The San Antonio Spurs are enduring yet another major losing streak, thus solidifying their spot at the bottom of the league. While that is great for potentially drafting a franchise-changing player, there are still some scenarios where the Spurs may find themselves picking lower in the draft. For that reason, we like to be covered and will talk about this week’s draft prospect in UCF freshman, Taylor Hendricks.
You might think he’s fast by the sound of his last name — for all you NASCAR fans out there — and you’d be right in one regard. He has risen into the lottery of some mock draft boards despite playing in the American Athletic Conference and being ranked as the No. 67 recruit in the 2022 class. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward can shoot, handle the ball a bit, and is a tenacious rebounder. Here are his stats through 24 games.
- 14.8 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.8 BPG
- 48.3 FG%, 39.3 3P%, 79.5 FT%
- 23.1 PER, 126.5 ORtg, 97.3 DRtg
UCF's Taylor Hendricks looked like a lotto pick vs. the nation's top team. Popped more than Jarace Walker in this one, beat him few times. Only NCAA player with 30 3s, 30 blocks, 25 dunks. Easy fit 3-D frontcourt player with tools, finishing, rim protection to play small-ball 5. pic.twitter.com/nUNXQ0qQxQ
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) January 27, 2023
Taylor Hendricks Breakdown
Hendricks will likely play at the small forward spot in the NBA, assuming his three-point shooting continues to hold the same pattern. Should he prove to be reliable from there, he has the athleticism, speed, and strength to guard other wing forwards. He is showing the early signs of being a nice defensive disruptor and could start his career as a classic 3-and-D wing.
Offensively, Hendricks is not only a good shooter but a strong finisher around the rim. He cuts extremely well and scores on cuts to the basket often. One of his best strengths is catch-and-shoot scoring, especially from deep as he stays ready in his stance to shoot it at all times. However, he hasn’t proven himself to be a self-creator quite yet. That could be one of the factors holding him back at the next level.
Another major factor for Hendricks may be that he is not the go-to scorer for UCF right now and can go long stretches without looking for his shot. The passiveness is a little concerning at times, but he does enough on defense in those lulls to compensate. He is an excellent help side defender and can protect the rim as evidenced by his block numbers despite not being a traditional big man.
Hendricks could go as high as the mid-lottery, but could also fall as far as early second round. The hope is that UCF plays well enough down the stretch to get in the NCAA Tournament and we can get more looks at Hendricks before the NBA Draft combine and any potential leaked workout videos.