Every year now it seems that more and more players are leaving school early for the riches and fame that go along with playing in the NBA. Quincy Pondexter is not one of those guys. The 6-8 Pondexter stayed for four years at the University of Washington under coach Lorenzo Romar, playing the most career games in UW history, and becoming a likely first-round pick in the process.
The lengthy swingman hails from Fresno, Calif., where he went to high school with Brook and Robin Lopez. While Pondexter may have been overshadowed a bit by the twin seven footers in high school, he has made a name for himself as a smart player who can be a key piece on a winning team.
Pondexter’s biggest strength is his basketball I.Q. He shot 52.8 percent this year on his way to averaging 19.3 points per game, up 7.2 points from his junior year average. When talking to him, one gets the impression of a very mature, well-polished young man who will be a model citizen on and off the court. In addition to his intelligence, Pondexter is an incredibly gifted player in transition. He loves to run the break, and is a good finisher around the basket. Pondexter’s length and strength also give him the flexibility to defend multiple positions and be disruptive in the passing lanes. While Pondexter’s strengths outnumber his weaknesses, his big weakness is his lack of great ball-handling skills. He had 1.9 turnovers per game last season, which he will need to cut down on in the League. And owing to his limited ball-handling skills, he can be a bit uncomfortable playing on the perimeter.
Pondexter projects to be a late-first round pick, and a team should jump on him. He is a high quality guy who I had the privilege of interviewing, and will be a positive influence in any NBA locker room. His four-year career at Washington makes him more NBA ready than many players in this Draft, and teams like the Grizzlies, Nets, and Timberwolves should all consider him with their late-first round picks.
What do you think?
Follow Daniel on Twitter at @dgm591.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.