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: Jeffery Taylor
Height/Weight: 6’7”, 225 lbs.
NBA Position: Small Forward
Projected Draft Range: Late First Round
Overview: When Taylor first showed up in Nashville four seasons ago, there was little doubt that he had the athletic ability to make an impact at the collegiate level. However, despite his above-average athleticism, there were enough holes in his game to make him a questionable NBA prospect. While he was a ready-made defender, his jumper was a mess (he hit just 22% of his 41 three-point attempts as a freshman, then attempted just 11 from deep as a sophomore), his handle was just average and his effort seemed to be hit-or-miss. But, from day one he was an important part of the Commodore offense, using up 26% of the team’s possessions and taking 25% of his teams’ shots, numbers that stayed pretty stable throughout his career. The difference was that over the years he began to use those possessions and shots more efficiently. In his final season with the ‘Dores, he hit just a shade under two three-pointers a game at a 42.3% clip, posting a 57% effective field goal percentage, while still keeping up his game-changing defensive play and chipping in on the glass and playing the most complete basketball of his career. And, he did all that while playing four seasons without any true play-making offensive player alongside him. Still, he heads into the NBA Draft needing to convince basketball executives that he is ready for the big time. Athleticism and defense are not in question, but he’s not got great size for his position (6’7” with a 6’6” wingspan isn’t very exciting), he has never proven the ability to create his own shot and, the fact that he’s 23 years old means there’s not a whole lot of upside left for his game.