Evans and Indiana are another pairing I can’t help but fall back on each week, with the Cincinnati junior emerging from the college season as the draft’s best 3-and-D guard prospect.
Instead of dissecting how exactly Evans would help Victor Oladipo and the Pacers, I think it’s worth discussing this week the ways in which Evans failed to improve upon two promising seasons as a junior. Whereas most prospects become more efficient with time, Evans lowered his 3-point and free-throw rates this year, relying more on 2-point shots instead. His true shooting percentage fell accordingly, as did his Offensive Box Plus-Minus, which attempts to measure the impact of one’s box score statistics.
Evans also shot worse on 2s, falling from 52 percent as a sophomore to 47 percent this season. However, Hoop-Math data shows Evans made 67 percent of his shots at the rim, a great mark for a high-volume driving guard. Taken together, it appears Evans struggled with an increased scoring load this season.
That certainly puts a cap on his ceiling if the trend continues into the NBA, but fortunately, Indiana already has its star guard in place, and is more in need of complementary role players.