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Taurean Prince, 6’8″ Small Forward, Baylor University, 22 years old
Taurean Prince is a small forward from Baylor University that projects as a late first round pick. Prince has an incredible story, from homeless to a projected 1st round NBA draft pick. Prince and his father were in the Salvation Army for many years getting food and shelter through the charity. Prince grew up fast. He didn’t receive all the new toys his friends did, and there were no family vacations. Most of the time he and his younger sister, Catina, played inside. Prince thought with an adult perspective early on and even learned how to drive by the time he was 12. Price didn’t start playing basketball until his sophomore year of high school. After that, Prince got a scholarship from LIU but transferred to Baylor after his head coach left LIU. For the next three seasons with Baylor, he was a bench player. By his senior season, he became a starter and averaged 15.9 points (43.2 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three), 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
During that time he became close friends with Isaiah Austin, a projected lottery pick who had to end his basketball career when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome during the draft process. Prince changed his number to 21 to honor Austin, and learned a valuable lesson from his teammate.
Prince’s strength is his shooting ability and many NBA teams project him to play both shooting guard and small forward. Prince also plays very good defense, averaging over one block a game in college. Prince shows he has a high IQ on defense and projects well as a capable defender coming off the bench in the NBA.
Prince’s ball handling skills raises concern for NBA teams, as he often lost the ball in college and many NBA teams fear they can’t fix it. Prince also had a big dip in his free throw percentage when he was starting and when he was coming off the bench. Prince’s free throw percentage when starting dropped below 70%, which is a concern for NBA teams. However, if Prince can get it above 70% in the NBA, he can become a solid bench player.
NBA Player Comparison
Tony Snell or DeMarre Carroll
At worst, Prince can have a role like Tony Snell, which is a reliable defender and shot maker in the NBA coming off the bench. At best, Prince can be like DeMarre Carroll, the above average defender with the ability to knock down threes if that is coming off the bench or starting. Prince has the ability to be a lock down defender in the NBA.