Villanova won the Division I men’s basketball championship over Michigan in a 79-62 win on Monday night. Wildcats junior Mikal Bridges was the NBA Draft prospect who most watched closely heading into last night. He scored 19 points in the win and finished his season on a high note.
But it was sixth man guard Donte DiVincenzo who stole the show. He scored 31 points on 10 of 15 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished three assists, and even blocked two shots. DiVincenzo was on fire from start to finish to the point where he played 37 minutes last night and won the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player Award. You can watch his highlights above.
When a player hits his stride on the biggest stage, his NBA Draft stock is bound to rise. Few expected DiVincenzo to be a serious draft prospect, at least for this year. According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, some scouts believed DiVincenzo may get some looks in the first round, though other scouts believed that he could fall anywhere from the late first round to going undrafted. Evan Daniels of 247 Sports also received similar information where an NBA team executive believes that he would be a “mid-second round” prospect.
Instead of going through the pros and cons of declaring early for the NBA Draft, let’s just assume DiVicenzo does, because his stock is probably not getting higher than it is right now and the next few weeks. What could he provide the Wizards?
Perimeter shooting and scoring
DiVicenzo made just over 40 percent of his threes in the 2017-18 college season, making 85 overall. He’s also a great scorer overall at the college level, where he’s not afraid to drive to the basket or pull up. Oddly enough, DiVincenzo isn’t a great free throw shooter, where he made just 71 percent of them last season. But if he’s improved his three point shot over the years, free throw shooting is something else he can do as well.
Ability to play and defend both guard positions
As a sixth man, DiVincenzo never had a set guard position to play. He averaged 3.5 assists this season, doubling his average from 2016-17. He is 6’5 which allows him to defend point and shooting guards comfortable.
Do the Wizards need someone like DiVincenzo?
Yes, the Wizards can use someone who can provide what DiVincenzo does. The Wizards have struggled to find a reliable reinforcement at the shooting guard position. Bradley Beal has played a lot of minutes this season, and can use more time to rest. Also, the Wizards can use someone at the backup point guard position, should Tim Frazier or (GASP) Tomas Satoransky be traded within the next couple seasons.
If DiVincenzo declares for the draft and hires an agent, he’s the type of prospect where he’s a risk as a mid to late first round pick, but he’d be a strong selection as a mid second rounder. Personally, I hope a player like DiVincenzo drops to the second, because I would rather see the Wizards take a frontcourt player with their first round pick.