Virginia faces Syracuse Monday night at the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. EST, ESPN). Among the challenges: 35,642 screaming and orange-clad fans and the No. 19 most efficient defense in the country per Ken Pomeroy.
Jim Boeheim’s signature 2-3 zone excels most at forcing turnovers, ranking 13th nationally. To combat this, an offense needs a ball-handling guard that can protect the rock. Enter Cavalier junior Ty Jerome.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder excels in several areas. He averages 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4.1 rebounds a game. He shoots 40.9 percent from behind the arc. He turns the ball over on just 14.1 percent of possessions (top-500 nationally). On defense, he doesn’t foul and notches a steal per contest.
A few projections place him in the first round of this summer’s NBA Draft. Let’s take a look at these prognostications:
Ty Jerome NBA Draft Projections & Mock Draft
The most recent mock draft from Rob Dauster of NBC Sports fits Jerome in the late first round at No. 23. Dauster goes as far to say he’s willing to go “all in” on Jerome as an NBA prospect.
I’m not saying that I think this guy will be an all-star or anything like that, but he has all the makings of a ten-year NBA veteran that will find himself a role at the next level. He’s a big-time shooter that can create for himself on-the-ball despite a lack of athleticism and really understands how to use screens and move into space moving off the ball. He’s 6-foot-5, and while he doesn’t have even average NBA tools, he’s a heady player that works well as a cog in the best defense in the college ranks. He’s also tough as hell and he’s an absolute killer when it comes to making tough shots in big moments.
Our own Jon Adams left Jerome off his most recent draft board. Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype lists him as the No. 29 overall prospect on his aggregate mock draft. The rankings range from late first-round like with Bleacher Report, and as low as No. 38 on SI.com.
Ty Jerome NBA Draft Big Board Rankings
On Aran Smith’s NBA Draft Net’s list of 100 players, Jerome is his 30th best player. ESPN’s NBA Draft Board lists him as the No. 34 “best player available” and the No. 8 shooting guard (7 spots behind Duke freshman R.J. Barrett).
In 2 games against the Blue Devils, Jerome struggled to contain Barrett.
In the first game back on Jan. 19, Jerome and company ceded 30 points on 13 shots, with 9 Barrett field goals inside the arc. In the second outing, the Duke frosh ripped his way to 26 points on 6 triples. Even at Jerome’s height, players of Barrett’s 6-foot-7 frame and athleticism are able to take advantage.
With that said, the Cavalier guard put up a pair of efficient offensive games. He only needed 24 combined shots to reach 30 total points. He doesn’t get enough credit for his ability to generate baskets.
He gets a chance tonight versus the Orange to reverse that narrative. He only mustered 15 points in two Virginia wins but made up for it with 10 assists.