Nate Wolters

College: South Dakota State

Birthday: 05/15/1991

NBA Position: PG

Class: Senior

Ht: 6-4.75

Wt: 196.4

WSPN: 6-3.75

Reach: 8-2

Hometown: Saint Cloud, MN

High School: Saint Cloud Tech

DRAFTED NO. 38 OVERALL BY THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Ceiling: Danny Ainge

Basement: Bob Sura

NBA Comparison: Kirk Hinrich

Strengths:

  • Basketball IQ
  • Good Size For Position
  • Posts Smaller Guards
  • Good Shooter
  • NBA 3PT Range
  • Quality Play-Maker
  • Good Ball-Handler

Weaknesses:

  • Athleticism
  • Strength
  • Defensive Liability
  • Small School Prospect

Analysis:

05/16/2013

Small school prospects typically get labels like “shooter” or “rebounder” and because of the level of competition they are not as recognized as their peers in bigger, more traditional conferences. Case in point, Nate Wolters, coming from South Dakota State, is another curious case of talent value verse production.

Wolters in conference did not play a lot of great competition in the Summit Conference, but he was consistent no matter the competition.

This past season Wolters played three games against “big schools” in Alabama, New Mexico, and Michigan (in the NCAA Tournament) where he went on the road and played in a more hostile environment. In those three games he plays above or to his season averages at 22.6 PPG 5.3 APG 4.3 RPG 1.3 SPG 50% FG (37.5% 3PT) and 90% FT shooting. Wolters is a player that was clearly capable of playing in a bigger conference and would have had the opportunity in-front of more eyes to put up similar numbers.

YEAR

PTS

ASTS

REBS

STLS

FG%

3PT%

FT%

Senior (3 Games)

22.6

5.3

4.3

1.3

50.0

37.5

90.0

Totals

68

16

13

4

22/44

6/16

18/20

All Years (12 Games)

18.16

5.16

4.41

1.5

42.9

36.5

78.7

Totals

218

62

53

18

73/170

19/52

52/66

 

Over a four year window (chart above) Wolters was similarly effective and what the chart does not show are the subpar numbers as a freshman in four of those games.

As a small school point guard Wolters puts up big numbers, but he does them in an efficient manner that is not typical. Over his four year career he shot the ball well and did so while only taking 3.6 threes per game. The efficiency as a scorer that Wolters showed had while distributing the ball for his teammates was on the same level as the other top point guards in this class.

Wolters has good size for the position at 6-4 with above average athleticism. He is not laterally quick on both ends of the floor, but has a burst with the ball in his hands that he uses to get around defenders.

That burst or first step is what separates Wolters from the typical small school shooting point guard where he can put the ball on the floor to get around his man.

As a ball-handler he is one of the better creators and distributors in the class. With his size and frame Wolters can absorb contact in the paint finishing off plays for himself as well as for others. Going right to left with the ball in his hands Wolters has the ability to get around his man consistently.

With the ball in his hands Wolters is able to create offense in the pick-and-roll as well as in isolation. Those two offensive settings made up for 57.1% of Wolters offense and he created 1.05 points per possession facilitating 407 of his points this past season. There were not many holes and flaws in Wolters offensive game as he shot over 44.7% in pick-and-roll, isolation, spot-up, cutting off the ball, and coming off of screens.

On the offensive end Wolters displayed basketball IQ with his decision-making with the ball in his hands. In situations where he faced smaller defenders Wolters was able to setup on the block and show an effective post game. At 6-4 Wolters can play in the post, but he does not have the explosiveness or quickness to consistently create offense in the paint.

Offensively Wolters has the ability to run an offense effectively with his decision-making while scoring the ball at a high clip due to his efficiency. He is not a great passer or offensive post player, but has both of those in his arsenal making him one of the more diverse offensive players in the class.

In the NCAA Tournament this past year Wolters did not have a great game offensively, but in his individual match-up with Trey Burke he displayed a defensive ability that was not necessarily known as a strength.

He did a good job of staying in-front of the very quick Burke cutting him off in isolation and preventing him from getting into the paint. Burke shot 2-12 in the game primarily because Wolters locked in on him and kept him outside the arc where Burke was forced to shoot a lot of three’s (0-5) with no success due to Wolters size.

Closing out on shooters is something Wolters does well because of his size allowing him to play off of quicker ball-handlers limiting their explosiveness. He is a quality team defender that was able to defend the elite college point guards well, but will still struggle with the elite athletes at the position at the next level.

Wolters is not a great defender and will struggle with lateral quickness at the next level, but he uses his size, smarts, and limited abilities to his benefit to gain an advantage.

Overall Wolters is a high value prospect where he is projected to go in the upcoming draft. He is a skilled offensive player with the ability to score, distribute, and run an offense despite his limitations athletically. As a defender Wolters has limitations, but uses his strengths as well as anyone for leverage to play adequate defensive basketball.

(video)