Height/Weight: 6’6, 215 lbs.
Desmond Bane came into the 2019-20 season as a very under the radar prospect, but he’s made his name known in draft circles thanks to consistent three point shooting and improved statistics across the board. Bane has a great stroke, gets his shot off quickly and is very effective as a spot up shooter.
Desmond Bane has been shooting the ball really well lately and has a chance to be a 3 and D guy at the next level. Look for my full scouting report on Bane soon on @bbsociety_ pic.twitter.com/p6x6UNUkw1
— Pat McMahon (@patmcmahonhoops) January 11, 2020
He’s also shown major improvement in his ability to shoot off the dribble this season, a new element in his game that keeps defenders honest and has led to an increased scoring average.
Bane has a killer step-back to his left in his repertoire, setting defenders up like he’s going to drive and then creating separation with a step-back dribble to his left for an open three. Bane isn’t really talked about as one of the best shooters in the sport, but he should be, as he’s shot above 40% from beyond the arc every season from his sophomore year on, with increasing volume each year.
While the deep ball is his main strength offensively, Bane also does a good job of using his strength to get to and finish at the rim. Often starting with a pump fake to deceive defenders who respect his jump shot, Bane is tough to keep out of the lane once he has half a step on his man, and he uses his body well to keep defenders on his hip and protect his shot from being blocked. When it comes to both shooting and driving, Bane has shown improvement each and every season at TCU, leading to increased scoring averages which is a great sign for his future as a pro.
Desmond Bane has also become a solid playmaker, something he didn’t do a lot of when he first arrived on the TCU campus. Despite mostly playing the 3 for the Horned Frogs, he handles the ball quite a bit and has solid vision and the presence of mind to find open teammates when double teams come his way.
On defense, Bane has quick feet and can guard multiple positions thanks to his size and strength. He does a good job of standing strong and getting his chest into bigger forwards that try to back him down, and he’s quick enough to stay in front of most shooting guards on the wing. Off the ball, he’s very active in passing lanes and makes sure to help out and communicate with his teammates.
Desmond Bane is only a two level scorer right now, and really needs to add some type of mid-range shot to his game. If he puts the ball on the floor, he’s going all the way to the rim. By adding a pull-up jumper, Bane will be able to keep defenders guessing and become much more effective as an overall scorer, and also raise his value to NBA teams. Unfortunately, you probably won’t see him develop any sort of mid-range game before his collegiate career is over, but it is something he has the tools to develop down the road.
Bane also needs to improve his ball-handling ability, especially with his left hand. When up against quicker defenders, Bane’s mediocre handle gets exposed, and he struggles to create separation. He particularly needs to work on his left, as he rarely drives that way when he attacks the rim.
Bane tends to sometimes dip his head down when he drives and predetermines his move, which can result in charges or missing an opportunity to find an open teammate. Bane’s role at the next level will most likely be as a three and D guy, so he probably won’t be asked to handle the ball or be a playmaker much.
Desmond Bane is a poster child for the argument of why players should stay in school for four years, as he’s dramatically improved every year at TCU, and now finds himself in the NBA draft discussion, a spot where few people thought he’d be when he first arrived on campus. While four year players were somewhat frowned upon by NBA front offices not too long ago, that trend has since turned and teams are starting to realize the value in drafting veterans with proven games instead of young guys that are mostly all potential.
What Bane has going for him is an elite skill in spot up shooting. He also offers solid size and strength, as well as the framework to be a quality NBA defender. There is definitely a role for Bane in the NBA, but whether or not he does end up getting drafted in the second round depends on a number of variables. His measurements at the combine will mean more than most, as there’s questions about his wingspan, and his vertical/agility drills need to go well to show that he has NBA athleticism.
If the combine goes well and Bane keeps up his stellar play, I think he will hear his name called late in the draft in June and find himself with an NBA roster spot or two-way deal next year.