Prospect Examiantion: Rodney Hood

Posted by Clevis Murray on Monday, June 23, 2014 with No comments

"I wish we had him for more than one year, because the growth that hes had in this year is terrific, and its because he wants to be coached and he takes responsibility,” Duke coach MikeKrzyzewski said. Anybodys whos willing to take responsibility for his or her actions usually does better, and thats what Rodney does."

You'd think playing for one of the best college basketball programs under a Hall of Fame coach who doesn't age would be good enough to get a player noticed by scouts, but that wasn't the case for Rodney Hood, after missing the 2012-2013 after transferring from Mississippi State to Duke; Hood burst onto the scene during the '13-14 season and was the Robin to Jabari Parker's Batman as both became a 1-2 punch under Mike Krzyzewski. Earlier in the season Hood was thought of as a a potential lottery pick but now it's unclear if he still is but what is clear is that he will be drafted in the 1st-round.

Hood entered this season as one of the best shooters in the nation along with a good ability to drive to the rim and finish with contact which made makes him one of the better offensive players in this years draft. But defensively not to much as he is a one dimensional offensive minded player and defense to him is as foreign as LeBron James missing a dunk.


The mandatory year Hood had to miss after transferring from Mississippi State to Duke to become a redshirt sophomore did wonders for him as a basketball player as all his stats increased with the same playing time with the exception of his rebounding. In a much tougher conference than the Southeastern Conference (SEC) which is the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Hood came out guns blazing and carried his consistent play until the last game of the season against Mercer. What catches my attention is Hood's increase in points and shooting percentage as his PPG increased by 5.8 and his free-throw shooting skyrocketed by 14.8% which shows that his game can improve.

Advanced look at Rodney Hood's improvement

Stats don't lie, especially advanced stats and it showcases Hood's bigger opportunity in Durham as he took a chance and showcased his talents showing his skill set to the average viewer, fans and people in NBA front offices as he increased in most advanced stats categories from his freshmen season at Mississippi State.

Hood won't be the No. 1 pick and the jury is still out if he will even be a lottery pick, he has been overshadowed by freshmen phenom forward and teammate Jabari Parker who is a guaranteed Top-3 pick and franchise changing player. Playing with Parker has benefited Hood because when scouts are watching a Duke game and their focus is mainly on Parker, they begin to notice Hood who hasn't gotten the credit he deserved due to the media driven hype of Parker. Teaming up with Parker has led more scouts to look at Hood and having more nationally televised games to help create a fan base; another thing that has benefited Hood with the team-up is that he is now acclimated to playing with a superstar type player in the sidekick role.  

Add Hood to the list of stretch forwards in the NBA as he also shares a few characteristics that have attracted scouts to Parker — versatile enough to play the SG and possibly the PF in small lineups when shooting is needed, 6'8" wingspan which is nothing special as it matches his height, similar athleticism which isn't the same but is similar, can create his own shot off the dribble, decent post-game when going against a small defender and is a consistent 3-point shooter as more teams in the NBA are taking shots from there. Duke teams are traditionally good and Hood held his own this season as he was leader in the ACC in many categories 3rd in 3PM and 6th in FGM.

As I said earlier, Hood is a offensive minded player which means he has a abundance of flaws in his game, especially on the offensive end. Hood would become a easy scouting prospect for most teams as he rarely goes right which is a huge problem for a athletic wing player going pro because once teams catch onto that then he will be a easy stop; the NBA is filled with elite defenders and teams will force him to go right and put him in a position that he isn't comfortable with. As a offensive player he isn't much of passer as he averages about two assists per game which is similar to Creighton senior Doug McDermott, both are offensive players but don't have a reputation of making plays for others. Hood will need to become a shot creator and have better shot selection.

At 6-8, 215-pounds; Hood has a small body that needs more muscle if he wants to stand a chance against other small forwards then gaining muscle is a must because that position is become one of the more complex and more important positions in the NBA especially since analytically, small forwards which can shoot the ball have more valuable. His slight frame could be one of the reasons why he doesn't drive much and also why he isn't that great of a rebounder.

Like any other college basketball they is heading to the NBA, his weakness is on the defensive end of the court. Hood lacks intensity to play defense and is often take advantage of on that end by other players with a bigger physique then him. His short wingspan could be a reason as to why he only averaged less than one steal per game (0.6) for his college career and also less than one block (0.4) along with a 2.1 defensive win share (DWS) compared to his 5.8 offensive win share (OWS). Chances are, Hood won't become a defensive player and has the potential to be less than average on that end depending on where he lands; if he lands in Chicago then he'll become a defensive player under Tom Thibadeau but if he's in Phoenix under Jeff Hornacek then chances are something like that won't happen. The 21-year old has decent lateral quickness but will need to become a stronger player mentally as his hustle, determination and toughness should be higher.  

In a league with a high demand of shooters it can be expected that Hood will be selected in the 1st round and in my estimation between the 16th and 24th pick and possibly higher if he excels in the draft combine and private workouts. I believe he has somewhat peaked as a player and weaknesses might not change but being a a offensive player he will be role player in the league and could possibly see some playing time in the D-league during the first few seasons of his career.

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