June 17, 2014
|Drew Crawford immediately before being sent to bed with no dinner.
, Northwestern, Senior, 6'5 215lbs2013/14 stats:
36.6 mpg, 15.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.2 fpg, 2.2 TOpg, 40.5% FG, 32.7% 3PT, 78.1% FT
Northwestern being who they are, Crawford had to be a primary perimeter creator for them over the last few years. And it is just not who he is. At least, it is not who he should be - Crawford embraced the role of go-to guy and was more than happy to try, but he hasn't the shot creation abilities befitting the role. Much as Crawford took on the challenge of trying to score in isolation, his ball handling abilities are far too limited to do so regularly, short of raising up or driving on overplays.
Nevertheless, Crawford assumed the role as he has some tools for it. A good athlete and dunker, Crawford doesn't have to be a primary creator to have some offensive presence - a willing slasher with a nice bank shot, Crawford uses a floater, a banker and a turnaround jump shot to get shots away inside the arc. His three point stroke is merely decent, yet Crawford is a fairly good shooter off the dribble, and is best in transition, hard to keep up with when given the freedom to run (which isn't often). With long arms and a good leap, Crawford can finish above a defense. However, Crawford's slender frame make it tough for him to bump off any defender or take contact, and he lacks the nuanced handle, the changes of pace, the step-back jumper et cetera
that would facilitate his driving game. He also takes some bad shots, especially jump shots, and for all those physical advantages, he has never been an especially disciplined defender. His best defensive attribute is his work on the defensive glass, but without applying much ball pressure at any point, Crawford's defensive presence is a concern rather than a strength.
Perhaps when freed from Northwestern's slightly inhibiting style, Crawford could flourish. From an NBA perspective, Crawford's length, athleticism, transition and rebounding make for an intriguing combination. But the NBA looks for three-and-D role players, and although Crawford could develop those factors of his game, he is currently neither of those things.
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