|Junior||Miami||6’11” 235||Center||22 Yrs. Old|
|11.4 ppg||6.7 rpg||1 bpg||FG: 57.6%||FT: 68.9%|
NBA Comparison: Gorgui Dieng
Strengths: Running the floor/Agility, Put back baskets, Potential as a shot blocker
Weaknesses: Back to the back ability, Strength, Limited offensive skill set
Hernandez, who was formally known as Dewan Huell, has had a roller coaster ride in his time at Miami. He was a McDonald’s All American in 2016 and arrived on campus with plenty of hype as an athletic big man that could run the floor and block shots, but who also had potential to extend his game. One thing that recruiting services and colleges can not predict with any certainty is whether or not a player will run into eligibility or legal problems while they are on are on campus. Unfortunately for Miami and Hernandez, he was involved in multiple issues that ultimately forced his hand causing him to look to the professional ranks with college not being a realistic option. As a freshman, he was arrested for breaking into a dorm room at Florida International University which, belonged to his girlfriend. Despite this, he managed to not miss any time on the court and played the entire season averaging 5.8 points, and 3.6 rebounds in a little over 17 minutes of play. His sophomore year he improved those numbers to over 11 points per game to go with 6 rebounds, and at the conclusion of the season, he entered his name into the NBA draft process without hiring an agent. Hernandez made the decision to come back to school, but was ruled ineligible for his junior season when everything went down with Christian Dawkins negotiating payments for players in college. With no eligibility left, Hernandez declared for the 2019 draft and currently sits with his status in limbo.
As for his abilities on the court, he remains a similar player to the recruit he was out of high school. His athleticism is solid but he would not be considered an elite big man athletically at the next level. Hernandez runs the floor well for a 6’11” body, which provides him opportunities for fast break lobs and easy buckets. Defensively, he has the ability to block shots, but he did not do it at the rate you would expect with his measurements. His ability to be a shot blocker and rim protector will be a determining factor as to whether or not Hernandez is able to play at the professional level, whichever league or country that is in. Playing with his back to the basket is not a strength, and he will need work in that area, although it is nowhere near as valuable of a skill as it has been in the past. The main thing he will need to focus on offensively will be his ability to hit jump shots and extend his jumper to 15 ft. plus. His stroke has some fundamental flaws that need to be worked out, which can come with proper repetition, but that takes a strong work ethic from any player hoping to improve their mechanics. There is a fluid motion when he shoots the ball, and he has been around 70% from the line in his two seasons at Miami, which would lead you to believe he has the ability to improve his offensive skill set. You can see him taking some pre-game shots here, which is not something that every 6’11” player can do:
Hernandez currently projects to go in the late second round or undrafted for multiple different reasons. Reason number one would be his off the court issues that always raise a red flag when you are talking about giving someone in their early 20’s millions of dollars. The second concern with his game is the fact that he has not played this season, which will put an even bigger emphasis on his performance if he receives an invite to the NBA combine. Lastly, his game has not evolved at the level that was predicted when he arrived at Miami, and although there is potential with his size and agility, he needs to show he can do more offensively. Lastly, he needs to improve his ability to block shots, and the potential to do so is there, while adding some strength could help as well. With all of this said, he could get an invite to the combine, have a good showing, and get picked up in the second round. The fact he was a highly ranked recruit, as well as having NBA measurements with good agility/athleticism, a team could take a flyer and hope to develop him as their second round pick. Whether or not he gets drafted, Hernandez could be seeing time in the G league next season hoping to work his up way to an NBA roster. He projects as a possible back up big man who can block shots and a provide an offensive spark if he continues to improve his game.