Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
Terrance Ferguson – SG/SF – International – USA/Australia
Weight: 184 lbs
Age: 19 years
Projected: 24 (DraftExpress) 15 (CPP Big Board) 17 (CPP Mock Draft)
Background: If you are big on recruiting in college basketball, you probably heard of Terrance Ferguson last year. If you remember back to the 2014 Recruiting Class, Emmanuel Mudiay (#5 in ESPN 2014 Top 100) decided last minute to not attend college and instead play one year overseas before entering the NBA Draft. This past year, Terrance Ferguson decided to do the same and play professional in Australia for a year. That is why we are considering Ferguson an “International” prospect, when in reality, he is a U.S. born citizen. Originally committed to play for Sean Miller’s Arizona Wildcats, Ferguson decided last minute to drop his commitment and play for Adelaide 36ers of the NBL in Australia. In 30 games this past season, Ferguson averaged 15.1 MPG, 4.6 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and shot 31.3% from 3-pt range. Again, like many players not coming for college basketball; Ferguson’s numbers are low, but have a high upside to them. At this year’s NBA Draft Combine, he measured a wingspan of 6’8 ¾” and a max vertical leap of 38 inches. Terrance Ferguson is a very lengthy wing player that can fit in as a stretch 2 or 3 on the floor and seems to be comfortable. Terrance Ferguson is another one of those late risers on draft boards and could see himself springboard on Draft night!
Strengths: Terrance Ferguson’s stat line and tape show two completely different things. While his stats show nothing impressive, the tape of him playing shows that Ferguson is a very carved out player and an important role player. On the offensive end of the floor, Ferguson is mainly a spot-up shooter and excels at that role. He seems very comfortable pulling up over any defender and has a very nice touch and release. Ferguson can be dangerous if left open from long-range, so players have to tightly guard him on the perimeter, leaving driving lanes available for him. For what would be a 19 year old finishing up his freshman season in college, Terrance Ferguson is very relaxed and mature. He is a well-rounded team player and has shown no signs of frustration or fatigue on the court. I like to describe Ferguson as a “silent assassin” because when he gets going, he shows no emotions and acts like it is just business. For a wing player, Ferguson stands slightly higher than the average height for his position, allowing him to take advantage of smaller defenders on the drive. His explosiveness is sometimes hidden, but dominant when he wants it to be. He takes long strides with the basketball and runs the court with ease. On the defensive and rebounding side, Ferguson has all the tools to become a strong defender on the drive and aggressive rebounder. Terrance Ferguson is very quick with his feet and has a lot of potential to become a solid wing defender in the future.
Weaknesses: As a ball-handler, Ferguson finds himself struggling at times. He is very loose with the ball in the open floor and is susceptible to turnovers in the NBA in the half-court. Although he does turn the ball over quite a bit passing, it is normally from being unselfish and trying to make a pass for his teammates. Ferguson is also a long ways away from being able to operate off of ball screens, Lots of shooting guards in today’s game love to shoot off a screen and occasionally draw a foul, but Ferguson looks uncomfortable shooting directly off a screen. Another worrisome stat for Ferguson is his free-throw percentage in Australia. He shot 60% from the stripe this past season and changes his mechanics a lot, much like LeBron at the line. Strength is possibly the most important thing NBA scouts need to see improvement with from Ferguson. Standing 6’7”, 184 lbs, Ferguson will get bullied around by defenders as a result of lack of strength. Little things like fading away instead of going hard to the rim will completely alter Ferguson’s numbers from what they could and should be as a result of his lack of strength. Adding 20-25 more pounds will be a must for Ferguson to maintain his aggressiveness in the NBA. Terrance Ferguson has the tools of a shooting guard and skills of a small forward in the NBA, but needs to become slightly more polished in order to be a threat on the wing in the NBA.
Comparison: A mix between Otto Porter and Jimmy Butler
If Terrance Ferguson turns into a Jimmy Butler type player, I would say he did well for himself! Butler, coming out of Marquette, was 6’8”, 222 lbs, but was strong and used that to his advantage against smaller wing players. As mentioned before, Terrance Ferguson is very undersized, weight wise, for a NBA wing player, and needs to bulk his frame to tap into his potential. Butler has become a better shooter in space and on the move as he got more comfortable in the NBA and I feel that Terrance Ferguson could do the same. Ferguson is a project, but if a team is willing to invest time into him, he can become a solid player on the wing. Again, Otto Porter and Jimmy Butler are slightly taller than Ferguson, but Terrance Ferguson has the body shape like them. As a result, Ferguson needs to get bulkier to be a threat in space and on the drive in the NBA.
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