Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sean Kilpatrick's Draft Stock

Sean Kilpatrick has emerged from a off the bench scoring threat his freshman year to the best player on Cincinnati's top 25 team this season, this being his junior campaign. Turning 23 in January, Kilpatrick's time is running up and should at least test the draft waters this year. His upside is limited, but as a mature shooter, Kilpatrick could be the type of guy who can be drafted in the second round and contribute right away.

Kilpatrick's calling card is his ability to shoot. Last year he took 56% of his shots from deep. He has a quick release which allows him to get shots up with little space and always has his shoulders square to the hoop. He shows good balance and is able to pump fake to keep defenders honest and pull up in the mid-range area as well, where he is also very good.

While Kilpatrick is a shooter, I wouldn't classify him amongst the elite shooters in college basketball. He's more of a streaky shooter who will have some nights where he front rims everything. His free throw shooting testifies to this, as he is a career 71% shooter.

Kilpatrick does have a more rounded offense game than other shooters in this draft like CJ Wilcox, Caldwell-Pope, and Reggie Bullock. He's shooting slightly less threes this year and has made his offensive impact felt in other ways. Last night against Campbell, he only had 4 first half points but I was encouraged to see him still involved and creating for his teammates.

Kilpatrick has only a solid first step, not much of a left hand, and no real advanced ball moves but when he hits the lane, he shows good balance and keeps his head up to find teammates. He showed the ability to find teammates near the rim and also drive and kick last night. He also cut off the ball and used his solid frame to get looks inside.

Kilpatrick has trouble finishing though, as he is right hand dominant, and lacks great length and explosiveness. He has the body to absorb contact and it also is a reason he can drive the lane despite average skills, but he is still an average finisher at best.

I liked what I saw from Kilpatrick's overall offensive game last night, but it doesn't change much for him. He is still turning 23. He still is a streaky shooter. And he still isn't a very good ball handler or finisher. His confidence and ability to play under control will allow him to maximize his average gifts this season, but it doesn't make his ceiling for the NBA very high. Still, it is good to see a shooter that is not completely one dimensional. 

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