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Sunday, April 10, 2011

2011 Nike Hoop Summit Prospect Breakdown (Rivers and Wroten)

I profiled a lot of the Team USA standouts in my article about the McDonald's game that can be found here. A lot of the same players were impressive in the Hoop Summit - McAdoo, Beal, and Gilchrist - but I'd like to take a closer look at the game's MVP Austin Rivers and future Huskie Tony Wroten who didn't play in the Mickey D's event. The box score for the game can be found here.

Tony Wroten - Wroten didn't play in the McDonald's event, partly due to inconsistent play and also because he was coming back from an injury his senior year. Nevertheless, Wroten is a top tier talent and earned an invite as one of only ten players to make up Team USA's roster. At 6'5'' Wroten has great size for either guard position and really caught scouts' eyes with his court vision in this game. As a point guard prospect, he is a very intriguing player, one who could potentially go in the lottery.

At the Hoop Summit, he finished the game with 5 assists and 3 turnovers. The passes he managed to complete were all impressive. He had a few lob passes, no look bullets inside, and saw things other players didn't. While trying to make spectacular plays, Wroten also forced a few passes that resulted in turnovers. Right now he has the court vision but lacks the decision making. Out of all the players in the game, he has the biggest flare for the dramatic, which makes his upside noticeable, but also makes you less certain of him than guys like Beal and Gilchrist. He still needs to find a way to use his talents in an efficient way. The talent is there.

In a way, he reminds me of a cross between OJ Mayo and Lance Stephenson. A combo guard type with immense talent, he just needs to tone down his playground style. Mayo has the jumper that Wroten is missing, which puts him in the same boat as Stephenson, but he looks to have Mayo-esque athleticism. His size and athleticism makes him a potential great defender and he already shows good instincts in the passing lanes. Even when he is not scoring, he can fill up that stat sheet.

Wroten is a guy that could go either way next year at Washington. Isaiah Thomas is leaving, but Abdul Gaddy is back from injury so we will see how they play together. I think they'll complement each other well since Wroten can get to the line and make plays, while Gaddy is more of the conservative type who hangs around the three point line. Wroten can have a big effect on a Washington team that should enter the year ranked in the top 25.

Austin Rivers - Rivers took home the MVP at the Hoop Summit, but I'd be hesistant to say he had a better game than Biyombo, Davis, and Gilchrist. He scored 20 efficient points (7-11 shooting) while not having an effect anywhere else in the box score. The 20 points were rather quiet, Rivers mostly created his own shots with his solid crossovers, since he wasn't one of the guards that were hounding the World team and creating steals. He isn't on the level athletically as other team USA members and it showed as the rest of the team were making plays in transition. Right now, Rivers is a one on one scorer who needs the ball to be effective. He is a very good scorer, but he needs to learn to play off ball. His point guard skills haven't shown yet and it is questionable if he is a franchise player. Often times he looks to the referees for help when he can't complete a play, when it really boils down to the fact that he isn't a great finisher at this point. He is a one dimensional scorer at this point and while it is still very earlier, he has to show some more things at Duke if he wants to be a top 5 pick.

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