Rawle Alkins is a 6’4/223 guard from Arizona. He had a strong showing in his freshman year, as he was a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school. Additionally, he raised his stock significantly at the NBA Draft combine in May before withdrawing from the draft shortly after. Alkins measured well at the combine, with a 6’9 wingspan and he played well in the combine scrimmage. Alkins’ excellent frame will be a big factor for him, as scouts raved on Markelle Fultz’s similar frame at 6’4 with a 6’10 wingspan. However, Fultz is a whopping 40 pounds lighter than Alkins, which is one of his bigger strengths.
Alkins finished his freshman year with a statline (per 40) of:
15.6 PPG, 2.9 APG, 7.1 RPG, 2.6 TOPG, and 1.3 SPG on shooting efficiencies of 46% from the field, 37% from 3, 73% from the line, and a 56.6 TS%. More specifically, here’s what Alkins does well and what he needs to improve on:
- Good rebounder for position
- Strong NBA body to go along with a solid frame
- Excellent slasher; utilizes drive-and-kick well and loves to attack the paint
- Outstanding defender- strong on closeouts
- Can run a little bit of the pick and pop- didn’t see it too often, but when the P&R was used involving Alkins as a ball handler, it went well.
- High motor
- Excellent vertical at 40.5 inch max vertical
- Versatile on offense- may be able to play any of the 1, 2, or 3
- Jumper has room to improve- low release point
- Good, but not great ball handling
- Not overly quick with the ball
- Will have to adapt playstyle- bullies guards with strength, won’t work as easily in NBA
Alkins has a lot of the basic features you look for in a shooting guard: scoring ability, defense, length, and playmaking traits. Alkins must continue to play without using his brute strength, but rather using finesse moves that are more likely to be used in an NBA game, as NBA players are stronger than college competition. Additionally, Alkins must lower his turnover rate, as it is nearly equal to his assist rate. One way he could improve his playmaking is by becoming a better threat from 3. Alkins has a low release point, which is a major issue against NBA defenses. While his 3P% is high at 37%, his FT% being below 70% is a negative sign, and may be an indicator that his shot may not translate too well.
However, his slashing ability and defense will be Alkins’ main selling points. Alkins was a very capable scorer when attacking the rim, and can finish well through contact While Alkins is not considered speedy or fast, his strength and vertical athleticism help make up for a lack of an explosive first step. Additionally, Alkins is versatile and can play either wing spot as well as being a primary ball handler for a short period of time. Alkins has a high motor and does not give up on plays, which plays a factor in his high rebounding numbers. Alkins will be a strong candidate to be a secondary ball handler with defensive skill in the NBA. The 2018 class is very strong, and Alkins is projected to go in the middle to late first round, should he declare. Alkins must improve on not dominating through only his strength advantage on defenders, but also with his 3 point shot.
NBA comparison: Alec Burks. For reference, Burks: college stats (per 40) in his 2 seasons at Colorado: 24.6 PPG, 3.1 APG, 7.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 3.0 TOPG on 49.5% from the field, 31% from 3, 80.4% from the line, and a 59 TS%. They both can be good for instant offense, and both are excellent slashers. The main differences, since not every comparison is a perfect 1:1, are that Burks is not known for defensive prowess like Alkins is, and that Burks shoots the ball a lot better than Alkins projects to. Burks is able to run the point guard more smoothly than Alkins, but Alkins still has time to improve. For example, Burks had a higher TO rate in college than Alkins has, but averages just around 1 per game for his NBA career. Lastly, Burks also has a somewhat similar frame, as Burks was 6’6/193 with a 6’10 wingspan at the 2011 NBA Draft combine.
Look for Alkins to run some P&R with top recruit DeAndre Ayton at Arizona, and watch for Alkins throughout the season and most notably in March for an NCAA Tournament run with a loaded Arizona team. Alkins’ ability to play with Ayton will significantly impact his draft stock.
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