NBA Draft 2016
NBA Draft 2016
Isaiah Whitehead accomplished just about everything Seton Hall fans thought we would with the program in just one season. He led the Pirates to the Big East Championship title at Madison Square Garden and got The Hall back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Now, he will look to make an impact on an NBA team.
Let's see how Whitehead's game will translate to the pros.
Whitehead's offensive game is so versatile, but his passing ability is likely the most impressive part, and has NBA scouts drooling. His vision on the floor and the ability that he has to find teammates on the court is incredible. At Seton Hall, Whitehead seemed to dazzle fans and opponents every night with at least one pass that brought everyone out of their seats. Many times his passes were so good that even his teammates did not see them coming. They did not think Whitehead could get them the pass from where he was, but he did it anyway.
In the NBA, players need to be able to create their own shot and Whitehead can do that through sharp ball handling. He can drive on anyone and get to the rim or can create a step-back jump shot for himself. Whitehead loves to create open three point looks for himself just like one of his mentors Stephen Curry. The scary part is that he can hit those long three point shots like Curry can as well and it is impressive to watch.
When Seton Hall was on the break or attacking in transition they were extremely tough to stop and Whitehead was a big reason why that was the case. Whitehead could do so many things on the break like drive all the way and finish at the rim, pull up for a long three or set up one of his teammates. All of those options proved to be effective for the Pirates throughout the season. Whitehead can tear apart a defense and if he gets the ball on an outlet pass watch out.
We saw glimpses of this in the Seton Hall loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament when Whitehead struggled mightily from the field and downtown. At times, his shot selection will come back to haunt him like it can to any great shooter. When Whitehead goes through slumps, he usually gets out of them by taking advantage of his other abilities on the floor. However, NBA teams will have to remind him at a 27-footer is not always the best shot. Especially when said shot is contested and in the NBA someone will always have a hand in your face.
Trying to do too much
Despite all of the talent around him at Seton Hall, Whitehead took it upon himself to win games at times. Many of those times, the Pirates won because of him. Against NBA teams, that could be a problem. The NBA has better athletes, defenders and players that can shut down your best weapons. Whitehead will have to adjust to that in order to be successful. He just needs to be able to reign it in at times and not try to make the behind the back pass when a simple bounce pass will do. Whitehead has been able to settle down plenty of times in college and that has helped his team win.
Whitehead could have really used one more year to perfect his game and if all went well he could have followed in Kris Dunn's footsteps and been a Big East player taken in the lottery. Instead, he will likely be a late first round pick at best. Possibly a second round pick by a team that needs a solid shooting point guard with great vision. If all goes well for Whitehead, he could end up on a team that could contend for a title next season depending on which franchise selects him.
Regardless, he should be able to help any team that takes him right away.