Markel Starks 6-2, Point Guard, Georgetown
16 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 6-12 FGs (0-1 3FGs)
Starks shined as one of the PIT's best guards on day two, getting into the lane at will and creating for his teammates while defending his position extremely well. The 6' 2 shifty guard used his advanced handle, quickness and ability to change speeds to get into the lane and finish with an array of floaters and pull-up jumpers. The former Georgetown Hoya is very adept at breaking his man down in one-on-one situations, evident by his isolation numbers as a senior (1.14 PPP on 84 possessions). Because of his size and stature Starks isn't a great finisher and doesn't do a great job getting all the way to the rim, but his ability to drop in floaters in the lane (0.84 PPP) certainly helps his cause. He's very crafty inside the paint and can stop on a dime as his defender flies by him.
Although not the most pure point guard around, Starks did a solid job running the show and making plays for his teammates. He can be a bit erratic at times, but he's very quick with the ball in transition and possesses solid court vision both in the open floor and in the half court.
While he does a great job getting in the lane, Starks has his inconsistencies as an outside shooter. He shows promise with solid mechanics (87.0 FT%) and a good mid-range game (0.86 PPP off the dribble) but needs to increase his range to be consistently effective from the international or NBA 3-point line. Starks did shoot 41.7% from 3 his junior season at Georgetown before dipping to 32.6% as a senior, so there's certainly something to work with there.
On the defensive end Starks is very engaged and active both on and off the ball. He does an excellent job pressuring the ball and using his body to contain penetration despite his slight build. Starks is very quick laterally and showed a willingness to defend with energy and intensity. In addition to his on ball defense, Starks did a lot of little things off the ball that a lot of guards don't regularly do, stunting (or bluffing) at shooters and clogging or digging off of his man and recovering on the pass.
Overall Starks is an intriguing prospect because of his athleticism, ability to create in one-on-one situations, play the pick and roll, make shots, and defend both on and off the ball. He'll need to continue to improve his decision-making and shooting consistency, but he should be in consideration for a summer league and vet camp invite with potential to make an NBA roster either this summer or down the road.