We are now two nights away from the 2015 NBA Draft, and as our NBA Draft Profile series winds down, we stop in Charlottesville, Virginia to take a look at UVA’s highest rated prospect in quite a while: SF Justin Anderson.
SF Justin Anderson, Virginia
- Age 21
- 6’6″ 230 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6′ 11 1/4″
- Standing Reach: 8′ 5″
- No-Step Vertical: 38″
- Max Vertical: 43″
Justin Anderson is two nights away from being drafted. Coming out of famed Montrose Christian High School, Anderson has been groomed to be an NBA prospect from the start. Anderson, a 6’6″ wing, possesses a high level of athleticism to go with his impressive frame. He was an instrumental cog in helping Virginia to their second straight regular season ACC Championship.
Anderson’s strengths begin with his defense. He combines surprising quickness with his length and massive wingspan, making it difficult for opposing guards to drive by him when they are out on the perimeter. He was frequently asked to press in the full court, as he began guarding his opposing man before he crossed half court. He shows great lateral quickness, and very rarely got beat off the dribble. When his man beat him on the first step, Anderson was able to recover due to his length and speed.
Prior to his junior season with the ‘Hoos, Anderson’s offense was considered a work in progress. While he has always been able to fly high above the rim and finish impressive dunks, his perimeter shooting was questionable at best. It was clear that Anderson worked hard on his offensive game during the summer between his sophomore and junior seasons, because when he returned this past season, he was extremely impressive. He shot a career best 47% from the floor, and was particularly locked in from beyond the arc, where he hit 45% of his attempts. In 28 minutes per contest, this yielded an average of 12.2 points per game, on a Virginia squad that shared the load offensively. From the free throw line, Anderson made a modest 78% of his shots, which should only improve as he continues to perfect his shot.
If there is one area of Anderson’s game that could improve, it would be his dribbling. He is predominantly left-handed, favoring the left side of the floor more than the right, and driving much more confidently to his left than his right. If Anderson can show an ability to play more with his right side, he would become an even larger offensive threat, and an extremely well-rounded player.
While he may fall out of the lottery, Justin Anderson is without a doubt a mid to late first round talent, with upside that is off the charts. He can do a little bit of everything on offense and defense, and as long as he proves that his spike in three point percentage is not a fluke, he could be quite the threat when he gets regular minutes in the NBA.
NBA Draft Projection: Late First Round