The NBA Draft is today, and C.J. Wilcox will get selected, that much is certain. He will probably go in the late-first to mid-second round area. Erik Erickson went over three potential landing spots for Wilcox yesterday, and that included the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. Those three all fit in the late-first to early-second category, and could potentially be places where Wilcox could be used.
Really, any team could use a player with a skill set like C.J. He is a solid but not great athlete, won't embarrass himself on defense and can shoot the ball better than possibly anyone in the entire draft class. Hoisting seven threes a game shows just how confident he and the coaching staff were in his ability to rip the net from deep.
Erik posted this yesterday, but DraftExpress has a great video worth viewing that goes over everything about Wilcox as a potential NBA player, with some highlights and lowlights mixed in.
At Washington, Wilcox's greatness (and it really has been greatness) has been under-appreciated by many fans because of just how little help he has had around him. He played his redshirt freshman season with Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Ross and Mathew Bryan-Amaning, making it to the NCAA Tournament, but hasn't since returned.
James Pennington of SB Nation "drafted" the best 30 draft-eligible players based solely on their college careers, and Wilcox was listed at 22. If he had more help, he could have been much higher on that list.
Now, to the scouting report:
Shooting - This one is a no-brainer. It is the reason he is being drafted. He is arguably the best shooter in the entire draft. Nik Stauskas is the only one who could really challenge him for that crown. Wilcox can shoot in any sort of rhythm. He can shoot coming off screens from any angle at all, can work as a standstill shooter, and can shoot off the dribble to his left or his right, off of one dribble or multiple dribbles.
He gets very good elevation on his jumper, while at the same time having a fast release. When his jumper was blocked it was a real feat by the defender. He needs very little to no space to get his shot off, and late closeouts rarely have any effect on his shot. In a game against Oregon this season, Wilcox hit a dagger three in the final minute to clinch the win. He said in a post-game interview that he couldn't even see the hoop as he shot it. That's concentration.
His shooting ability and movement off the ball would make him a great complimentary player who doesn't need the ball in his hands consistently to do damage, this could be considered another strength in its own right.
Offensive awareness - This goes beyond just the fact that he is a willing passer (which he very much is). All the time he has spend moving around without the ball has made him an expert at running off of screens, and whether to curl, fade, drive or change directions depending on what the defender does. He has had to deal with box-and-ones, even.
Athleticism - Wilcox is an above-average athlete. He isn't particularly explosive, but is explosive enough. He was the go-to finisher in lob sets for the Huskies, and though I can't find the article, when given a running start, Wilcox was able to reach just as high as former Husky Terrence Ross when the two were tested several seasons ago by the coaching staffs, though the quickness of Ross far outshone Wilcox.
The lateral agility Wilcox has shown is also above average, and he could potentially be an average-to-plus defender on the perimeter, though he is unlikely to ever be a stopper.
Length - At 6'5 with a wingspan of 6'9 3/4, he has a good amount of size for the shooting guard position in the NBA, and that length helps him defensively. Combined with his leaping ability, he has a knack for blocking jump shots with late closeouts, while the wingspan also helps to deter drives to the basket and defend passing lanes.
Finishing ability - Wilcox can finish with either hand, though he prefers to go left despite being a right-handed shooter. Wilcox is actually left-handed, but learned to shoot with both growing up, and felt like he was a better shooter with his right (that worked out for him). He can finish with runners and floaters as well as get all the way to the basket.
Isolation ability - He is not known for his ability to break defenders down off the dribble. You won't see him weaving his way through traffic to get to the basket, and you won't see him take a defender to the cup with an array of dribble moves. He rarely uses more than a basic crossover.
Strength - He has a thin frame (195 lbs.) and struggles at preventing stronger guards from getting in the lane. At -years-old, this isn't a problem that will be solved as easily as "just get into the weight room more" as he has already filled out to a large degree in his five seasons at Washington. This has led him to not battle inside as much, and he sometimes struggles to fight through screens because of it.
Upside - This is the biggest problem he has. He is a fifth-year senior who is already 23-years-old. He might be relatively close to his ceiling, and there is a question to how much growth he really has. He likely won't get too much stronger, and he has
Wilcox won't end up as a star in the NBA, but he can come in and make an impact as a shooter and as a guy who won't embarrass himself on defense, and can play alongside ball-dominant players. He will be a bench shooter with the ability to develop into a starting two-guard in a year or two.