Willie CauleySteinHt/Wt: 7' 0" / 244 lbs
2015 Draft Profile - Willie Cauley-SteinStrengths
Cauley-Stein is arguably the best defensive big man, if not player in this year's entire draft class. He has desired height and length at the center position, combined with stupendous athletic ability. When thinking of a prototypical defensive anchor, Cauley-Stein fits the mold perfectly. He contests shots at the rim religiously with his physical tools and anticipation. He also has impeccable lateral quickness for a big man which allows him to switch high screen and rolls and still be able to guard the primary ball handler.
His physical attributes help him on the glass as well, especially on the offensive end. His rebounding numbers may now show it, but Cauley-Stein does a fantastic job of keeping plays alive and creating second chance opportunities for his team. He is also an ideal target for playmakers to throw lobs since he can go up and get the ball if it's even in the vicinity of the basket. He makes his matchup work extremely hard to keep up with him in transition as well by running the floor hard nearly every possession. The mobility that Cauley-Stein possesses for someone his size is unparalleled.
The big man does a wonderful job of creating offense for himself on the offensive glass and can finish off plays that are made for him, but that's about as far as his game goes on that end. He's made some improvements to his offensive game this year, but still has a lot of work to do in that area. A lack of shooting touch on jump hooks and his jumper makes it extremely difficult for him to score away from the basket. If he catches the ball outside the paint, he's usually not a threat to score because of a nonexistent post game.
On the defensive glass, there are times Cauley-Stein relies to much on his athletic ability to snag down rebounds and fails to get inside position and box his man out. He could use some additional strength in order to avoid being pushed around by bulkier opposing players at the next level. His free throw shooting has improved every year, but is still at a low percentage. In order to prevent defenders from fouling him hard on layup and dunk attempts, he needs to improve from the charity stripe to make them respect it.
NBA Player Comparison
Cauley-Stein is about as close as it gets to a carbon copy of Tyson Chandler. Both men are prominent defenders that anchor their respective teams' defenses. They each get virtually their entire offense on the offensive glass or by finishing plays created by a teammate. Their measurable are very comparable as well. Although his offensive game needs polishing, Cauley-Stein's defensive abilities are NBA-ready, which leads many to believe he is Chandler 2.0. However, if his offensive skill set develops, he could be a special player in future years.
PPG: 9.2 RPG: 6.6 APG: 0.8 SPG: 1.4 BPG: 1.6 FG%: 59.6 FT%: 61.3 3PT%: N/A
Willie Cauley-Stein VideosMeet the Cats: UK junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein
Willie Cauley-Stein - Kentucky Highlights 2015
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