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Donte DiVincenzo – 6’4″ Guard, Villanova, 21 Years Old
There is no doubt that Donte DiVincenzo’s draft stock sky-rocketed during Villanova’s run to the NCAA National Title, where he received Final Four MVP honors. The 6’4″ combo guard put on an impressive display during the championship game, scoring 31 points and making a number of highlight reel plays on the defensive end. Prior to this game, there were few people who thought he would get drafted. Since that outburst in the final, scouts have looked more closely at DiVincenzo and he could even be selected in the lottery. DiVincenzo averaged 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists last season and played at a high level defensively.
Donte DiVincenzo is a modern basketball player. He is tremendously skilled, a world-class athlete, and possesses intangibles that make him a special talent. At 6’4″ and 200 pounds, he is a sturdy player capable of playing both guard positions. Athletically, he will be able to hold his own against most players. He does have a plus wingspan at 6’6″ and recorded the highest max vertical leap at the draft combine, 42.0 inches. That athleticism was on display with his two-handed volleyball block in the national championship game.
Donte DiVincenzo block pic.twitter.com/nmPgNJhTy2
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) April 3, 2018
DiVincenzo’s best asset on offense is his ability to shoot in all situations and all areas of the floor. Whether it be in transition or the half-court; catch-and-shoot or off the dribble; contested or wide open. He posts impressive shooting numbers from all three levels. According to NBA.com, he shot 50.7 percent from the right wing on 73 attempts, a remarkable statistic. He is also in the 90th percentile on jump shots made after taking a dribble. This is one of the more undervalued skills in the modern NBA. Everyone loves a player who can shoot, but a player who can pump fake, take a side step and knock down a shot is even better.
The most notable weakness for DiVincenzo is his lack of playmaking. He is not a player who will distribute for others the way some teams may hope for. DiVincenzo averaged 3.5 assists per game, which is respectable. But his two turnovers per game are an issue and he struggles to make the more difficult passes sometimes. Now, a lot of this can be attributed to him playing alongside Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson his entire career, so he was never asked to be a facilitator.
Another thing that could become problematic is his ability to consistently create his own shot. He is excellent at attacking close-outs and in transition, but in an isolation situation, he can struggle. DiVincenzo relies too much on his jump shot and settles for tough, contested three-pointers. He needs to develop some more dribble-drive moves to the rim. Because of his basketball IQ and athleticism, he should be able to remedy this simply by changing speeds when isolating, as well as improving his handle in the NBA.
While he does not have the upside of a Collin Sexton or Trae Young, DiVincenzo should have a long career in the NBA. Most mock drafts have him going anywhere from 15 to 20. In terms of NBA fit, it is easy to see him as on a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is a ‘culture guy,’ the type of player who will give maximum effort every play and help teams win games. His defensive effort and ability to be a help defender would fit well for Minnesota, as he could cover for players like Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Offensively, it would allow him to be a third or fourth option on the floor. He could be a shot maker who can create spacing for the team’s talented scorers.
Two NBA comparisons for DiVincenzo are his former teammate Josh Hart and undrafted point guard Fred VanVleet. He can play both guard positions and makes winning plays. NBA scouts and coaches are raving about his intangibles and ability to change games without scoring. This is what makes the aforementioned Hart and VanVleet so good for their squads. They are bench players who coaches can trust to close games. He can rebound, defend, and is clearly not afraid of the moment. Donte DiVincenzo may not have been on a lot of draft boards prior to the NCAA tournament, but there is no doubt he will make an immediate impact and help his team win games.
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