Wizards Pre-Draft Workouts: Devan Downey, messed around and dropped 30 on John Wall
On Monday, June 21, Devan Downey (G, South Carolina, 5’9, 175 lbs.) worked out for the Washington Wizards along with Magnum Rolle (F/C, Louisiana Tech, 6’11, 225 lbs.), Samardo Samuels (F, Louisville, 6’9, 260 lbs.), A.J. Ogilvy (C, Vanderbilt, 6’11, 250 lbs.), Solomon Alabi (C, Florida State, 7’1, 251 lbs.) and Bobby Maze (G, Tennessee, 6′3″, 195). Get the run-down on Downey and check out his workout videos below…
Okay, let’s get this straight first … the 30 points weren’t ‘on‘ John Wall. Wall didn’t guard Devan Downey the whole time, Eric Bledsoe and Deandre Liggins had their tries too. But the game sure was hyped as Downey v. Wall.
Devan Downey Run-Down:
- The point guard out of South Carolina measures 5’8.5″ without shoes. On DraftExpress, the column for height with shoes reads: ‘N/A’. Wonder if Downey was just like, ‘Eff it, I’ll just take five-eight and a half.’
- A natural scorer — his 22.5 ppg tied for fourth in the nation.
- But a volume scorer — used 30.4% of his team’s possessions last year and attempted 0.89 field-goals per possession.
- Can get to the free throw line — his six attempts per game ranked 7th in the SEC and he sank 83.4% of them.
- Has jets, can really get up the floor. His quickness was also demonstrated with 2.7 steals per game, tied for 2nd in NCAA Div. I.
- Can be an assist man, averaged 5.4 per game as a soph at USC, but that number dropped to 4.5 his junior year and 3.5 his senior year. Worth noting, however, that South Carolina suffered from a lot of injuries last season. Downey had to shoulder a ton of the scoring load, 31.4% of his team’s total points, and opponents often ran extra defenders in his direction. The previous two seasons, he was only responsible for about 25% of his teams points.
- He’s small, always a concern at the NBA level — maybe Downey can the next Earl Boykins. Teams will want him to prove himself as a play-maker.
- I asked Downey about being able to get his shot off at the NBA level. He said, “We were talking about John Wall [in his interview video below], I got my shot against him and he’s a 6’4″ athletic freak.”
- Was on the Big East All-Rookie team as a freshman at Cincinnati in 2005-06, transferred back to his home state and the University of South Carolina when Bob Huggins left for Kansas State.
- In each of his three years at South Carolina, Downey garnered All-SEC first team mentions as well as a ton of national awards and recognition his junior and senior seasons.
- However, he is expected to go undrafted.
- In January, Downey dropped 30 points in that aforementioned game against Kentucky as the Gamecocks upset the No. 1 team in the country, 68-62, for the first time in school history. Of course, those 30 points came on 29 shots. He made nine and went 10-11 from the free-throw line.
Downey, a senior, threw himself all over the court, hurling up circus layups and insanely high bank shots and at least one heroic three-point play that proved it just wasn’t Kentucky’s night. Now, even if the Gamecocks remain mired in the SEC basement at least he’s “IN THE CONVERSATION.” He really was incredible, actually.
The freshman Wall, meanwhile, had a very telling moment late in the game when he was blocked on a sure thing layup, pouted instead of getting back on defense, then needlessly shoved a Carolina player in a half-hearted effort to intentionally foul.
After Downey dropped 36 points on the Gators in Florida, Billy Donovan said:
“We had two guys on him the whole time, so basically his 36 were on two guys,” Florida Coach Billy Donovan said of last weekend’s game. “I’ve been in the league 19 years, and the closest I’ve seen to that was when Chris Jackson scored 44 (actually 41) against us when I was an assistant at Kentucky, at Rupp Arena.”
David Arnott of Charlotte Bobcats blog Rufus On Fire writes:
The main problems? He was a volume scorer, not particularly efficient, and he tops out at 5 foot 9. While there are plenty of players under 6 feet tall who have contributed to NBA teams’ success, it’s not exactly a sterling record of success, and I think it’s hardly controversial to say that all else being equal, the taller guy should absolutely get the nod, given size’s role in basketball.
In an interview with Slam, Downey talks about this game:
Some people think I can just create so much havoc getting into the paint, finding shooters. One of the other positives is that the play of guys like Ty Lawson, Jonny Flynn and players like that have made teams value speedy guards who can get up and down the floor and I can do that with the best of them.
Post Wizards Workout Interview:
Full Court Six Shot Drill:
Highlights vs. Kentucky:
Only one of his highlight shots came against Wall … at the 1:19 mark.