Draft Lead

The Rise of Jarrett Culver

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Jarrett Culver is a name that has been shooting up draft boards recently. The 6’5″ guard from Texas Tech is a projected lottery pick by most. Let’s analyze what has caused Culver to rise so much.

Efficiency

Last year, Culver was a member of a stacked Texas Tech team which was run by former lottery pick Zhaire Smith and do-it all senior guard Keenan Evans. With both of them now gone, Culver’s usage percentage is up significantly, but so are both his field goal and three-point percentage. Last year, he shot 45% from the field and 38% from three. This year, Culver has had a 56% field goal percentage and been 45% from three on four more shots per game. Culver has upped his scoring average from 11.2 points per game to 19.6. He has shot up draft boards because of his increased productivity with more usage. These numbers point to an intriguing trajectory for offensive improvement as he gets older.

Defensive Switchability

Culver is a 6-5 point guard or shooting guard with good length. His wingspan, although not officially given, is estimated to be around 6-10. Culver is also quick and athletic. He is able to stay in front of faster guards, but also has good enough size to stay with larger 2’s and 3’s. Culver can also effectively get into passing lanes, as he averages north of one steal per game. What makes him most effective, however, is his effort. Culver rarely takes plays off and is always hounding his man.

Offensive Versatility

Culver can score at all three levels. He’s a solid driver and can elaborately finish at the rim. He can also hit midrange jumpers at a fairly efficient rate. Culver’s range extends past the three point line as well, as he shoots 45% from three on the year. The Texas Tech product does not only just score, too. Culver averages 5.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest. His playmaking is not elite, but he’s able to make the smart read most of the time and doesn’t only try to create for himself. Culver can impact the offensive end of the game in many ways, resulting in a well rounded weapon.

Weaknesses

The biggest thing Culver needs to work on is his free throw shooting. He currently shoots below 70% from the line, and definitely needs to improve that for the NBA. Culver also has trouble dribbling through traffic, and can sometimes force his own shot– resulting in bad misses and turnovers. Finally, while Culver is a good athlete, he is not elite. His lack of heightened athleticism limits his potential upside at the next level.

Summary

Overall, Jarrett Culver is a solid NBA draft prospect who should see himself taken in the lottery next year. He can influence the game from both ends of the floor, but can sometimes force his shot and get frustrated, resulting in bad plays.

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