After an underwhelming showing at the NBA pre-draft camp last summer, Lester Hudson decided to return to school for his senior season, where he may as well have carbon copied his statline from the prior season. In analyzing the limited footage we have access to from Tennessee Martin, there are a few new observations to be had about the 24-year-old combo guard, but were mostly looking at the same player we extensively covered a year ago.
Hudsons role for the Skyhawks is very much the same as it was last season, as the scoring guard spends time at both guard positions while carrying the burden of having to create a large amount of offense for his team, leading our entire database in percentage of team possessions used. Its tough to evaluate Hudsons true potential as a distributor given the role hes forced to play, but he shows flashes of decent court vision, is not a selfish player, and shows nice prowess in drawing the defense and kicking the ball to the open man.
As a scorer, Hudson is still the same smooth shooter, capable of pulling up with a hand in his face and scoring from all areas of the court. As we highlighted last year, despite his high number of shots taken, he doesnt force the issue very much in context.
If Hudsons improved in any area this season, itd have to be with his ball-handling, where hes showing a better command of advanced moves and more creativity in getting open for shots. His 0.14 turnovers per possession is well above average, especially for a guard burdened with spending so much time with the ball in his hands. Hudsons creativity extends to his lay-ups as well, where he shows very good body control and touch, frequently scoring on floaters, reverses, and other high difficulty shots.
Defensively, Hudson is as strong as ever, still ranking near the top of our database in steals, while also playing aggressive and effective man-to-man defense with his strong fundamental stance. As alluded to last year, his lateral quickness is a concern when projecting to the next level, and hes even beat laterally on occasion against the low level of competition he plays against.
Given the competition level he plays against, the unorthodox role he plays in his teams offense, and the struggles he faced earlier in the season against quality opponents, it may be hard for talent evaluators to come to strong conclusions about Hudson, and his showing at last years NBA pre-draft camp certainly doesnt help his case. With the changes in the camp this year, Hudson wont be able to show scouts what hes capable of in an orthodox role in a 5-on-5 setting against high level competition unless he attends the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, something he should be highly considering, as he needs every chance he can get to be seen by teams, since hes no lock to be drafted at this point.