Player Projection: Austin Daye

by Jon Nichols

Today I will be projecting the NBA stats of Austin Daye of the Gonzaga Bulldogs using my Box Score Prediction System (explanation here:  Daye has not hired an agent as of May 30 so he still retains the right to withdraw from the draft.  If he chooses to stay, he will probably be selected some time in the first round.

Daye is a unique prospect because of the wide range of skills he possesses despite measuring in at 6’10.  He’s got a great shot from the outside but also possesses the athleticism to drive the ball to the basket.  In addition, he’s a good ball-handler for his size.  Finally, he’s a solid rebounder and shot blocker.

Despite his shot-blocking skills, scouts have questioned Daye’s defense.  Defense is half of the game, after all, so that is an area he must work on.  However, that might not even be his biggest weakness at this point.  Daye has a very wiry frame and if he doesn’t bulk up considerably he will not be able to bang down low with the strong big men of the NBA. 

How does BSPS think Daye will do in the NBA?  Let’s take a look at his projected career averages per 36 minutes:

The box score above looks good but not great, but I think there’s some hidden positives.  Even though 15.41 points per 36 minutes isn’t a ton, BSPS thinks Daye will score in an efficient manner.  His good three-point shooting and knack for drawing fouls will boost his true shot percentage.  All Daye needs to do is become more aggressive and put those skills to good use.  If he can do that, he can be a fantastic scorer. 

Being more aggressive would serve Daye well in a lot of other areas.  Based on his size and athleticism, he should be able to pull down more than 7.18 boards per 36 minutes.  It would also boost his assist and block numbers.  Daye must control this aggressiveness, though.  If that foul rate jumps any higher he won’t get enough minutes on the floor to make an impact.

Like many of the prospects in this year’s draft, Daye is far from a sure thing.  However, he has the size and skills to be a great player.  A simple change of his playing mentality might do the trick. 






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