H: 6' 6"|
W: 201 lbs
(30 Years Old)
|Agent: Matt Babcock ||
High School: Beloit Memorial
Hometown: Beloit, WI
Drafted: Pick 38 in 2008 by Bobcats
Best Case: Thabo Sefolosha
Worst Case: Mardy Collins
After struggling a bit in his first summer league games, Weaver came on strong yesterday with a solid showing. He started early in the game by knocking down a jumper off the dribble, and he has put in a good deal of work on his shooting judging from his mechanics. The guard missed on a couple drives, and will need to work on how he finishes against help defends to be successful in this area at the NBA level. Physically, he continues to show good length and athleticism, and he played very solid defense against Marco Bellineli in the second half. He could potentially become a defensive specialist at the NBA level, but must add weight to his frame for this to transpire. Weaver also showed very nice court vision on a number of occasions, and led the team in assists. He still has some work to do, but the tools are there for him to become a solid NBA player.[Read Full Article]
Washington State’s Kyle Weaver is an interesting prospect because, by the time the season ends and he begins training for various pre-Draft camps and workouts, very few people will have seen what he is actually capable of doing on the court. This is because of the three “point”-guard system that Washington State runs and the fact that Weaver is the tallest, most athletic, and most versatile player on the floor for the Cougars. Thus, Weaver exemplifies the dreaded “point-forward” label. However, unlike many who are given this misnomer, Weaver actually embodies such a role for the Cougars and has shown the ability and skillset throughout this season to potentially run the point guard position at the next level.
Since last season, Weaver has seemingly made strides in his offensive game. Most notably, he has worked on his perimeter shooting, which has improved from 23.7% to 38.1%. Last season he only attempted 38 shots from the perimeter last season, but this season, he has already attempted 21 in 15 games. Watching him play, he has become more comfortable shooting from long range. He does not only take set shots anymore, but also will give his man a fake and take a dribble in order to get open for a shot. His mechanics, however, need significant work. When Weaver shoots, he tends to push forward with a low release point. While his elevation is good, his form is inconsistent and despite his growing comfort with the perimeter shot, he must continue to work on his form if he wants to play at the next level.
However, most of Weaver’s offense comes off of the dribble. He is a relentless slasher, usually going to the basket when he has the ball in his hands. Weaver is not the quickest player in the world, but he somehow manages to get into the lane at will. When he does, he uses his combination of intelligence and body control to finish. However, the level of difficulty of most of his drives is represented in his lower field goal percentage (46.2% this year compared to 48.7 last season).
Considering how good his handle is and his high basketball IQ, the absence of a mid-range game this year is confusing. He showed last season, particularly against Vanderbilt in the NCAA tournament, that he can successfully execute pull-up and baseline jumpers, but this year, it has largely been perimeter shots or penetration to the basket. Occasionally, he will post up smaller guards, but his basketball IQ suggests that he can become a far more advanced offensive player with practice and work on correcting his form and some fundamentals.
However, this ability to penetrate demonstrates Weaver’s potential to be a point guard both at the college level and the professional level. While most combo guards settle for their own offense, Weaver is not only constantly moving in the Washington State offense, but he is also constantly thinking. He uses penetration to his advantage, and will kick the ball back to the perimeter if he the lane is too congested. He is the best passer on the Cougars and he uses a variety of passes, rarely throwing the ball away when deferring to his teammates. His offensive awareness allows him to find his own offense, but also to dictate the tempo of his team’s offense. He ranks in the top 10 of prospect shooting guards in assist to turnover ratio as well as in assists though he ranks very low in percentage of team possessions.
While he rarely is the primary ball handler, Weaver is a quarterback for this Washington State team. It remains to be seen whether or not his high basketball IQ will translate to him being able to play point guard at the next level, but he does a very good job at this level being a major facilitator. The Washington State offense requires him to play a role, one that unfortunately does not allow him to showcase his full ability.
However, before he emerges as one of the premier players in the PAC-10 he must escape his current shooting slump (10/30 from the field against Washington, USC, and UCLA). If anything, this slump shows how Weaver is still an incomplete player on the offensive end. Then, he must prove that he can overcome his physical limitations to be an effective scorer at the next level. Weaver is a good prospect now, but he has to continue to work if he wants to achieve his potential.
That being said, Weaver is still one of the best defenders in college basketball. Using his long arms, solid lateral quickness, and average hands, he can often be seen guarding point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and at times power forwards because of his defensive prowess. He is just as active on defense as he is on offense and is constantly in motion. He has quick hands and is able to poke, deflect, and grab the ball away from his man, almost at will. Though his defensive prowess is not as statistically evident this season, he is just as impressive as he was last season guarding some of the best players in college basketball on a nightly basis.
Despite the improvements he has made this season, Weaver still has a long way to go and a lot of convincing to do concerning his ability to compete at the professional level. He has many of the tools to compete against NBA guards, but he must continue to work on his offensive arsenal before somebody is willing to take a serious chance on him.
Washington State will be primed for another strong showing in the Pac-10 this season, with plenty of talent returning in the backcourt. Kyle Weaver will be a major factor in the success of the Cougars this season. The wiry guard was a stat-sheet stuffer last season, posting averages of 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. If Weaver continues to improve those numbers, he will get more than a few looks from NBA scouts come draft time.
