DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Wesley Saunders, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook
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Wesley Saunders
Team: Harvard, Senior
PhysicalsPositionsRankings Misc
H: 6' 5"
W: 220 lbs
Bday: 06/16/1993
(21 Years Old)
Current: SG
NBA:   SG
Possible: SG
Rank 51 in NCAA Seniors
RSCI: 139
High School: Windward
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Predraft Measurements
YearSourceHeight w/o ShoesHeight w/shoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachBody FatNo Step VertMax Vert
2014Nike Skills AcademyNA6' 5.5"2206' 8.5"NANANANA

Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
YearLeagueNameGPMinPtsFGFGAFG%2Pt2PtA2P%3Pt3PtA3P%FTMFTAFT%OffDefTOTAstsStlsBlksTOsPFs
2014/15NCAAWesley Saunders738.120.97.013.053.86.011.054.51.02.050.05.96.985.41.45.46.94.32.90.72.72.1

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Top NBA Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences, Part 10: Prospects 22-25
November 10, 2014


Matt Kamalsky

The 2013-2014 season was a very successful one for a Harvard team that finished 27-5, won its 1st ever NCAA Tournament game, and appears to have emerged as one of the top low major programs in the country. One of the main protagonists of Harvard's rise to prominence has been senior forward Wesley Saunders, who averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per-game last season en route to earning All-Ivy League 1st Team honors for the second straight year.

A consensus top-150 recruit coming out of Windward HS (CA), Saunders spurned a number of high major offers to head across the country to play in Cambridge. Measuring 6'5.5 in shoes with a 6'8.5 wingspan and a solid 220-pound frame, Saunders has nice size for a wing player to go along with good strength for his position and solid overall athleticism. Able to play above the rim when given space, Saunders is mostly a below the rim player, but his size and physicality have made him a force in the Ivy League.

Offensively, Saunders is fairly unique commodity at the college level. A savvy, skilled wing who does much of his damage from the midrange in, Saunders is a versatile talent who contributed in a variety of ways for Harvard a year ago. Able to create his own shot off the dribble, make physical plays against smaller players around the rim, and set the table for others, Saunders was often the focal point of a balanced, efficient Harvard attack a year ago.

Despite his size relative to most plays operating in the two man game, Saunders saw most of his possessions handling the ball on the pick and roll a year ago according to Synergy Sports Technology, serving as a secondary ball-handler of sorts within Tommy Amaker's offense. Saunders may not have elite quickness or a lot of shake to his game, but he's a solid ball-handler with very good body control and vision.

There isn't a lot of flash to Saunders' offensive game, but he finds a way to consistently make plays by being decisive and aggressive. Able to use his strength to get the rim, Saunders struggled to finish as consistently last season as he did two years ago, seeing his finishing rate dip from 57% to 47%, but he continued to get to the line at a high rate and made a respectable 76% of his free throws.

An improved jump shooter from when he arrived at Harvard, Saunders made 43% of his perimeter attempts a year ago, the large majority of which came off the dribble and from the mid-post area. Shooting the ball with little elevation but improved touch and follow through, Saunders does a nice job staying on balance, allowing him to get his shot off from a variety of spins and pivots. Knocking down just 27% of his 1.1 3-point attempts per-game, Saunders is a threat from the perimeter, but proving his mettle as a catch-and shoot threat from beyond the arc would be a major addition to his resume from a NBA perspective.

More than just a scorer, Saunders averaged 4.5 assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted while posting the first positive pure point rating of his career as a junior, showing that he can make an impact as a passer as well. Showing a high basketball IQ making the simple play in transition and on the pick and roll, Saunders has a clear understanding of how to get his teammates involved within the flow of the Harvard offense. His unselfishness and decision-making are both impressive.

Defensively, Saunders plays with good energy and fundamentals, but lacks the type of lateral quickness that would give him significant upside on this end of the floor at the next level. A solid rebounder for a wing who does a very nice job reading the ball handler when defending off the ball, Saunders finds himself trailing behind plays a bit more often than he should when his man beats him off the bounce or is working off of screens.

Wesley Saunders is a player to keep an eye on as he looks to repeat as Ivy League Player of the Year. His lack of consistent production as a spot-up shooter raises some questions about how he'd fit in as a roleplayer on the wing at the next level, but his progress as a shooter on the whole a year ago was encouraging even if his shooting at the rim regressed. A prime candidate for the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Saunders is a unique player worth keeping an eye on as Harvard figures to be on the best low major teams in the country. December match ups with Virginia and Arizona State will be worth watching in particular, as they'll rank among the biggest tests the Crimson will face until March.
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