Moving on to some prospects who haven’t received as much coverage or hype in the draft-sphere, Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander is one of my personal sleeper picks for the draft as a whole. His range has been all over the place, anywhere from late first round to undrafted, but I have him sitting around 20 on my personal rankings.
Discussed by many scouts as one of the better 3&D prospects in this draft, Ty-Shon’s draft combine results were a little underwhelming athletically compared to other guards, but his shooting remained his calling card as he put up some solid results in that area. The recent unfortunate and disappointing news about Terence Davis could possibly result in the team looking for a similar player in Davis’ archetype since he’s more than likely played his last game in Toronto. Enter Ty-Shon Alexander, who made his mark being a grinder on defence and a long-range shotmaker on offence.
With his shot chart looking like a Daryl Morey fever dream, just one look at Ty-Shon’s shooting stats will tell you that he’s efficient and his shot selection is also pretty steady among college guards. He knows his role, but he’s not afraid to step outside of it either. He was frequently asked to be the main handler and facilitator at times and often held his own in that area, posting some standout playmaking performances (first video below) and proved his ability to take care of the ball with only an 8.7% turnover percentage in his most recent season. His skill in the PNR is also solid, where he shows ability to run the play and even score off the dribble (second video below).There is some optimism that he can eventually play point guard in the NBA, but it’ll take some developmental years while he improves his vision and overall playmaking IQ. Expect some speed bumps along the way.
A teams will potentially end up drafting him for his complimentary skillset. Across his sophomore and junior seasons at Creighton he took 469 threes and shot 38%, increasing his splits from .365 to .399 after the NCAA moved the 3 point line back. For reference, most college players’ shooting stats went down after this change happened.
While his shooting numbers are great, he needs to work on his finishing. His overall FG% is fine at 43% compared to other guards and it’s brought down due to his difficulties converting inside. Part of this is because he’s not a great athlete who can elevate and overwhelm the opposition with strength on his drives. His quickness and handle also have room for improvement. His quickness off the dribble is related to his overall athleticism, he doesn’t possess much burst, and his dribble is fair, nothing special. When asked he can bring it up the court but he’s more suited to being an off ball guard at this stage in his career. Unlocking his handle and improving his ability to take players off the dribble would be key steps in his development, especially if teams feel he can grow into a primary ball handler at the 1.
Ty-Shon is one of the better spot up shooters in all of college basketball and that will translate to the NBA level (#1). He is fast to run to his spots, establish position, and drain threes efficiently. His form is butter with a high release and no concerning mechanical flaws. As mentioned above, he also shows some skill at scoring off the dribble even when his handle is a little stiff (#2 and #3). He’s also great at moving off ball and is a fast riser off screens (#4).
While his shooting remains a strength, Ty-Shon’s impact on the defensive end is where he shines. He was one of the best defensive guards in the NCAA; Synergy puts him in the 94th percentile on defence as a whole and in the 92nd percentile when defending the ball handler in the pick and roll (source). He hustles his ass off on the defensive end. Watch how effective he is at chasing his man through screens, and even if he gets left behind he’s quick to recover. Even though he doesn’t rack up many blocks, his timing is consistently very good among guards and he shows flashes of clutch rim protection thanks to his hustle and long arms.
His excellent footwork and IQ allows him to stay in front of his man so he can impact shots and dig into passing lanes.
His anticipation often pays off allowing him to run in transition for a quick bucket. He’d easily fit in Nick Nurse’s fast-paced transition offence.
Raptors fans should get a kick out of this as well: he’s great at drawing charges! Ty-Shon does a lot of little things on the defensive end that helps his team win, including taking after the greatest Raptor of all time when it comes to putting his body on the line.
Ty-Shon would be an excellent addition to the Raptors as almost every team could use a player like him. He fits the mold of players that have had success in Toronto before such as Norman Powell, Danny Green, and Terence Davis. While he projects to be a glue guy and primarily 3&D player, there is a little bit of untapped potential there with regards to his playmaking that hint at Ty-Shon possibly becoming much more. Whatever you deem his potential to be, he’s a sleeper pick to keep an eye on at the end of the first round – most people won’t know him.