H: 6' 5"|
W: 199 lbs
(31 Years Old)
|RSCI: 144||Agent: Scott Nichols ||
High School: Mater Dei
Hometown: Corona, CA
Drafted: Pick 59 in 2007 by Suns
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 3.75"||6' 5"||199||6' 6.5"||8' 5"||4.5||28.5||35.0|
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 3.75"||6' 5"||199||6' 6.5"||8' 5"||4.5||28.5||35.0|
The former Maryland guard has come a long way from the Summer League last year. Today didn’t present much of a challenge for Strawberry with George Hill sitting on the contest in anticipation of the Rocky Mountain Revue. The second-year point man was able to get wherever he wants on the floor whenever he wanted to be there. Few players in Las Vegas share his combination of size, quickness, and strength. Strawberry did a great job running the show today, pushing the break whenever possible and generally putting pressure on the defense to slow him down. He hit a catch and shoot three-pointer today, something you don’t see out of him often, but did most of his damage at the rim. He was able to turn the corner consistently, and doesn’t shy away from contact when he gets to the rim. Defensively, Strawberry gave his usual great effort, getting a handful of deflections leading to transition opportunities. While he may have been the later pick, Strawberry may have jumped ahead of Alando Tucker as a prospect, and it will be interesting to see how he develops in the coming year.[Read Full Article]
D.J. Strawberry singlehandedly prevented Donte Greene from breaking the Summer League scoring record by maintaining great position defensively and denying him the ball. Until the final minute or so of the game when he got to the foul line on an intentional foul, Greene had only gotten two touches the entire quarter, a testament to just how well Strawberry player him. Though he didn’t put up gaudy defensive stats, Strawberry was a menace defensively, giving Aaron Brooks the same fits he game Greene. Offensively, Strawberry showed a ton of development from last season. He was lights out from the midrange, showing a one dribble pull up that no one was able to defend effectively. His first step and speed make him a factor in off the dribble and transition, and he’s got the athleticism to finish and the court vision to set up his teammates. Strawberry isn’t quite a pure point guard, but he did a solid job running the show today. His ball handling ability is leaps and bounds better than it used to be, and he’s going to be a great asset for Phoenix if he continues to improve.[Read Full Article]
D.J. Strawberry was far from the most polished offensive player in this year’s Summer League, but he showed immense potential and was one of the best players on the defensive end. The things that Strawberry lacks in offensive skills he makes up for in intensity. What makes Strawberry’s Summer League numbers so impressive is that he still managed to score almost 16 points per contest with no remnants of a jump shot. Defensively, Strawberry was one of the most well rounded players in attendance, and easily the most impressive.
The first thing Strawberry needs is a shooting coach, which is something that has always been known about him. His stroke isn’t consistent enough for him to be a good shooter, but his shots fall when it looks smooth. This is indicative of a need for extra practice and game reps. Outside of Strawberry’s lack of consistency from mid and long range, he showed some nice tools this week. Strawberry doesn’t have the most refined handle, but he is big enough that he can blow by most point guards due to his length and athleticism. The moves he utilizes around the rim are predictable, but they got the job done for the most part. The only player to really cause Strawberry problems around the basket was another player on this list, Louis Amundson, who blocked him repeatedly due to Strawberry not being able to explode to the rim around the quicker Louis Williams.
As a point guard, Strawberry looked surprisingly crisp, moving the ball well and getting his teammates open looks. He did a spectacular job creating offense in transition, and wound up leaving Vegas as its 2007 assist leader. Unfortunately, he committed quite a few turnovers because he isn’t a threat from the outside. There were numerous situations where Strawberry was forced to drive or hesitate when he had ample time and space to shoot a jump shot. Once Strawberry gets comfortable with his range, he will no longer have to force the ball into the paint, or pull up for a mid-range shot he really doesn’t want to take.
Strawberry lands this high on this list due to his defense, since no one stood out more in this aspect of the game than he did. Strawberry gets in a low defensive stance on every play, and doesn’t give his man any space. He hawks the ball from the opening horn to the final buzzer, and generally makes things miserable for his opposition. His hands are tremendous, and he started using them much more intelligently after recording 8 fouls in his first contest. Strawberry’s ability to guard three positions, rotate effective from the weakside, and help out on the glass make him significantly more valuable than his numbers indicate.
