Name: Rawle Alkins
School: University of Arizona
Height/Weight: 6’5, 220 lbs
Rawle Alkins has the physical tools to allow him to be a great defender. His athleticism, strength, and motor combine to make a player fit for any defensive scheme. Not only does he have the physical keys, but his defensive IQ is more than up to par as well.
When playing help defense, Alkins often makes the smart gamble plays that will either make a drive tougher for the ball handler, or a tougher shot for the man he is guarding. He closes out very well after shifting into the lane to help on drives and crashes the boards both offensively and defensively with a purpose. He keeps his man in front of him more often than not and he will not be pushed around in the post by many guards with the big frame that he possesses.
Alkins’ athleticism brings an added aspect to his willingness to play defense. He can meet guys at the rim on dunk attempts and can chase them down from behind and swat a layup off of the glass. As mentioned before, when he crashes the boards, he has the ability to leap and grab boards over top of other players and push the pace afterward.
On the offensive end, Alkins does have a solid shooting form and can utilize his strength down low on the smaller guards. On catch-and-shoot opportunities, Alkins can fire off a shot quickly before the contest has a chance to cause any disturbance.
Even though Alkins does have the physical advantage over a lot of guards in the post, he does not utilize that advantage enough. More often than not, he is either lurking on the perimeter or beginning a drive from the top of the key. If he can gain more of a post game with solid footwork, then he can become a great multi-dimensional scorer.
While his shooting form is established, he seems to come up short when a pass takes him off of his mark or when he’s shooting off-balance. This is something that you see guys like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant working on in their pregame routines. So, to improve his scoring output beyond that of just lurking on the perimeter looking to shoot, he should look into these same kinds of drills.
Last but not least, Alkins really needs to develop his left hand. He has shown that he can drive to his left, but when trying to finish at the rim he has been blocked due to forcing a layup with his right hand on the left side of the hoop. On top of that, he has not shown the quickness to blow by someone without the use of a screen, so the ability to finish with either hand becomes even more important.
Rawle Alkins was smart by going back to Arizona for another year. He did still test the NBA water a little bit, but ultimately there’s a lot he needs to work on. He shows all of the signs of someone that would be a project for a team offensively but could step in and help on defense right away. He will need a much more polished offensive game to avoid fizzling out in the NBA. Since his athleticism is not at the elite level of some of these guys at the professional level, he will have to find other ways to thrive.
Potential Draft Position:
Late First Round of the 2018 NBA Draft.