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Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Seven: Prospects #16-20

Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Seven: Prospects #16-20
Sep 16, 2015, 05:12 pm
We continue our coverage on the top NBA draft prospects in the Big East with part seven, players ranked 16-20: Kellen Dunham, Angel Delgado, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tommy Hamilton and JaJuan Johnson.
More DX Conference Preseason Previews:
-The Top 20 NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12

-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part One
(#1) Kris Dunn (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Two
#2) Henry Ellenson (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Three
(#3) Jalen Brunson (Scouting Video)

-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Four
(#4) Josh Hart
(#5) Isaiah Copeland

-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Five
(#6) Trevon Bluiett
(#7) Justin Patton
(#8) Luke Fischer
(#9) Isaiah Whitehead
(#10) Daniel Ochefu

-Top NBA Prospects in the Big East, Part Six
(#11) Phil Booth
(#12) Paul White
(#13) Jalen Reynolds
(#14) Yankuba Sima
(#15) L.J. Peak
#16, Kellen Dunham, 6-6, Shooting Guard, Senior, Butler

Jacob Eisenberg

Kellen Dunham came to Butler as a consensus top-100 high school recruit and, after showing promise as a freshman and sophomore, finally broke out as an elite shooter in the Big East as a junior. He finished third in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game for a team that finished 23-11 and earned a #6 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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At 6-6, Dunham is the appropriate height for an NBA wing, though he'll need to continue to add muscle to his slight frame. He's already added approximately 15 pounds since his freshman year, but has yet to break the 200-pound threshold. He's not particularly strong or athletic for an NBA prospect, which raises some red flags from the get-go.

Dunham will catch teams' radars for his ability to shoot the ball from deep. He's a gunner from anywhere on the floor, and is comfortable in catch-and-shoot situations, shooting off screens, and shooting off the dribble. His release is lightning quick, he sets his feet incredibly fast, and he has range extending beyond the NBA line. Dunham converted on 77-of-188 three-point attempts (41%) last season and 84% of his half-court possessions came off jumpers. He's made more three-pointers and shot the ball at a higher efficiency in every season thus far at Butler, which is a very encouraging sign.

Last season, Dunham showed more ability to put the ball on the floor and create offense for himself in the midrange with an arsenal of skilled shots. Synergy Sports Technology shows Dunham shot 55-for-151 on pull-up jumpers (36%), a solid mark especially considering the volume of attempts. No returning draft prospect attempted as many off the dribble jumpers last year, showing how much more frequently Dunham was asked to create for himself compared to years past.

But beyond his ability to make shots off the dribble, Dunham's most impressive quality as a shooter is his adaptability in the air. Seldom will Dunham attempt a straightaway jumper; he seemingly prefers taking leaners, double clutches, or spins into fade-aways. There aren't many shooters in recent memory who regularly contort their upper body and release away from the defender in mid-air, yet shoot as efficiently as Dunham.

Dunham is mostly a shooter right now, as it's fairly rare to see him create a shot and get all the way to the rim. When he does, he tends to lack the length, strength and explosiveness needed to finish inside the paint in traffic against better competition, finishing under 50% of his “inside the paint” attempts in the half-court. Though he lacks an explosive first step, Dunham's quick release and propensity to knock down shots off-balance enables him to create inches of space against even the best defenders in the Big East. This is a wrinkle in his game that should separate him from other one-dimensional sharpshooting prospects, even if it remains to be seen how attractive his mid-range game will be in today's NBA.

While Dunham makes his living as a scorer mostly outside the paint, he does find ways to get to the free throw line, which is very beneficial to his teamas an 85% free throw shooter. He is extremely intelligent with the way he initiates contact and forces refs to blow their whistle, having all kinds of crafty tricks in his arsenal to draw fouls. While it's unlikely that he'll get to the line very often in the NBA, this is a great example of his basketball IQ and overall toughness, as he's not afraid to throw his body around.

While Dunham improved as a scorer and even become more efficient while doing so, he is somewhat of a one-dimensional player in that regard, not contributing much as a rebounder (3.1 per-40), passer (1.1 per-40) or with his ability to force turnovers (.7 steals per-40, 1 overall block).

Defensively, Dunham should be commended for his attentiveness and hustle. His feet never stop moving away from the ball and he dedicatedly maintains focus on both his man and the ball. He shows a nuanced understanding of his opponents' tendencies: in some instances, when his opponent is a weak shooter, he'll sag off of in a subtle effort to bait the opponent into a shot. In other instances, against a strong shooter, he'll stay at home on his man although nearby steal opportunities lurk.

