Buddy Hield captivated the college basketball nation with a spectacular senior season the culminated in the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Hield improved in virtually every facet of the game between his junior and seniors seasons, going from a fringe NBA Draft pick to being drafted 6th overall pick in the first round by the New Orleans Pelicans.
Buddy’s perimeter shooting has been a mainstay in his senior year and a foundation for his offensive game. He sank 147 3-pointers in his final year of college which was by far the highest mark among all college players in 2016, and is tied for the highest total mark any college basketball player has achieved since Steph Curry made 162 back in 2008. The volume isn’t the impressive thing versus the incredible accuracy, at over 46% in made shots.
He’s deadly in transition, is always moving to relocate into a better look after giving it up, and has a super quick trigger that allows him to get his shot off in the blink of an eye. Hield knocks down shots from NBA range on a regular basis, often with a hand in his face while well-guarded by defenses that are geared to slowing him down.
Hield has always been a tremendous shooter (career 39% 3P%), but he was much more of a catch and shoot guy for the first few years of his college career. Although he’s absolutely elite with his feet set still (68/139, 49%), he’s also turned himself into a much improved off the dribble shooter as well (51/137, 37%), which makes him very difficult to stop.
Although he doesn’t have great size, or the highest release point (he’s largely a flat-footed shooter), he utilizes impressive footwork, hesitation moves and fadeaways to help him get his shot off in difficult situations, especially in big moments with the shot-clock running down.
His ball-handling skills in general improved as his college career moved on, as evidenced by his career high 55% 2P% for the 2016 season. He’s able to attack his defender off closeouts with nice footwork and timing, and will mix in some change of speeds, spin moves and side-steps out of pick and rolls and isolations. He drives left almost exclusively, but has started to show some ability to use it to finish inside the paint as well, where he shot 56% for the 2016 season.