2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Quincy Pondexter

Editor's Note, by Rook6980: This is the 18th installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects.  This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2010 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft. My DVR is crammed full of college games, and I'm watching and writing as fast as I can.

Quincy Pondexter

  • 22 years old
  • 6'6"; 220 lbs.
  • Washington, Senior
  • Draft Projection: Late 1st-2nd Round

Quincy Pondexter played high school basketball in Fresno, California at San Joaquin Memorial High School; the same figh school where his father Roscoe and uncle Clifton Pondexter were All-American basketball players. Both Roscoe and Clifton went on to college, and eventually both had professional basketball careers. Now it looks like Quincy will be following in their footsteps.

Quincy Pondexter has always had the athleticism, but it wasn't until his  senior year at Washington that he put it all together and became an all-around basketball player.

Pondexter is a 6'7", 225 pound wing (SG/SF) with long arms and a slender build. He has elite athleticism, with explosive leaping ability and blazing quickness. He's got a very quick first step, and can get to the basket in a heartbeat using long strides.

In his first three seasons at Washington, Pondexter showed his athleticism in the form of thundering dunks (usually at the tail end of fast breaks), but never really showed much basketball skill. Well, that all changed his senior season. His jump shot became much more consistent, especially from 20-feet in. He still retains the ability to run the floor, and is a tremendous finisher, but now he shows flashes of being able to put the basketball on the floor and slash to the basket, creating shots for himself and his teammates.

Although he's made great strides, especially in the ability to create his own shot, his ball handling still needs work. Also, his three-point shooting is inconsistent, to put it kindly. He was terrible early in the year from beyond the arc (23%), but shot much better in the second half (41%). Pondexter has a few advanced moves, including some hesitation moves, and some spins (mostly to the right), but in all he's mostly a straight line dribbler and he lacks the ability to quickly change direction. One of the most encouraging signs for his jump shot is his increased free-throw percentages each year; from 68 percent to 74 percent to 82 percent in his senior season.

Speaking of his jump shot, Pondexter is a very good mid-range shooter, and is equally good shooting off the dribble or in catch and shoot situations. He shows excellent mechanics, with good balance, shoulders squared to the basket, nice high release and a consistent follow through. With work, I see no reason he couldn't become a deadly three-point shooter.

Pondexter has the potential to be a lock-down perimeter defender in the NBA. He plays an assertive in your chest style of defense, but despite his fierce and aggressive style, he has been able to limit his fouls (2.9 per 40 minutes pace adjusted). He is equally adept at guarding shooting guards and small forwards, and can switch off on point guards effectively as well.

He shows excellent defensive fundamentals, getting into a good low stance and quickly moving his feet. He's focused and aware on defense, with his head on a swivel. He rotates well and is an excellent help defender. On the defensive end, Pondexter generally out-hustles and outworks his opponent - beating him spots, denying penetration, and contesting every shot. He gets his fair share of steals (1.5 per game), but rarely gambles, preferring instead to play good positional defense and contest shots.  I've watched as very good offensive players got frustrated with Pondexter guarding them.

It's his ability to defend multiple positions, along with willingness to put out max effort on the defensive end of the floor that will make him a coach's favorite. He's also an excellent rebounder for a wing player, especially on the offensive boards, where his length and athleticism can be put to full use. He averaged over eight boards (8.4 per 40 pace adjusted).

Strengths

  • Elite Athlete
  • Explosive leaper
  • Extremely quick, especially laterally
  • Good size for a wing
  • Long Arms (over 7-foot wingspan)
  • Good offensive rebounder
  • Excellent in transition-great finisher
  • Much improved Mid-range jump shot
  • Excellent Free Throw shooter
  • Extremely hard worker, High Basketball IQ
  • Experienced, mature and Coachable
  • High motor, doesn't take plays off
  • Committed to playing defense
  • Potential lock down defender

Weaknesses

  • Ball Handling
  • Range on his jump shot
  • Limited upside

Darren Collison was a player I loved in last year's draft. I thought he was the second best point guard in the draft, and a lock to be drafted in the lottery. Instead, he slipped to number 21. I still believe Collison slipped because scouts had four years to look at him, and they looked at his weaknesses instead of looking at the things he CAN do. Quincy Pondexter is another player that played all four years in college, and instead of looking at his lock-down defensive ability, and the fact that his shooting has improved tremendously, scouts are harping on his lack of a three-point shot and his weak ball handling. Yet, many of those same scouts are touting the "potential" of a guy like Daniel Orton, who played only 13 minutes a game in ONE year at Kentucky.  The point here is, four years at college should be a strength, not a weakness.

This is a guy I'd really love to see the Wizards take with their 30th pick. As he continues to improve the range on his jump shot, he could develop into the TAD player (Three-and-D guy) Mike was talking about here. Pondexter could answer some of the questions about the Wizards perimeter defense.

This will be the last of my long-winded Draft profiles... Over the next two days, I'll be doing multiple shorter profiles in each post.

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