Since TCU junior guard Desmond Bane arrived in Fort Worth in 2016, the program’s fortunes have done a 180. The Horned Frogs hadn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1998, having gone 12-21 the year before. In year one, his instant offense off the bench led to a 24-15 turnaround and NIT title.
The next year, he chipped in 12.5 points per game and helped the program earn a No. 6 seed in March Madness. This season, he led the way with 15.6 points per game, adding 5.7 rebounds on average for a team that just missed out on a second-straight tourney.
Now the Horned Frogs are back in the NIT quarterfinals, facing Creighton (9 p.m. EST, ESPN). Bane got them there with a 30-point explosion over Nebraska last Sunday.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has scored in double figures in 5 straight contests, including a 34-point outburst against an excellent Texas defense in the regular-season finale.
With such production, how’s he looking as an NBA prospect for this summer’s draft? Let’s look at his projections, mock drafts and stock.
Desmond Bane Draft Projections & Mock Drafts
Bane earned some pre-season buzz but has fallen off the radar due to playing for a fairly anonymous TCU outfit. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman saw him as a potential second-round option back in October.
Bane could find the radar this year with his shot-making and athleticism. The 6’5″ 2-guard ranked in the 96th percentile in points per possession on jump shots and the 92nd percentile in transition. He won’t offer much in terms of shot creation, though, which adds heavy pressure to his ability to make threes every game.
Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype aggregates 5 different mocks from Bleacher Report, SI.com, ESPN, The Athletic and NBA Draft. None of those prognostications show Bane.
Aran Smith’s NBA Draft Net does have him sneaking into his top-100 prospects. While still well outside the second round, Bane ranks No. 93.
ESPN’s Draft Board doesn’t rank him either. This can’t be due to production, as his statistical profile has been very efficient and impressive. He posts a 123 offensive rating per Ken Pomeroy (points scored per 100 possessions), which ranks No. 67 nationally amongst thousands of players.
He doesn’t turn the ball over, and he shoots over 43 percent from behind the arc.
Desmond Bane Scouting Report
When watching the highlights of the 34-point Texas game, it’s easy to see what’s attractive about Bane’s scoring ability. He hits open shots with regularity, he moves well off the ball and has the athleticism to show off on acrobatic dunks.
However, he needs someone to set him up. There’s not a whole lot of driving to the bucket. He’s not creating space on his own with his jump shot. He’s not demonstrating handles to get around a defender.
Basically, he’s an excellent shooter who can finish open layups. That’s been an effective strategy to carry the scoring load this season, but you need a more versatile game to hack it in the NBA.
He needs another year to diversify his attack on offense. Once he does, he’ll have the size, athleticism and shot-making ability combine with some more creativeness. Right now, he projects to G-League.