This NBA Draft season look out for Chris Singleton. No, not the late ’90s/early ’00s Chicago White Sox position player turned ESPN analyst, but one of the best defenders in college basketball this past season. If you’re looking for a lottery sleeper pick, then focus on the junior from Canton, Georgia
The Seminoles specialized in defense, leading the nation in points against average and their main weapon and leader Chris Singleton. The 6-9 forward is the ACC’s Defensive Player of the year.
“I’m one of the most versatile guys, and I feel like I can do whatever any team wants me to do. I feel like I can fit every system. Wherever you want to put me, I can play, I just want to win” Singleton said at the Draft Combine in Chicago.
Singleton had interviews with 15 teams during the combine sessions including: New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors.
By Paul M. Banks
He had no scheduled workouts at press time, but he definitely stood out as one of the best interviews at combine media day. Not only did he have a lot of interesting things to say (unlike many of the players there), but he also showed us his whole list of NBA team meetings. Just showed us the whole thing, didn’t mess around.
Singleton talked about the interview process.
“If they’re interested in you, they know everything about you. they’ve called the schools, they’re going to know what they’re talking about and they’re going to look to see how you are in different environments.”
He can score too. Despite missing five weeks of the season, he has scored 20+ on five occasions and 15+ in ten games. His offensive game is the biggest question surrounding him.
Singleton’s #10 seeded Seminoles scored one of the biggest upsets of March Madness by eliminating the #2 seed Fighting Irish, in Chicago no less, during the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He certainly impressed the ND coach.
“What was interesting was how he ball screened and flipped for jump shots yesterday. I think we have to be aware of that. But he is a force defensively. He loves to rebound the basketball,” Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey said of Singleton.
Singleton’s game has benefited greatly from working with Team USA.
“I was nervous, I was on anyone from Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green, Rudy Gay, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose. I was guarding twos sometimes. I had to guard everybody, Now I know what to expect in the NBA. Those are considered some of the top 50 guys in the league,” he recalled from the workouts.
He spent a couple weeks working out with the top college basketball talent, in addition to the professional.
“I had two of the best scorers on my team, I had Kemba and Jimmer. I try to take a little bit from everybody, I love Kemba’s game, I knew he had it in him. Jimmer is probably the most quiet person you’ll ever meet, but this (high profile season) really helped him, being in the spotlight. And it brought it out in him. And that’s why you cheer for him. He’s my boy,” Singleton said.
Singleton has weaknesses though, including: taking defenders off the dribble in one-on-one situations and too often falling in love with his inconsistent jumper. Singleton really knows how to an impact a game with his all-around ability on defense which is somewhat a rarity in the NBA. He is not a great scorer and probably never will a star player but should be a great complementary piece to a roster. We also see him comparing favorably to Shawn Marion. For a major stretch of his career, Marion was known for his defensive versatility which is where Singleton will thrive once he gets to the league.
Go here for a full scouting report on Singleton.
Currently we have projected as number #11 overall to Golden State in the lottery.