Quick hello to everyone: I run SB Nation's Villanova Wildcats blog - The Nova Blog. When the news of the Jazz signing Scottie Reynolds broke earlier today, I reached out to the SLC Dunk team to see if they wanted any info on Reynolds - who's been out of the limelight since he graduated from Villanova. So here we are!
If you're familiar with college basketball, you're probably pretty familiar with Scottie Reynolds. After nearly attending Oklahoma, Jay Wright snatched him up late in the recruiting process and brought him to the Main Line. He was thrust into the starting lineup as a freshman and responded with some pretty big performances.
Then of course, he made national headlines by guiding Villanova to the 2009 Final 4 after he hit a game-winning shot against Pittsburgh in the Elite 8. And yes, any chance to link to that clip, I'm linking to it.
By now, you're probably seeing what is readily apparent - Scottie Reynolds is a pretty good scorer of the basketball. That much cannot be questioned. But there are concerns about his athleticism and physical stature that led to him going undrafted in 2010. How many All-Americans can say that?
I do believe that Reynolds can be a success in the NBA. Sometimes, you need to throw the physical stats out the window (DeJuan Blair wasn't considered tall enough by most scouts) and realize that when you can play, you can play. After the jump I'll talk more about the pro's and con's of Reynolds' game.
As mentioned above, Reynolds' greatest strength is his offense. He's got a great first step and while he doesn't have the elite handle, he's very crafty with the ball and uses his body well when driving to the hoop. When he gets there, he does a great job of drawing contact and finishing. Reynolds also posseses above-average range to knock down the 3-ball. He's probably not considered elite here either, but he's not known for that skill, so it's a bonus that he typically is between 35-40% from beyond the arc.
Most important however, is his mid-range game. He does have an elite-level mid-range jump shot. This is important because at just 6'1" and 180-or-so pounds, he's going to have trouble finishing at the rim with the trees in the NBA. So his ability to pull up and knock down the 10-12 foot jump shot is big.
Reynolds is also a high-character guy. He's not the type that going to cause trouble in the locker room or be a headache for a coach. He'll keep his head down and work hard for the benefit of the team. Exactly the type of guy you want on your bench.
Now, to be fair, there are concerns. The biggest being that he doesn't have a true position. He was a shooting guard in college who handled some point-guard duties, but isn't big enough to guard NBA 2's. So his future appears to be running an offense if he's going to make it in the NBA. And because he never really did that at 'Nova, there's definite concern on his ability to do that.
His defense has also been called into question, and rightly so. He's got a great ability to jump passing lanes and steal, but in iso-defense, he lacks the lateral quickness (and frankly, desire) to stick with an NBA-caliber athlete. So there is some liability there.
The thing is, I don't think the Jazz signed him to play a huge role. If he can come off the bench to give some guards a break for a few minutes a game, that's great. If he can add some offense (which he can), that's even better. I don't think Utah envisions him as a 20-25 minute player. Probably not even a 12-15 type of guy.
But if Scottie Reynolds can give you 5-10 minutes a game and provide an offensive spark, I think fans will walk away happy. If pressed into a role more expansive than that, I think his flaws (defense, athleticism) may start to shine a little too bright.
I'm excited for Scottie Reynolds to get a chance in the NBA, and I think you'll all appreciate the hard work and will to win that he brings to the hardwood if/when you get the chance to see him play.