2014 was a banner year for Austin Hollins. In his senior season, he posted a career-high 12.4 points per game and improved his shooting efficiency over his junior year figures. He also posted career bests in rebounds per game and steals per game to help lead the Golden Gophers to the NIT championship. Was Hollins's excellent shooting and defense enough to get him some NBA Draft consideration this summer?
Strengths: We won't leave you hanging. Hollins, even though he's the son of former NBA player and coach Lionel Hollins, probably won't get drafted into the NBA come June. He's nowhere to be found on the top 100 seniors list from DraftExpress.com, and more importantly, he doesn't have one specific thing that he does really well.
That doesn't mean that Hollins won't be able to play professional basketball somewhere, though. In 2014 he proved to be an efficient scorer from all ranges with a 35-percent three-point shooting percentage as well as a 56-percent rate from inside the arc. Hollins also displayed tenacious defense with a 3.7-percent steal rate that was 59th in the nation according to KenPom.com. Even with all that aggressiveness, he still only committed 2.2 fouls per 40 minutes.
Weaknesses: The problem with Hollins is that while he does many things well, he doesn't do anything at an NBA level on offense. He's a good-but-not-great shooter, and while he can get to the rim, he doesn't draw contact the way teammates Deandre Mathieu and Andre Hollins do. Those two are more gifted scorers than Austin Hollins, but we're still a year away from discussing their NBA potential. Austin Hollins may be a better defensive player than either of the other star Minnesota guards, but he isn't good enough at creating shots for himself or teammates to make it onto many draft boards.
Overall: It's not as though Hollins would be completely useless in professional basketball. At 6'4", he has enough height to defend opposing point guards, shooting guards, and even small forwards. Combined with his shooting prowess, and Hollins can be a useful piece somewhere. Just because he doesn't have the offensive upside to be an NBA prospect doesn't mean he can't work his way into the league after earning some playing time elsewhere.