Our road to the NBA marches on with yet another ACC draft profile. The offensive catalyst for the Louisville Cardinals this past season is next up on our list, as we preview the NBA draft prospects of point guard Terry Rozier.
PG Terry Rozier, Louisville
- Age 21
- 6’2″ 190 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6’8 1/4″
- No-Step Vertical: 33″
- Max Vertical: 38″
This past season as a sophomore at Louisville, Rozier took advantage of his newly found starting role. He played 35 minutes per game for the Cardinals, averaging 17.1 points, 3.0 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game. While teaming up with fellow draft prospect, Montrezl Harrell, Rozier provided a dynamic scoring presence for the Cardinals offense, which struggled to put up points throughout a good portion of the season.
While he led the Cardinals in scoring, he did not do it as efficiently at times as one may hope. His field goal percentage was a modest 41%, but some of his inefficiencies can be attributed to his heavy scoring load. If he and Harrell did not put up good nights offensively, the Cardinals would generally have a pretty tough time handling their opponent. Additionally, Rozier will have to find a way to improve his shooting from behind the three point line. He posted a 31% shooting percentage from beyond the arc, which is quite poor for anyone, but especially for a point guard. He was a 79% free throw shooter in his sophomore season with the Cards, which was nearly an 8% bump from his 71.2% conversion rate in his freshman season. If he continues to improve his free throw shooting and finds a way to get to the hoop and get hacked, he could easily emerge as a solid backup point guard option in his first couple of seasons in the league.
One note about Rozier though, is his troublesome turnover rate. While again, some of this can be attributed to the fact that he had to carry much of the offensive load on his own, Rozier will have to improve on his 1.36 assist to turnover ratio from his sophomore year with Louisville. Turnovers, especially when combined with poor shooting, can lead to a shortly-lived NBA career as a guard, so that will need to be one of the biggest areas of improvement as he makes the jump to the NBA in 2015.
His defense is one of his strong suits, as he swiped 2.0 steals per game last season for the Cardinals, and he rebounds at an incredibly high rate for a point guard of his size. If he continues his defensive prowess and perhaps looks to defer a bit more to his teammates at the next level, he has the potential to become a very productive NBA role player. He can perhaps slide into a prolific sixth man role later on in his career, as he electrifies the game on both ends with the energy that he plays with on a consistent basis.
NBA Draft Projection: Fringe First Round to Early Second Round Pick