NBA Draft Prospects: Stephen Curry, Davidson

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 06:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Davidson Wildcats shoots a free throw against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 6, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

If you like what you read her, check out my blog Ballin' is a Habit.

For a complete listing of NBA Draft prospects and their player breakdown, click here.

Stats: 28.6 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.5 spg, 3.7 t/o's, 45.4 percent FG, 38.7 percent 3PT, and 87.6 percent FT

Listed Size: 6'3" and 185 lbs., 3/14/88 (21 years old)

About Him: As a sophomore, Stephen Curry exploded onto the national scene with what may go down as the single greatest NCAA Tournament performance of this generation, carrying tiny Davidson to within a 25 footer of the Final Four.

But as a junior, Curry's role vastly changed with the graduation of point guard Jason Richards. Already a proven shooter, this allowed Curry to show off what he could do as a point guard, and for the most part, the season was a (personal) success.

The most interesting aspect of Curry, as an NBA prospect, is how different his role will be in the league. At Davidson this past season, everything about the Wildcats' offense was centered around Curry and his ability to create—both for himself and for his teammates.

His usage rate was 31.6 possessions per game, the most of any NBA prospect and 50 percent more than anyone not named Lester Hudson. In the NBA, Curry is going to play a much more marginal role.

I know that this is stating the obvious, but Curry's game centers around his shot—which is as pure a stroke as I have ever seen. If you allow Curry to catch-and-shoot with his feet set and his shoulders square, he is automatic out to about 30 feet (literally).

He also has an incredibly quick trigger, which allows him to get his shot off even when he is defended well. Curry has a great basketball IQ and truly understands how to run off screens and create space off the ball.

But Curry's physical limitations probably mean he is going to end up as more of a point/combo guard than a pure two. He doesn't have the size, the strength, or the lateral quickness/athleticism to defend shooting guards in the league (he does, however, have a knack for disrupting the passing lanes as he averaged almost three thefts per).

He is also going to run into some issues at the point as well. His first step leaves much to be desired, and it more than likely will mean that Curry will have problems beating NBA points off the dribble.

Curry did, however, prove himself to be an excellent ball handler in his one season running the show for Davidson.

He can handle the ball with either hand and has a variety of fakes and hesitation moves that he can use to keep defenders off balance and help him create space and get a look off the dribble.

Perhaps his most telling stat was his assist: turnover ratio—even with the ball in his hands nearly every possession (as a playmaker and not just a scorer), Curry doubled his assist numbers while only slightly increasing his turnovers.

Shooting off the dribble is something Curry was forced to do quite a bit this past season, and he proved to be pretty good. He can pull-up going in either direction, and he has a lightening quick and absolutely deadly step-back in his repertoire when going left.

The biggest concern any GM will have with Curry's shooting is how far his numbers dipped this year. Most of that, however, can be explained by his team's dependence on him—he forced a lot of bad shots simply because Davidson needed it.

Comparisons: Best Case: I've seen a lot of people saying Mike Bibby, so I'll go with that; Worst Case: Jannero Pargo, Steve Kerr, and JJ Redick.

Bottom Line: Curry is an incredibly smart player. Not only does he understand the game, he understands his limitations.

He probably is never going to end up being a star in the league because of a lack of explosiveness (meaning he will be a huge defensive liability). He should be able to hang around the league because of the all-around offensive package he brings to the table.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.