Know the Prospect: Darius Johnson-Odom

Mar 8, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Marquette Golden Eagles guard Darius Johnson-Odom (1) drives to the basket against Louisville Cardinals guard/forward Kyle Kuric (14) and forward Chane Behanan (24) in the third round of the 2012 Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

What's up guys, it's Ross Bernhardt. I'm not going to beat around the bush with this intro. It's been pretty guard-heavy with the prospects so far, and that's not going to change with this one today. We take a look at another combo guard (in a slightly abridged format) from Marquette: Darius Johnson-Odom. Let's jump.

Darius Johnson-Odom, a 6'2" combo guard, played for the Marquette Golden Eagles for three seasons after transferring from Hutchinson Community College. DJO, as he was known by some of his close friends, made an immediate impact with Marquette. He started 22 of 34 games as a sophomore and became a staple of the starting lineup the following years. In that sophomore season, DJO put up some incredibly ridiculous/efficient numbers from long range (47.4% from three) and while he couldn't quite keep that up, he still maintained strong shooting percentages and managed to increase his overall production. He earned All-Big East honors this season as well as Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America.

The Rundown

Measurements: Height - 6'1" w/o shoes, 6'2" (some say 6'3") w/shoes; Weight - 215 pounds; Wingspan - 6'6.5"; Max Vert - 40"; Lane Agility - 10.84

Projected Draft Position (as of right now): 47 on Draft Express, 37 on Pro Basketball Draft, Not on NBADraft.net

Actual Scouting Reports/Profiles: Draft Express, Stat Sheet, Marquette University Profile, TKB (specific info relating to his fit with the Knicks)

Amateur Take - Offense: DJO was rock solid offensively for Marquette in his three years there. He averaged 15.7 points per game on 44% shooting (40% form three) over those three seasons, and was Marquette's leading scorer each of the last two years (with a career-high 18.3 ppg last season). His most valuable asset is his three-point shooting. DJO shot 47.4% from deep as a sophomore, then regressed to 36% as a junior, and improved to nearly 39% as a senior. That doesn't concern me as much because it's almost like starting off college with a 4.0 GPA your first semester. That's hard to keep up, and some regression was to be expected. But the improvement in his % from junior to senior year is a positive sign.

DJO didn't do much point guarding even with his size, so he will easily transition to an off-ball role in the league. He can consistently hit shots either in catch-and-shoot situations or even off the dribble, and his mostly consistent shooting percentages tell me that he would be a reliable shooter at the next level. He's also extremely quick and has a strong handle with either hand. His other offensive skills aren't nearly as refined. While he has an incredibly solid frame (he looks more like an outside linebacker) and he can use his physical advantages to get to the lane, he isn't a great finisher at the rim. He also isn't much of a passer (2.7 APG) and had just 10 games where he finished with four assists or more. But he wouldn't be asked to distribute much with the Knicks is my guess.

Amateur Take - Defense: DJO's strength, wingspan, and quickness would make him a defensive asset on any team. First, he's got a very high motor. They guy is just intense on either side of the ball. I believe that he could guard both guard positions capably because of those aforementioned traits. His stature might hurt the impact he can have on guarding quality shooting guards (or just bigger shooting guards), but his wingspan combined with his quickness can help him play a bit bigger than he really is. I'm not too worried about him on this side of the ball.

From The Scouts: This take from Jonathan Wasserman for Tommy Dee stood out to me:

I’ve covered DJO closely over the past few years, and the one word I think of when describing him is "sturdy". He won’t wow you with creativity. But he’s a constant. A fixture. You know what you’re getting with him- no unpredictability attached, rare to say for a guard. This year he scored at least 15 points in 28 of his 34 games played with only a high of 26. He won’t dominate the ball, nor does he need to. Which is what makes him an interesting option at #48 for NY.

The Clyde Factor: Again, these are all names that ordinary human beings should be able to pronounce flawlessly, but we all know that Clyde is extraordinary. "Darrirus Johnsern-Odom", "Oden", just "Johnson" on some occasions are all realistic possibilities. He's already got DJO, and I could envision Clyde adding the DJ to his popular "OHHH!" after surprising plays (and hopefully not awful plays). I am also privy to Darius Johnson-Odom and Gomorrah.

Knick Knacks: Due to a time-crunch, I'm skipping the Knick Knacks this time. Besides, YOU DON'T READ THEM ANYWAY.

Let's Get Reel

Darius Johnson Odom Summer 2011 EliteMixtape! (via EliteMixtapes)

[12.6.11] Darius Johnson-Odom - 23 Points Vs Washington (Complete Highlights) (via BlakeAtkins22)

Inside Marquette Basketball - Darius Johnson-Odom (via muathletics)

What We Learned:

  • He's one athletic dude, and he can GET UP. Some of those dunks are just filthy.
  • I'm always a sucker for lefty shooters, and his lefty stroke looks pretty damn pure from several spots on the court.
  • He's certainly capable of scoring in a variety of different ways, but whether he can do it consistently is the question. He can shoot, and I'd rather have him doing that.
  • That strong hand situation is weird. WEIRD.
  • Leave the nicknames to us, DJO and Homer, whoever you are.

In Conclusion:

I think that DJO would be a very solid two-way player for the Knicks at 48. It's just a question of whether he will be there. I think that after the combine and workouts, this guy's stock will rise towards the top of the second round. He's got the athleticism and the motor, and he has the shooting touch. Plus, he's consistent. You don't find a lot of guys like that in the second round. I'm all for DJO if he's there, but then again, I haven't taken much of a definitive stance on many of these guys. Sorry for my weak constitution you guys.

What do you think?

Ross Bernhardt (viva_morrison). You can find me on the web writing over at CHARGED.fm or on Twitter @ross_bernhardt.

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