With the draft only three days away, you're going to hear a lot of names get bounced around as players the Wizards could be looking at with their picks. Scouting reports and highlight reels can help you get a feel for some of the players, but nothing can replace the knowledge and insight that you get from watching a player on a night-in, night-out basis.
In order to get that kind of feel, you really need to talk to someone that's a true fan of the team. And if you want a more informed feeling for who you're looking at, it always helps if you can find a couple of bloggers who follow the university's athletic program. With that in mind, we're enlisting the help of some of the college hoops bloggers out there to get a better feel for some of the players the Wizards might end up drafting.
For this segment, we're turning to CougHoops to help us learn more about a player that many feel could improve the Wizards' backcourt defense, Kyle Weaver.
In what parts of the game do you think Kyle can contribute on an NBA team?
CougHoops: Kyle has a lanky 6-foot-6 frame and is very versatile, so I think he can contribute in a number of areas. I don't think there's any more compelling statistical testament to Kyle's versatility than the fact that he is the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 175 steals and 75 blocked shots in a career. Kyle's defensive prowess has been well documented, with good reason - he's a tenacious defender with long arms, quick hands, and a real nose for the ball. What's often overlooked is the fact that he's also an excellent ball handler and passer with a great feel for the game.
In what areas do you think his game could still use some work?
CH: Kyle's mid-range and perimeter shooting could use some improvement. Most of his points come off the dribble when he's slashing to the basket. Kyle's well aware of the questions about his shooting and he's been working hard to improve in this area. I think the fact that he shot 36 percent (24 of 36) from 3-point range last year after shooting just 23 percent (19 for 89) in his three previous seasons is evidence of his strong work ethic and potential for further development.
Do you consider him more of a point guard or a shooting guard?
CH: Kyle plays more like a point guard. He was often responsible for bringing the ball up the court in WSU's offense, and he demonstrated a knack for making good decisions and not forcing the action. Kyle has a strong basketball IQ - his father was a coach at the Division III level and he's played for two of the finest coaches in Division I (Dick and Tony Bennett).
Washington State has been among the top defensive teams in the nation while Kyle Weaver has been at WSU. How big of a role did he play in turning them into a defensive powerhouse?
CH: I don't think there's any question that Kyle played a key role in Washington State's emergence as one of the top defensive teams in the country. He was the Cougs' defensive stopper and often drew the toughest assignments -- shutting down some of the country's best players in the process (OJ Mayo, Matt Bouldin, etc.).
Scouts have raved about his defense, but what can Kyle bring to the table on offense?
CH: Because WSU is such a patient offensive team - slowing the game down and looking for good shots, Kyle's offensive numbers aren't nearly as big as they might have been in some other systems. As I mentioned previously, Kyle's a slashing guard with strong ball-handling and passing abilities. He has great body control and excels along the baseline. He can squeeze through tight spots and hit holes quickly - when he gets to the rack he's equally adept at scoring or dishing off to a perimeter player or cutting big man.
Many thanks to CougHoops for their time and their great answers. If you're looking for some coverage of college hoops from a Cougar perspective, check them out.