Prospect of the Day - Austin Daye

NCAA First Round: Gonzaga Bulldogs v Akron ZipsAustin Daye,
Sophomore, Gonzaga,
NBA Position: SF/PF,
H: 6'11, W: 192, Age:  21 

Austin Daye has incredible length and a very polished game.   Daye gets most of his looks as a spot up shooter.   He has excellent range and hit shots from NBA three-point distance regularly.     He also plays fairly regularly in the post, but he doesn't have the strength to use power moves instead shooting five to six foot hook shots and turn-around jumpers. 
His work in the post needs refinement, but he has potential to be very
effective there as he gets his shot off easily and will continue to be
able to do so with his great length.    He won't be able to back
players down in the post, but with his incredible length and solid
footwork he can create a lot of space by twisting on his pivot foot.

When taking opponents off the dribble, Daye is right hand dominant and
doesn't use advanced ball handling moves at all to create space for
himself.   Much like when he operates in the post, he's using his
length and pivot foot to create space for himself off the dribble.

As a transition player, Daye gets the job done.  He's nothing special
due to the fact that he's not an elite athlete, so he doesn't get up
and down the court as fast he could otherwise, nor does he have the
strength to power up over guys.

Daye's a black hole on offense and doesn't show any inclination to pass
or particular skill in passing when he does.    He'll need to improve
this aspect of his game considerably on the next level though Daye
operates mostly off the ball, so he's typically going to shoot right
away when he gets it or just swing a reset pass.

Watching his movements reminds me of Tayshaun Prince in the way he uses
his footwork to make his length work.   Prince is quite a bit stronger
and better defensively, but that's the type of player Daye could be
with some work.   He has the height to play PF, but would need to add
about 40lbs of muscle which is awfully unlikely, so he's most likely a
career SF.

Defensively, he played largely in a zone though there were still plenty
of isolation plays matched up against him to look at.    He does a fair
job staying in front of people and contesting shots, but most players
are quicker, stronger, or both than Daye, so he can be beaten
athletically.    That issue will be exacerbated in the NBA where the
players are stronger and more athletic.  

The effort and instincts to defend seem to be there, so with some NBA
weight lifting he could improve considerably, however,  Daye didn't
have many steals or blocks for his length which is a poor sign and
typically shows a lack of hand speed.   

Overall Daye's a fairly unique player.   He should develop into a good
spot up shooter and with 6'11 height that's not too bad.   The problem,
he doesn't have the ball handling, athleticism, hand speed, or
toughness that would lead me to believe he has all star potential down
the road.    If you took Kevin Durant and gave him 9th man ability that
would be Austin Daye right now.   There's upside there, but it will
require a whole ton of work on his body to get him there.


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  • I wouldn't mind getting him at 16. He clearly has the most upside in this draft besides Mullens and Derozen. He can shoot from anywhere and cause matchup problems. I would like him as our sixth man until he gets stronger. He would be a great option behind Deng and Thomas. He showed he could play defense by shutting down Jordan Hill. His ability to use his IQ is a huge advantage. I won't be disappointed if we got him at 16.

  • He'd be an interesting complement to Deng off the bench at SF (and TT, too), especially if he can extend his range to an NBA three. My major concern is, will he be able to defend on the perimeter?

    I think I'd rather reach for Budinger at 16, and then grab Jonas Jerebko at 26 to fill in the defensive deficiencies of Deng, TT, and Budinger. Not that TT is a bad defender, he's a very good help defender, but that's not always what you need.

  • You right Doug, I did notice he had problems using advanced ball handling on the perimeter. Plus, he really feeble on the post. You never know, Tayshaun Prince adapted very well, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He seemed pretty slow laterally too. I still give him a thumbs up; his length and shooting ability is impressive.

  • Daye would be a great pick at 26, but he's gone by then unless the wimp factor kills him in workouts as I hear that it is.

    At 16 there are far better risks to take, Mullens, Blair, etc.

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