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Bucks Draft Prospect Profile: Donte DiVincenzo

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If you watched a lot of Villanova basketball or at least watched the NCAAB National Championship, you know about Donte DiVincenzo. Not considered by many to be a first-round prospect at the beginning of the season, he changed a lot of minds during Nova’s tournament run and his performance as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. Since his 31-point performance against Michigan, DiVincenzo has declared for the draft, put up an excellent performance at the combine, and rumors are swirling that he’s even worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Let’s take a quick look at why there may be hesitations about this guy and then we’ll try to talk ourselves into why he’d be a good fit on the Bucks:

Donte DiVincenzo was never a starter in college and he played on one of the most talented teams in college basketball history, a team that won all six of its tournament games by double digits, and will likely have four players drafted on Thursday night. This means he was never a focus for defenses, in their game-plans or on the court. Obviously this isn’t something you can blame him for, but it is worth noting that with Jaylen Brunson and Mikal Bridges on the floor, opponents weren’t looking to shut down DiVincenzo which opened things up for him offensively.

Donte was a great scorer in college and his role on Villanova was to come off the bench and be an energetic spark on offense. At times though his shot selection was questionable and his shooting was a bit streaky. He’s very explosive and has a great first step toward the basket, but if he doesn’t get past his defender right away he has a tendency to settle for contested jumpers.

Finally, while he was a fine defender, he struggled in iso and post situations, and he seemed to rely on his toughness and athleticism to recover when caught out of position. That is rarely something that translates well to the NBA.

Alright, that’s enough negativity. Honestly, if the Bucks take Donte with the 17th pick it’d be the safest move they’ve made in the first round since…honestly I don’t know, maybe Jabari, maybe T.J. Ford. So let’s take a look at what he could bring to Milwaukee:

He did come off the bench, but he played 29.1 mpg for the Wildcats this season making him essentially a sixth starter and, for what it’s worth, he won Big East 6th man of the year.

Second, this guy can score and he can do it in a variety of different ways. Most notably, he’s an excellent three-point shooter, with a percentage of 40.1, and a good off the dribble jump shooter, which means he can create shots for himself, both of which are things the Bucks need. He’s also great finishing around the basket, shooting over 60% from close range

DiVincenzo is an explosive athlete. He registered a 42-inch vertical at the NBA Draft Combine and he uses that explosiveness to get to the basket and rebound. He might actually be the best rebounding guard in the draft. He grabbed nearly 5 boards per game this season for Villanova and emphasized that skill at the combine with 13 rebounds.

Donte is also a really solid passer and has been lauded for his basketball IQ by his peers over the course of his basketball career. He put up 3.5 assists per game with a +1.76 AST/TO this past year.

Lastly, he has a lot of the intangibles any good team needs. He accepted his role as sixth man despite being one the best five players on his team and having the talent to start on pretty much any other team in the nation, and he brings a rare level of toughness to the court every single game. He rebounds and defends with tenacity which allows him to be a difference maker even on night when his shot might not be falling. He is 21 years old so it’s not likely that he’ll make any vast improvements in athleticism or skill over the next few years, but I believe he could contribute to an NBA team now and a lot of things he brings to the table are things the Bucks desperately need. I’ve seen him projected as high as 15 and as low as early second round, so I’d expect him to be available when Milwaukee picks at 17 and I wouldn’t be mad if I saw him wearing a Bucks flat-bill Thursday night.

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