Posted by EJacoby on June 19th, 2012
The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Dion Waiters
Height/Weight: 6’4” / 215 lbs.
NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round
Dion Waiters Shows No Fear on the Floor, Which Should Help Him in the NBA (AP Photo/K. Rivoli)
Overview: Dion Waiters’ disappointing first year at Syracuse included a falling out with Jim Boeheim and contemplations about whether to leave the program. But the former top 20 recruit came back a completely different player in year two, where he was arguably the best and most impactful player on an elite Syracuse team. Waiters didn’t start a single game as a sophomore but was a game-changing reserve who could score points in bunches (12.6 PPG) and cause havoc with his perimeter defense (1.8 SPG). A player whom Boeheim said after his first year “played no defense last year – none” turned into the leading catalyst of the nation’s top team in steals. Waiters is a bully at 6’4” and 215 pounds who overpowered weaker defenders on his drives to the basket, leading to an impressive highlight reel of explosive dunks. His physicality also allows him to create space on the perimeter to get his shot off, where he shot 36.3% from three-point range. Waiters is extremely efficient in transition, and he is difficult to stop once he gains steam towards the basket. He also thrived in the pick-and-roll as a threat to shoot, drive, or create for his teammates. His shot selection was questionable at times, but he still recorded a strong 47.6% field-goal percentage, and he turned the ball over just 1.3 times per game in 24 minutes. Despite his strength, Waiters is a bit undersized for a two-guard and he’ll be facing much stronger and athletic players at his position at the next level.
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