2020 NBA Draft Profile: Aaron Nesmith
6’6 | SF | 20.5 | Vanderbilt | SO
Aaron Nesmith was one of the most improved players in college basketball this season emerging as an elite jump shooter before a stress fracture in his right foot ended his season prematurely. Widely regarded as a top-50 prospect in the high school class of 2018 following his senior year at Porter-Gaud School (SC), he made an instant impact in the SEC averaging 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a freshman at Vanderbilt. Returning for his sophomore year under first-year Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse, Nesmith had a breakout year scoring 23 points per game while shooting 52% from beyond the arc to rank as the most efficient scorer in the country before his season was cut short just one game into the Commodores’ SEC slate.
- Standing 6’6 with a solid 215-pound frame and good length, Nesmith has nice size for a wing. He is more fluid than explosive but plays above the rim pretty impressively in space.
- Nesmith’s physical profile is a plus, but it is his track record as a shooter that makes him so intriguing. He would have lead the country in three-pointers made per game this season if he qualified for the final leaderboards as he proved extremely reliable in catch and shoot situations both when spotting up and when running into shots off of screens. Serving as the focal point of much of what the Commodores did offensively, his consistency shined as he scored no fewer than 14 points in any of his 14 games as a sophomore.
- Possessing solid tools for the defensive end, Nesmith was more physical on the ball and active off it some times than others last season.
- Among the most efficient scorers in the country, Nesmith played a unique role last season. He was the target of many of Vanderbilt’s sets even though he spent many possessions moving off the ball whether it was running off of screens, working off hand offs, or relocating on the perimeter. Ranking among the most prolific off screen and spot up scorers in the country, he averaged 1.639 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [100th percentile]. After showing some promise as a three-point shooter last season as a freshman, he took a massive step forward in terms of accuracy as a sophomore. Shooting an aFG% just under 100% on open set shots, drilling several NBA-range threes, and showing impressive body control getting into his shot on the run, Nesmith had a special year on the perimeter.
- Showing the ability to make pull-up jump shots with range and finish with good footwork and touch inside, Nesmith is not overly dynamic with the ball, but he scored 0.919 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [78th percent], representative of his ability to exploit the aggressiveness of opposing defenders.
- Seldom operating out of the pick and roll or creating his own shot off the dribble, Nesmith has room to improve his handle and decision-making as a passer to make better use of the opportunities his gravity as a shooter presents him to put the ball on the floor.
|Spot Up||Off Screen|
- Ranked 2nd in the NCAA and 1st in the SEC in scoring efficiency among players using over 10 possessions per game (1.24 ppp)
- Ranked 2nd in the NCAA and 1st in the SEC in spot up scoring (7.0 ppg)
- Ranked 3rd in the NCAA and 1st in the SEC in off screen scoring (5.6 ppg)
- Ranked 1st in the SEC in hand off scoring (1.9 ppg)
- Possessing nice length and strength, Nesmith has some things working in his favor defensively. He allowed 0.71 points per isolation possession [57th percentile] faring better defending on the ball than off it.
- Making an effort on the glass and fighting when switched onto opposing big men, his ability to translate some of his glimpses of tenacity to closeout situations is a point of interest.