|Soph.||5’10.75″ 172||Point Guard||LSU||DOB: 1/10/98|
|15.3 ppg||5.8 apg||2.8 rpg||FG: 43%||3PT: 32.7%|
Vertical Leap: 40.5″
Strengths: Shot Creation, Assisting Teammates, Athleticism, Speed/Quickness
Weaknesses: Size, Strength, Length, Efficiency
Waters was a fairly highly rated recruit out of high school, but there questions about how well he would be able to score against high major division I talent. Those questions were answered over his two seasons, with Waters averaging 15.9 points as a freshman and 15.3 as a sophomore. He can create a shot off of the dribble with ease as well as being able to catch and shoot when set up by a teammate. The shot creation aspect of his game is going to be very important going forward more so than with than the catch and shoot scenarios with Waters having the ball in his hands as much as he does. In the open court is where he can do the most damage being able to use his speed and quickness to get by defenders going to the basket, pull up for a jump shot, or find an open teammate. He is a solid passer averaging 6 assists per game as a freshman and 5.8 as a sophomore, leading many teams to believe he can be a high level play maker when the talent around him goes to the next level. As an athlete he is impressive not only with his end to end speed and quickness but he is also an elite jumper with a vertical over 40″ allowing him to finish around the basket and get his shot off. Driving to the basket is something that he does well in the half court set and he is crafty with his finishes despite being undersized. The pick and roll playing a major factor in the NBA will help waters as he will be a tough cover for a big man when switching, although on the same token it puts Waters as a liability when switching on the defensive side of the floor. His overall skill set where he showed that he was able to create shots off of the dribble and get the basket in the way that he has, his game translates well if a team can overlook the physical concerns.
His size is the biggest concern with his game, and that could impact both the offensive and defensive side of the floor. As mentioned before there were questions with how well he would be able to get his shot off and score against division I talent, and for the most part Waters passed that test so there are good signs that he should be able to do so as a professional. Defending bigger guards could be an issue, and he will need to a serviceable defender on the perimeter to reach his ceiling and earn significant minutes at the NBA level, which is no guarantee. His athleticism will help with his lack of height, but his measurements overall including his wingspan are concerns to some teams. Strength will be an issue, and Waters need to add some bulk to deal with the stronger guards he will be facing in the G League or in the NBA. Due to his overall build he will never be one of the stronger guards on the court, but weighing under 175 pounds coming into his professional career will put him at a disadvantage in multiple areas of the game. He had no problem getting his shot off, but Waters could have been more efficient with those opportunities and he will need to improve as a shooter. His 32.7% on three point attempts and 38.9% on two point jump shots are not as high as teams would of wanted in his sophomore year. With that said he shot the ball at over 80% from the free throw line in both of his college seasons, and he has strong shooting mechanics, which will give teams confidence those numbers will go up over time.
This play shows his ability to create and knock down an outside shot off of the dribble:
Here is a game winning layup against Maryland in the NCAA tournament:
TREMONT WATERS. FOR THE WIN.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 23, 2019
LSU IS HEADED TO THE SWEET 16. pic.twitter.com/1mat4D1khr
Waters is projected to be a second round pick by most analysts, with some sites having him going undrafted, and he has stated that he plans on keeping his name in the draft. The ceiling for Waters as a professional is a starter level guard, possibly coming off of the bench receiving significant minutes while providing above average scoring and play making. The worst case scenario for Waters is that he is unable to deal with the size of most NBA guards and can not score efficiently enough to earn substantial minutes leading him to play in the G League or overseas after getting a chance to stick in the league.