He closes out on shooters well and rarely bites on pump fakes. His defensive stance is fine and he diligently keeps his hands up at a high rate for a wing. Still, his weak frame, poor wingspan and lack of lateral quickness could potentially spell nightmares for him at the NBA level. Even in college, opponents found success by forcing Dunham into switches on pick-and-rolls and then bullying him inside with taller and stronger offensive players.

Entering his senior season, Dunham will need to continue to work on his defense, and maximize his frame and athleticism to enhance his chances of catching an NBA team's radar. His offensive skillset and height make him an intriguing prospect but his physical limitations are worrisome projecting to better competition.

#17, Angel Delgado, 6'9”, Sophomore, Center, Seton Hall

Derek Bodner

Talent evaluators are frequently looking for an “NBA skill”, something that they can feel confident will translate to the next level and allow the rest of a prospect's game to develop over time. Some prospects do not have such a skill when they arrive on a college campus and require growth, both in terms of their physical profile and skill level, to develop one such skill.

Angel Delgado is not such a prospect.

Delgado, a 6'9” big man with a chiseled frame, was a dominant rebounder from the day he arrived at Seton Hall. Delgado collected 9.8 rebounds per game in just over 28 minutes per night last season for the Pirates, making his presence felt on the glass on a nightly basis.

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On a per-minute basis, Delgado's averages of 5.0 offensive rebounds (1st) and 8.7 defensive rebounds (3rd) per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, would both rank among the top figures for any player selected in last year's draft. His rate statistics, having collected 14.2% of available offensive rebounds and 25.2% of available defensive rebounds, both measure among the best rebounders in the country.

Delgado can quite simply be described as relentless on the glass, as you'll rarely see him take a possession off on either end of the court, and you'll frequently see him contest a shot on the perimeter, then fight his way back into rebounding position. His combination of quickness, size, strength, motor, anticipation, and positioning all allow him to be a very good rebounder, and that should carry over to the next level.

Delgado also contributes on the defensive end, altering shots at the rim, playing good post defense, and showing the ability to defend the pick and roll. His well-developed frame, which also plays a part in his rebounding, allows Delgado to hold his position down low, and he does a good job of engaging the offensive player early in the shot clock. He also shows enough quickness to hedge and recover on pick and rolls, although a combination of Delgado playing largely at center, and Seton Hall playing a substantial amount of zone, limited the number of times he was put in pick and roll situations defensively.

Delgado does show good timing as a shot blocker, and uses his length well to contest shots and stay out of foul trouble. That being said, he's not overly explosive off his feet, and this limits his potential as a shot blocker. Delgado swatted just 1.8 shots per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, a relatively low number for a center, especially one who doesn't contribute all that much on the offensive end.

On the offensive side of the court, Delgado remains a work in progress. The majority of his half-court offense comes off the ball, with his aforementioned offensive rebounding prowess his biggest contribution. He's also a quick, fluid athlete who does a good job of finding seams in a defense, with solid hands and an upper body that allows him to play through contact around the rim.

In terms of creating his own offense, Delgado will occasionally try posting up, but this can sometimes be an adventure at this stage of his skill development. According to Synergy Sports Technology, just under 16% of Delgado's half-court shot attempts came off of post-ups, but he shot an abysmal 25.8% on these attempts, generating 0.548 points per shots, which ranks in the bottom 10% in terms of efficiency. His strength allows him to establish deep position, with his go-to move being a right handed hook shot, which he does show some touch on. Unfortunately, Delgado lacks any move with his left hand, struggles to read double teams, and lacks any type of a counter move if the defense takes him out of his comfort zone. The combination of these factors can cause Delgado to take wild, out of control attempts more frequently than you would like.

Another area where Delgado will need to work to diversify his game is from the perimeter, as he attempted just 16 jump shots, most of them from short range, and connected on only 31% of these, according to Synergy Sports. These struggles continue to the free throw line where, despite a free throw rate of 51%, which suggests an ability to get to the line, Delgado converted on just 41.4% of his free throw attempts. His form here needs considerable improvement, as there's a lot of extra motion and inconsistency in his mechanics.

Delgado's incredible rebounding on both ends of the court is enough to get him noticed, and something that could conceivably translate well to the next level. Whether or not Delgado can turn himself into a legitimate NBA prospect, however, will be largely dependent on the progress he's able to make on the offensive side of the court.

