Shooting Guard, 6’6 - 180 lbs
Florida State, Sophomore
My previous takeaway for Vassell was the need to create for himself, instead of relying on other to create catch-and-shoot for him. Early on in the opener against Pitt, this is exactly what we got.
He looks more and more confident with the ball in his hand. It's also nice to see the athleticism of the dribble as well, he's shown some really nice elevation on the pull up to get over his defender.
Through three early games, he's averaging 12.3/4.3/1.0.
Steals, assists, and blocks are down per/40, but so are the turnovers. A usage percent of 20.9 and turnover rate of 5.7% is a good sign and hopefully can continue.
His defensive intensity and IQ have been on display early as well. This is the kind of effort that can push him over the top as an NBA prospect.
Having only played 10.7 MPG as a freshman, Vassell enters 2019-20 as one of the most under-the-radar prospects in the country. While his sample size was rather small, he's proven to be a solid athlete & projects as a possible 3-&-D guy at the next level.
Athleticism: DV is a long, lean athlete standing at 6'6 with a reported 6'9 wingspan. He is an excellent jumper; bouncy off both 1 & 2 feet with excellent body control. Lateral quickness is average - his feet are good but the quick-twitch isn't where it needs to be yet. He can turn his hips quickly & fluidly but the side-to-side acceleration needs to develop a bit more.
Vassell is the type of athlete who makes it look effortless. He runs the floor very well in transition & his leaping ability makes him a real factor on both ends.
Offense: Vassell's strength is his 3PT shooting; in limited minutes last year he sunk 26-of-62 from deep. His catch-and-shoot skills are among the best with a really fast release and ability to balance himself off only one hop. He has great feel and spaces well in the half-court, where he can elevate quickly off movement or from a standstill. Mechanics are smooth and release point is extremely high & difficult to contest.
One number truly stands out to me: 100% of his 3PT makes were assisted. While his shot chart from three looks good, especially from the corners, he's going to have to learn to create shots on his own.
His ball handling is adequate and he can go up & over defenders in the paint, but he hasn't shown that he wants to create space with the ball. He only finished 63.2% of his shots at the rim & a lowly 10.5% on other 2's, which will need to drastically
improve this season.
He posted a 21:12 AST/TO last season and showed some good vision in limited opportunities. Vassell is a gifted shooter and has a natural ability to attack the basket; if he can become a consistent threat
off the dribble while maintaining 3PT% in 2019,
ACC defenses will have their hands full.
Defense: DV has a knack of finding ways to affect the game with his length. In 2018-19, he averaged 3.1 stocks (STL + BLK) per 40 mins, which I really like. His perimeter defense is good, although I'd like to see the lateral quickness improve. At times the ball handler can turn the corner on him and drive the lane, but his length & athleticism help him recover to contest well.
What stands out is his ability to elevate and contest jump shots. He attacks really hard on closeouts and with his wingspan, is able to get his hand on shots that others can't. These hard attacks leave him susceptible to pump fakes, so he'll need to be mindful of that this season. He also shows good basketball IQ & anticipation with the way he feels passing lanes and closes them for steals.
While I don't think he'll ever become a "lockdown defender", he has potential to be a real factor on the defensive end. He's athletic and has the frame to continue adding muscle, which should allow him to reliably defend 1-3 at the next level.
Swing Skill: Shot creation & 2PT%
Overall: Devin Vassell is an excellent, easy athlete who can effect the game in multiple ways. NBA teams are in constant need of 3PT shooters and he fits the mold as a 3-&-D prospect. Should he decide to enter the 2020 Draft I believe we'll see him selected early in the second round. If he can learn to create his own shots and become a reliable all around scorer, he could sneak into the Late-1st.