Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out his archive. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us. [Read Full Article] Taurean Prince Pan-American Games Interview July 25, 2015 A video interview with Baylor forward Taurean Prince at the USA Basketball training camp for the Pan-American Games.
[Read Full Article] Nike Academy Scouting Reports: College Small Forward Prospects July 3, 2015 Mike Schmitz
General managers and NBA scouts alike travel the world looking for long, athletic wings who can shoot and defend. The value of the “3 and D” wing has skyrocketed in recent years, and although he may not be a knockdown shooter or an elite NBA athlete, Taurean Prince most certainly has the tools to fill that role. The Baylor small forward passed the eye test at Nike Academy, measuring 6' 7.5” with a 6' 11” wingspan and a frame that can easily carry at least 10-15 more pounds. His physical profile is ideal for an NBA wing, and Prince has the defensive prowess and potential as a shooter to rise up draft boards sooner rather than later.
One of the youngest soon-to-be-seniors in the country (he'll still be 21 when the 2016 NBA Draft rolls around), Prince has flown somewhat under the radar through three years despite scoring over 18 points per 40 pace adjusted and grabbing over 8.0 rebounds per 40 pace adjusted ever year he's been at Baylor.
Prince stood out at Nike Academy thanks to his defensive toughness, rebounding and shot making ability. Prince is a gritty defender who takes on the challenge of defending multiple positions, using his quickness to stay in front and his length to contest. Although it was in a camp setting, the San Antonio, TX native locked down DeMar Derozan on multiple occasions, and rarely got scored by the rest of the perimeter players throughout the course of the camp.
Prince crashes the glass, plays with toughness and does a little bit of everything on both ends. His jumper has a bit of movement at the top and isn't in the knockdown category quite yet, but he's nevertheless a very good spot up shooter who is comfortable pulling the trigger with a hand in his face (1.34 PPP when “guarded” which is in the 94th percentile according to Synergy Sports Technology) and gets great rotation on the ball. Prince also knocked down a couple of pull up jumpers, which gives him some hope in an area where he really struggled last year.
Prince isn't much of a shot creator, but he's able to use his size and strides to attack in a straight line and his length to finish around the rim. He's more quick than he is vertically explosive, but Prince certainly has enough juice to finish above the rim and he does a nice job of attacking the body of the weak side defender ot get to the line.
Prince does, however, have room to improve as a passer and decision maker – very important qualities for a 3 and D, role player type of wing. Prince showed some flashes as a playmaker by driving and kicking or dropping it off to the big, but he also struggles executing the simple play at times and isn't immune to making a wild pass in traffic. Improving his overall feel and becoming a more consistent jump shooter are two of the biggest keys for Prince's development.
But even with his current skill set combined with his physical tools (and the fact that he hasn't even turned 21 yet) he most definitely has enough intrigue to slide into the draft conversation in time. [Read Full Article]