#18, Ryan Arcidiacono, 6'3, Point Guard, Villanova, Senior

KyleNelson

Ryan Arcidiacono did not post the most eye-popping numbers as a junior, but there is no denying the role that he played in Villanova's run that culminated in a top seeding in the NCAA Tournament, and Big East Player of the Year Honors for him.

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Though Arcidiacono ultimately struggled in Villanova's disappointing loss in the Round of 32, he solidified his reputation as one of the top point guards in the country as a junior. Villanova needs another big season from its four-year captain in order to repeat, but backcourt help is on the way in the form of freshman phenomenon Jalen Brunson. The question on scouts' minds, however, is whether Arcidiacono can be more than just another great collegiate point guard.

At 6'3 with a 195-frame, Arcidiacono has good size for an NBA point guard, though his 6'3 wingspan leaves a lot to be desired. So, too, does his below average athleticism, particularly his lack of explosiveness and average first step. While he can play at different speeds and seems to know and play within his athletic limitations, quicker guards gave and will continue to give him problems on both ends of the floor.

Arcidiacono was not a prolific scorer during his first two seasons at Villanova, and his junior year was no exception. His role remained unchanged, as well, and he once again saw a majority of his possessions in pick-and-roll and spot up capacities. Ultimately, he averaged just 13.2 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted, but he did so on better efficiency, up to 56% TS%, while splitting backcourt duties among a trio of talented guards.

His most pronounced weakness, however, is represented by his 42% 2P%. Arcidiacono attempted more 3s than 2s for a reason, and 87% of his half-court shots came on jumpers. Even when he did attack the basket, he struggled to finish over and through defenders at the rim, making under 50% of his looks inside the paint.

As has been the case throughout his entire career, Arcidiacono's biggest strength is his steadiness at the point guard position. He averaged 4.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted against 1.7 turnovers, and his 2.69 assist/turnover ratio ranked eleventh among point guard prospects in our database. On film, he displays good instincts as a distributor out of the pick-and-roll, particularly to spot-up shooters who made 45.8% of the attempts that Arcidiacono set up for them. He is an unselfish player in general, not particularly flashy, but he does a good job of finding his teammates in rhythm while making good decisions with the ball in his hands.

Arcidiacono is also a decent scorer out of the pick-and-roll. Along these lines, he made an impressive 38% of his shots off the dribble, many of them coming off difficult attempts. In particular, he knows how to change speeds with the ball in his hands and create space to find a shot when needed.

Arcidiacono posted a career high shooting from beyond the arc, making 38% from 3 as a junior, up from 33 and 34.5% the two seasons prior. This is an important development for his pro prospects, especially considering his limitations as a scorer inside the arc.

On defense, Arcidiacono lacks ideal length and lateral quickness for the point guard position, but does a good job of moving his feet, rotating and communicating, and staying involved while guarding the perimeter. Though his physical limitations will be more pronounced at the next level, he is a pesky defender for Villanova and consistently displays solid effort, awareness, and fundamentals.

There is a lot to like about Ryan Arcidiacono's game at the collegiate level, and NBA scouts should expect another strong season from Villanova's four-year captain. His combination of intangibles, steady point guard play, defensive effort, and ability to create on the pick and roll will get him looks as an NBA prospect, even if his below average athleticism significantly limits his potential as a player at the next level. Even if the NBA does not work out, Arcidiacono's experience with the Italian national team the past two summers, and his collegiate resume should prepare him well for a long career playing professional basketball at a high level.

#19, Tommy Hamilton, 6-10, Junior, C, DePaul

Josh Riddell

After being named to the Big East All-Rookie team as a freshman, DePaul's Tommy Hamilton took another step as a sophomore and looks poised for a breakout junior season. The Blue Demons haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 2004 and will be hoping the hometown Chicagoan can put the team on his shoulders and improve their win total under new head coach Dave Leitao.

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Hamilton measured at 6'10” in 2010, although he looks to have grown an inch or two since that time. At the same time, he measured just an average wingspan at 6'10.5” and will have to find a way to overcome his lack of length against professional caliber interior players. He has solid upper body strength, but he will need to improve his lower body strength, as he has a tendency to get pushed around at times around the rim. He does have good agility for a player of his size and looks to be able to hold his own physically against NBA centers, although he doesn't possess any elite athletic traits, and has struggled with his conditioning throughout his career thus far.

