Former Saint Joseph’s star DeAndre Bembry was selected 21st overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2016 NBA Draft last night. Bembry is the first Hawk to be chosen in the first round since Jameer Nelson and Delonte West were taken in 2004. Most draft experts had Bembry slotted as a late first round pick after he impressed them with his play at the NBA Draft combine in May.
The three year starter showed promise during his sophomore season when he was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Team but gained national recognition this past season after leading SJU to their second Atlantic 10 Championship in three years and an NCAA Round of 32 appearance.
The Atlantic 10 Player of the Year averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. His athleticism and feel for the game are two things that stand out when scouts analyze his game. Bembry can guard shorter and quicker opponents because of his 6-foot-9 wingspan but can also defend taller and stronger players because of his strength. His court vision should not be forgotten either, as he can serve as a team’s primary distributor if necessary.
Bembry’s ability is without question as ESPN insider Chad Ford stated that “Next to Ben Simmons, he's the best passing non-point guard in the draft,” but his jumpshot, which has been heavily criticized, ultimately lowered his draft stock. He only shot 27% from three but filled the stat sheet in other areas.
From the start, Bembry will have a positive impact on the Hawks from a defensive standpoint but if he continues to improve his shooting, teams will wish that they would have selected Bembry.
Photo: Jeff Horne/Flickr
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