I'm not at all surprised Phil Pressey is entering the 2013 NBA Draft. The rumblings I had heard after the Tigers were bounced from the NCAA Tournament in swift fashion indicated such.
And my gut felt the same way.
So, is Pressey making the right decision to forgo his senior season, hire an agent and put his name in the 2013 draft pool? That's certainly debatable.
Most, including myself, believe that he and the Tiger team would be better served if he came back to Columbia to finish out his collegiate career.
Pressey is certainly a supremely talented player, but his game is littered with significant flaws, mainly his jump shot, decision-making, and defense.
That said, the young man can dribble, run, and pass like few in the world can, and let's be honest, the NBA game is more suited to Pressey's style than the buttoned-down basketball we get at the collegiate ranks.
Again I'll ask: Is Phil Pressey making the right decision by leaving Mizzou early to enter the NBA Draft? Let's take a look.
1) The first stigma "Flip" will have to overcome is his size. Pressey is listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds.
In the past 10 years (drafts from 2003-2012), 598 players have been selected in the NBA draft. How many of those do you think stood less than 6 feet tall?
Already, Phil is facing extremely long odds. Those three players, however, are still playing in the NBA:
• Isaiah Thomas, 5'10" 186 lbs, 60th overall pick in 2011 (SAC)
• D.J. Augustin, 5'11" 172 lbs, 9th overall pick in 2008 (CHA, now IND)
• Nate Robinson, 5'9" 181 lbs, 21st overall pick in 2005 (PHX, now CHI)
2) OK, that's decent company. But let's compare those players to Pressey coming out of college and what type of game they were displaying for NBA scouts to see.
For the sake of perspective, Thomas played three season at Washington, Augustin played two seasons at Texas and Robinson, like Thomas, played three years with the Huskies.
These are the collegiate career numbers of all the players involved in this exercise:
|Pressey||9.7 ppg||39.5% FG||34.7% 3-pt FG||75.5% FT||5.9 apg|
|Thomas||16.4 ppg||42.6% FG||32.5% 3-pt FG||71.2% FT||4.0 apg|
|Augustin||16.9 ppg||44.3% FG||40.2% 3-pt FG||80.8% FT||6.2 apg|
|Robinson||14.4 ppg||45.7% FG||34.8% 3-pt FG||79.3% FT||3.2 apg|
Immediately, Pressey's inefficiency scoring the basketball stands out.
Not only did he score five less points per game in his career than his closest peer, but he also did so shooting a far worse percentage from the field. Tiger fans, of course, are well aware of how many shots it takes Phil to get his numbers in the point column.
Pressey's game is supposed to be dishing the rock, but even there, Augustin had a better career assists-per-game number than Phil (I wanted to look at turnover numbers, but could not find complete totals for all involved so the stat is omitted).
3) How are those three players doing in the NBA? Are they key players on their team? Or do they ride the pine and play mop up minutes? Let's take a look:
Robinson has easily had the best (and longest) career of the mighty mites. In his seven years in the league he's won two NBA Slam Dunk contests -- which is likely how many of you know the name.
He's played for five different teams during his time in the league, but been a very effective player at each stop coming off the bench as a key reserve. Currently, he's filling that role with the Chicago Bulls.
|2012-13||12.9 ppg||43.3% FG||39.9% 3-pt FG||78.3% FT||4.4 apg|
|Career||11.5 ppg||42.6% FG||36.2% 3-pt FG||79.6% FT||3.0 apg|
4) A crafty left-handed scorer, Isasiah Thomas has just two years of experience with the Kings, but like Robinson has proven to be a pretty good scorer in the NBA given his size.
|2012-13||14.0 ppg||44.6% FG||35.5% 3-pt FG||88.3% FT||3.9 apg|
|Career||12.9 ppg||44.7% FG||36.5% 3-pt FG||86.3% FT||4.0 apg|