William Buford: Highlights, Analysis and Pro Projections

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts in the first half while taking on the Kansas Jayhawks during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

William Buford is a solid, but less-than-exceptional shooting guard prospect.

Buford was a key member of the Ohio State Buckeyes team that reached the Final Four this past season. He was a four-year starter who showed remarkable consistency throughout his college career, averaging double-figures in points all four years and 13.7 for his collegiate career.

Buford has drawn comparisons to another Ohio basketball product, Jimmy Jackson, but in my eyes, the similarities are strictly geographical.

Jackson had a much smoother offensive game, although Buford is a better defender and naturally thicker. Buford will have an NBA career, but it won't be quite as distinguished as Jackson's.

Here is a scouting report on Buford that highlights his strengths and weaknesses.

(Height, weight and stats per statsheet.com.)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Elijah Johnson #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks and William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes go after the ball in the second half during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at t
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Height: 6'6" 

Weight: 220 pounds 

School: Ohio State

Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 1989

Best NBA Position: Shooting Guard

College Stats (Key Stats Underlined): 14.5 PPG, 33.8 MPG, 41.9 FG%, 35.8 3FG%, 82.5 FT%, 2.7 APG, 5 RPG, 0.2 BPG, 0.8 SPG

Skill Grades

Athleticism: B

Size: A

Intangibles: A-

Rebounding: B+

Ball-Handling: C

Defense: A

Shooting: B

Passing: B-

Post Game: C

Basketball IQ: A

Upside: C


Buford has good length, and he is solidly built. He can guard most any 2 or 3 in the NBA, and he is a competitive player who takes pride in his defense.

As of now, it is his best trait.  

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Guy Landry Edi #10 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs looks to pass in the second half against William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on Ma
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Buford shoots it fairly well from the three, and he'll need to become more accurate from deep, but he is already better than average from there. Buford also is a very good foul shooter, at more than 80 percent. He has the body and touch to be decent in the post, but he has yet to develop that skill.

Buford has a solid understanding of the game, especially on defense. His competitiveness and basketball IQ would make him an asset to most teams.

Here is a highlight of Buford that shows off his veteran leadership:


Buford is not a great athlete; he's not so slow that it will impact him defensively, but he lacks the burst to get by NBA players off the dribble.

This is augmented by Buford's basic ball-handling skills; he doesn't have much in the way of dribble-drive moves at his disposal, which will make him a fairly easy singular cover in the NBA.

Buford will be more of a spot-up shooter and defender on the pro level, so he needs to improve his accuracy from deep. Because of his limited athleticism, he doesn't have a ton of upside. That said, he is a capable of stepping in and contributing on any NBA team with his grit, defense and three-point range.

NBA Player Comparison: Slightly Less-Athletic Arron Afflalo

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08:  Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets looks to shoot on Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2012 at Staples Cen
Jeff Gross/Getty Images


Afflalo is a solid shooting guard in the NBA. In his five-year career, he has averaged 8.8 points per game, but he had a breakout season in 2012-2013.

Afflalo made the Nuggets look like geniuses for bringing him back. He poured in 15 points per game and helped lead Denver to the playoffs.

Almost identical to Buford, Afflalo is 6'5" and 210 pounds. He isn't a great athlete, but he may have a slight edge over Buford in that category. Afflalo is a 40 percent three-point shooter, and that is his best attribute. If Buford can work on his accuracy from deep, he can have an impact similar to Afflalo's.

Draft Projection: Early Second Round

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