Dwayne Bacon is the most prominent player on a Florida State team that has won 18 of its 20 games so far and currently ranks 14th in adjusted efficiency margin – according to Ken Pomeroy. But despite the fact he’s managed to stand out over the last couple of seasons even with another projected first round pick on the team each year, the six-foot-seven wing is considered only a mid-tier pro prospect – with Draft Express ranking him 40th in its top 100.
Bacon is averaging 24.7 points per 40 minutes but on an average 55.5% true shooting and a high 29.2% usage rate. He is also older than average for someone with his level of experience, as he’ll already turn 22 in August despite the fact this is only his second year of college ball. Aside from that, though he has great size for his position, Bacon has below average reach (six-foot-eight wingspan) for someone his size and isn’t a particularly impressive athlete.
But the biggest concern regards his lack of meaningful improvement from his freshman season to his sophomore year. Bacon is a reasonably polished scorer but hasn’t shown much in terms of being able to make an impact in other areas of the game.
Bacon’s top skill at this point of his development is his scoring close to the basket.
He’s very fluid attacking closeouts and on catch-and-go’s off ball reversals. In isolation, Bacon has not yet shown a very diverse set of dribble moves and doesn’t often blow by his man on speed but can maintain his balance through contact and often pivots into a well-coordinated spin move to get all the way to the basket on straight line drives or draw contact – as he’s averaged 5.9 free throws per 40 minutes, according to basketball-reference.
Bacon has also handled the ball in pick-and-roll a decent amount and showed appealing skills splitting double-teams at the point of attack, playing with some pace to wait for driving lanes to develop hedges or soft traps and changing speeds to turn the corner.
At the basket, he’s impressed with his ability to finish, converting 63.3% of his attempts – according to hoop-math. Bacon is not very explosive elevating off one foot in traffic but can euro-step to navigate rim protectors in front of the rim, hang in the air, adjust his body mid-flight and score on up-and-unders or reverses.
OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE
But Bacon mostly prefers to pull-up for outside jumpers, as almost two-thirds of his shots have been taken away from the basket.
He elevates in pretty good balance and has proven himself capable of making step-back jumpers with a hand in his face from time to time but he’s not a particularly special shot maker as of now, in large part because his shot selection is very suspect. In such cases, Bacon has nailed just 36.9% of his two-point jumpers this season.
He’s flashed some ability to pass on the move, mostly on simple drive-and-kick’s and passing ahead in transition, but never demonstrated much in terms of court vision and being able to make advanced passes against a set defense. Bacon has assisted on just 11.9% of Florida State’s scores when he’s been on the floor, which is a disappointing figure given how often he has the ball in his hands.
The fact he is not out there looking to pass a whole lot and mostly jacks up outside jumpers makes his 11.1% turnover rate less impressive.
Bacon’s biggest contribution in a team-oriented manner is his ability to act as a credible threat spacing the floor away from the ball. But though he has improved in comparison to last season, he is still only an average catch-and-shoot gunner at this point of his development, nailing 36.3% of his 91 three-point shots so far this season. Bacon has a quick release off ball reversals but lets the ball go from a low point and hasn’t yet shown anything in terms of being able to come off screens or sprint to the ball for dribble-handoffs.
He doesn’t mix it up on the offensive glass.
Bacon has the size and strength to be expected to eventually develop into at least a zero defender.
He has enough lateral quickness to stay in front of similarly-sized wings and can contain dribble penetration through contact due to his 221-pound frame. Bacon doesn’t have reach to pickpocket opponents but has shown decent instincts making plays in the passing lanes, as he’s averaged 1.7 steals per 40 minutes.
More interestingly, Bacon has flashed potential of being able to chase shooters around screens and then getting in front of them on the catch. He doesn’t show that sort of tenacity all that frequently, though.
Bacon doesn’t offer switch ability at this point of his development. He can’t stay in front of smaller players in space and often crashes his way into picks defending the pick-and-roll. Given his size, he might develop into someone who can match up against bigger players but Bacon doesn’t have the explosiveness to make plays near the basket.
He contributed on the glass very well last season, collecting 17.4% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor, but the arrival of Jonathan Isaac has limited his rebounding opportunities this year and his percentage is now average.
 Doesn’t help but doesn’t hurt.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara