On an individual level, Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick left school on a high note and gave teams a strong reminder of what he can do at the NBA level. The guard put up 20.6 points per contest and was a workhorse for the Bearcats, playing 33.6 minutes per game. More importantly, he was able to do it all more efficiently than in his junior campaign. Kilpatrick’s percentages suffered in 2013 as he was asked to shoot more than ever at 14.4 attempts per game, but he turned things around while taking 14.9 shots per contest last season.
What Kilpatrick does better than most is score and his jump shot should put him in the mix for the mid-to-late second round. However, he wants to make teams aware of what he can do on the other side of the floor.
“They talk about me as a guy that can score in bunches because that’s the main thing that has been displayed for the last couple of years,” Kilpatrick told Hoops Rumors. “But, I’m a pretty good defender as well and that’s something I want to keep showing teams. It’s not just about scoring. If you can be a lock-down defender that will help you in the long run and that’s something I want to focus on.”
A fall writeup on Kilpatrick from Josh Riddell of DraftExpress expressed concern about Kilpatrick’s size, and it’s safe to assume that it’s a concern for teams as well. At 6’4″, the Cincinnati product is a two-guard with typical one-guard dimensions, but he’s not the least bit worried about that.
“It’s not a problem. If you can score with the basketball it shouldn’t matter how tall you are,” the 24-year-old said. “You got guys that are like 6’7″ out there playing the two, but a guy like Wesley Matthews on the Blazers, he’s a two but he can also shoot the ball and he’s a lot smaller than most. He can defend and shoot the ball when he gets open. You can’t base anything on height. If you can score, you can score.”
Because he was asked to lead the scoring charge every night for Cincinnati, Kilpatrick’s field goal percentage suffered a drop in his junior season. However, things leveled off this past season and Kilpatrick credits coach Mick Cronin for helping him improve his shot selection. That’ll be an extremely important asset for Kilpatrick as he makes the transition to the pros. In a draft that’s short on shooters in the first round, there’s a strong chance a team drafts Kilpatrick in the second round thanks to his ability to fire from long distance.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.