V.J. Beachem: Small Forward, Notre Dame – 22 years old
Measurables: 6-8, 200 lbs., 7-0 wingspan
Strengths: Defense, Shooting
Weaknesses: Strength, Ball-Handling, Playmaking, Shot Creation
Conclusion: The two things that stick out to me about Beachem are his length and hands on defense and his outside shooting on offense. He may not be as long as Trevor Ariza (7-2 wingspan), but he moves just as smoothly and loves to dig in on defense. When he’s actively engaged, he’s contesting the pull-through and getting his hands into dribbling, passing, and shooting lanes – but also plays sound positional defense without fouling often. Notre Dame wasn’t a particularly tough defensive club given the general lack of rim protection and lateral quickness, but Beachem was typically responsible for covering the opposing team’s best perimeter player. V.J. also made sizable strides on offense, effectively molding his game for the next level in the process. Beachem still struggles to create much off the dribble and isn’t great at attacking the rim, but he made more free throws as a senior (61) than he did in his first three years combined (56). Meanwhile, Beachem shot a better percentage from beyond the arc as a sophomore and junior than as a senior. However, if we throw out his freshman campaign, during which he made just 11 of 42 tries – Beachem shot 40.2 percent on 5.1 three-point attempts per game. Many prospects improve their draft stock thanks to the NCAA tournament, but Beachem struggled badly in March Madness – making just three-of-23 shots from the floor and scoring just 11 points combined against Princeton and West Virginia. Beachem makes for one of the more interesting players to keep tabs on heading into the 2017 NBA Draft, as his skill-set would be valuable to every franchise if his stroke translates to the deeper NBA three and he continues to improve overall. I like him quite a lot as a second-round sleeper pick possessing first round upside, more-so than FSU’s Dwayne Bacon for instance.