The NCAA last week published a study indicating that 1.1 percent of all Division I college basketball players are selected in the NBA Draft.
That doesn’t apply to Arizona. If you estimate that the Wildcats recruited five players per year over the last 50 seasons, 18 percent of UA recruits (46 of 250) were selected in the first 60 of the NBA Draft.
Rawle Alkins, who was Arizona’s fourth option on offense during his freshman season, who never took The Big Shot in a close game, believes he’ll be No. 47.
When he arrives in Chicago for the NBA Combine on May 9, hundreds of NBA general managers, scouts and coaches will decide if Alkins is draft-worthy. Almost none of it will have to do with Alkins’ you-can’t-help-but-like-this-guy personality.
Alkins, who was listed at 6 feet 5 inches and 220 pounds by Arizona, will spend one day just getting measured. The NBA people will measure his body fat, hand length, hand width, his height with and without shoes, his standing reach, his standing jump and his wingspan.
A day later he will go through shooting drills at 15 spots, from a transition jumper to an NBA distance 3-pointer. He will do those shots both as a stationary shooter and off the dribble. He will be timed in a shuttle run, in a lane-agility drill and in a length-of-the-court sprint.
He’ll do some half-court scrimmaging in which the NBA examiners will chart every move. Is he fluid, quick and decisive? Can he finish at the rim? Are his shooting mechanics sound? Is he strong enough to play the NBA’s push-and-shove game? Can he go to his left? Does he have a basketball IQ?
Because Alkins is projected as an NBA shooting guard, he’ll be asked to be a productive 3-point shooter and secondary ball-handler. At Arizona, he averaged 1.2 3-pointers per game. He was not a ball-handler.
In three days, the NBA people will determine whether Alkins is likely to be drafted or if they’ll cross his name off the list and keep an eye on him as he tries to connect with a EuroLeague team.
One of the unspoken risks of fringe prospects who make themselves eligible for the NBA Draft process is the fear of being exposed as not-ready-for-prime-time.
If Alkins thought the Sweet 16 against Xavier was a Big Game, his three days in Chicago will be the biggest game of his young life.