavier Johnson, 6-7, Junior, SF/PF, Colorado
After busting onto the scene as one of the more productive freshman in the Pac-12 during the 2012-2013 season, Xavier Johnson put together a fine sophomore campaign, averaging 12 points and 5.9 rebounds per-game as Colorado made the NCAA Tournament despite losing Spencer Dinwiddie to a knee injury mid-season.
Standing 6'7 with good length and solid, but not spectacular, all-around athleticism, it isn't hard to see what makes Johnson an intriguing NBA prospect on first glance. The 69th best prospect in the 2012 high school class according to the RSCI, Johnson combines nice physical tools for a small forward at any level with an above average feel for the game and the ability to do a number of things well on both ends of the floor.
Skill-wise, Johnson remains largely the same player we wrote about a year ago. He's an opportunistic slasher and finisher whose body control helps him overcome the fact that isn't always able to explode and finish everything above the rim. His size and feel for operating inside allow him to make contributions in the post and crashing the offensive glass as well, which is reflected in his 52% shooting from inside the arc. Away from the rim, Johnson can put the ball on the floor a bit and make shots both off the catch and off the dribble.
As we noted in our last report, Johnson made an outstanding 46% of his catch and shoot jump shots as a freshman according to Synergy Sports Technology, but did so in a small, 46-shot sample that would make his sophomore numbers worth monitoring. As a sophomore, Johnson showed an improved pull-up game, but made just 33% of his 83 catch and shoot jumpers, forcing some attempts and appearing quite streaky for stretches of the year. While Johnson is by no means an incapable shooter, he was unable to replicate his numbers as a freshman as perimeter attempts became a bigger part of his offensive repertoire more than half of his attempts were jump shots as a sophomore, compared to only 35% of his attempts as a freshman.
Looking ahead, it will be Johnson's ability to step into a feature role offensively that helps determine how he's perceived by NBA scouts in the coming years. He's a jack-of-all-trades type at this stage who can score in bunches when his shot is falling, but still makes fairly efficient contributions when it is not. With much of its core returning, aside from Dinwiddie who was sidelined for much of Pac-12 play, Colorado won't be starved for scoring, but if Johnson can find his rhythm from the perimeter on a more consistent basis and shoot a better percentage from the line, there's no reason he can't make an impression on scouts and carve out a bigger role for Tad Boyle's Buffalos.
Aside from his scoring ability, the Mater Dei (CA) product brings plenty of other things to the table at the NCAA level. He's a capable rebounder who shows good instincts pursuing the ball of the rim, an engaged, active defender, and an improved interior defender from his freshman year when he struggled mightily when matching up against interior scoring power forwards.
More of a roleplayer during the first two years of his college career, Johnson has some interesting tools for the NBA level, but will need to step into a more prominent role or improve as a shooter to solidify his potential as a roleplayer and take the next step as a prospect. Colorado is in position to have a terrific season, which will give Johnson every opportunity to improve his standing among NBA decision-makers.
#17, Tyrone Wallace, 6'4, Junior, Shooting Guard, California
Tyrone Wallace flashed an intriguing skill set during his freshman season at California, where he averaged 10 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted. While his rebounding, defense, and passing abilities allowed the freshman to stay on the court and contribute for the Golden Bears, his offensive efficiency limited his overall effectiveness, as he shot just 34.2% from the field and 22.4% from the three point line.
After an offseason spent focused on improving his jump shot, Wallace showed substantial improvement in year two at Berkeley. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Wallace generated 0.986 points per possession on jump shots during his sophomore season, a drastic improvement from the 0.679 he was at during his freshman season, turning what was a huge hole in his game into an above-average level of efficiency. The improvement was across the board, including catch and shoot possessions (0.98 points/possession, from 0.667), off the dribble (1.182, from 0.652), and from three point range, where he improved to 32.1% on 3.8 attempts per game, up from 22.4% during his freshman campaign.
Beyond the numbers, the form on his jump shot has been far more consistent, with less flare on his shooting elbow than he exhibited during his freshman season. Wallace can still battle through bouts of inconsistency, but projecting continued improvement is far more reasonable at this point.
