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Prospect Profile

Dion Waiters

  • Full Name: Dion Waiters
  • Position: Guard
  • Height/Weight: 6-4 / 215
  • Birthdate: December 1, 1991
  • College: Syracuse
Cleveland Cavaliers Round 1: Pick 4
 

Strengths:
*Great athlete
*Attacks the rim
*Instant offense
*Can handle the ball
*Good passer

Weaknesses:
*Doesn’t have ideal size
*Jump shot has to get more consistent

NBA projection:
Waiters has been projected as a mid first-round pick, no small accomplishment given the fact he’s had to prove what he can do by coming off the bench for two seasons. He’s got NBA-level scoring ability and has continued to improve his defense. Though Syracuse played a zone, Waiters was a key because of his length and strength.

2011-12 Season:
Waiters struggled in his reserve role his first season and for a time considered transferring. But he decided to stay, was convinced to embrace the job and excelled this season. That was good training for the next level, because he’ll fill the same role for a year or two. Waiters doubled his scoring average from his freshman year, improved his shooting percentage from 41 to 48 percent and tacked a couple of percentage points onto his 3-point success ratio. He was an easy choice for Big East sixth man of the year.

Key statistics:
12.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 tpg, 1.8 spg, 24.1 mpg, .476 FG, .363 3PT, .729 FT

Cool statistic:
Waiters is known as a guy who can put points on the board in a hurry. In a regular-season game against Manhattan, he scored 17 points in 19 minutes. He scored 18 in 24 minutes against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament, and averaged 23 points and 28 minutes in Big East Tournament games against UConn and Cincinnati.

Reminds me of:
DeShawn Stevenson

What Insiders Say:
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim
“Dion really plays best and is most explosive when we try to keep his minutes in a certain area. But Dion is getting better. He's still got a ways to go defensively, and that's normal. He's still just a sophomore. But he's had a tremendous year, and he's had a great role on this team.”

Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine
“Dion really worked hard this whole year and accepted his role and played it to the best of his abilities. That's what made our team, when he accepted his role and was able to come off the bench and play it well. When our best scorer is coming off the bench and accepting his role and leaving his ego at the door for the team to be great, you can't ask for a player to do more. He's always been talented since he's been young. And the thing I like most about him is he's really … he's doing less talking and more playing and really performing at a high level.”

What Outsiders Say:
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan
“He's a very good player. Strength, scoring, rebounding, athletically as good as there is around.”

Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor
“He's instant offense. He can fill it up. He might be … it's arguable he might be the best scorer on their team. He can hang 20 on you in two minutes if you let him get going.”

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

 

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