|DraftExpress: Trying to get all 60 actual draft picks pegged somewhere on the mock. Teams say move J'Covan Brown/William Buford off, H. Thompson,Hummel on|
|DraftExpress: Undrafted: Kevin Jones, Drew Gordon, JaMychal Green, J'Covan Brown, Tu Holloway, William Buford, Nihad Djedovic, Casper Ware, Henry Sims|
|DraftExpress: Ohio State's William Buford has signed with agents Ronald Shade and Herb Rudoy of Interperformances, Shade informs us.|
|DraftExpress: DX Trending Prospects: Updated scouting reports on Andrew Nicholson, William Buford, Orlando Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor http://t.co/b1sPSv0u|
|DraftExpress: DX: Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part One: http://t.co/3BgrdDo - Jared Sullinger, Meyers Leonard, William Buford, more|
|Top 25s - Full List|
H: 6' 5"|
W: 215 lbs
(23 Years Old)
|RSCI: 13||Agent: Ronald Shade ||
High School: Libbey
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Best Case: Gary Neal
Worst Case: Rashad Anderson
|Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint||Class Rank|
|6' 4"||6' 5"||215||6' 9.5"||8' 6"||11.3||27.5||32.5||8||11.40||3.43||NA|
Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
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|Trending Prospects (1/20/2012)|
January 20, 2012
Not much has changed since we last wrote about William Buford, but he has nonetheless established himself as one of the top senior prospects in the country and an essential element of an outstanding Ohio State team. Buford is the only prospect ranked in the top-17 of the 2008 RSCI still playing college basketball, and is thus a fairly well known commodity as far as NBA scouts are concerned.
Measured at 6'5 with a 6'10 wingspan and a solid 209-pound frame, Buford definitely looks the part of a NBA wing player. Though he has improved his frame considerably since his junior season, he remains just an average athlete by NBA standards in terms of his first step, overall quickness and the explosiveness he displays around the basket.
While Buford's skill set remains largely the same as what we described in our previous report, his role in Ohio State's offense has changed. He's being asked to handle the ball in transition and act as more of a facilitator than he was in years past, which has increased his usage, but hurting his efficiency in the process.
Much of this drop in production has to do with his shooting woes outside of the arc –he's converting just 36.4% of his 3-point attempts as a senior as opposed to 44.2% as a junior—as in the absence of Jon Diebler and David Lighty he hasn't had as many open looks spotting up outside the arc. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he's taking more shots this year with a hand in his face than he did last season, and knocking them down at a much lower rate. He's also not making his open looks at quite the same rate, even if he still has plenty of time to revert to the mean as the season moves on.
His shooting mechanics, for the most part, are excellent, despite his lack of elevation and a somewhat slow release, but he has struggled mightily to convert them consistently. His worst shooting nights have come against teams with excellent perimeter defenders, as the likes of Victor Oladipo, Brandon Paul, Travis Releford and others have been able to key in on him far more than they were probably able to last season.
Buford's struggles creating efficient offense have validated the concerns about his average athletic ability and his likelihood of becoming a shooting specialist at best at the NBA level. With that said, it is wise to consider his body of work when evaluating his perimeter shooting ability, as other players have shown in the past that it's not uncommon for a player's efficiency to decrease with a more pronounced role.
Getting his jumper back on track is essential for Buford because of his lack of ideal physical tools and shot-creating ability, which seemingly limit his potential to contribute heavily in other areas in the NBA. Though he has developed his mid-range repertoire steadily at Ohio State and can find other ways to put the ball in the basket thanks to his excellent scoring instincts, the question remains of whether he can continue to improve and adapt to better defenders at the next level.
Despite his struggles as a senior, Buford continues to project favorably as a NBA role player, something he's already proven to be capable of at the college level on a number of very successful teams. He's averaging a career high 4.2 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted this season, which is near the top amongst true shooting guard prospects in our database.
In addition, his size, length and excellent fundamentals give him a very good framework of skills to build off on the defensive end, even if he does not possess elite lateral quickness. Buford has good fundamentals and awareness on defense that somewhat obscure his physical deficiencies. Simply put, he is a good team defender on the NCAA's best defensive team. It's safe to say he will be able to at least hold his own on that end of the floor in the NBA.
While Buford possesses the intangibles to positively impact team chemistry and is one of the best scorers in Ohio State history, he must continue to produce efficiently as the season moves on to prove his mettle as a valuable NBA rotation player. If Buford can prove that his shooting struggles are a blip on the radar, which his career trajectory suggests is the case, then there is little doubt that he can carve out a role in the NBA.
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Trending Prospects (3/3/2011)
March 3, 2011
When we last checked in on William Buford, we noted that versatility and perimeter consistency would play a big part in his development as a prospect this season. A somewhat one-dimensional, but not overly efficient, shooter in his first two seasons at OSU, Buford has taken a big step forward on a number of levels as a junior.
Though he's scoring fewer points that he did last season and has seen his raw production drop across the board, Buford has carved out a clear role for himself that seems consistent with what he'd be asked to do in the NBA, and has shown some new wrinkles in his game that bode well for his future.