As Strawberry embarks on his first NBA season, he should look to teammate Raja Bell for guidance. Early in his career, Bell found himself in much the same situation as Strawberry is in now. He was a great defender who didn’t have a good enough jump shot to garner minutes. Strawberry is in a little bit different of a situation considering he is more athletic and versatile than Bell was, but he desperately needs to transform his shooting ability the way Bell did. Strawberry could play some spot minutes this year for Phoenix, but won’t make a legitimate impact on the NBA level offensively until defenders have to respect his jump shot.
Strawberry appears on these teams thanks to an absolutely stellar game three performance, where he completely changed the flow of the game on both ends of the court. Strawberry has always defended as well as just about any guard in the country and he continued to do that here in Orlando, but in the first two games the same lack of offensive pop that kept him off of draft boards his entire college career was quite evident.
That changed in game three. Strawberry had been showing off better form on his outside jumper during the drills all week, and finally started draining shots in the final official contest. These weren’t 3-pointers, but we have never seen Strawberry look so comfortable putting the ball in the basket. He scored a decent amount at Maryland, but would tend to go through long cold stretches and rarely showed much of an instinct for scoring of any type. But in this game he was hitting contested midrange jumpers, pulling up off the dribble, and slashing all the way to the basket.
The offensive success seemed to spur further intensity on the defensive end, where he actually turned it up a notch, wreaking havoc all over the court. This could have been the most complete and impactful performance of the camp, if more than a handful of scouts had actually seen it. So it will be interesting to find out if Strawberry was able to help his stock here, because he didn’t show anything we hadn’t already seen in the first two games.
But in case you’re a GM and you missed it, Strawberry has the potential to bring a lot to the table as a roleplayer in the NBA. He isn’t a natural point guard, and has struggled whenever he was asked to run the show at Maryland. That didn’t change here, but he does have some appeal as a secondary ball-handler off the bench. He has the athleticism and court sense to push the tempo in the open court, and only starts to struggle when forced to slow down and make team-running decisions. And on the other end, he most certainly can defend point guards. At a solidly built 6’4, Strawberry has what it takes to be a pest. His shooting and all-around scoring has always been the knock, so if Strawberry can repeat his game three showing in a workout or two, he might end up hearing his name called on draft night.
Day 3 of the pre-draft camp is usually a non-event – the holdout observers counted themselves lucky to catch one breakthrough performance in the early game, and the dozen of scouts not drooling over Oden and Durant at the other end of the gym caught another one from D.J. Strawberry. Strawberry’s defensive prowess has been undeniable all week, but today he finally put together a noteworthy offensive performance. The defense was everywhere – he stopped ball movement in its tracks, disrupted the passing lanes, and took charges. He is a point guard’s worst nightmare, physical and athletic enough to pester plenty of NBA-caliber point guards.
But we already knew this. What we didn’t know is that Strawberry’s jumper appears to have improved significantly. There was nothing beyond the arc, but he poured in 13 points on 5-7 shooting, mostly on midrange jumpers. Several were contested, and he actually showed a bit of touch. This is a new development for Strawberry, in that he actually looked comfortable letting loose from the perimeter. It remains to be seen if this showing will get Strawberry drafted. Most scouts don’t appear to like him, and even more missed what was one of the more significant showings of the entire event. Strawberry can do a little of everything, and has the kind of role-player character to stick in the NBA. But first, he will have to prove that his game 3 shooting exhibition wasn’t a fluke.
After a strong performance during the pre-draft camp yesterday, Strawberry continued with a good game today. The strong point here comes on the defensive end of the floor, where he was able to lock down whoever he was matched up against for the second day in a row. The combination of athleticism and great fundamentals allow him to create major problems for opposing point and shooting guards. With many defenders, they limit their effectiveness on defense by gambling for steals and creating a numbers advantage for the offensive team. Though Strawberry racks up a good number of steals, he does so using quick hands and anticipation rather than gambling in the passing lanes.
Offensively, Strawberry needs to make some improvements to make the NBA a sure thing. He can hit the mid-range jumper with good accuracy to about 20 feet, and even knocked down a pair of 15 footers off the dribble today. His range does not extend out past 20 feet however, and his form changes once outside the NBA three point line. Inside, Strawberry needs to become stronger with the ball going to the basket, and work on drawing contact once inside the paint. He lost the twice on drives to the hoop today, and didn’t attempt a single free throw during any point in the game.
