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Draft Prospect - Tyreke Evans

For part 7 of my assessments of the top draft prospects, I present my review of Tyreke Evans of the Memphis Tigers.

Team: Memphis
Height / Wt:  6'5" / 195
Position: Point Guard
Age: Freshman, 19 Years Old

Best Case: A bigger Baron Davis
Most Likely: Larry Hughes
Worst Case: DeShawn Stevenson

Athleticism                             8    
Leadership                            6    
Size for position                    9    
Jump shot                              5   
Footwork/Fundamentals     6 
Post skills                               7  
Ball Handling                       10    
Perimeter Defense               8    
Post Defense                         7    
Help Defense                         8   
Passing ability                       7      
Speed/Quickness                 9    
Basketball IQ                         6 
Intensity level                         9 
Tyreke Evans has excellent size for a PG at 6'5", but the question is, "is he a PG or a SG?". Evans is a natural scorer with a good head for the the game on Offense; scoring most of his points on dribble-drives or on the pick-and-roll. He's a spectacular and exciting player with excellent athleticism and body control. So the answer is that he's a "scoring Point Guard". 
About half way through the season, Evans was installed as the full time Point Guard and Memphis reeled off 27 consecutive wins; sweeping through the Conference USA tournament and beating CSU Northridge and Maryland in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Missouri in the semifinals of the West Regional. An impressive run, keyed by Tyreke Evans. He was especially impressive against Cincinnati with 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists; and against top-20 ranked Gonzaga where he had 22 points and 6 rebounds. Playing the Point seemed to give Evans more confidence - as it is evident that he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. 
Tyreke Evans has some NBA level physical tools. He's very quick and faster than I had been led to believe. A very good ball handler with either hand, with the ability to drive either direction; and that makes him very unpredictable. Evans has a wicked cross-over move; a real ankle beaker. He's strong for a PG, and has a fully developed body. He's got tremendous lateral quickness and very long arms. I would not be surprised if he measures out with a 6'10" or more wingspan. But not everything is Sun and flowers. Evans tends to get out of control and sometimes lacks discipline. He's turn over prone, and has absolutely no game when playing off the ball. 
Evans uses a variety of hesitation and change-of-pace moves to get by his opponent. He's best when driving to the basket, on the pick-and-roll or in transition. He can finish at the rim, even through heavy contact - or kick the ball out to an open teammate. Very good at creating shots for himself, he became better at the end of the year in creating shots for his teammates. If there's an Achilles' heel to Evans game, it's that he needs a lot of work on his jump shot. Evans is not very good in catch-and-shoot situations, nor is he particularly adept at pulling up for jumpers off the dribble. Part of the problem may be in his mechanics. He doesn't have a consistent release point, and sometimes does not follow through. More work is needed on his jumper before he can be considered an all-around player. 
Evans is a very good rebounder; both on the Offensive and the Defensive ends. This is where his strength, athleticism and long arms really help him; but it's his rebounding fundamentals that seem unusual to see in a Point Guard. I would not be surprised to learn that he played PF or Center in High School; because someone certainly taught him the art of blocking out. Defensively, he has all the tools. He has excellent lateral quickness, combined with strength, good size, quick hands and a long reach. Because he's an aggressive defender, early in the year he got in frequent foul trouble. As he progressed through the season, he learned to stay aggressive, but without fouling. He still gambled for steals, and left himself, and his team vulnerable from time to time. A lot of times, he would gamble and fail, but because of his tremendous quickness and speed, he could get back in position. He won't be able to do that in the NBA. If he can be reigned in a bit, and learn to play within a Defensive scheme, I see Evans being a very good defender at the next level. 
Evans has the potential to become a special player, and some NBA GM will gamble that Evans' size and feel for the game can turn him into an elite scoring point guard. 
Strong for a PG 
Fully developed body 
Speed and Quickness 
Ball Handling with either hand 
Dribble drive 
Pick and Roll 
Transition game 
Ability to create shots 
Aggressive and intense 
Defensive potential 
Sometimes overly aggressive 
Lacks discipline 
Out of control 
Jump shot needs work 
Prone to turn overs 
Lacks range on his shot 
Needs the ball to score 
Fit for the Wizards = 4        (1 being best fit, 5 being does not fit at all) 
What the Wizards need is a player with a good jump shot, with 3-point range. The Wizards don't need another ball dominating Point Guard, unless Gilbert Arenas is not 100%; and even then, I'd prefer to see the Wizards pick a pure Point to back-up Arenas, perhaps using their 2nd round pick.