Tyrone Wallace's senior season ended abruptly with a broken right hand in practice the day before their opening round NCAA Tournament game against Hawaii. This was the same non-shooting hand Wallace broke earlier this season that caused him to miss five games in January. His recovery time is unconfirmed, but he should be back in time for private workouts and possibly the NBA Combine as well.
Wallace is a big guard, measured at 6'6” with an impressive 6'10” wingspan, who averaged 19.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season. He isn't that efficient of a scorer with his 52% true shooting percentage ranking fourth worst among point guards in our top 100.
This low efficiency is partly caused by poor outside shooting, with Wallace failing to improve his shooting mechanics during his four year career. He finished as a 29.2% career shooter and just 29.8% as a senior from the 3 point line. While he showed flashes of an improved shooting motion as a senior, this wasn't consistent enough to see his accuracy increase. Without some drastic fundamental improvements, Wallace will struggle to make an impact as a perimeter shooter, so he will need to find other ways to impact an NBA game.
What helps his draft profile is his familiarity with running the pick and roll, with 39.2% of his total possessions being used in these situations according to Synergy Sports Technology. He doesn't explode off the screen to beat his defender, but relies more on a shifty change of pace and ball-handling ability, in the form of crossovers or spin moves to weave through the defense. He can work off ball screens from anywhere on the perimeter and his ability to drive to his right or left, either by using or rejecting the screen allows him to keep the defense guessing. This helps him to get a step on his defender at the college level, which, along with his size, can compensate for his relative lack of quickness in the half-court.
Wallace does not have the best court vision around, as he doesn't always survey the floor and look for the optimal scoring option when he draws the defense, which limits his potential as a distributing point guard. In fact, his pure point rating of 0.80 is one of the lowest among point guards in our top 100. His passes aren't always on target or to his teammate in a position where they can easily score. When he does make a pass, the recipient usually has to put in some extra effort to translate it into a scoring opportunity. He should be able to use his height to his advantage to see the whole court over his defender, but he has to become a more willing and accurate passer at the next level if his role requires it.
His turnover rate remained relatively constant from his junior to senior season, but he still has a tendency to force drives or shot attempts when he doesn't have a clean look. He is far too willing to be baited into a jump shot off the dribble when his defender goes under ball screens or drive into the teeth of the defense--which is partially due to the incredibly poor spacing Cal suffered from this year, sharing the court with too many other non-shooters at all times.
Wallace isn't an elite finisher at the rim but he has displayed some nice touch on a floater that allows him a chance to score in the paint. He has a quick release on these shots with either that he can lift over the rim protection. Synergy Sports Technology logged 56 runners this season with Wallace converting on 41.1% of these shots. He isn't an overly strong guard, weighing in at just under 200 pounds so being able to get a runner off before colliding into the defense should help him preserve his health and be a more efficient scorer.
Wallace does a nice job of getting to the free throw line, as he attempted 6.9 free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted, but he couldn't always convert these opportunities into points, as his shooting struggles were also present from the foul line, with Wallace making just 64.9% of his attempts this season (62% for his career).
Defensively is where Wallace has real merit as a NBA prospect, as his size and length gives him the potential to guard multiple positions. He's willing to move his feet on the perimeter, fight through screens and not quit on the play when he is beaten off the dribble. He plays well in a team concept as well by making the right rotations and recoveries. He has the chance to be a real asset defensively, especially if he gets stronger and can more effortlessly switch onto bigger shooting guards and even small forwards with his length.
While he should be healthy for the draft combine in mid-May and workout sessions with individual teams, Wallace's hand injury is especially detrimental since he will lose valuable time to work on improving his shooting to show off in the pre-draft process. This will be a major key for his chances of making a NBA roster either through the draft or training camp invites, as it is becoming more and more difficult to hide a non-shooting threat on the perimeter and he will need to become a more well-rounded scorer to endear himself to NBA teams beyond his defensive versatility. [Read Full Article]
Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12, #4: Tyrone Wallace Scouting Video
September 4, 2015
#4 Tyrone Wallace, Senior, Point Guard, Cal
Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.
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The Cal floor general didn't wow scouts with athletic plays or torch the nets with his outside jumper, but still gave a sneak preview of what he'll be able to do as a primary playmaker with some talent around him next year in Berkeley, CA. Wallace, who measured an impressive 6' 6” in shoes with a 6' 9.5” wingspan, played with very good poise and pace on the offensive end, moving the ball ahead in transition and picking apart the defense out of pick and roll sets in the half court.
