|Senior||6’10” 230||Power Forward||USC||22 Yrs. Old|
|18.2 ppg||6.6 rpg||2.5 apg||FG: 47.4%||3 PT: 42.9%|
Strengths: Jump shot, Range, Pick and roll ability, Size
Weaknesses: Lateral quickness, Athleticism, Defense
Boatwright is a true scorer, who mainly relies on his ability to shoot the jump shot for his production. He has shown off some skills in the low post, but as a stretch four at the next level, his role will be defined by how well he is able to consistently knock down jumpers. If his college stats are any indication of his potential in that role, there is a good chance that he will be able to do this at whatever level of professional basketball he ends up playing. As a senior Boatwright shot 6.8 three pointers per game, at a 42.9% clip, making him not only a scorer but an efficient one, especially at his size. He was close to 50% from the field as well, and has shot over 70% from the free throw line in all 4 of his seasons at Southern Cal. His shooting abilities were on full display when he made 10 three pointers against California, and seven against UCLA. The senior does most of his work coming off of a screen, or in the pick and roll, setting him up for a shot which he is always ready to shoot. His shot mechanics are solid and should not need much work, as a shooter he is one of the most pro ready prospects in the draft class. Listed at 6’10”, his size will allow him to get his shot off at the next level, and as long as he remains efficient, he fits the power forward position in the modern NBA very well on the offensive end.
On the defensive side of the floor it is a little bit different of a story for the Trojan. His lack of explosiveness and lateral quickness will be an issue, and he could be a liability when attempting to switch on pick and rolls. Not only on switches, but quicker power forwards will be tough for Boatwright to keep in front of him at the professional level. Due to his lack of athleticism, he will not be known as a rim protector or shot blocker, and he will need to improve on the defensive side of things to have a chance of sticking in the league. He has the ability to rebound with multiple double digit games, which could be an area of his game that can help him get minutes if he is unable to improve as a defender. As mentioned before, he is not an explosive athlete and while that is a concern, with his skills being used from the perimeter on offense this will be much more of concern as a defender. His length is not great, with a .5 in. deficit between his height and his wingspan, which is part of the reason for his below average defensive abilities at the power forward position. Despite the negatives, he is a knock down shooter at 6’10” that has proven he can score at the highest level of college basketball, and 6’10” skilled big men do not grow on trees.
These two plays show his ability to knock down an outside shot:
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT ON TIME. NMSU has 4.1 seconds to respond. pic.twitter.com/wsYvISeonR— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) December 26, 2017
As far as his draft projection, most view Boatwright as a second round pick, although we believe he could be selected late in the first round if a team feels hit fits a need with his skill set. Given his size, along with his production especially being such an efficient shooter should lead to him being drafted at the latest somewhere in the back half of the second round. His ceiling as a professional would be a starter level stretch four, who may come off the bench but can put up solid numbers on the offensive end. The worst case scenario for Boatwright would be after getting drafted, he is unable to improve his defense and ends up playing in the G League or overseas after receiving his chance in the NBA.