Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple
The guy I know the most about in the draft, and yes this will be longer than any other player's review. I actually believed he was a little shorter but he measured out well for a 2 guard at the pre-draft measurements (6'4 ¼ barefoot, 6'5 ½ with shoes, 211 lbs with a 6'9” wingspan). It's a good thing he measured this big as he had no shot of being transformed into a PG in the NBA.
Dionte may be the best in the draft in catch-and-shoot situations. He's as good as anyone at running around off of screens and finding open areas in the defense a la Reggie Miller/Rip Hamilton for his teammates to hit him with the pass for the jumper. In isolation situations Dionte lacks the ball handling/quickness to get to slash to the rim on a consistent basis. He has an excellent pull-up jumper and one of his favorite go-to moves is his step-back jumper, the same way Paul Pierce uses his.
Maybe the most underrated part of Dionte's game is his man-to-man defense. His long wingspan allows him to poke the ball away from his defenders and driving on Dionte is no easy task. In college he was capable of guarding every position except center. In the NBA that's obviously not the case, but he'll be no less than an average defender and won't hurt his team while on the court. His anticipation of passes and getting in the passing lanes is also an attribute.
Dionte also likes big games as shown in the 30 points in the 2nd half (35 total) he scored vs. Tyler Smith in an early season ESPN game and the 29 points he put up on James Harden in the first round of the NCAA tourney.
Christmas could struggle to find his niche in the league. What he lacks is athletic ability (both speed and jump). Projected as a 2nd round pick, I expect to see him drafted but not playing in the NBA next year. I'm not sure what teams would be able to draft a guy in the 2nd round and then run their 2nd round pick off of screens to try to get him an open jumper. He could be the Shan Foster of '09.
Comparison: Reggie Miller (not talent wise, style-wise)
Best Case Scenario: A guy brought in to score and score only, a taller Eddie House
Worst Case Scenario: Overseas stud
Examples of Dionte's catch-and-shoot skills, as well as his ability to come off screens and get into passing lanes can be seen in these videos:
35 points vs. Tennessee
29 points in battle with James Harden
23 points vs. Duke. LOL at him abusing Paulus on the block
Get to know Dionte:
"My dad always taught me it don't cost nothin to be a great person, so that's what I wanna be"
22 years old
Finished 4th in Temple scoring history
1st in 3 pointers made at Temple with 318(broke Lynn Greer's record of 305)
Led A-10 in scoring 3 straight seasons
Led Temple to back-to-back conference tournament championships