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2018 NBA Draft Profile: Scottie Lindsey

A talented scorer, Lindsey will need to improve his consistency and defensive intensity to stick at the next level.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Northwestern Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Scottie Lindsey leaves Northwestern as one of the program’s most prolific scorers, wrapping up his career 19th in points scored and ninth in three-pointers. He led the 2017-18 team in scoring and often propped up a sagging Wildcat offense. His improvement from 2015-16 to 2016-17 was a major reason why Northwestern reached the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Yet Lindsey often left something more to be desired. His intensity on the defensive end waned at times, his playmaking skills never completely developed, and he could shoot Northwestern out of games.

Stats:

Courtesy of KenPom.com

Lindsey improved immensely over his first two years on campus, increasing his efficiency even as his usage rate increased, while cutting turnovers and getting to the line at a higher rate. As a junior, Lindsey took nearly one-quarter of Northwestern’s shots and got to the line at a 21.1 percent clip. His efficiency held up, as he managed an ORtg of 108.5 and a true shooting percentage of 53.5 percent.

In his final campaign at Northwestern, Lindsey’s usage rate jumped up again, but he shot a dreadful 33.1 percent on two-point jumpers, compared to 46.9 percent the year before.

Strengths:

  • Three-point shooting — Lindsey can shoot the three off the dribble, coming off a screen or in a spot-up role. 19 percent of his threes were unassisted, the second-highest mark on the team. He’s got NBA range— check out his highlights from the Iowa or DePaul games. Lindsey has a smooth, quick release, and solid mechanics.
  • Versatile scoring ability — At times, it felt like Lindsey was the only Wildcat who could create his own shot. That might be a reflection of Northwestern’s personnel, but Lindsey is a talented, natural scorer who can find his own shot beyond the arc, in the mid-post, or driving to the rim. He’s got a great pull-up jumper and a quick first step.
  • Physical tools and frame— He’s not Lonnie Walker IV or Hamidou Diallo, but Lindsey can play above the rim at 6-foot-5. He runs the floor well and has a great first step like many natural scorers do.
  • Handle — Lindsey’s handle can get a little loose in traffic at times, evidenced by a 12.6 percent turnover rate, but he’s definitely not just a shooter. Lindsey is capable of putting the ball on the floor, whether it’s running through a pick-and-roll or creating a shot for himself in a one-on-one situation.

Weaknesses

  • Shot selection — Lindsey will often settle for ball-pounding outside jumpers and fadeaways inside of the arc instead of using his handle and athleticism to create a better look. For such a solid free-throw shooter, Lindsey doesn’t get to the rim enough, only attempting 2.6 free throws per contest last year. His efficiency waned during his senior year, and he struggled against good competition, shooting 11-for-28 from the field and 5-for-15 from three at the Portsmouth Invitational.
  • Playmaking — Lindsey has never been much of a distributor, and his ball-pounding tendencies slowed down Northwestern’s offense at times. Without Bryant McIntosh, the Northwestern offense slowed to a crawl, and Lindsey’s lack of playmaking ability often meant possessions culminated in a contested jumper. Lindsey’s assist rate exceeded his turnover rate once in his Northwestern career, in 2016-17.
  • Defense— Averaging nearly one steal per game during his junior year, Lindsey flashed the ability to make an impact defensively. Yet it seemed like more often that not, he was disengaged defensively, focusing most of his energy on the other end of the floor. He has the tools to be a two-way player, but he needs to show he cares on both ends of the floor.

Outlook:

The Athletic, NBADraft.net, and Sports Illustrated all omitted Lindsey from their top 100 prospect lists. As such, it seems unlikely Lindsey will hear his name called on Thursday. A roster spot in the NBA Summer League seems more likely for Lindsey.

If the Hillside, Ill. native can’t stick in the NBA or the G-League, Lindsey’s scoring talents will probably land him abroad.