A smooth athlete with a good change of pace, Wallace is a confident ball handler who is able to get into the paint. Once there, though, he struggles finishing around the hoop, shooting just 46.5% around the basket, per Synergy. Wallace generally has good touch around the rim with either hand, but he isn't all that explosive in traffic, and struggles at times finishing over length. He combats this by taking a good amount of floaters and runners in the lane, which he shows the ability to hit, but which also helps keep his free throw rate down.
Wallace's other main contribution on the offensive end comes from his passing. He has averaged 3.4 and 3.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted during his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively, despite sharing the backcourt with upper classman Justin Cobbs. Wallace sported a 1.73/1 assist to turnover ratio and a 0.71 pure passer rating, both solid marks for a shooting guard. Wallace shows good instincts as a playmaker and has a good feel for the game, and he makes good, quick reads with the ball in his hands. With the loss of Cobbs to graduation, it will be interesting to see how Wallace's role on the team changes as he now becomes the veteran presence in the perimeter rotation.
Wallace also moves well off the ball, doing a good job running off screens, using that space to either set-up a jumper or to use the screen to get into the paint. He doesn't have the quickest release on his jump shot, but is able to elevate and get off a clean look in these situations. Again, his continued development into a reliable jump shooter could open up this avenue of his game for increased usage.
The defensive side of the ball is where Wallace initially made his contributions, and is still a strength of his game. He has solid foot speed and, while only being listed at 6'4, has good length, which he uses well when denying penetration and challenging shots. His combination of length, foot speed on the perimeter, ability to change direction defensively, and his contributions on the defensive glass allows Wallace to effectively guard three positions at the NCAA level.
Wallace's role on the changing California team will be an interesting one to watch. With some young talent on the wings, Wallace could see some time at the power forward spot in a small-ball lineup, but he could also be asked to take on a bigger role in facilitating the half-court offense than he has in years past, a role which he has some tools to succeed in. When Wallace came to California, his defensive versatility and effort level kept him in the lineup despite an offensive game that was very much a work in progress. The massive strides he made in his offensive game last year, along with a role that could showcase his versatility, could combine to make Wallace an interesting player to watch in the Pac-12 this season.
#18, Tony Parker (GA), 6'9, Center, UCLA, Junior
After a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament run, UCLA lost Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, and Zach LaVine to the NBA Draft and the Wear twins to graduation. Put differently, the Bruins will be without 69% of its scoring, 69% of its rebounding, and 71% of its assists from its 2013-2014 team. If UCLA is going to pick up where it left off, it will need players like junior center Tony Parker to take a large step forward from reserves to starters.
Parker is no stranger to high expectations, having entered UCLA as a McDonald's All-American and a top-25 high school recruit. He spent his first two seasons battling through foul trouble, inconsistency, and a tumultuous relationship with former coach Ben Howland, however, even though he showed occasional flashes of potential as a sophomore Coming off of a solid performance this summer at [http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/08/08/a-breakdown-of-every-college-player-2014-adidas-nations-ucla-louisville-michigan-arizona-memphis/]adidas Nations, UCLA fans are hoping Parker takes the next step in his development while emerging as the anchor of their depleted post rotation.
At 6'9, with a massive 7'1 wingspan and a stocky 260-pound frame, Parker is a load in the paint in the Pac-12, even if he may be stuck between post positions at the next level. He is not the most explosive player, but possesses solid mobility, with quick feet and the ability to run the floor well in transition. Improving his conditioning and continuing to slim down his stocky frame will likely allow him to maximize his athleticism, as well.
As a result of Parker's limited role, any evaluation of his offense should be taken with a grain of salt, but he played nearly three times as many minutes as he did during his freshman season, while improving his efficiency metrics modestly across the board. In general, his 15.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted on a paltry 8.2% of UCLA overall offensive possessions reflects both this relative lack of productivity and his very limited role in the team offense.
Overall, Parker finds nearly 97% of his possessions around the basket. A closer look at Synergy's play type breakdown reveals, however, that only 29.4% of his shot attempts came out of post ups and he rarely, if ever, operated outside of the paint. This means that the majority of his possessions were either assisted, coming off cuts or passes into the post, or earned by chasing down offensive rebounds or loose balls. In these situations, Parker's combination of soft hands, quick feet, and shooting touch allow him to be an excellent finisher to the tune of 60% from 2-point territory.
