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Appreciating Taurean Prince

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

With Taurean Prince likely to be called in the 1st Round of the NBA draft, I thought I'd empty out some old vines I had and take a look at some of the skills that give him a great shot to be Baylor's best NBA player during the Scott Drew era.

Defense

Taurean Prince has superb timing and is long for a small forward. Prince's 6'11 wingspan helped him have a block percentage of 2.7%, which was second among Big 12 wings, according to statistics compiled from KenPom.

Below, Prince does a good job "staying vertical" against Perry Ellis. While Ellis isn't a traditional NBA four, the hope is that some of the skills Prince displayed defending Ellis can help him defend against NBA fours.

Athleticism

Although Prince was fantastic at creating against Big 12 defenses, at the next level he'll have to beat elite defenders. The alley-oop bellow shows Prince running along the baseline, stopping to adjust his timing, then throwing it down with two hands- the same number used to rebound.

In the next vine, Prince is not shying away from contact or letting the camera know Baylor has won their last four games against Iowa State in hoops.

Finishing at the Rim/Creating his own shot

Although Prince's senior season saw a decline in his efficiency, he still shot well at the rim. Prince shot 64.5% at the rim, according to hoop-math data. Prince's length and ability to beat players off the dribble helps him there.

NBA Range

Taurean Prince showed off his ability to hit from way downtown against Vanderbilt and in the highlight below. Prince shot 36% from deep as a senior and 40% as a junior.

Creating for Others

While some are worried about Prince's turnovers, his ability to create for others should help with that concern.

Prince's Journey

Taurean Prince was committed to LIU-Brooklyn until late in his senior season of high school. Many thought he was not a major D1 athlete. Then, many wondered if Prince would ever be much of a contributor. At the Baylor selection party during Prince's sophomore season, he mentioned that he was excited to play in his hometown of San Antonio. Prince was made fun of by some when he suggested he'd be blessed to be drafted by the Spurs someday. To those people, the thought Prince would play in the NBA was a joke. Prince probably won't be be blessed with a selection from the Spurs because he'll probably be off the board by the time they pick. Pretty remarkable for a kid many thought Baylor made a mistake signing.