Taurean Prince is a small forward from the University of Baylor. Prince is 6’7 and has a wingspan of 6’11. For the year, he averaged, 30.6 minutes per game, 15.9 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists per game, 0.7 blocks per game, 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 43.2% from the field, and 36.1% from three.
- Good spot-up shooter
- Capable finisher at the rim
- Good transition threat
- Three point shooting
- Good decision maker
- Great all-around defender
- Defensive IQ
- Great rebounder
- Excellent lateral quickness
- Good frame and size
- High motor
- Good character player
- Mid-range shooter
- Ball handling
- Cannot create his own shot
- Free throw shooting
In terms of three-and-D players, Taurean Prince is exactly what you look for come draft night. He may not be the most polished offensive player, but can hit the corner three when you need it. His defensive abilities allow him to guard multiple positions, without any glaring holes in his overall defense.
On offense, Prince should primarily be used as a spot-up shooter at the next level. He is excellent when it comes to him needing to hit a three, primarily from the corner. Prince saw his three point percentage dip a bit at the end of the season, but this was a cause for him trying to put the team on his back. Prince is an effective transition player, where he uses his speed and leaping ability to get easy baskets for his team. When attacking the rim, you wish Prince would draw more contact to get to the line more often. He is not a very good free throw shooter, something he will need to improve on to become more effective at the next level. In the mid-range, Prince is a poor shooter. He has never shot better than 35% from mid-range in his college career, so this is limits how effective he can be at the next level. Ball handling is not an expertise of Prince, who is capable of handling without turning it over, but cannot create for himself. He does make good decisions with the ball, and is an effective passer, and should see his assist numbers rise with better teammates around him.
On defense, Prince is a fantastic defender with few glaring holes. His size, strength, and length will allow for him to guard multiple positions at the next level. Many people will be weary because he played zone in college, but he displays natural defensive instincts, which lead to him being effective at steals and blocks. When looking at the more man heavy defense at the next level, Prince will be a good perimeter and on-ball defender. On the perimeter, his combination of lateral quickness and length will not allow opponents to blow by him, and his quick hands should guarantee him steals. On-ball his strength and length will not allow opponents to back him down easily, and if they try to get a shot off, his length will make it a difficult shot, or he has a good chance to alter it. Rebounding is a huge plus for Prince, who loves to do the dirty work, and attack in transition.
As an overall, Prince will be the three-and-D wing many teams will be looking for in the back-end of the first round. His limitations of a primarily spot-up shooter from three will be a bit of concern, as it will allow defenses to predict him easily, so developing a consistent mid-range shot will be vital. His defense is where he will make his money. He will not be a shutdown defender for the opposing team’s best player, but his overall defensive skill would make it very difficult even for that type of player. Prince’s draft stock looks to be in the 25-40 range. Teams like the Clippers, Suns, or the Spurs looking to get more athletic, add depth, and add another threat to the perimeter will be eyeing up Prince for minimal cap casualty.
Pro Comparison: DeMarre Carroll
Not only do this players look similar, their basketball skill sets are almost identical. DeMarre Carroll needed a few years in the league to develop, and Prince will need a year or two to find his role on an NBA team. While both players develeoped or will develop they can provide good defensive minutes off the bench, until they have the confidence to stroke it from three.
Offensively, both players are more known for their defense than offense, which is limited to near the basket and three point shooting, almost nothing from mid-range. Prince and Carroll are effective in transition where they score at a high percentage. On the perimeter, both players shoot at a high rate, capable of getting hot with ease. Neither player is an effective ball handler, as they prefer to be given the ball on the wing for an easy shot. Both players are effective, but not natural passers, so they will get the job done, just not always the prettiest thing to see.
On defense, Carroll has developed the ability to shut down a good chunk of players in the league, but he cannot handle the superstars, and that is a similar role I see Prince falling into. Both have excellent lateral quickness and length to be effective perimeter defenders. On-ball, both players have good size and length to not allow them to be bullied easily, and contest many of their opponent’s shots. Rebounding is another similar characteristics for both of these players. They love to get dirty and bang with the bigs to help their team.
Overall, Carroll has found a great role in the league, a roll many teams wish they had filled. Carroll and Prince look to be at their max potential a 12-14 points per game, 5-7 rebounds per game, and 2-4 assist per game players. Neither player is going to be the star to lead you to a championship like Toronto paid Carroll to be, but they will be excellent role players, who could be the difference maker in close games.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17