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Friday, July 6, 2012

Scouting Report: Nate Wolters

Height: 6'4''
Wingspan: 6'3.5''
Weight: 190lb
Bday: 5/15/1991

Team: South Dakota State
Class of 2013 (Senior)

Wolters has been a very productive point guard his past two years, filling up both the scoring and assist column. He has led them back to back winning seasons, included their first tournament birth this past year.

Offensively, he is a very good all around player. He was a very good shooter (~40% from 3 and 80% from FT) his first two seasons, although he had a (24% from 3) poor shooting year his junior campaign. Despite his season long slump, Wolters didnt allow it to effect his offensive production. Unlike other high scoring guards from mid majors, Wolters game doesnt revolve around the jumper, but instead his ability to control the pace and get to the free throw line.

If you are looking for an NBA comparison on the offensive end, Jeremy Lin is your best bet. Wolters runs the pick and roll very well, thanks in large part due to his high IQ. He doesnt rush things and can attack the defense in a variety of ways. He has a good first step, but the key to him getting to the basketball is mixing up his speeds. He keeps the defender on his toes with his speeds, working his way closer to the hoop, and uses his frame to shield the ball. Hes got a subtle little crossover move that he uses to set defenders up for both the drive and shot. He can shoot off the dribble with this move and looks very natural doing so. Hes got a good jumper, so I think his below average shooting numbers were an abnormality.

From the passing end of things, Wolters get it done. He doesnt force the action, with only 2 TOs per game (compared to Lins 5 in college). From what Ive seen, most of Wolters turnovers come when he attacks the basket (more on that later). Wolters was blessed to be surrounded by three 40% 3-pt shooters this year, and that did help his assist totals in addition to opening up the court. Wolters is a team player, playing within the flow of the offense and getting his teammates involved. He was far from a one man show on SDST and had no problem letting his teammates make plays as well.

Wolters is a solid rebounder and likes to receive the outlet quickly and run the ball up court. Rarely does he make a homerun pass, but he is always looking to catch the defense off guard and set up a transition 3-pt attempt for one of the aforementioned shooters. He gets some assists there and most others out of the pick and roll. He has a nice bounce pass and is always on target with his passes. The pick and roll will be his bread and butter if he is to succeed in the NBA, much like Jeremy Lin.

When Wolters has the ball in his hand leading the fastbreak, there is a sense of comfort and trust there. I imagine Sebastian Pruiti would even say that he is better in the fastbreak than Kendall Marshall due to the fact that he rarely turns it over in those situations.

The place that he does turn it over is driving to the hoop. Wolters is aggressive attacking the basket, and does come through the lane unsuccessful his fair share of times. Most of the time when he drives, hes looking for his own shot. He might not make it all the way to the rim, but he has a good footwork that allows him to slow up and shoot a variety of floaters over defenders. His touch on that shot is good, but not great. There are plenty of times that he drives that he either gets his shot blocked or the ball stolen from him. He has to get more creative once he gets all the way to the hoop and always go up strong. Hes a tough player, but sometimes he anticipates contact that never actually occurs. For a guy that gets to the line as much as he does, I think he could do an even better job if he learned how to draw contact. As mentioned before, his FT shooting is fine. Hes been an 80% shooter his entire career.

From a physical standpoint, Wolters has the height that allows him to see over defenders. His wingspan, as measured at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, is disappointing. Strength-wise he can afford to get stronger, but has a Steve Blake-esque toughness and competitiveness about him. Blake would be the guy Id compare him to from a defense and physical perspective. Wolters responds quickly on defense, although he only has average lateral quickness. His length helps make up for it at the college level, but he still isnt great against low major competition. He always plays with energy though, and like I said, he plays tough. He also keeps his head on a swivel and is a generous help defender. Sometimes he can help a little bit too much, but team defense should be considered a strength of his. Hes a good rebounder and enjoys crashing the boards inside.

Wolters will need a good shooting year to ensure last year was a fluke, which I dont think he will have a problem doing. It looks very likely that he will be drafted and could even go in the late first round.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, gotta lover that Nate. He's my cousin and I am very proud of him