Missouri Basketball: Marcus Denmon NBA Draft Prospects

The Missouri Tigers basketball team is off to a hot start in 2011 thanks in large part to the play of senior guard Marcus Denmon.

Denmon is coming off of a career performance against Northwestern State on Friday night in which he scored 31 points and made seven of 10 three-point shots.

Denmon can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and has really become the leader of the Tigers the past two seasons.

But, will Denmon’s game translate to the NBA? Will he get drafted in the 2012 NBA Draft?

Let’s take a look at some of Denmon’s characteristics and see how they’ll play out in the NBA.

Jump Shot: A-

Denmon is a shooter. That’s his bread-and-butter. He is lethal from behind the three-point line and everywhere else on the court too.

Ballhandling: C-

Denmon isn’t great at creating shots for himself in the half-court offense. He’s much better when he can spot up, set his feet, receive a pass and shoot. He can dribble when he needs to, but it’s definitely not the strength of his game. He’s much better off as a catch-and-shoot player.

Free Throws: B

Denmon is hitting 89 percent of his free throws this season. That’s well above his previous career-high free throw percentage (79.5 percent), so expect him to fall back into that range. He can score from the free throw line with consistency.

Defense: C

Denmon isn’t ever going to be a lockdown defender. But, he’s serviceable on the defensive end and will always give maximum effort. He’s definitely better on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s not going to hurt an NBA team defensively.

Speed: A

Denmon in the open court is a scary sight for opposing defenses. He’s so athletic and quick that he can cover the court in just a few steps and put the ball in the basket in the blink of an eye. As mentioned earlier, he’s not great at ball handling in traffic, but in the open court, he can certainly hold his own.

Awareness: B+

Denmon seems to always know what his team needs from him. Whether it’s a half court shot at the end of the first half of an NCAA tournament game or a steal in a key moment to seal a victory against a tough Vanderbilt team, he’s always in the right place at the right time. He never makes any glaring mistakes, and that’s a big positive, both in the college game and in the NBA.

Leadership: B

Denmon isn’t very vocal on the court, but he sets an excellent example for his teammates by always working hard and going about his business in a professional manner. He doesn’t get flustered on the court, and that goes a long way in keeping his teammates calm and collected.

Projected Draft Position: Late 2nd Round

He’s not going to be a first round pick. In fact, he might not get drafted at all. But, with his skill set, he deserves a chance to play in the NBA. There aren’t 60 college basketball players in this country that are better than Denmon, so some team picking towards the end of the second round should take a chance on him. He has a lot of upside and can provide a scoring spark coming off the bench for a contender.

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