|Hearing Zabian Dowdell of Tulsa getting bought out by Euroleague/ACB team Unicaja Malaga. Didn't suit up yesterday. Will play Top 16|
|Top 25s - Full List|
Zenit St Petersburg
H: 6' 3"|
W: 191 lbs
(31 Years Old)
|Agent: Kareem Memarian ||
High School: Pahokee
Hometown: Pahokee, FL
Best Case: Luther Head
Worst Case: Alex Scales
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 1.5"||6' 3"||191||6' 10"||8' 4"||5.1||30.0||33.5|
|2007||Portsmouth||6' 2"||6' 3"||190||6' 9.5"||NA||NA||NA||NA|
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Blogging Through Europe (Part 7: France)|
December 10, 2007
Zabian Dowdell helped keep Nancy in the game, coming off the bench to score 12 points in just 21 minutes. He provided a real calming presence for his team behind the athletic but somewhat erratic Pape Phillipe Amagou, who has been splitting minutes with Dowdell throughout the season. You couldnít help feel that once Le Mans settled down, Nancy was much better off with Dowdell running the show, as he was solid on defense, excellent in transition and really played the game at his own pace in the half-court. The fact that heís not shooting the ball particularly well has been his Achilles heel (plus heís not a jaw-dropping athlete), but heís made a terrific transition to European basketball for being just a rookie, and his coaches are very pleased with him so far from what they told us.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Final Recap
June 4, 2007
Zabian Dowdell had a very strong camp here, putting up 11 assists to only 3 turnovers, shooting a respectable .440 from the floor, hitting two NBA three-pointers, showing good range, and playing tremendous defense, using all of his 6í9.5 wingspan to lock down his man, even though he picked just one steal in the camp. The thing that really jumps out about Dowdell is how all of his strong points would seem to translate very well to the NBA level, especially with his NBA body and that wingspan. He may not have starter potential, as he hasnít really ever shown he can dish out a lot of assists consistently, but he runs his team pretty well, can hit the spot-up shot from outside, has a very tight handle, plays excellent defense, and was probably the most deadly player pulling up from mid-range here, being nearly automatic coming off his crossover in the lane.
Dowdell possesses all the characteristics one looks for in a backup point guard and/or an NBA role player, and his strong build and wingspan will allow him to play well alongside undersized shooting guards, something many teams have coming off the bench playing major minutes. Dowdellís long arms and excellent defensive fundamentals will allow him to defend most NBA shooting guards adequately, especially back-ups, who he shouldnít have any problem with. The only thing there really is to dislike about Dowdell is that he isnít the kind of player who is going to take over a game, and heís probably never going to be a great scorer or a great distributor, just doing everything adequately well on the offensive end, while providing great defense on the other end of the floor.
Dowdell will likely go somewhere in the second round in the draft, very possibly in the 30ís if a team really likes him and is in need of a back-up point guard. He should be able to make an impact almost immediately, and most teams should be pretty comfortable with him running their second unit.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Four
June 3, 2007
Offensively, this was Dowdellís best day of the camp, despite playing on a bum ankle. During a short stretch in the second half, Dowdell completely took over the game. He was able to get into the lane fairly easily, and suddenly his inconsistent lefty stroke started finding the bottom of the net. His midrange jumper is a deadly weapon if he can heat up, and the only hope Ramon Sessions and the rest of the opposition had here was that the 5-minute rotation would end before Dowdell went too crazy. And, of course, it did. Dowdell never got back on track upon returning, and would finish the game with a modest 13 points. Nonetheless, this was a brief glimpse of the instant offense Dowdell can bring. He ran the point fairly well this week, so it appears that Dowdellís stock is on the rise.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Three
June 1, 2007
Zabian Dowdell had a very solid performance in his second game here at Orlando, even though he left with a tweaked ankle after playing only 15 minutes. It didnít look too serious, and itís assumed heíll be back playing again tomorrow. Dowdellís stats may not jump out at you, but he played very well on both ends of the floor, playing great man-to-man defense and using his mid-range game effectively on the offensive end.
Dowdell used his excellent crossover and his combination of hesitation moves and fakes to consistently get into the lane, where he can smoothly pull-up for his mid-range jumper coming off either hand, something that always makes him a threat to score. He hit two pull-up jumpers of this variety, one from 10 feet out and one from 15, as he usually settles in the lane rather than taking it all the way to the hoop. He did take it to the hoop nicely on one occasion on a left-handed drive off a high screen, which he also finished with his left hand. Dowdell didnít score on a great number of plays, but he got into the lane using his crossover and fake crossover moves often, dribbling through the defense and making dump-off and kick-outs to his teammates. He was highly controlled with the ball in his hands, not getting phased by the pressure defense Jamaal Tatum was playing on him for most of the game, just taking his time and slowing the tempo down so he could protect his dribble before getting into his teamís offense. Dowdell earned his two assists on a dump-off in the halfcourt and a drive-and-dish play in transition, but he also dished out some other nice passes that werenít finished by his teammates. His nicest passing possession was on a play where he dribbled the ball behind his back before making a strong one-handed pass through two defenders to a cutter going to the basket. Dowdellís only turnover of the game wasnít even his fault, as teammate Mohammed Abukar dropped a pass thrown right to his torso.
