(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Well, that was a surprise. The Detroit Pistons managed to select a player I've never even heard of. That is no knock on Middleton -- I'm certainly no college basketball expert. But it does mean that i'm going to need to scrounge around the internet to put something together.
What do I know so far? Here is his profile from ESPN:
Classic swingman; Long arms; Excellent midrange game; Good floor vision; Deceptive athlete
Middleton surprisingly decided to enter the draft despite seeing his stock plummet this season, as the combination of injuries, the coach (Mark Turgeon) that recruited him leaving for Maryland last summer, and the significant turmoil his program has faced since in the wake of new head coach Billy Kennedy being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and top recruits such asJamal Branchdeciding to jump ship likely led him to believe that the situation at College Station can't get any better.
From isolation situations, Middleton's efficiency is outstanding at the college level, as his 1.043 points per possessions according to Synergy ranks in the 91st percentile. Middleton's high level of efficiency scoring the ball in isolations is certainly a coveted skill from an NBA perspective, but there are some concerns projecting this area of his game to the next level. For one, given the finesse, mid-range nature of his game and how he relies heavily on scoring closely contested looks, there are questions if he will can maintain similar success against the bigger, more athletic opponents he'll face on nearly every possession. Further, there aren't many role-playing, shot-creating, isolation-oriented wings in the pros, which could make it difficult to find a niche matching his skill set, meaning significant adjustments in his game.
Piston personnel boss George David very excited about Middleton, English. Says Pistons had Middleton rated 1st round talent a year ago— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) June 29, 2012
And his sophomore year does make this pick seem much more sensible. In 2011, Middleton shot 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point land. The Pistons are in desperate need for efficiency and it looks like both their second-round picks were focused on aiding them in that effort.
I wonder if the team is really ready to go into the season with Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette and three unproven small forwards behind him while having only Will Bynum and rookie Kim English as backup guards. Also, so much for Jonas Jerebko playing the 3.
Trades, undrafted players or free agency must be used to fill out this roster.