The development of Buford as a role-player is very significant because of his lack of elite NBA physical tools. Lacking great size, strength and explosiveness, Buford has never shown the ability to regularly make dynamic plays around the basket. He hasn't gotten to the line at a high rate in his college career, is just an average finisher, and has relied primarily on his perimeter game to score.
Sporting compact form on his jump shot, Buford earned a reputation as a shot maker on the high school level. While he's had his share of hot shooting games over his three year career, the junior has taken a major step forward in terms of efficiency. Knocking down just 41% of his catch and shoot attempts and a meager 33% of his pull up jumpers last season according to Synergy Sports Technology, Buford is connecting on 44.7% of his shots with his feet set and a blistering 44.1% of his shots off the dribble this year.
Much of that improvement is the byproduct of upgraded discipline and maturity. Playing next to two other capable perimeter scorers in David Lighty and Jon Diebler, Buford's decision-making has been exceptional this season. He'll blaze the nets when he's left open, will try to create room for his pull-up jump shot when his team needs a big basket, and gives the ball up unselfishly when he sees an open teammate. Though Jared Sullinger garners much of the national attention for Ohio State's success, Buford's play has been an incredibly important factor as well.
Not only has the Toledo native been more efficient in his role as a spot-up and off-screen scorer, he's seen a higher percentage of his touches in pick and roll situations. Showing an improved floor game and feel for scoring from the midrange, Buford's overall offensive usage has decreased, but he's doing substantially more with less. He's proven capable of scoring efficiently in a number of situations, and does a lot of things NBA teams like to see from role-players at his position. He has developed a nice spin move off the dribble that allows him to get his shot off in one-on-one situations, and while he's still not a pure isolation scorer, he's more capable of creating his own shot than he was early in his career.
Buford has also made some strides on the defensive end this season. Similar to his limitations offensively, he is not a great one-on-one defender. He lacks great strength and lateral quickness, but works hard to get over screens, stays in a good defensive stance, doesn't take many risks, and plays within a team concept. With Ohio State going away from many of their zone defensive concepts this season, Buford has shown both his strengths and weaknesses at the defensive end.
Ohio State will be amongst the most watched teams by NBA decision-makers in March, meaning Buford will have ample opportunity to show his wares on college basketball's biggest stage. If he continues to perform at a high level, he has the potential to continue making his way up draft boards. Whether or not he will declare for this draft remains to be seen, and he was quick to announce his intentions to return to school after rumors of his early entry circulated last season. Though Buford may not have star potential, he looks more and more like a serviceable NBA two guard and is a player worth keeping tabs on throughout March Madness.
[Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part Two (#6-10)
September 3, 2010
William Buford built on a strong freshman season with a solid sophomore campaign, clearly benefitting from the emergence of Evan Turner and improving his production across the board. With Turner moving on and a highly touted freshman class headed to Columbus, this season will be a pivotal one for Buford's draft stock. With limited experience and depth at the point guard position, Buford will have ample opportunity to be more aggressive, showcase aspects of his game that we haven't seen in the past, and solidify himself as a top shooting guard at the college level.
The name of the game for Buford this season is versatility. He's spent his first two seasons at the college level relying heavily on his jumper and his teammates to create offense for him. According to Synergy Sports Technology, nearly 75% of his shot attempts are jump shots and only 10% of his possessions came in isolation and pick and roll situations. He's a proven catch and shoot threat with solid range, works off of screens well, and understands spacing, but isn't an overly efficient scorer because of his limitations off the dribble. Buford will have the chance to overcome those perceptions this fall and expand his appeal to NBA teams in the process.
The former McDonald's All-American has never had to create for himself regularly at OSU. When he had the opportunity to do so last season, the results weren't great, especially from the midrange. He connected on just 33% of his pull up jumpers, down from the 42% mark he recorded as a freshman. While he took a step back in that regard, he did compensate by running the floor hard in transition, finishing at a higher rate around the rim, and getting to the line more frequently. It will be interesting to see how Buford fares next season without Evan Turner creating for him off the dribble, as his ability to create separation from the midrange and generate opportunities around the rim and from the free throw line will be put under the microscope.
Buford doesn't have great size or explosiveness, but he's a solid athlete and while he did a marginally better job attacking and creating contact in the lane last season, he'll need to improve his ball handling and assume some shot creating responsibilities to become a more complete threat offensively. His ability to pass the ball and stretch the floor would be an asset to an NBA franchise with a point guard that can draw defenders and other slashers on their roster, but his utility would grow tremendously if he was more dynamic off the dribble.
On the defensive end, Buford has some nice moments, showing a solid activity level and not taking too many risks in Ohio Sate's zone, but will be forced to make some adjustments on the next level. Considering his lack of great lateral quickness, it will be interesting to see how he transitions from a zone-oriented system to one that forces him to defend one-on-one without help waiting behind him.
