USA Basketball U19 World Championship Training Camp Report, Part Two June 19, 2013 The last player added to the roster as he initially snuck under the radar due to the fact that he's a rare rising college junior who is 19 years old, Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton was an interesting find here, and someone we'll surely be keeping close tabs on in the future.
Sporting excellent size for a point guard at 6-4, to go along with a long wingspan and an underdeveloped frame that should fill out nicely in time, Payton is a solid athlete with nice versatility on both ends of the floor. He's a talented ball-handler who can create his own shot effectively in the half-court and is excellent in transition, allowing him to play above the rim with regularity. He has a good first step and solid playmaking instincts, giving him nice potential on the pick and roll when combined with his intriguing creativity.
Still a fairly raw prospect, Payton has plenty of room to improve as a perimeter shooter, only making sixteen of his fifty 3-point attempts during his freshman season after not making a single outside shot as a freshman. His mechanics don't look all that bad, so he could likely improve this facet of his game with repetition. He clearly lacks experience against high-level competition, as his left hand is underdeveloped, he can be somewhat turnover prone in the half-court, and he doesn't always have the strength to finish everything he creates for himself around the basket.
Where Payton might show the best potential long-term is on the defensive end, as his excellent size, long arms and strong anticipation skills allow to make plenty of plays in the form of steals, blocks, rebounds and deflections. He shows very good instincts here and could develop nicely on this end of the floor as he continues to get stronger and garner more experience.
A pleasant surprise here, Payton brings a dimension of size, athleticism, creativity and versatility on both ends of the floor that Team USA might be able to utilize, even if his inconsistent perimeter shooting might not be the best fit for international basketball. Nevertheless, he'll be a prospect NBA scouts will want to follow closely next season. [Read Full Article]