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Donte DiVincenzo: College Stud, NBA Dud

Name: Donte DiVincenzo
School: Villanova
Birth: January 31, 1997
Height: 6’4.5”
Weight: 200 Ibs
Wingspan: 6’6”
2017-18 stats: 13.4 points, 3.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 1.1 steals, 20.9 P.E.R

While researching Donte DiVincenzo my enthusiasm level was at an all-time low. I never once thought “whoa, what-if we had that guy!?” like I did when reviewing Mitchell Robinson or Jerome Robinson. While an older player like Grayson Allen gives you a rough idea of his place in the NBA, a role he can play on say, the Celtics as a fourth string guard, DiVincenzo comes across to me as an athlete made for the college level.

The negatives speak louder than the positives, like always the positives can speak louder due to our optimism as people writing about these prospects. His wingspan of 6’6” leaves much to be designed on the defensive end, ranking in the 11th percentile as an ISO defender. DiVincenzo needs to learn not to give up ground so easily and stay in front of his assignment. His overall heigh could use about two inches, too.

If DiVincenzo fails to cut it in at the pro level it isn’t because of a lack of effort. Going over screens isn’t something DiVincenzo is unable to do, showing great fight and hustles back despite lacking the foot speed. DiVincenzo is a fine defender if you’re asking him to help, not as a primary one-on-one guy. He’s a nice rebounder, averaging nearly five a game, grabbing 13.7% of opponents misses on the defensive glass. Players in the NBA are bigger and faster than in college. I’m afraid this statistic is a strong outlier.

Scouts can take heart in knowing DiVincenzo will come into the pros mostly a polished shooter off the dribble. He has this weird dip that doesn’t hurt him getting his shot off. He’ll favor going to his left because he is right handed, nailing pull-up threes he can get great lift thanks to his 42” vertical leap. Continuing to talk about his jump shooting, his diverse portfolio of moves makes him very good in the post too, despite his lack of moves on-ball. You don’t want DiVincenzo holding the ball for too long, being the target of a double team or anything like that because I can assure someone is pickpocketing him.

That being said he is a lethal shooter off the bounce, in the 90th percentile… then again, I feel like I can shoot well if all I’m asked to do is make my shots and not need to do anything beyond that.

But DiVincenzo lacks touch around the rim, cannot draw fouls consistently. Tends to shy away from contact, something that’ll frustrate fans in the pros. Taking just 27.9% of his shots at the rim and averaging just 3.1 free throws per 40 minutes, but proved capable of finishing in traffic. On the flip side of the coin DiVincenzo converted on 65.1% of his 109 attempts in close range. He can finish with either hand on scoop finishes and finger-rolls.

With his size and lack of wingspan, DiVincenzo will not play outside of either guard spot. There was some glimpses of what can be with him as a point guard, his assist-turnover ratio is a low 1.75.

In 2015 DiVincenzo was the 124th ranked prospect in his high school class. Three years, and one 31-point performance in a national title game later he can land in the middle of the first round. Some of that is deserved, DiVincenzo no doubt helped his Villanova team that played the sixth toughest schedule in the country and had a +21.1 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor. But Nova arguably was going to put DiVincenzo in a position to have that effect, slotting him next to lottery projected Mikal Bridges and late first, early second round point guard Jalen Brunson.

If DiVincenzo happens to be available at 27 I wouldn’t take him over either of the Robinson’s, Aaron Holiday, or even Allen. He screams collegiate phenomenon to me. How many of those kind of guys translate well to the pros? At least with Allen you know what you’re getting. If your team drafts DiVincenzo he’ll likely tantalize you with a promising summer league and then crater in the regular season to the point where he’s out of the rotation entirely or treated as filler in potential trade deals.

I usually like to compare prospects to former or current Celtics players because I think that’ll give fans a better idea of who I think this player will become. But DiVincenzo’s ceiling is so murky, I’d opt and say he’s a worser version of Delonte West. If he can grow into West 2.0 then you have something. I just believe DiVincenzo is a project that won’t warrant positive results.

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