Today’s featured draft profile will be on German point guard, Dennis Schroeder. A literal unknown several months ago, Schroeder began soaring up draft boards after a strong performance in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit in April, leading the World Team to a decisive 112-98 victory over the U.S. Junior Select Team. Schroeder took on a leadership role for a young World Team roster, contributing 18 points, 6 assists, and 2 rebounds to grab the attention of the numerous NBA scouts in attendance. Fast and intelligent, Schroeder’s talent is already remarkable, and at the young age of 19, his potential for growth has many labeling him as not just one of the best international point guards of this year’s draft, but one of the best available period.
Birthday: 9/15/93 – Projected NBA Position: Point Guard – Class: International – Ht: 6-2 – Wt: 168 – Team: New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig – Hometown: Braunschweig, Germany
2012-13 Per Game Averages: 12.0 Points – 3.2 Assists – 2.5 Rebounds – 42.2 FG% – 40.0 3P% – 83.2 FT%
– Explosive first step
– Very crafty and shifts speeds with ease
– Excellent passing ability/sees the whole floor
– Good ball handler
– Runs the pick and roll well/very patient
– Defensive pest on the perimeter
– Can get careless with the ball/turnover prone
– Poor shooter off the dribble
– Trouble finishing over length
– Doesn’t seem too comfortable going left
Schroeder’s biggest strength is his elite level speed and quickness. He can blow by his defender with his lethal first step, and get to the basket almost at will. He’s a strong ball handler who employs a wide array of dribble moves to get his defender off-balance, and does well with splitting double teams when defenses apply pressure. He also makes use of an effective floater when finishing in traffic. Schroeder is at his best when he’s attacking, and when he decides to do so, is extremely difficult to stay in front of.
Schroeder is also a solid play-maker for others, as he’s very good at scanning the entire floor, and finding the open man on the perimeter after he gets into the paint and breaks down the defense. He can fire the ball from one end of the court to the other in the blink of an eye, yet still has the touch to throw a great lob pass to the diving big on the pick and roll. Schroeder is equally solid as a pick and roll ball-handler, as he shows great patience waiting for the play to develop, and is very good at finding the roll man in traffic with a chance to finish. Schroeder is unselfish and always willing to move the ball.
Schroeder also makes an impact on the defensive side of the ball as he is an excellent perimeter defender. Making use of his long wingspan and superb lateral quickness, Schroeder can harass opposing guards the entire length of the court, and generally cause havoc when locked in. He plays with passion and energy, doing a good job of navigating screens and contesting shots with his length. He also has solid instincts for his age, playing the passing lanes and staying with his man when off-ball.
Despite being a dependable shooter in catch and shoot situations, Schroeder has yet to develop a consistent shot off the dribble, and it hampers him in the pick and roll. Until Schroeder can steadily make defenders pay for going under the screen, he’ll see NBA defenses play him as such. While he has a quick first step to get to the rim, he isn’t an explosive leaper, which makes finishing over length an issue. He’s liable to beat his man to the rim, only to see the weak-side help arrive and pin his layup attempt on the backboard.
Schroeder’s biggest deficiency at this stage of his career is his decision-making. Although he’s shown he has the ability to be a distributor and run an offense, he’s still suffering from the growing pain that most young players are guilty of: trying to do too much. Schroeder sometimes gets unnecessarily flashy, trying to force the issue instead of making the smart pass, and ends up turning the ball over. He can also get loose with his dribble in traffic, unknowingly setting himself up to get ripped by a defender.
All things considered, Schroeder’s flaws become much easier to accept realizing that he’s only 19 years old, and most of the deficiencies in his game can be corrected with experience. His unique combination of instincts and physical tools even have some NBA personnel going as far as to compare Schroeder to All-Star and NBA Champion, Rajon Rondo. While those are lofty expectations to live up to, it’s hard to ignore the immense potential Schroeder possesses, and it’s a big reason why so many teams have reached out to his camp in recent weeks.
Schroeder’s journey to this point has been an interesting one, and after being a labeled a possible second round pick at best, he’s now been projected by many mocks to go anywhere from 16-24. A rumor began to surface last week that the Boston Celtics had made Schroeder a promise to draft him at #16 but his camp has vehemently denied the report, and Schroeder has continued doing workouts for teams, including some selecting before the Celtics, so take from that what you will. If Schroeder can further develop his offensive game, and continue to mature as a decision maker, he could become one of the stars of this class a few years from now. It goes without saying that he’d be a great pick for New York at #24.