The Creighton Bluejays are one of the more underrated programs in the country. Since leaving the Missouri Valley Conference for the Big East in 2014, head coach Greg McDermott and company have made 3 NCAA Tournaments as a No. 3, No. 6 and No. 8 seed.
This past season, they fell a tad short, but not because of the efforts of combo-guard Ty-Shon Alexander. The sophomore scored just 5.5 points per game as a freshman, but exploded to score 15.8 this past season. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder cans a healthy 37 percent of his 3’s, while adding 4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest.
That wasn’t quite enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but not for lack of trying. Alexander scored 21 points in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals loss to Xavier, a fellow NIT squad that was a No. 1 seed in last year’s Big Dance.
Probably his best performance came against Clemson early in the season when the sophomore racked up a whopping 36 points against the No. 13 efficiecy defense in the country per Ken Pomeroy.
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.
Ty-Shon Alexander Draft Projections & Mock Drafts
Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated listed Alexander as his No. 67 overall prospect back in January. While he doesn’t include the Bluejay in his recent update, he came away impressed with his early-season production.
After breaking out in the fall with big games against Clemson and Gonzaga, Alexander has demonstrably made a big leap as an older sophomore, capable of getting hot from outside, playing pick-and-roll and supplying some secondary playmaking. He’s long, athletic and has developed a useful perimeter skillset, with a quick trigger off the dribble from range. At this point he may be more of a name for next season, but as one of the better guards in the Big East, he will have a platform to make a case and test the waters, particularly if he can help get Creighton into the tournament.
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 Alexander.
Aran Smith’s NBA Draft Net docked him 21 spots in his most recent top-100 prospect rankings, sliding Alexander all the way down to No. 70 and outside the second round.
ESPN’s Draft Board doesn’t rank him either. Let’s explore how he could’ve dropped in many’s estimations.
Ty-Shon Alexander Scouting Report
Woo cited his 27-point outburst versus No. 1 seed Gonzaga back in December. While the output is impressive, let’s look at how he got there. 6-of-9 from inside the arc? Good. 5-of-13 from behind it? Not incredibly efficient.
He has a tendency to need a ton of shots to eclipse 20 points. In a loss to Villanova on Jan. 13, he needed 20 shots, include 15 from deep, to pump out 22 points against the Wildcats.
He shoots just 47 percent from 2 and has attempted nearly a 100 more triples. That suggests he settles from jump shots, which has led to an fine, but slightly inefficient offensive rating of 106.5 (points per 100 possessions).
To translate, he’s sucks up possessions with bad shot selection. When he makes those shots (like during the non-conference season), people became convinced he’d be a fringe draft pick. With Big East play exposing him a bit, he’s fallen off with analysts.
If he diversifies his attack after this offseason, or gets support from the rest of his teammates to take a load off his shoulders, he’ll have a chance to climb up the board again. For now, he’s just a G-Leaguer.