Parker's back-to-the-basket game is a work in progress, but his potential here is intriguing. Particularly impressive is his ability to carve out position in the deep post and to exploit his clear physical advantages, notably his size and quickness, while operating on the block. On the other hand, Parker's rudimentary footwork limits him to basic spin moves and jump hooks at this point. Becoming more consistent in this capacity would greatly help his scoring efficiency, as improving his footwork could open up his post game significantly. As Parker is UCLA's most seasoned returning big man, scouts are expecting his role to increase and will be monitoring his progress accordingly.
On the defensive end of the floor, Parker's inconsistency and continued struggles with foul trouble severely limit his effectiveness. When he puts his mind to it, Parker can be a decent post defender, doing a good job of denying his man and holding his position on the block. With greater focus and aggressiveness, his combination of length and bulk could be an asset at the collegiate level. He struggles significantly to guard players away from the basket, however, lacking the lateral quickness to stay in front of driving big men and the foot speed to hedge on screens or close out on shooters. Likewise, he is not a particularly prolific shot blocker or rebounder, both areas that his physical profile suggests that he could improve upon with greater intensity and fundamentals.
At this point, scouts likely do not have a great idea of the type of player Tony Parker can become at UCLA, let alone at the next level. Right now he is an undersized center trying to transition to power forward who struggles to stay on the court due to his defensive limitations. While improving his conditioning, becoming less foul prone, and developing his raw skill set could ease his transition, he has a ways to go to convince scouts that he is a prospect at either position at this stage.
This evaluation aside, Tony Parker will have plenty of opportunities during his junior season to convince scouts that he is a different player than he has been thus far in his collegiate career. More than most prospects, Parker's stock could improve significantly if he can find a way to stay on the court and help power UCLA's rebuilding effort.
#19, DaVonte Lacy, 6-4, Senior, Shooting Guard, Washington State
DaVonte Lacy earned Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention in his junior season by scoring 19.3 points per game for Washington State, second best in the Pac-12. He returns for his senior season hoping to lead the Cougars back to the postseason for the first time since his freshman year, while making an impression on NBA scouts.
Lacy took a big leap offensively from his sophomore to junior season, filling a void left by graduating seniors. He saw his field goal attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted jump from 11.2 to 16.2 but he also increased his efficiency at the same time, seeing a jump in effective field goal percentage from 52.8% to 54.5%. Most of this was derived from his three point shooting, as he shot 38.7% on 186 three point attempts, making more 3s than any player in the conference per-minute by a wide margin.
At 6'4, 206 pounds, Lacy has decent size and is built well for a shooting guard. While he isn't overly explosive, he has above average quickness and good speed in the open court. He could hold his own athletically against NBA players, but he won't have a distinct athletic advantage against most.
On offense, Lacy can be a one-trick pony at times, as he is almost exclusively a jump shooter, with 64% of his field goal attempts being three point shots and many of his other field goal attempts being mid-range jumpers. He is a dangerous shooter, as he made 38.7% on three point attempts and 39.8% on all jump shots, according to Synergy Sports. He moves well without the ball to find openings on the perimeter and has a quick, fluid release on his jump shot.
Lacy is great shooting off screens, as he sprints hard off screens to lose his defender before positioning himself for the pass. He then squares up quickly to the basket and has a quick release to get his attempt off before the defender recovers. While he will likely not be the focal point of a NBA offense, this will be a nice skill for him to have beside just being able to catch and shoot from a stand still position.
While Lacy showed the ability to get to the rim off dribble penetration at times, he rarely went this route and was more likely to look for a jump shot. He attempted only 50 shots at the rim last season, according to Synergy Sports. He also had the propensity to hold the ball or over dribble in isolation situations, which stalled the offense. When he did decide to attack through dribble penetration, he was not looking to pass the ball which allowed defenses to swarm him and put him in tough situations to execute. Being able to attack effectively off the dribble in the flow of the offense and being able to see his open teammates when defenses take away jump shots will help him become a more well-rounded offensive player.
