Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten: No. 17 Tim Hardaway Jr.

Dylan Burkhardt

Draft Express ranks Tim Hardaway Jr. the No. 17 NBA prospect in the Big Ten before the season. For comparison, Trey Burke was ranked second in the Big Ten. Here are a couple of snippets from the DX report:

Hardaway continues to have the strange distinction of being a more efficient shooter off the dribble than spotting up, as he hits for a superb 1.012 points per shot on pull-ups as opposed to a below average 0.816 points per shot on catch-and-shoot jumpers. Improving his spot-up jumper is still the most important thing he can do to improve his game, as we pointed out the last time we profiled him.

While Hardaway clearly possesses strong shot-making ability and shows flashes of being a deadly shooter inside and outside the arc, he struggles to consistently display the same mechanics, though it’s certainly something he can improve on. Hardaway establishes a much better rhythm shooting the ball when he’s coming off the dribble and stepping into his shot, doing a better job to keep his body upright and his feet underneath him. He doesn’t exhibit the same balance or get his lower body into the shot when he’s spotting up, and trying to translate that aspect of his off-the-dribble shot to his catch-and-shoot shot is likely the key to becoming a more consistent and versatile shooter.

On the defensive end, the story was the same for Hardaway as a sophomore, as he has all the tools to be a very good defender at the shooting guard position, and even is at times, but he still needs to improve his consistency and play at a high level on every possession. He looks strong matching up in isolation, showing a good stance and lateral quickness, and even made some improvements fighting through screens on pick-and-rolls, but is prone to lagging off his man off the ball at times and not always putting in full effort on every play.

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  • jblair52

    Tough list and a lot of speculation so it’s hard to say ‘this is right” or “this is wrong” but I think I’d probably have Timmy a few spots higher. I think I’d put him above Nix. I’m not sold on Frazier and Sheehey above him either.

    Hardaway, Oladipo, Crawford, and Williams all still have some potential to improve their draft stock. I’ll especially be interested to see how Crawford does now that Surna is gone. He’ll carry the load for the Wilcats

  • I found the comments about shooting off the bounce very interesting. Hardaway’s favorite shot is definitely the little cross over into a top of the key jump shot so that fits.

  • Mattski

    Would love to see Timmy silence the doubters this year–and maybe quell whatever doubts were haunting him last year, as well. There’s no question that when he’s on he can be an electrifying player. Do people see him playing at the three more this year?

    • geoffclarke

      He’s been playing at the 3 for the past couple years. I see him playing more at the 2 than he ever has before at Michigan.

  • geoffclarke

    It always bothered me to see Hardaway shoot it differently in pregame warmups than in the games. He basically shoots set shots in warmups and then gets a *ton* of lift on his jumpers during games, maybe not as much in catch and shoot situations, but still way more than in his pregame warmups.