This edition of Know the Prospect comes from P&T community member RobDiablo44, who's having a little browser trouble and asked me to post for him. Thanks to Rob for breaking down three potential summertime pick-ups. I, for one, am a big Ish Smith fan, and also would enjoy Slaughter, if only because we could play this when he scores.
i.e. – guys we can invite to camp/D-League. The Knicks are in need of a point guard who will look for his teammates before he chucks one up. Duhon is getting long in the tooth and his fading is well documented. And Sergio "No Look Bowl of Paella to the face and/or shins" Rodriguez could be a sparkplug, or he might be too wild and inconsistent to fit in anywhere. At any rate, it couldn’t hurt to have another pure PG to fill out the roster. Most of the "Top Prospect"/draftable PGs are out of our reach AND they are usually (but not always) shoot-first types of guys (which, honestly, I think we’ve had enough of for a while, right?) So I wanted to look for some under the radar types who might go undrafted, are pure 1’s, look to pass first, and who have a decent body of college work to gauge. I found three intriguing prospects, so let’s take a look after the jump….Ishmael Smith, SR, Wake Forest – 5’11", 155 lbs.
Okay… the dude is wispy thin. And with 3.1 turnovers a game his senior year (his worst in that department since his freshman campaign), he needs some work on the handle. And his 3pt % has dipped from a borderline 35% to a sad 22% over 4 years (while his FG % has stayed right around the 42-43% range). So you ask, what’s to like about this kid? He started (or got starter minutes) all 4 years at Wake, and these two stats: 6 assists a game and 1.7 steals. I like a guy who can distribute and pick it off. That will be kind of a theme for these "off the board" types, as you’ll see…
Ish, in-depth and clutch…
Willie Kemp, SR, Memphis – 6’2", 175 lbs.
Another senior, but not a 4-year starter, per se. He did get 30 mins a game his senior year though, and he made them count. 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 37.1 % from 3-pt range and a borderline dismal 38.5 from the field. His line doesn’t dazzle, but he’s a character guy who his teammates (and Memphis fans) loved. He’s got the size and the handle (only 2.0 turnovers a game, actually a career worst as a SR). Admittedly, I’ve got a soft spot for this borderline kid, but he could be a diamond in the rough.
Willie’s senior video…
A.J. Slaughter, SR, Western Kentucky – 6’3", 180 lbs.
My favorite of this threesome. The Hilltopper started his Jr and Sr seasons and along with his ability to score (17.5 a game at 41.6% a clip), he could also dish (4.3), steal (1.6), and keep a relatively decent handle on the ball (2.7 to’s a game). Word is he runs the pick-and-roll like a champ, but needs some work on his game management at the point. He was a combo guard at the college level, but he’d have to become a 1 in the pros. He seems willing to D up, and while he might not have the quickness, he does have the desire (and length) to make a run at it. He’s borderline as a pass first guy, but his 3-pt shooting (anywhere from 43 to 35% behind the arc) makes him an intriguing prospect.
A.J. gets, perhaps, the worst highlight video of all-time (what’d they do, film this through a screen door? And how did they not get the "highlight reel should be short and sweet" memo? At almost nine minutes, it’s running a bit long…)
Do these guys really have a chance? I don’t know. But they’re guys who have a good amateur background with great schools, 4 years of experience, and an ability to get their teammates involved. And they probably won’t get drafted. So why not take a flier on one of them?