Height/Weight: 6’5, 195 lbs.
Ty Jerome is Mr. Dependable for the Virginia Cavaliers. The New Rochelle, NY native plays with incredible efficiency on both ends of the floor night in and night out. He’s improved significantly from year to year during his time with Virginia, and his numbers show it. Since taking over the lead ball-handling role for the Cavaliers as a Sophomore, Jerome has put up increasingly impressive assist totals while always taking care of the ball and committing few turnovers.
His handle doesn’t wow you, but his craftiness and elite decision-making ability are what make him a very effective floor general. At 6’5″, Jerome also has great height for a point guard.
While Jerome doesn’t usually look for his shot first, he still knows how to score the rock. An efficient three point shooter, Ty has hovered around 40% from deep throughout his career, while increasing his attempts every year. He also does a nice job of using head fakes and hesitation moves to get into the lane, where he proceeds to finish with floaters with incredible touch, or goes all the way to the rim and put it in with either hand effectively.
Perhaps Jerome’s biggest strength is his defense. He’s so good both on and off the ball, using his size and discipline to make it tough for smaller guards to operate and wear them down as the game progresses. He makes up for his sub-par quickness with incredible awareness and ability to anticipate where the offensive player is going and beat him to the spot.
Jerome’s awareness also allows him to play excellent team defense, as he seems to always make the right read and is ready and in position to make a play when one of his teammates gets beat.
Jerome’s biggest and most obvious weaknesses are his speed and athleticism. Jerome is typically slower than every ACC guard he faces, but he is able to compensate with his height and off the charts basketball IQ. However, covering up sub-par athleticism is much tougher at the next level, and history is not on his side. While his height will still give him an advantage against most NBA point guards, his ability to create separation on offense and keep up with lightning quick players on defense is a huge question mark, and will likely make or break his pro career.
While Jerome does shoot the three at a high percentage and possesses nice form on his shot, he typically only shoots spot up jumpers. If he wants to be a pure point guard at the next level, he’ll need to add an off-the dribble deep ball to his repertoire.
Another issue with Jerome is that his style of play combined with his lower-end athletic ability give him a much lower ceiling than most other prospects. At best, Jerome projects to be a very good backup that can be a capable leader of a second unit, providing much needed scoring, distributing, and tough defense and energy off the bench. While most teams could use a guy like that and would certainly be willing to spend a late first round pick on a player to fill that role, it’s not a guarantee Jerome can be that guy, and a younger, less polished player with more upside could be an attractive alternative to NBA teams.
As mentioned above, Ty Jerome has the tools to be a reliable back-up, and even a spot starting point guard, in the NBA for many years. He certainly has the intangibles, IQ, and awareness to have success at the next level, but his well below-average speed and athleticism can potentially get in the way of his success.
As of now, Jerome looks to be a late first-mid second round pick, and he seems to be one of those guys that teams will be all over the place with in their evaluation of him. A deep tournament run with the Cavaliers would do wonders for Jerome, and will likely silence many doubters and go a long way in securing his spot as a first round draft pick.