Defensively, Dowdell also did a great job, playing aggressive defense on Jamaal Tatum for almost every possession, using his wingspan and lateral quickness to keep him from doing pretty much anything with the ball, contesting his shot with his long arms and poking the ball away when he tried dribbling.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Two
May 30, 2007
Although his shot might not have fallen for him at a great rate, Dowdell played some very aggressive basketball and did a nice job setting the table for his teammates and keeping his team from getting too stagnant in the half-court. When given the opportunity, he also pushed the ball well in the early offense, making simple, but effective kickouts to Russell Carter for example, or pulling up off the dribble from 17 feet. Dowdell is doing a nice job convincing teams that he is indeed a full-time point guard so far, especially in the work he did in the scrimmages we saw in the morning drills. Heís utilizing a great crossover and trying to either drive and dish with a dropoff in the lane or go all the way to the hoop and finish with a floater in the lane. He may have forced his dribble a bit when getting deep into the paint, leading to some tough shots, but again, it was difficult to fault his aggressiveness considering what we saw from some of the other guards here. Dowdell also played solid defense on Jared Jordan when given the opportunity to match up with him. While perhaps not a brilliant performance, there is plenty to build on from what Dowdell shows in the first game.
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East Coast Workout Swing: Day 8 (Zabian Dowdell, J.R. Reynolds, etc)
May 29, 2007
Of the five players training for the pre-draft camp, Zabian Dowdell was not only easily the most impressive seen here, but probably also one of the most impressive overall guys weíve seen in our two week long scouting trip. Physically, Dowdell not only looks the part of an NBA player already, with a thick 200+ pound frame complimenting his 6-9 wingspan, but he also carries himself like one too. In the shooting drills he impressed mightily, showing a very fluid release with absolutely no wasted motion. One thing you can say about the players here is that they just arenít allowed to shoot any other way than with perfect mechanics, with every flaw being nitpicked again and again by one of the many coaches in attendance, until the players get it right.
Dowdell showed great potential in the pick and roll drills the players ran, thanks to his outstanding handle and great patience picking whether to slip, split or drag the screen. Heís the one who needs the least coaching it seems on his technique, looking highly instinctive in the way he executes everything efficiently and with great fundamentals.
Even if Dowdell looked impressive in the drills portion of the workout, it was in the five on five that he clearly separated himself from the pack. It was here that his decision making skills as a point guard really came out, making outstanding reads time after time on the pick and roll, and a number of fantastic passes setting the table perfectly for a teammate to easily score. Dowdell made Thorpe really happy on one particular play, as he showed perfect timing utilizing a pick and roll, and then splitting the two defenders abruptly to open up the entire floor precisely the way he had been taught to just a few hours prior.
His ball-handling skills are definitely top-notch, showing a great little wiggle to create offense for himself with sheer craftiness, rather than with incredible explosiveness, and a beautiful pull-up game from the mid-range area. When given an inch, he knocked down the NBA 3-ball at a pretty solid rate as well, and when challenged on the other side of the floor, he took a lot of pride in locking down his man. One particularly impressive play in transition had him matched up with J.R. Reynolds trying to contain him in a one on one situation. Dowdell moved his feel beautifully, kept his strong body on him without fouling, and used his massive wingspan to just wrap him up and force him into an extremely difficult shot.
The lone negatives to come out of this workout would be for one his less than prototypical explosiveness getting by his defender and finishing at the rim, and two, his over-enthusiasm at times penetrating too far into the lane.
Between what we saw here, during the season (where he was named 1st team All-ACC), and at Portsmouth, weíre starting to think that we might have a very intriguing NBA prospect on our hands here. Dowdell is exactly the kind of big, strong, versatile and steady point guard that NBA teams like to bring off their bench, and his stock is quietly rising amongst those in the know around the league.
Players who can shoot, defend, pass and handle, and have the size and length to defend two positions are definite commodities these days, especially when they have extremely strong intangibles, big-time college experience and a high basketball IQ to boot. Thorpe considers him ďthe most sure-fire pro in my gym,Ē and raves about the fact that he way heís responded to his training so far. Like all of the five players in attendance here, he was the captain of his team.
