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Prospect Profile

Damian Lillard

  • Full Name: Damian Lillard
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Height/Weight: 6-3 / 195
  • Birthdate: July 15, 1990
  • College: Weber State
Portland Trail Blazers Round 1: Pick 6
 

Video: Draft Combine workout

Strengths:
*Unselfish/knows how to get his teammates involved
*Good 3-point shooter
*Good penetrator and strong enough to absorb contact in the lane
*Excellent free-throw shooter
*Good rebounder
*Diligent at getting better

Weaknesses:
*Needs to tighten up his handle
*Wasn’t able to consistently perform against upper Division I talent

NBA projection:
In a draft that’s short on point guards, Lillard’s status has steadily risen to the point where he’s projected as a lottery pick. He’s a scorer, but he’s smart enough to know that if he keeps his teammates involved, his scoring opportunities will still be there. He’s got all the requisite point guard stills, and the best thing about him is that he’s never satisfied with his game. During a medical redshirt season in 2010-11 he watched every tape from his 71 career games played in an effort to learn his weaknesses and how he could improve and also met his goal of bench-pressing 300 pounds.

2011-12 Season:
Lillard led the nation in scoring much of the season before finishing second to Oakland’s Reggie Hamilton. He ranked in the top 20 in the nation in made 3-pointers per game, 3-point field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage. Lillard was the Big Sky Conference MVP after leading his team to a 25-7 overall record, 14-2 in the league, which was good enough to win the regular-season title. Lillard set a Weber State single-season record with 784 points, another record for made 3-pointers (94) and tied the school record for most free-throws made (228).

Key statistics:
24.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.3 tpg, 1.5 spg, 34.5 mpg, .467 FG, .409 3PT, .887 FT

Cool statistic:
Finished as Weber State’s career leader in made 3-point goals (246) and made free throws (520).

Reminds me of:
Norris Cole

What Insiders Say:
Weber State coach Randy Rahe
“He’s got a great feel for when our team needs him to be aggressive, a great feel for when others need to be involved. If they give him something he takes it, if not, he goes to the next guy. … He’s the kind of kid that if he’s not doing something to get better on a daily basis, he struggles with that. He’s such a focused kid on how do I improve, how do I get better.”

What Outsiders Say:
San Jose State coach George Nessman
"Lillard is a great player for his team. We did a great job on him until the last 10 minutes of the game [Lillard scored 14 second-half points and 17 in two overtimes]. I don't know if we'll face a scorer that good the rest of the season."

Cal coach Mike Montgomery:
“Damian Lillard is a really good player and a really good athlete.”

BYU coach Dave Rose:
(Comparing Lillard to Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor)
"I think they're similar in their ability to make some late shot-clock scores and to create for themselves and for their team.”

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch.

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