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2018 NBA Draft Profile: Donte DiVincenzo

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The Big Ragu’s National Championship game made him some money.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Michigan vs Villanova Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into his redshirt sophomore season, guard Donte DiVincenzo was not expected to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. The same could be said prior to the start of March Madness, and quite frankly it was still the case prior to April 2nd. That night, the Wilmington, Del. native scored 31 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range and went 5-for-8 from inside the arc in a 79-62 victory over Michigan, giving Villanova its third National Championship in school history and second in three seasons.

The 6’4.5”, 205 lb. combo guard’s stock exploded that night and has been on its way up since. An impressive performance at the NBA Draft Combine only furthered the rise of DiVincenzo’s stock. DiVincenzo is now in a position to become one of two (or even three) Villanova players selected in the 1st round this year, and Jay Wright’s third in two years.

Donte DiVincenzo Career Stats

SEASON MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
SEASON MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
2017-18 29.3 4.7-9.8 0.481 2.1-5.3 0.401 1.9-2.7 0.71 4.8 3.5 0.2 1.1 2.1 2 13.4
2016-17 25.5 3.0-6.5 0.466 1.2-3.2 0.365 1.6-2.3 0.699 3.8 1.7 0.3 0.9 1.6 1.4 8.8
2015-16 9.3 0.8-2.6 0.286 0.4-2.1 0.176 0.0-0.0 0 2 0.5 0 0.5 1.3 0.9 1.9

Strengths

Shooting

In his injury-shortened true freshman season, DiVincenzo shot a paltry 3-for-17 (17.6%) from three. DiVincenzo is much more capable than what that 10-game sample showed, as he shot 36.5% from deep in his redshirt freshman season and an improved 85-of-212 (40.1%) this past season. DiVincenzo’s ability and willingness to shoot from deep will make him a valuable asset in today‘s NBA game. However, his 71% shooting from the free throw line is a bit lower than a NBA team would like to see. According to our own Will Schreefer‘s shot chart tool over at The Stepien, DiVincenzo shot 35% from behind the NBA line last season, on a pretty solid 56-152 sample size. Along a similar line, DiVincenzo is capable of creating his own shot. The majority of his NBA threes were assisted, but the guard shot 61% at the rim, and only 46.7% of those makes were assisted, according to Schreefer’s shot chart tool. The Big Ragu still has some work to do when it comes to finishing through contact, but more often than not he is able to get to the rim and score. Overall, DiVincenzo will likely have to catch and shoot from behind the arc, but be able to get to the rim and finish on his own.

Athleticism

DiVincenzo can jump out of the gym, proven by his combine leading standing (34.5“) and max (42.0“) vertical leap (and this dunk). The Salesianum product also had a top 10 three-quarter sprint at the combine, showing off his speed and agility. Officially measured at 6‘4.5” with a 6’6” wingspan, DiVincenzo should have little trouble adjusting to the size and speed of the NBA. DiVincenzo should be able to sky for rebounds and putbacks, just like he did in college. While DiVincenzo still has work to do on the defensive end—that will be discussed shortly—his quickness and athleticism will likely offset some of his deficiencies.

Weaknesses

Defensive Consistency

The main weakness in Donte DiVincenzo‘s game is his defense. DiVincenzo undoubtedly has the quickness and length to keep up with a large number of guards in the NBA, but he can often be caught ball watching. His 101.3 defensive rating this past season, per sports-reference.com, is an indication of his mediocre to average defense. The same can be said of his 1.8 defensive win shares and 2.9 defensive box plus-minus. Defensive analytics are far from foolproof, but the eye test matches the numbers in this case. In one-on-one situations, DiVincenzo does a decent job of keeping his man in front of him. The trouble comes when he is off the ball. A somewhat low defensive awareness leads him to ball watching, leading to a scramble as the defense tries to switch onto the open man. Some more teaching and experience can definitely fix these issues, and the Big Ragu has the body to turn into a high level defender.

Turnovers

DiVincenzo‘s primary position will be as an off guard, but he will likely be expected to initiate the offense as a point guard at certain times, depending on the team. He has the ability to run the offense and will make some “wow“ passes, but also makes questionable decisions that result in turnovers. DiVincenzo‘s 16.9% turnover percentage was in the lower half of the Big East among those who played 40% of a team‘s minutes, according to kenpom.com. Six turnovers in Villanova‘s Sweet 16 victory over West Virginia shows the difficulties DiVincenzo might face in leading an offense. However, his nine assists and a near triple double in a road victory over Xavier shows DiVincenzo and his decision making at its best.

Overall

In terms of body type, DiVincenzo has similar measurables to current NBA players Jeremy Lin, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray. Lin is more of a true point guard, but the comparisons to Harris and Murray aren’t crazy. They are both good shooters who are best as an off-guard but can hold there own when asked to run the offense. They also struggle a bit on the defensive side of the ball. It wouldn’t be surprising to see DiVincenzo have a similar start to his career that Harris and Murray did. If that were the case, he would be in pretty good shape to stay in the league.

DiVincenzo likely sealed a spot in the first round with his combine performance. 20-27 seems to be the most likely draft range for the guard. On the high end of that range, DiVincenzo worked out for the Utah Jazz, who have the 21st overall selection, and that seems like a reasonable landing spot. The Chicago Bulls at 22, the Indiana Pacers at 23, and the hometown Philadelphia 76ers at 26 are all very possible landing spots for the Delaware native. If DiVincenzo slips through and is still available at 27, it would be surprising if the Boston Celtics did not select him.