This season presents a chance for Buford to work on his weaknesses, exploit a perfect situation to expand his repertoire, and help his team simultaneously. As it stands, he has some nice buzz around him, especially after earning a spot with the USA Select Team this summer, but a season of stagnation would only legitimize concerns that he projects primarily as a backup (at best) on the next level. Buford made incremental improvements last season, and 2011 will be his chance to make big strides towards becoming a complete player.
[Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part One (#1-5)
August 28, 2009
Former McDonald’s All-American William Buford took a little bit of time to hit his stride in his freshman season at Ohio State, but once he did, he displayed some intriguing flashes of potential that hint at some big things that could be in store for Buckeye fans.
Buford’s physical attributes are average for an NBA shooting guard, as he has just adequate size at around 6-5, to go along with a narrow frame, and solid, although not exceptional athleticism. The biggest virtue he brings to the table is his excellent scoring instincts, which currently manifest themselves primarily in the form of his perimeter shooting ability.
38% of Buford’s field goal attempts came from beyond the arc last season, of which he knocked down a very solid 36%. Buford has a beautiful shooting stroke, complete with a pretty follow through and excellent touch. He’s extremely advanced for his age at coming off screens—something Thad Matta liked to take advantage of—and is pretty deadly if he has a moment to set his feet.
Buford is also very capable of knocking down shots off the dribble, even if he could clearly stand to improve on his ability to create separation from his defender with his pull-up jumper, as his release is a bit on the slow side. His shot-selection at times leaves a bit to be desired as well. Watching some of the extremely difficult shots Buford made last season, though, there is no mistaking how talented a scorer he is.
As a slasher, Buford is not all that effective, as he possesses poor ball-handling skills and just an average first step. He rarely gets all the way to the basket (he shot just 53 free throws in 33 games last season, playing heavy minutes), and when he does, he seems to avoid contact, leaving you to wonder whether he may lack a bit of toughness. When he puts the ball on the floor, Buford will either pull-up off the dribble from 17-feet, or shoot a very pretty floater (a very nice weapon) in the lane. In the rare instance that Buford does get to the free throw line, he knocks his shots down at an extremely impressive rate—85%--good for second best amongst all freshman draft prospects last season.
Defensively, Buford puts a decent effort in, but doesn’t appear to have the best natural tools or fundamentals to get the job done. He does a decent job using his length to contest shots, but will get taken off the dribble a fair amount. Although Ohio State’s propensity to play zone almost exclusively makes it difficult to get a great read on Buford’s potential on this end of the floor, it seems safe to say that he has plenty of room to improve here.
At this juncture, Buford is a fairly one-dimensional shooter/scorer, which isn’t a huge shock considering the stage of development he’s currently at. He would be well served to continue to work on his all-around game, be it his ability to create shots for himself and others, his pick and roll game, his passing, and his defense. Although he came into Ohio State with a big-time pedigree, Buford is the type of player who could really benefit from sticking around college for a few seasons to become a more complete player. Right now he projects mostly as a backup, but he’s so young that it’s not out of the question at all to see him improve dramatically over the next few years.
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RBK U - Sunday Night Session
July 9, 2007
Lost in the Howell hype in game two was William Buford's (Toledo Libby/Toledo/2008 - committed to Ohio St.) performance. He matched Howell's total of 23 points and did it in a variety of ways including hitting 3-of-6 from deep. His shot mechanics are very good and he elevates on his shot very nicely making him very difficult to block. He looks be the next in a long line of successful shooting guards to go through Columbus following the footsteps of Jimmy Jackson, Michael Redd and Daequan Cook.
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2007 RBK Eurocamp: Day Two (Part Two)
June 12, 2007
One of the best players on the very young US squad, Buford showed some nice talent to put the ball in the basket, particularly displaying very intriguing shooting potential. He converted a number of jumpers with very good range, and sweet, fluid mechanics. He's an athletic guy, skinny but with a good enough frame to grow into his body, a very nice wingspan, and decent size (essentially putting all the ingredients together) to work in the shooting guard position. However, he will need to work hard on his ball-handling skills and off-the-dribble game, becoming a more creative player, as he looked pretty ineffective whenever he put the ball on the floor if it wasn't to shoot right after. Still, at age 16 there is a lot to look forward for in regards to his future at Ohio State.
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Pitt JamFest: Top 2008 Prospects
May 2, 2007
There was not a more productive player throughout the weekend then future Ohio State wing William Buford. He led his D-1 Greyhounds squad to the finals of the 17-U gold bracket, only to come up short to a surprising Grassroots Canada team. Buford showed off absolutely everything that you can ask for out of a scoring guard, as he shot the ball well from deep, displayed the ability to pull-up from mid range, and used his athleticism to finish at the rim once he got inside the paint. He showed off great form on his jumpshot and simply looked like a sophomore in college out there against aa group of 17 year old boys.
Buford is going to have the opportunity to step and contribute immediately for the Buckeyes with the impending departure of shooting guard Daequan Cook to the NBA and Ron Lewis’ graduation. He will certainly have to improve upon his defense in order to truly make himself an elite prospect as far as the NBA is concerned, but at the moment, there is not another shooting guard prospect in the class of 2008 that brings as much to the table as William Buford does.
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