The "Who Ya Got?" segment continues as TheRookieWall.com takes a look at Quincy Pondexter of Washington and Devin Ebanks of West Virginia.
With only six days left until the 2010 NBA Draft, we’ve looked at who is projected where and weighed in on who we’d rather have.
Basically, we’re asking, "Who Ya Got?" Is it the proven performer, or the younger player with bigger upside? Do you want a stretch four or a banger in your front court?
Here, two of our writers each took a player and made their case for that particular player.
The conversation doesn’t end with our opinions though, so in the comments let us know: "Who Ya Got?"
The Case for Quincy Pondexter: Small Forward | 6′6″ | 220 lbs
Quincy Pondexter, the senior forward out of Washington, is coming off his best year in college. He improved in virtually every category, sometimes by large margins. Pondexter was crazily efficient as a wing player this past year, putting up a bigman-like field goal percentage at 53 percent and a very good 82 percent from the free throw line. He also proved to be active on the defensive end and being very capable at rebounding and looking for steals.
Having four years in school will also give Quincy an edge with maturity and basketball IQ over some of the other prospects in the draft, including Ebanks. The fact that he’s a senior shouldn’t be too big of an issue age-wise because, at 22, he’s a year younger than most college seniors. Quincy has the benefit of both extensive college experience but is still young enough for some development.
I believe he’s a better prospect than Ebanks for a couple of reasons: While Ebanks gives you more length, Pondexter is going to be more efficient and more reliable for an NBA team. Not only does he have better shooting percentages from the field and the line, but also from deep. Pondexter has shown a much better chance of developing a solid three-point game whereas Ebanks struggles outside of mid-range.
Quincy’s maturity also gives him an edge. Many were wondering if this were the right time for Ebanks to enter his name in the draft, as his game still seems very raw. He can disappear on offense for stretches, and it doesn’t seem like he’s locked in on a definitive playing style. Pondexter’s experience combined with his high work ethic definitely makes him the more solid pick. Ebanks could very well have the higher upside, but my money is on Pondexter having the longer career.
Quincy is projected to go anywhere from the end of the first to the early second round. With their lack of depth at the wing, especially with the possibility of Rudy Gay leaving this offseason, I think Pondexter would be a great selection for Memphis at 28. Should he fall to the second round, Quincy is great in transition, looking to get out on the break and could be a great fit for Golden State at 34. Wherever he lands, I think that team will be more than happy to take him.
The Case for Devin Ebanks: Small Forward | 6′8″ | 205 lbs
If your team would benefit from a Trevor Ariza clone from a physical standpoint, then they should take a hard look at West Virginia’s wing Devin Ebanks. Standing a shade over 6’ 8” and possessing a wingspan over 7’, he has the build to play small forward at the next level.
As a sophomore, Ebanks performed under his expectation, but still found himself having an adequate season. In the Big East, he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds, improving on his freshman campaign. While the numbers don’t jump off the board, some individual performances show that which Devin is capable. His 22 point, 17 rebound, and seven assist game against Seton Hall is a fine example.
In the games where Devin excelled, a few things jump out: First, when he’s at his best, he’s attacking the defense and getting to the line. Second, he’s not settling for the three he shot at a very low rate this season. What this means is that when Ebanks can work off the ball and slash to the basket, he’s at his best, which is exactly the role NBA teams will ask him to play. The other thing that Devin does well is defend, by using his length and positioning to give small forwards fits.
There’s little doubt that Quincy Pondexter is a safer pick. He’ll be in the league for a long time and will contribute on a good team. He has the skills, but as a senior, he’s capped as far as potential goes. Ebanks’ worst case scenario is Corey Brewer, but his best case is a player like Tayshaun Prince. You have to mention that he had a hand injury for the second part of the season, which limited his effectiveness, and when at 100 percent, he’s a far better player. If I’m drafting at the bottom of the first round, give me a player with some potential, especially if I’m a team with a young core like Memphis or New Jersey.
The best case for Devin is a team that’s nearly the opposite of the Mountaineers. He excels in the open floor, but isn’t as effective in half-court situations. The Thunder with their young base at 26 or 32 would be a great fit; so would the Wizards at 30 with the addition of John Wall to a young core of Nick Young and Andray Blatche. If Ebanks slips to the second round, like many are projecting, the Nets at 31 or Thunder at 32 should be as far as he falls.
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