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Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Day Two
April 5, 2007
Zabian Dowdell followed up with another solid performance on day two, where his teammates decided to actually convert some of the shots he created for them. Dowdell did most of his damage by getting into the lane, scoring himself and dishing the ball out to his teammates. Dowdell used his combination of decent athleticism and excellent craftiness to get to the rim on some very impressive drives, changing directions and speeds while using his creativity to create high-percentage shots he could convert. Dowdell started the game off by driving to his right, then changing directions to go left and finish at the rim with his left hand. He made a similar move later in the game where he used a hesitation crossover move at the top of the key to drive left, but this time he used his athleticism to go under the hoop and reverse the ball off the glass with his right hand. Dowdell also did a good job on the more conventional drives, driving left on one occasion and protecting the ball well with his body, finishing off the glass with a nice touch.
Dowdell is equally impressive when he pulls up from mid-range rather than taking it all the way to the hoop, though he didnít show that ability today with the frequency he did yesterday. He did hit one pull-up jumper in the lane, coming off a crossover hesitation move he likes to use, exhibiting good body control and consistent shooting form.
In terms of passing the ball, Dowdell found teammates for spot-up two and three-pointers, while also doing a fair share of driving-and-dishing, getting into the lane and making kickouts. In transition, Dowdell did a good job managing his teamís break, as he usually does, scoring on a lay-up himself and dishing out a few nice passes, one on a cut to the basket through the defense for an assist, and another which was bobbled by his teammate, though should have been converted.
This was a fairly good game for Dowdell, who might be the player with the best chance of being drafted in the second round of the players in attendance here. Dowdell should easily get into the Orlando camp where he can show if he can play at the same level against tougher competition. Showing a bit of distributing the ball, scoring from mid-range, and taking it to the basket, Dowdellís shown off the versatility that will make him an attractive option as a point guard or combo guard at the next level, though he would do himself well to show more of his ability to consistently run a team, which heís done a good job of so far here.
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Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Day One
April 5, 2007
The only player to show up for the Tidewater Sealants in day one was their point guard Zabian Dowdell. Everyone else was absolutely awful, and it clearly affected how much Dowdell was able to show as a point guard as well.
Dowdell initially tried to run the team like a true point guard, passing up some scoring opportunities to make the extra pass. He showed terrific hesitation moves getting into the lane and kicking the ball out to open shooters or making post entry passesÖthe problem was besides him the team only shot 20-54 on the day. When the realization began to kick in (somewhere around 21-3 in favor of the opposing team) that he is all by himself in this mess, Dowdell began to take the game over himself and show off his individual skills. He made a living all game long with his mid-range game, using a pick to get by his man and then pulling up smoothly off the dribble for a beautiful jump-shot. He did this again and again, both in transition and in the half-court, and made a very strong impression doing so.
Speaking of transition, Dowdell was excellent as he always is here, pushing the tempo of the game and making excellent decisions. One concern we had with him, his quickness and overall athleticism, seemed to pass the eye test in day one, as he did not seem to have any problem getting to any spot he needed on the floor. He had an epic battle with day oneís MVP Dashuan Wood of Wright State, certainly the highlight of Portsmouth for us so far.
Dowdell will need to get some more help from his teammates around him to come away with anything from this tournament, but regardless heís a sure-fire bet to play in the Orlando pre-draft camp based off his senior season and more.
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NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, Sunday)--Stock Down/Neutral
March 19, 2007
It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride since Seth Greenberg took over a feeble Hokie program confronted with the unenviable task of jumping head first into the nationís most brutally competitive conference. And from the surprising early competitiveness, to the rash of injuries and personal tragedies, all the late-game slip-ups and the jubilance off the recent breakthrough victories over Duke and North Carolina, Zabian Dowdell has been a part of it all. His ability to play both hero and goat sometimes showed up on a play-by-play basis, and it probably isnít a coincidence that his near schizophrenic career neatly lines up with the dramatic highs and lows of the Hokie program as a whole.
With that being said, this season was largely positive for a suddenly dangerous Virginia Tech squad and for Zabian Dowdell. Dowdell posted career highs in nearly every statistical category, and for most of the season provided exactly what Seth Greenberg had been lacking since the move to the ACC Ė a legitimate go-to scorer. His performance in the win at Chapel Hill was as spectacular an individual showing as any all season, and Dowdell appeared to be peaking at the right time. With a positive showing in the NCAA Tournament, a significant rise in draft stock appeared very possible.
