|Pictures Improved If There Was No Ball In Sight, No. 76.|Shane Southwell
, Kansas State, Senior, 6'7 215lbs
2013/14 stats: 27.0 mpg, 9.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.1 bpg, 1.6 TOpg, 2.2 fpg, 38.4% FG, 30.6% 3PT, 68.4% FT
Southwell is a quirky and somewhat frustrating player. In one moment, he'll throw down an athletic and powerful dunk in the open floor, running hard to create easy offense. In the next, he'll stand still in the half court, on both ends. In one moment, he'll float in the mid-range area, attack seams, shoot a pull-up or get to the rim and finish. In the next, he'll dribble off his foot. In one moment, he'll hit a step-back three or a fadeaway mid range J. In the next, he'll badly miss a way-too-early heat check. In one moment, he'll take one power dribble to open up a passing lane then hit a cutting big man on the move for a point blank finish. In the next, he'll throw it into row Z under little pressure.
Southwell has talent, but the main talent he wants is a jump shot. And although he hits a few shots, including tough ones, he shoots the kind of shots that only primary shotmakers or players trying to beat the buzzer should ever take. Southwell takes early jumpers, contested jumpers and bad jumpers, when rarely is it needed, and his percentages above are witness to how that works out for him. There are hot streaks, but there are also forced issues and disruption to the flow, spotty patches of play both good and bad overshadowed by an over-favoured jump shot.
Outside of the jump shot, Southwell is burdened by having little ball handling ability with which to penetrate beyond the first line of the defense. Creating little, Southwell at his best settles for spotting up, floating around the foul line and making sharp dives to the rim for feeds, running the floor when possible. He can pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop, better at the big man role in these actions than the guard role, however willing he may be to try either. Ultimately, whatever he does on offense is overshadowed by his love of the jumper. His defense works to a similar script - Southwell makes some good reads and has decent athleticism and length to get to the ball, but inconsistent effort makes him similarly sporadic.
The hall mark is inconsistency. When he up-fakes a closing-out defender, steps in and drains a mid-range pull-up, he looks like a fluid and agile good sized wing player with intriguing talent. Then he'll do something rash, such as take on an entire defense despite having open men around him. Southwell will shoot when he should pass and pass when there is no pass to make - the rhythm of the game is a constant problem for him.
Can he learn? Yes. But it's a bit disconcerting that he still needs to.