A little less than one year ago Villanova combo guard Scottie Reynolds was a projected first-round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft with a bright future ahead of him.
But after returning for an All-American senior season, Reynolds is currently unemployed and is the first AP All-American to go undrafted since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger.
The Phoenix Suns certainly aren’t complaining, however, as Reynolds is expected to get a shot to prove his worth with their summer league team in Las Vegas.
“It’s fantastic,” Suns Director of Player Personnel Todd Quinter told The Arizona Republic. “He had a great chance of going in the draft. We were really fortunate he wanted to play for our summer team.”
The summer Suns will also feature Earl Clark, Taylor Griffin, 2010 second-round pick Gani Lawal, 2009 summer league point guard Zabian Dowdell, undrafted free-agent guards Matt Janning and Marcus Johnson, and maybe Phoenix’s 60th pick Dwayne Collins, pending the status of his knee (he recently underwent surgery for a meniscus tear).
Despite Reynolds’ current unemployment, he has a more impressive track record than anyone in that group, including Clark. He has an All-American title to his name, was continually one of the top guards in the Big East Conference, and averaged 18.5 points and 3.3 assists per game to cap off a stellar four-year career at Villanova.
But even though the former Big East Rookie of the Year proved himself as one of college basketball’s premier guards, doubts about speed, size and NBA potential left him undrafted on Thursday. The draft is evolving into purely potential-based, which doesn’t bode too well for a 6-foot-2, 195-pound combo guard with a relatively low ceiling.
“I think (Reynolds) looked at it and said that’s what the NBA is. It’s size, it’s speed, it’s length,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright told The Associated Press. “He was the underdog coming out of high school and now he’s going to be an underdog making the NBA, and he’s taking on that challenge.”
I saw Reynolds play live in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., during the 2010 NCAA Tournament against Robert Morris and St. Mary’s and he looked awful. Granted he was playing through arguably the worst shooting slump of his career, but he lacked effort and jacked up three-point miss after three-point miss. Needless to say I was not impressed.
But regardless of his lack of potential and how bad he looked in the tournament, numbers don’t lie. Reynolds is Villanova’s second-leading scorer all-time and has exploded for 36- and 40-point games on multiple occasions. He exhibited the leadership necessary to carry the Wildcats to the 2009 Final Four and even scored the game-winning bucket in the regional final.
“He plays with a lot of heart,” Quinter said. “He might not be a traditional point guard, but he’s a scorer and can distribute. He can be really good at our pace. He wants to be in the NBA badly.”
Weight: 195 pounds
- Very good scoring guard with a ton of toughness
- Great at getting to the line
- NBA range
- Size and athleticism
- Inconsistent shooter with so-so shot selection
- Not a great play maker or pure point guard
Will he make the team?
I doubt Reynolds will make the Suns’ roster, but he certainly won’t go down without a fight. He’ll prove to be the best guard on the summer Suns, but with Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Goran Dragic and Leandro Barbosa already inked, there’s no need for a small guard like Reynolds.
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