Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Elfrid Payton broke out as a sophomore, which eventually earned him a place on USA's FIBA World Championship team this summer. But he's playing on a whole other level as a junior, averaging 19.5 points, 5.8 assists, six assists and 2.4 steals a game.
And scouts have taken notice.
“I had several scouts that came in my room, in the coaches’ room, before we played at UT Arlington and at Texas State, and visited with all those guys,” Louisiana-Lafayette coach Bob Marlin told Tim Buckley of the Theadvertiser.com. “And there’s a chance Elfrid could go in the first round. We’ll see. It fluctuates daily, and it depends who you ask.”
Payton immediately stands out thanks to his size, length and athleticism at the point guard position. He's smooth out there with the ball—Payton gets to his spots and does a terrific job of finishing in the paint and around the rim.
He's also tough to contain off the dribble, which leads to plenty of assists off breakdown penetration as a drive-and-disher.
Payton is in the zone—he's shooting 63.6 percent over his last four games, racking up at least six assists in each of them.
The big area of concern with Payton centers around his shooting stroke—he's made only eight three-pointers all year, and despite an uncanny ability to get to the line (9.1 attempts per game), he's shooting just 63.7 percent.
Still, few have been able to produce in more bulk than Payton, and with NBA-caliber physical tools, he'll certainly get looks with conference-tournament play approaching.