At 6’5” Weaver is an average shooting guard prospect due to his poor perimeter shooting ability and unspectacular athletic ability. However, with his skill set he could make the switch to point guard, and this suddenly makes him a very interesting prospect at his height. He has a tremendous wingspan for his frame, which helps him in several facets of his game. Strength and bulk are a concern for Weaver however. He is rail thin and this hinders him in regards to finishing in traffic around the basket. Too often his drives are completely thrown off by stronger players.
Offensively, Weaver is usually in constant motion, like everyone in Washington State’s system. In isolation plays he will almost always put the ball on the floor and go somewhere; he is in no way a catch and shoot type player. Weaver lacks a great first step, but still manages to get around defenders because he is such a smart player. He will throw an array of spins and hesitation moves at opponents, but he could become even more effective off the dribble if he improved his handles.
Weaver’s bread and butter is his mid-range game. A poor shooter from the outside (23.7% last season), Weaver has a great pull up jumper from inside of 17 feet. His form is a little awkward, often double clutching on his release when shooting on the move, but he shoots a good percentage from the field. Often against quicker defenders he will spin and fade away on his shots; Weaver tends to be streaky with this kind of shooting.
In transition Weaver relies on his length to finish a lot of shots. He doesn’t have breakaway speed in the open floor, so often his shots are contested, and while he goes to the basket hard, his decision making skills on the break are at times suspect. Weaver does a tremendous job on the offensive boards for a guard, averaging close to two offensive rebounds per game last year. While he isn’t a freakishly explosive athlete, he puts forth tremendous effort, never giving up on a play, and showing great timing. He gets a lot of garbage points simply by outworking bigger players inside.
Defense is where Weaver really stands out. He averaged a Pac-10 best 2.2 steals last season, and was sixth in the conference with 1.2 blocks per game. His length and fantastic anticipation make him a constant threat to intercept passes and start a one man fast break. While he does a good job contesting perimeter shots, Weaver does have some room for improvement with his man-to-man defense. Stronger guards can push him around, and while he does have pretty good lateral quickness, opponents can beat him with strong hesitation moves or sudden changes in speed.
Weaver has the chance this year to really rise to the upper echelons of the Pac-10. He is a smart player who is constantly outworking other players. While he doesn’t possess out of this world athleticism, he contributes by doing a lot of little things well. Weaver is the kind of player that will fill a stat sheet every time he steps out on the floor. He still has work to do in order to become an NBA-caliber point guard, but with his work ethic and basketball IQ, Weaver could be a solid draft pick next season.
Kyle Weaver continued his solid all around play for the Cougars in their two game appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament. The long, athletic guard posted tournament averages very similar to his regular season numbers in helping Washington State advance to the tournament semi-finals for only the second time in school history. He has been a top performer all season long, second on the team in scoring, while leading them in rebounds, assists, and steals. Weaver is a classic stat-stuffer, doing a little bit of everything.
Weaver makes his living offensively by slashing to the lane, relying heavily on his tremendous feel for the game. Weaver uses every trick in the book to break his man down off the dribble: spin moves, hesitation moves, and classic crossovers. Once in the lane Weaver does one of two things. When he has the step on his defender he will go straight to the rim. With his long, thin frame, Weaver is able to finish more drives than he should because he has fantastic body control in the air, and a nice touch off the glass. He also does a good job shielding the ball with his body, drawing a fair number of trips to the foul line. If he doesn’t drive, Weaver almost always spins and pulls up for a jumper. He has a nice pull up shot and fades away from time to time, making it even harder to block. Weaver’s form is unique in that he tends to double clutch when he pulls up, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on his shot.
Weaver is a guy that does a lot of little things very well, and the end result winds up being a solid contributor. He is a fantastic passer on both the screen and roll and out of the double team. He picks up the majority of his team leading 4.5 assists out of those two scenarios. What makes Weaver so much of a likeable player, especially to coaches, is the ferocity with which he attacks the boards. Despite his wiry frame as a perimeter player, Weaver still grabs more than 5 rebounds a night simply because he never gives up on a ball in the air, often times tapping it three of four times before finally coming down with it. Weaver has also shown that he is comfortable in the post offensively. He doesn’t go down low often, but when faced with a small defender he will drop to the block where he has been able to get himself good looks at the basket.
Tough defense is where Weaver really earns his playing time with the Cougars. He is second in the Pac-10 in steals per game thanks to his great anticipation and exceptionally long arms. He has the open court speed to turn an intercepted pass into a dunk at the other end of the floor. Just like on the offensive glass, Weaver is a workhorse down low defensively, fighting for every rebound. He uses his length to his advantage, tapping balls away from opponents to himself.
Weaver didn’t help or hurt his stock during his two games in the Pac-10 Tournament, but he has been showing flashes all season long of a player who could breakout next season as an All-Conference selection, especially with his potential to play as a big point guard in the NBA. There are plenty of facets of his game that he needs to improve on if he wants to reach the next level, specifically his outside shooting where he is an abysmal 24.3% for the year. His is a real hustle player though, and does a lot of things well, but nothing great yet. Look for him to continue to be a focal point of the Cougar’s offense next season.