(First posted at RealGM)
Donte DiVincenzo was the 124th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class.
Three years later, he is now expected to end up a first round pick in this year’s draft, in large part due to his 31-point performance in the National Championship Final.
However, the 21-year-old entered the season without any expectation he’d be considered a pro prospect by the end of it. He also didn’t draw enough interest prior to his breakout at the title game to be invited to prominent offseason events. Aside his 2,164 minutes at Villanova, his only other meaningful experience was 76 minutes at the 2017 adidas Nations.
DiVincenzo’s primary role on offense was as a floor-spacer and cutter, as he logged 22.4% usage rate, took 54.2% of his shots from three-point range and had 53.7% of his field-goals assisted, including almost half (43.7%) of his scores at the rim, though he did have some opportunities to put the ball on the floor off dribble handoffs and isolate against his man out of ball reversals.
On the other end, the native of Wilmington, Delaware started most possessions off the ball and acted as a weak-side defender for the most part, stunting in-and-closing out or helping crowd the area near the basket. But Villanova switched aggressively on ball screens, so he found himself matched up with different types of players from time-to-time.
DiVincenzo has fluid mechanics and a high release, able to get his shots off comfortably prior to and over closeouts.
His shots came mostly via spot-ups and relocating around the wing. He took a few shots sprinting to the ball on dribble handoffs but wasn’t asked to do a whole lot in terms of coming off pindown screens, sprinting around staggered screens and popping to the three-point line after screening for the ball-handler.
DiVincenzo nailed 40.1% of his 212 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 7.2 such attempts per 40 minutes, and his 70.5% foul shooting on 190 free throws creates the expectation he will be at least a good shooter in the pros as well.
The most advanced shooting he did in college was pulling up off the bounce. He was able to create enough separation for his step-back fade-away jumpers by crossing over into his pull-up or going behind the back into his pull-up – hitting 45.7% of his 70 mid-range shots last season.
DiVincenzo also flashed some ability to hit pull-ups off hang dribbles out of the pick-and-roll, even from deep range, as he hit 20 unassisted three-pointers.
There aren’t all that many lengthy wing defenders in college and when opponents did have one of those, they threw him at Mikal Bridges, so DiVincenzo was able to shoot over the top more often than not. In order to do that consistently in the pros, he’ll have to shake his defender off balance and it’s unclear if he’s shifty enough.
For as much hype as his shot making ability got, his capability of getting into the lane operating off a live dribble and out of triple threat position is underrated.
DiVincenzo is not all that fast with the ball but has a well-built 200-pound frame in the context of his height and can maintain his balance through contact driving at smaller or similarly-sized players.
Against stronger types, he flashed in-and-out dribbles and some change of direction going between the legs in a pinch to get all the way to the basket. DiVincenzo took just 27.9% of his shots at the rim and averaged 3.1 free throws per 40 minutes but proved to be a resourceful finisher in traffic.
He is not an explosive leaper going up off one foot without space to load up and doesn’t have above average length to over-extend or complete reverses around rim protectors. But DiVincenzo was effective on scoop finishes and finger-roll layups, showing dexterity to finish with either hand as well – converting 65.1% of his 109 attempts within close range.
He did enough to be deemed a credible threat when he attacked the lane decisively, which collapsed the defense quite a few times. DiVincenzo proved to be a very willing passer on the move, delivering last-second drop-offs and kick-outs consistently – assisting on 19.7% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor.
Though he didn’t do anything particularly advanced as a passer, posting only a 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio, DiVincenzo showed he has good court vision. He didn’t run a lot of pick-and-roll at Villanova but might be able to run some offense in a pinch in emergency situations, which is probably what we were going to see more next season if he had opted to return for his senior year.
DiVincenzo is not an impact player but puts in the effort in individual defense and can execute the scheme as a weak-side defender.
He bends his knees to get down in a stance, has multiple lateral slides in him to stay in front in isolation and tries to contest step-back jumpers but doesn’t use his frame to contain dribble penetration and is only so-so at contesting shots effectively due to his eight-foot-one standing reach, which is below average for a wing.
DiVincenzo works to go over screens at the point of attack and hustles back in pursuit but lacks the body composition and foot speed to be a shutdown defender in the pick-and-roll, mostly suited to try just directing his man toward the help.
He is attentive to his responsibilities stunting in to help overload the strong-side, rotating in to help crowd the area near the basket and coming off the weak-side to act as the last line of defense, putting in the effort to challenge shots via verticality and even picking up an impressive block from behind every once in a while.
DiVincenzo has also proven he can run shooters off their shots on closeouts and make some plays in the passing lanes, though at times they come at the cost of him gambling and his six-foot-six wingspan prevent him from being someone who can truly create havoc – averaging just 1.4 steals per 40 minutes last season.
His contributions on the defensive glass were decent, as he collected 13.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor, but nothing to suggest he is suited to pick up bigger players on switches and handle his own boxing them out.
 DOB: 1/31/1997
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