Hamilton took a giant leap in efficiency from his freshman to sophomore season, thanks mainly to an increased ability in finishing around the rim. He shot a below average mark of 45.6% his freshman year but he jumped all the way up to 67.2% his sophomore season. He was much improved at finishing through contact and displayed a nice combination of touch and toughness around the rim. He'll need to have another season where he shows he can finish around the rim and prove he is the type of finisher that he showed in his sophomore season.

Mainly a back to the basket player with 35% of his offensive possessions ending in post-ups, Hamilton has displayed some success at the collegiate level, but it is unclear whether this success can translate when matched up against NBA defenders. Hamilton can read the defense well and make the right move to the basket but doesn't always have the footwork to beat his defender. He doesn't command a double team and will need to improve his arsenal of moves to become a better player on the block. He's not a dominant post player, which does make it hard to project him to have the ability to score in the NBA without major improvement.

One of the more interesting aspects of Hamilton's game is his jump shooting. He flashed some potential to step outside the arc as he converted 46.9% of his 49 three point attempts and 44.6% of the 56 jump shots logged by Synergy Sports Technology. His three point percentage was the highest among centers in our database with at least 40 attempts. He has a smooth release and his shooting form looks like it could work over a larger number of attempts. If he can continue to shoot at this level, scouts could project a role for him at the next level as a big man who can play inside and out.

Defensively, Hamilton doesn't make a high impact for his team. He has had issues with conditioning and his work ethic in the past, and will have this aspect of his game scrutinized very closely moving forward. He will have to be matched up against post players, as he doesn't look comfortable stepping outside the paint and defending.

However, he will have difficulty defending NBA post players with his lack of explosiveness and poor length. When defending the post, he can get backed down under the basket and will need to add lower body strength to hold off his opponent. He also doesn't block many shots, just 1.2 per 40 minutes pace adjusted.

At the very least, scouts will want to see Hamilton become a better rebounder, to show he is capable of filling a role for a NBA team. His 5.8 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted is an average mark for a center, so he will need to show a more concerted effort this season, boxing out his opponent and chasing down loose balls.

Hamilton is the lone big man for DePaul, so they need him to play on the interior. However, he has displayed some perimeter skills and NBA teams may want to see him more of him from this part of the floor to see if he can be a floor spacer in the NBA, especially with his size. Showing some steady improvement leading to a big junior season could get scouts intrigued and cause them to take a closer look at Hamilton and his NBA potential.

#20, JaJuan Johnson, 6-5, Junior, Shooting Guard, Marquette

Matt Kamalsky

A consensus top-40 recruit in the high school class of 2013, JaJuan Johnson's first two seasons at Marquette were mostly a learning process, averaging 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 18 minutes per-game.

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Listed at 6-5, with a 6'9 or even larger wingspan, Johnson has solid size for a shooting guard and a terrific blend of speed, length and explosiveness. He's added some weight to his frame since his high school days, but still has some room to get stronger to add to his already impressive physical tools.

Skill-wise, Johnson has a lot of room to grow. In his first year under Steve Wojciechowski he excelled in the open floor where his run-jump athleticism made him an effective finisher running the wings, he made fairly sound decisions with the ball posting a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio, and he even looked comfortable knocking down an occasional jump shot.

In the half court, Johnson didn't enjoy the same degree of success, he drove into bricks walls at times, posted 0.8 assist-to-turnover ratio, and shot 31% compared to the 65% he shot in transition as he made only 23% of his catch and shoot jump shots and 18% of his pull ups.

Bringing the ball across his body when he shoots and struggling to pick and choose his spots a bit as a slasher, Johnson was thrust into a role that he likely wasn't ready for a year ago, with a 24% usage rate on a young team that lacked significant talent. With a talented five-man class entering the fold, Marquette likely won't demand as much of him, and the opportunity to take a step back this year and settle into a smaller role may benefit him as he begins to improve his skill level and feel for the game.

Defensively, Johnson has solid potential. He has long arms, and his combination of size and quickness could allow him to match up with players at both guard positions if he dedicates himself to being a stifling defender. Marquette played a considerable amount of zone last season, so it's a bit difficult to evaluate his immediate upside locking down man-to-man, but he made some nice plays in the passing lanes a year ago and played with solid intensity, which leaves plenty of room for optimism long-term.

Like many young, raw wings, the best thing you can say about Johnson at this stage is that he has potential, as he was clearly not very productive as an underclassman. Whether Johnson takes a considerable step forward as a sophomore remains to be seen, but he was solid for the Golden Eagles during their tour of Italy and is a player to keep an eye on in the coming years.

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