Unfortunately, it just wasnít meant to be for Dowdell and the Hokies. It must be said that the NCAA stacked the deck against Dowdell from day one, matching Virginia Tech up against two of the stingiest half-court defenses in the country. It would have been hard for any individual scorer on any of the teams in that pod to put on a good show for the scouts, and Dowdell couldnít overcome the odds like he and the Hokies did in Chapel Hill. His immense one-on-one scoring ability was stifled by the suffocating half-court defenses of Illinois and Southern Illinois, and the half-court nature of the games limited his ability to attack the rim in the open court. Dowdell struggled to get high-percentage looks and didnít convert well on the occasional midrange foray he was able to make.
So Dowdellís Virginia Tech career ends on a bittersweet note. He, along with fellow senior Jamon Gordon, is undoubtedly one of the most important players in the history of the program. Greenberg brings in a banner recruiting class this fall, and while it is unlikely we will be seeing the Hokies in the Tournament a year from now, there is no doubt that the Virginia Tech program is in much better shape than it was upon its entrance into the ACC. But now Dowdell must likely prove himself all over again, fighting it out in the trenches of the Pre-Draft camp Ė but given his physical nature and explosiveness, we wouldnít be surprised to see him win over a few believers over the course of the process.
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NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/31/07-- Part Two
February 1, 2007
A four year starter in the ACC, this season has marked yet another step in the slow, but steady progression Zabian Dowdell has made into becoming one of the best guards in one of the top conferences in America.
Going on the road to a young, but extremely talented Georgia Tech team, Dowdell carried his team on his back yet again to make another solid step towards securing a berth in the NCAA tournament. Dowdell is Virginia Techís go-to guy, a player whose maturity and experience has been absolutely essential in bringing his team tantalizingly close to securing their first tournament appearance since the 1995-1996 season. That goal hit a bit of a setback on Wednesday night after falling at home to a much less talented NC State team, but Virginia Tech is still very much in the picture regardless for making the big dance, largely thanks to two huge wins against Duke and North Carolina, where Dowdell scored 20 and 23 points respectively.
In terms of his NBA prospects, Dowdell has quite a few things going for him. For one, heís got excellent size, standing 6-3 with a chiseled 200 pound frame. Heís a solid defender, a much improved shooter, and has made some serious strides this year in his overall decision making, evidenced by his excellent 2.3/1 assist to turnover ratio.
Dowdell has gone from a mediocre shooter early in his college career to a very dangerous one if left open, knocking down 47.7% of his shots from the field (compared with 41.7% last year) and 41.5% of his 3-point attempts (compared with 35.8% last year). He does not have a consistent release point on his shot, but is capable of hitting jumpers in many different ways, whether coming off screens, catching and shooting, or pulling up off the dribble from mid-range or behind the arc. Heís also a capable ball-handler, not terribly explosive, especially in terms of getting off the floor, but still very much able to get into the paint and use his strength to finish or draw contact, getting to the free throw line almost 6 times a game. He has some basic hesitation moves he can go-to to overcome his lack of a lightning quick first step, and the fact that heís improved his shooting so much this year means that defenders have to play him closer than they normally would have in the past. The fact that heís left-handed also gives him a slight advantage.
In transition is where Dowdell is at his absolute best, as he loves to push the tempo of the game and is extremely reliable with the ball in his hands, averaging just 1.6 turnovers per game in 33 minutes. He does a good job of running his team and has cut back dramatically on many of the foolish mistakes that characterized his play early on in his career, making quick and efficient decisions and often passing up good shots for better ones to get all of his teammates involved. Heís not a pure point guard in the classic sense, but he has a nice variety of passes in his arsenal that he can utilize, particularly in terms of feeding cutters in the paint. Sharing some ball-handling duties with fellow senior combo guard Jamon Gordon (who is having an excellent season in his own right), he does a nice job moving off the ball looking for open spaces to get his shot off as well.
Defensively, Dowdell is committed to keeping his man in front of him and can be a real nuisance in the passing lanes, averaging a league-leading 2.5 steals per game, tied with backcourt mate Jamon Gordon. In the Georgia Tech game in particular he did an outstanding job on Javaris Crittenton, bodying him up all day long and pestering him into a 5-19 shooting outing. His strength and experience really come into play in this area, and he leaves a solid impression with the way he plays angles and forces matchups into positions they are not comfortable in.
All in all, Dowdell has improved enough over the past few years that he deserves be mentioned as a legit NBA draft prospect. He doesnít overly excel in any one part of the game, but also doesnít have any considerable weaknesses that canít be overcome with hard work. Starting in arguably the best conference in America over the past four years makes him one of the most experienced guard prospects in this draft, and if heís able to continue his strong play into the months of February and March, he will surely draw even more attention to himself. The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, right down the road from his college, could be a place where he can really make a name for himself. If the NBA isnít in the cards for him right away, he can rest assure that high-level European teams will welcome him with open arms, as he is basically the prototype for what they are usually looking for out of American players in their backcourt.
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