We are incredibly close to the NBA Draft and that means we are getting close to the end of the 2023 NBA Draft prospect profiles. Our next prospect to watch is Ben Sheppard out of Belmont. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound guard has been shooting up boards since his NBA Draft Combine showing.
Sheppard’s 25-point outburst on the second day of combine scrimmages drastically boosted his stock for the teams in attendance to see him. While at the combine, he also recorded the fastest shuttle run (2.94 seconds) and was seventh in the three-quarter sprint. He was named to All-Missouri Valley Conference first team and all-defensive team in the conference. His stats on the season support those selections as you can see below.
- 18.8 PPG, 1.4 SPG, 2.9 APG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 TOPG
- 47.5 FG%, 41.5 3P%, 68.4 FT%
- 21.8 PER, 112.8 ORtg, 104.2 DRtg
Ben Sheppard Breakdown
Sheppard is first and foremost an excellent shooter. His percentages speak for themselves and on solid volume — he took six triples a game and 14 shots total a game. The only part of his game that doesn’t make sense is his free throw shooting. Despite solid mechanics and the ability to shoot from elsewhere, he seems to struggle at the charity stripe.
However, he finishes fairly well around the rim and through some contact. He finds himself at the rim fairly often — over four free throws a game — thanks to some excellent cutting, use of off-ball screens, and finding holes in the defense. Sheppard can take some guys off the dribble and he’s comfortable pulling up in the mid-range when he knows he can’t get all the way to the rim. He gets his feet set incredibly well and this helps him get his shot off quickly on close-outs.
Sheppard will have to put on some weight to contend with the physicality of the league, but he does have nice length. That should give him a leg up when he does gain the weight. He will have to become better about creating for himself a bit as he heavily relies on off-ball maneuvering to get open looks. He looked good as a defender in the MVC, but he will have to prove he can defend at a much higher level against much quicker guards if he wants to stick around. Expect Sheppard to go later in the first round and at worst, fall to the early parts of the second round.