Despite his offensive shortcomings, Strawberry has all the makings of an NBA role player. His defensively ability will make many GMs think long and hard about drafting him, and the development of a spot-up three pointer would solidify his spot in the NBA.
D.J. Strawberry didn’t have a very strong stat line, but his impact was definitely felt in this game, especially on the defensive end, where he probably played the best perimeter defense of all the players in this game, constantly staying in his man’s face and causing deflections when opportunities arose. He pressured his man consistently when he got the ball, moving his feet well laterally and poking at the ball to cause discomfort while not compromising his defensive stance.
Strawberry also did a pretty good job passing the ball, though he spent most of his time as an off-guard, making his good passes in transition rather than by running the offense in the halfcourt. He showed good patience and vision in transition, not forcing the issue and waiting for passing lanes to open, making a nice bounce pass to a cutter in the lane on one play, and making a great assist ahead to his teammate and over defenders on another break.
Strawberry couldn’t get much going in terms of scoring the ball, missing on all of his spot-up three-point attempts, though he was hitting fairly consistently with his slightly overhead shooting motion earlier in the day during shooting drills. When Strawberry tried taking it into the lane to score, he wasn’t able to convert, missing badly on a pull-up jumper from five feet off a good pivot move.
Strawberry was one of the last players to receive an invitation here at Orlando, but he certainly has the potential to play in the NBA, as a combo-guard or a slightly undersized shooting guard. He’d help his stock out by doing a better job scoring the ball in the remaining games here, but he needs to continue playing strong defense and passing the ball like he did in this first game. Strawberry will probably need to make a team through summer league play, but he has an outside chance of getting drafted in the second round.
In a disappointing finish to his collegiate career, Strawberry did not play up to his usual standards for most of Saturday’s game against Butler. The senior leader of the Terrapins was detached for the entire first half and most of the second half as well, not taking a big part in his team’s offensive attack.
Strawberry, usually a very active player in transition who loves to drive to the basket, was held in check by a stingy Butler defense that gave Maryland fits all afternoon. Typically very good around the basket thanks to his great athleticism, Strawberry only converted on 1 of four lay up chances, and missed several other shots inside the paint. It wasn’t until the final 3 minutes that he began to become an active player on offense, picking up quick back to back baskets in pulling Maryland within 2 points of the Bulldogs. That was as close as Maryland would get down the stretch, eventually losing by 3.
Some positives for Strawberry were his rebounding and passing. An average rebounder usually, Strawberry pulled down 8 rebounds by being aggressive going after the basketball and coming down strong. He also did a fantastic job finding teammates in the half court set. Strawberry finished with only 3 assists due to several easy misses by teammates, and several fouls committed by Butler. Had shots been falling for the Terrapins, Strawberry would have wound up with several more assists.
Though undersized for the shooting guard position at 6-5, Strawberry will still garner plenty of looks because of his great perimeter defense and his high energy style of play. This performance won’t stand to help his stock, after failing to show up in a big time game, but Strawberry can still land himself in the NBA next season with a strong showing at Portsmouth and private workouts.
Strawberry’s full array of talents were on display in the wins over the Tar Heels and Blue Devils. Strawberry, as has been the case for most of his career, did the bulk of his scoring in transition. He is one of the fastest players in the ACC getting up and down the court, and has a fantastic knack for knowing when a teammate is going to come down with a defensive rebound, and then sprinting down court. Strawberry’s ability to leak out of the pack, combined with his great breakaway speed with the basketball made for several breakaway baskets during the two wins. He also picked up several nice assists with his solid court vision on the break, spotting open teammates for easy baskets.
In the half court set, Strawberry mainly relies on his quickness to drive to the basket, rather than advanced ball-handling skills. He has a good first step and has been successful getting to the rim all season long, although at times he is somewhat out of control when he gets into the lane, throwing up wild shots. His aggressiveness with the ball usually leads to a fair number of free throw attempts, interestingly enough though Strawberry only attempted one freebie in the two games combined.
While Strawberry’s perimeter shooting has never been a strong point of his game (he’s shooting 35.9% this season), he had a solid week from beyond the arc. He has seen most of his outside shooting success when on the move. Strawberry is sharp catching and shooting the basketball when coming off of screens. He has the ability at times to pull up on the dribble and fire, but is inconsistent with his mid-range jumper. Generally he is willing to risk a tougher shot driving to the basket than he is to pull up and fire.
