Cowan + Stix Draft Analysis

by Zachary Wilson

As the season screeches to a halt, two of Maryland’s top players are ready to enter the NBA draft. Since there isn’t much else to do, let’s take a look at how they stack up as well as their measurables.

Anthony Cowan

Measurables (Drawn from 2019-2020 season from College Basketball Reference):

  • 6ft tall, 180 pounds
  • 16.3 Pts, 3.6 Reb, 4.7 Ast per game
  • 39% overall FG percentage, 81% free throw shooter
  • Over 1000 minutes played across 31 games (about 35 minutes a game)
  • Career low 69 turnovers in last season (albeit cut short due to virus outbreak), next highest being 76 in 2016-17
  • Points per game consistently increase every year, withholding a stagnant stretch from his sophomore to junior season, in accordance with a continuing rise in strength of schedule rating from year to year.
  • Also tallies nearly 4 rebounds a game

General Analysis:

Cowan is a tested point guard in a the tough Big Ten and has come to a leadership role in his senior year. He has been the guy to take the last shot in many B1G spots and his range has extended to the logo area. 

Depending on how the games have been refereed, Ant has shown some struggles with consistency. At his best, he rivals an All-American at his position. At his worst, he can play a very inefficient shooting role where you wonder why he made such decisions.

Cowan shines with a great big man, and has shown a shining ability to deal assists down low and to the perimeter. He suffered from the fact that he played on a very inconsistent perimeter shooting team, and his assists would likely be much higher with some more skilled shooting guards (even though his primary outside targets, Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala, got much better in the final stretch of the season).

Spot in NBA Draft and NBA Comparable:

Cowan IS skilled and a leader, but he has his flaws that need to be ironed out. I can see him going in the early to middle second round of the draft and he will likely need a bit of time in the developmental leagues before he can start. As for comparables, he can come off as a Terry Rozier at his worst but stretch out to a Kyle Lowry at his best. He has shown he can really dig deep and rush the basket to draw fouls like that of Lowry, but at times he can make mistakes like that of Terry Rozier.

Jalen Smith

Measurables (Drawn from 2019-2020 season from College Basketball Reference):

  • 6ft 10in tall, 225 pounds
  • 15.5 Pts, 10.5 Reb per game
  • 53.6% overall shooting, 36.8% from three, and a 75% FT shooter
  • 970 minutes across 31 games played (about 31 minutes a game)
  • Major improvement in all key stat categories from his freshman to sophomore season. 4% increase in total shooting, 10% increase in three point shooting, 10% increase in FT shooting, and about 4 more rebounds per game.
  • Comparable increase in stats to Bruno Fernando in his last two years

General Analysis:

Smith is a very talented stretch forward, but is not as suited for the duties of a center. His shooting is what makes him special, not his post moves. His rebounding at the collegiate level is exemplary.  He was a double-double machine at Maryland. Defensively he was a standout, even though he is more of a forward than a center. 

Smith’s consistency is unmatched, and his leadership qualities are comparable to Anthony Cowan. He is a much more polished player than Bruno Fernando was coming out of college.  Stix demonstrates the skills needed to succeed in the more shooter focused NBA of the present. Smith has shown a continued ability to be “the guy” and put the team on his back in pressure situations. As he has developed, he will now slam home the assists and consistently grab the rebound when the team needs it.

Spot in NBA Draft and NBA Comparable:

As a stretch forward, Smith is exactly what you would want. He looks like a mid to late first round pick, not exactly a lottery choice. Smith has the defensive skill set of some of the best, he came up even or better against exemplary centers, like Luka Garza at Iowa and Daniel Oturu of Minnesota.  He best compares with that of Atlanta Hawk’s PF John Collins, who can shoot very well for his size.

Maryland Basketball
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