Defensively, Lacy shows some potential to be a useful player, but doesn't look like he will be an impact player on that end. His combination of size and speed makes him an interesting prospect, but he doesn't quite have the length or lateral quickness to match up with bigger NBA players. He tends to drift defensively at times so he will need to show a more concerted effort to make up for his athletic deficiencies when facing top players to supplement his offensive skills.
As Lacy returns to Washington State for his senior season, he will be called upon once again to be the focal point of the offense. Lacy has some offensive skills a NBA team might be interested in, but he isn't well rounded enough on offense to make a big impact when defenses take away his shooting. Showing a more diversified skill set could have NBA teams take a longer look at him, as would demonstrating that his scoring can translate to his team winning more games.
#20, David Kravish, 6-10, Senior, PF/C, Cal
David Kravish has been an important part of Cal's lineup since the moment he arrived on campus in Berkley, starting nearly every game in three seasons while averaging 29 minutes per contest. Now entering his fourth and final year, it will be interesting to see whether he's able to progress from skinny, yet talented role-player into a possible NBA prospect.
Kravish's intrigue starts with his size, as he's now listed by the school as being 6-10, 240 pounds, and sports a solid wingspan. His frame is still on the lanky side but looks like it has room to grow as he continues to mature and fills out physically with age. And he's fairly mobile for a player his size, running the court well, being quick off his feet and showing solid quickness and coordination.
Kravish was a limited scorer as a junior, averaging just 14 points per-40 minutes, one of the lower rates among NBA prospect big men, partially a product of the minimal role he played offensively for Cal. He was very efficient with the touches he did get, though, posting a solid 55% 2-point percentage and shooting 74% from the free throw line.
Kravish saw a decent amount of his touches with his back to the basket for Cal, and despite his skinny frame, he was able to convert a solid 55% of his shots around the basket in post-up situations. Kravish has good fundamentals in the post to go along with very soft touch, as he's able to make turn-around jumpers and jump-hooks over either shoulder at a nice rate. He shows nice patience in the post and has a high release point on these moves, using the glass nicely and demonstrating solid scoring instincts that could bode well for his future as his frame continues to fill out. Lack of strength is currently a significant issue, as evidenced by how few fouls Kravish is able to draw both with his back to the basket, and in general.
Kravish also does a solid job playing without the ball, be it running the floor, cutting into open spaces, or finishing on the pick and rollthanks to his soft hands and solid mobility. He converted an excellent 67% of his attempts around the basket this past season, again a testament to his soft touch inside the paint.
Facing the basket, Kravish shows some potential, but is still more inconsistent than he should be considering how much of a role this part of his game will likely play in his future. He made 38% of his jump-shots this past season, looking fairly reliable from the mid-range area thanks to his solid shooting mechanics, and even knocking down a couple of 3-pointers. Extending his range out to the 3-point arc consistently would help his long-term prospects tremendously moving forward, as he's unlikely to play much of a role with his back to the basket against higher level competition due to his body type, and should try to transition to the power forward position as he gets older.
Kravish shows a nice feel for the game both on the perimeter and inside the post, making the extra pass willingly and unselfishly, and generally being a solid part of his team's offensive execution and ball-movement.
Defensively, Kravish shows nice timing, length and mobility as a rim-protector, averaging a 2.6 blocks per-40 minutes last season, third best in the Pac-12. He struggles badly in man to man situations inside the paint, though, as he currently lacks the lower body strength to keep opposing players from backing him down, as he's possibly missing a degree of toughness and physicality. Kravish is not a great rebounder either at this stage, pulling down just 9.5 boards per-40 minutes last season, possibly due to some of these same issues.
Kravish didn't do enough to distinguish himself as a bona fide draft prospect in his first three seasons at Cal with his sheer productivity, but he has some interesting tools at his disposal that could bode well for his future. With Cal losing two of their top contributors from last season in leading scorer Justin Cobbs and starting center Richard Solomon, as well as head coach Mike Montgomery to retirement, it will be interesting to see what Kravish can do to fill that void.