Aside from his success with the basketball, Strawberry did a very fine job moving without the ball. He often found himself with point blank looks at the basket thanks to his ability to find open spots in the paint. While he had some nice finishes down low, Strawberry ran into trouble a few times going up against bigger players, especially the tall and athletic Tar Heels. He has struggled at times this year to finish inside when the lane has gotten congested. At 6-5, he isn’t the ideal height for an NBA shooting guard and this could hurt him a little when considered his lack of bulk.
Defensively, Strawberry has been at the top of his game this season. He is one of the ACC’s top on ball defenders, relying on his great lateral quickness to lockdown opposing players. Coupled with this quickness is Strawberry’s above average anticipation for his man’s next move, resulting in plenty of drawn charges on the perimeter; he had two in each game last week. Off the ball, he continues to rely on his quickness, deflecting plenty of passes, and often turning many of those deflections into easy points at the other end of the floor.
Strawberry got into a little trouble this weekend when he was screened on the perimeter. He has had a tendency this season to follow his man through rather than trying to go above or below the screen. Often times he is able to recover thanks to his great speed, but at the next level he will get burned if he doesn’t change that facet of his game. At 200 pounds, Strawberry lacks the bulk or strength to fight his way through screens and will have to improve upon this if he is to remain an effective pick and roll defender in the NBA.
Strawberry has helped his stock a lot down the stretch of the regular season. Already on many radars simply because of his athleticism and in your face defense, he has increased his offensive output in recent weeks and really shown his potential as a fast break scorer. As an undersized two-guard with only an average outside shot, though, Strawberry will have to find other ways to be a helpful role player in the pro ranks. One way he can stand to do this is through his versatility. Strawberry logged plenty of minutes at point guard during this junior season, and while he is by no means an NBA caliber point guard right now, developing those skills could improve his stock. He could stand to help himself even further by attending one of the pre-draft camps this summer. Should he have a solid post season and perform well during the summer, Strawberry stands a good chance of landing a spot in the league as a second round pick.
Strawberry is a versatile guard best known for lock-down defense. In the 2005-2006 season, he was asked to be the primary ball handler for Maryland, and was somewhat successful in spurs despite lacking the skills of a true point guard. He is a good passer with decent court vision, and is generally a very unselfish player. Last year, Strawberry improved his questionable shooting from both the free throw as well as the 3 point line where he shot 35% on 66 attempts (9 percentage points higher than last year). He still has work to do from the free throw line, where he shot 68% this year, as well as his long-range shot by continuing to convert on a more reasonable amount of attempts. A good ball handler, Strawberry has the ability to get into the lane, and is very smart with drawing fouls once he gets to the hoop. He is a communicator on the floor, and always directs his teammates if he sees one of them out of position. He’s certainly not a pure point guard, but the experience he received last year should come in pretty handy for him now that he’s being moved back to his natural shooting guard position.
Strawberry struggles in a few areas, which limits his potential as an NBA player. He doesn’t look to create enough for himself off the dribble, and lacks the ability to consistently draw pressure off teammates through dribble drives, a skill that many guards use to create for others. Though a very good athlete, Strawberry’s ball-handling isn’t quite up to par. Despite his proficient ability to create contact, he rarely finishes after he makes his way to the basket.
Strawberry certainly has his weaknesses, but is the type of player who could be a solid bench player with a long NBA career. Possessing good size and particularly length, he is capable of being an absolute ball-hawk defensively when fully unleashed. In terms of intensity and pure anticipation skills, there are not many guards in the ACC who can stack up with him 1 on 1 if he’s fully committed to shutting his matchup down.
With the smarts he shows moving the ball around the perimeter and the versatility he is adding to his offensive repertoire in college, the hope is that he should be able to handle some point guard in the NBA. In addition, he could play off the ball as well, specifically to be a defensive specialist next to a scoring point guard in a Larry Hughes type role. Further improvement with his shot should be good enough to keep him from being a liability on the offensive end from the 2 spot. In crunch time situations in the NBA, Strawberry could be a nice guy to have just for defensive substitution purposes. Though he won’t be an all-star and likely not a career starter, D.J. Strawberry has the tools and intangibles of a versatile role-playing guard in the NBA. He will see significant playing time as a senior and will get a long hard look if he improves on some of his offensive shortcomings. He’ll have to find himself a niche, though.