Wallace's ambidexterity and length allow him to be extremely creative with the ball, using different angles and wrap-around passes to hit the roll man in stride. The Bakersfield, CA native does a nice job playing at different speeds and forcing the big defender to stay in front of the ball until he can calculate the perfect bounce pass to hit the big in stride. Wallace also proved very capable of finding the strong or weakside corner shooter out of ball screens.
While most of his highlights came as a distributor, Wallace did some damage in the paint with his patented floater – right and left hand – that helps him overcome his lack of vertical explosiveness. The Cal senior also played with intensity on the defensive end as he proved capable of fighting over ball screens and sliding with point guards on the perimeter thanks to his ability to cover ground with lateral slides.
The biggest questions revolving Wallace as a prospect, however, still revolve around his jump shot and athleticism. While Wallace did knock down a handful of jumpers over the course of the camp, the big dip before his shooting motion and the inconsistent release point and rotation on the ball doesn't give him a ton of hope to develop into a reliable NBA 3-point shooter unless he makes some significant changes to his mechanics.
Wallace isn't expected to add another gear of quickness from age 21 to 22, making becoming a consistent shooter that much more important for the Cal prospect. The Golden Bears will be loaded with talent (and shooting) during the 2015-16 season, which could lead to a big year for Wallace, who will have the opportunity to play to his strengths as a distributor and secondary scorer.
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Tyrone Wallace flashed an intriguing skill set during his freshman season at California, where he averaged 10 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted. While his rebounding, defense, and passing abilities allowed the freshman to stay on the court and contribute for the Golden Bears, his offensive efficiency limited his overall effectiveness, as he shot just 34.2% from the field and 22.4% from the three point line.
After an offseason spent focused on improving his jump shot, Wallace showed substantial improvement in year two at Berkeley. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Wallace generated 0.986 points per possession on jump shots during his sophomore season, a drastic improvement from the 0.679 he was at during his freshman season, turning what was a huge hole in his game into an above-average level of efficiency. The improvement was across the board, including catch and shoot possessions (0.98 points/possession, from 0.667), off the dribble (1.182, from 0.652), and from three point range, where he improved to 32.1% on 3.8 attempts per game, up from 22.4% during his freshman campaign.
Beyond the numbers, the form on his jump shot has been far more consistent, with less flare on his shooting elbow than he exhibited during his freshman season. Wallace can still battle through bouts of inconsistency, but projecting continued improvement is far more reasonable at this point.
A smooth athlete with a good change of pace, Wallace is a confident ball handler who is able to get into the paint. Once there, though, he struggles finishing around the hoop, shooting just 46.5% around the basket, per Synergy. Wallace generally has good touch around the rim with either hand, but he isn't all that explosive in traffic, and struggles at times finishing over length. He combats this by taking a good amount of floaters and runners in the lane, which he shows the ability to hit, but which also helps keep his free throw rate down.
Wallace's other main contribution on the offensive end comes from his passing. He has averaged 3.4 and 3.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted during his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively, despite sharing the backcourt with upper classman Justin Cobbs. Wallace sported a 1.73/1 assist to turnover ratio and a 0.71 pure passer rating, both solid marks for a shooting guard. Wallace shows good instincts as a playmaker and has a good feel for the game, and he makes good, quick reads with the ball in his hands. With the loss of Cobbs to graduation, it will be interesting to see how Wallace's role on the team changes as he now becomes the veteran presence in the perimeter rotation.
Wallace also moves well off the ball, doing a good job running off screens, using that space to either set-up a jumper or to use the screen to get into the paint. He doesn't have the quickest release on his jump shot, but is able to elevate and get off a clean look in these situations. Again, his continued development into a reliable jump shooter could open up this avenue of his game for increased usage.
The defensive side of the ball is where Wallace initially made his contributions, and is still a strength of his game. He has solid foot speed and, while only being listed at 6'4”, has good length, which he uses well when denying penetration and challenging shots. His combination of length, foot speed on the perimeter, ability to change direction defensively, and his contributions on the defensive glass allows Wallace to effectively guard three positions at the NCAA level.
Wallace's role on the changing California team will be an interesting one to watch. With some young talent on the wings, Wallace could see some time at the power forward spot in a small-ball lineup, but he could also be asked to take on a bigger role in facilitating the half-court offense than he has in years past, a role which he has some tools to succeed in. When Wallace came to California, his defensive versatility and effort level kept him in the lineup despite an offensive game that was very much a work in progress. The massive strides he made in his offensive game last year, along with a role that could showcase his versatility, could combine to make Wallace an interesting player to watch in the Pac-12 this season. [Read Full Article]