|Soph.||6’5″ 195||Shooting Guard||Texas Tech||DOB: 2/20/99|
|18.5 ppg||6.4 rpg||3.7 apg||FG: 46.1%||3 PT: 30.4%|
NBA Comparison: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Strengths: Perimeter Defense, Shot Creation, Length, Athleticism
Weaknesses: Shooting Efficiency, Shot Selection, Turnovers
Culver had a productive season as a freshman and teams were intrigued with his potential going forward, however not many expected him to play his way into being a potential top five pick in this years draft. Texas Tech as a team was considered one of the best defensive units in college basketball, and Culver was a big part of that success. He can defend on the perimeter being able to guard multiple different positions and handle switches to smaller guards as well as at times, guarding bigger players and handling it well. His defensive projection to the next level is solid, and he would immediately be one of the better perimeter defenders on whichever roster he ultimately ends up being a part of. Creating his own shot is his preference, but he can come off of a screen or catch and shoot as well. He has multiple moves using step back and crossovers, and when driving to the basket he has the skills you look with a future pro. Those skills include pulling up for a mid range jump shot, floaters, and finishing at the basket as well as getting to the free throw line at a good rate. He possesses a solid vertical and his quickness/speed will be above average for a shooting guard on the NBA level. Overall his athleticism would make him one of the better all around athletes on a roster from day one, which will help him find ways to score as his outside game improves. Culver has good length for a guard at 6’10” that will help on both ends of the floor, and his 6’5″ size is solid as well. At times he was in the lead guard role bringing the ball up the court and setting up teammates, which will allow teams to play him in multiple different looks.
As a shooter he saw a decline from his freshman year at 38.2% on 3.9 attempts, to 30.4% on 4.2 attempts as a sophomore. His stroke is solid with a natural motion that has no glaring flaws, but it is a concern his numbers went down with virtually the same usage from the outside. His percentage on two point jump shots was just 31% as a sophomore which is another concern, however he finishes around the basket very well so as long as he improves as a shooter he projects to score at a high level as a professional. Shot selection was an issue at times and teams will want to see him improve in this area, but some of that can be attributed to him needing to force the issue as a scorer as their go to scorer. He did have issues with turning the ball over at different points, which was partly due to handling the ball much more as a sophomore. Overall Culver handled taking on a bigger role in a positive way and showed that he can handle the ball, set up teammates, and be the go to scorer on a team that went to the national championship game. When you put that with his strong defensive skills, as long as a team believes he be can an efficient outside shooter, his ceiling is very high as a professional.
Here is an example of his ability to pull up for an outside jumper:
This play gives you an idea of how well he can attack the basket and finish:
Culver could go in the top five, and it would be a surprise if he falls past the lottery. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level shooting guard, possibly reaching an all star level and becoming a go to scorer for a team while also bringing elite defense on the perimeter. The worst case scenario for Culver is that he is unable to shoot the ball at an efficient enough rate to become a star, leading him to be in a more limited role as a starter or in a sixth man role.