Although hes still very much flying under the radar as far as the national media goes, the #1 scorer in the country at the moment is none other than Hofstra guard Antoine Agudio. That fact alone was enough to bait us into taking a closer look, particularly when combined with the outstanding percentages hes shooting so far from the field.
Agudio spent much of the summer working with New York City based trainers Jay Hernandez and Ross Burns, and the early results were noticing comparing his film from last year with this seasons has been fairly substantial. Agudio looks like a more fluid and confident player, stronger, and with some better shot-creating moves in his arsenal. Whereas last year he was asked to share ball-handling duties with one point guard (Carlos Rivera) and another dominant high scoring combo guard (Loren Stokes), this season Agudio is basically by himself when it comes to providing leadership and go-to scoring ability for a very young Hofstra squad.
Built very well for a combo guard, Agudio has decent size at 6-3, a nice frame, and a very good wingspan. Hes not a freakish athlete by any means, but he does move well around the court, with a certain fluidity and elegance to his game not all that unlike Toronto swingman Anthony Parker, albeit a couple of inches shorter.
As you can guess by his astronomical percentages, Agudio is a lights out shooter through and through. Hes hitting 48% of his 3-pointers on the season so far, taking over 8 and a half attempts per game from beyond the arconly a handful of which have come on clean looks. He has picture perfect shooting mechanics, able to set his feet in an instant with outstanding balance and get his shot off in the blink of an eye thanks to his quick release. He can catch and shoot coming off screens, but is particularly adept creating separation and pulling up off the dribble, either from mid-range or beyond the arcmoving left or right or fading away with a hand in his face. Agudio has hit over 300 3-pointers in his career so far, and has never shot less than 42% from that range in any given season. Guys like Daniel Gibson and Damon Jones come to mind when watching him play, and its not hard to think that hes going to be given some very serious looks in private workouts this June based off his outstanding perimeter shooting skills alone.
Thankfully for him and his team, though, Agudio is more than just an excellent shooter. Hes also a pretty good ball-handler, nothing outstanding (particularly with his left hand), but certainly more than good enough to keep defenses honest. Only 45% of his points at the moment come from behind the arc (very similar to last year), so its clear that he can create offense for himself in other ways besides just with his shooting stroke. Agudio has good body control and a very aggressive mentality, allowing him to get inside the paint from time to time with nice long strides and some slight hesitation moves, and either draw contact or finish craftily with a floater or short pull-up jumper. Hes not the greatest finisher in the world from what we can tell (his left hand needs a lot of work here), but hes tough enough to get to the free throw line nearly 7 times per game this season (4.8 per game last year).
Standing 6-3, most NBA teams are going to want to see Agudio show more point guard skills than hes probably been able to display at Hofstra so far. He plays mostly off the ball, but will bring the ball up the floor from time to time and get his (very uptempo) team into their offense. For being such a prolific scorer, some might expect Agudio to be a bit on selfish side as many mid-major combo guards are. The fact of the matter is that hes anything but that, appearing to be nothing short of an outstanding teammate, and a real facilitator when presented with opportunities to create for others. He clearly has a very high basketball IQ, and looks committed to making good decisions and making big plays for his team, either himself or by setting up a teammate. The problem is that he doesnt have much talent around him (to put things lightly), so in order for his team to have any real chance at winning, he needs to shoot the ball 20 times or more every game, and even that sometimes isnt enough. Something that was very telling in the Charlotte game from this past weekend that we analyzed was the fact that during the last 5 minutes of the game, it was Agudio the one that played the point for his team almost exclusively, acting as the teams leader and floor general throughout.
Part of the reason for that is the fact that most opposing teams number one gameplan to beat Hofstra is to keep the ball out of Agudios hands. We saw plenty of Box and Ones, traps off pick and rolls, shameless double-teams, and plenty of face-guarding by various opponents trying to slow down Agudio. Whats sad is that that often works, as his very young teammates often struggle to find a way to take advantage and put the ball in the basket themselves. Agudio has to work incredibly hard to get every shot he ends up taking, at times looking pretty exhausted out there on the floor. Thats what makes his outstanding percentages this season all the more impressive, as you can only imagine how well hed be shooting if he actually got some more clean looks from time to time.
Defensively, Agudio looked very solid in the minutes we evaluated him. He seems committed to stopping his man and playing good team defense, also acting as a bit of a floor general on this end of the floor, particularly when his team is playing zone. He might not have the greatest lateral quickness, nor does he look like a very dangerous threat playing the passing lanes, but the focus and fundamentals are clearly there, and at this level thats usually enough to get the job done. He also seems to do a good job hitting the glass.
So where does that leave him as far as this years draft is concerned? Thats a good question. If Agudio can find a way to keep himself at the top of the scoring ranks and still manage to shoot a high percentage from the field, hes going to be in very good shape. Either way, hell surely be invited to show his stuff at Portsmouth, where he will be able to show that he can hold his own with high-major athletes and then move onto the pre-draft camp, which will be a big test for him. Agudio appears to be one of the best shooters the college game has to offer, and that alone will get him plenty of looks. Whether that translates into an NBA roster spot is still very much up in the air, but he should get his fair chance to show that he belongs.