Mar 9, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Butler Bulldogs center Andrew Smith (44) guards Xavier Musketeers guard Semaj Christon (0) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler defeats Xavier 67-62. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Butler Standout to Pro Prospect: Andrew Smith's Professional Possibilities

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With the NBA Draft approaching this Thursday, I decided to take a look at the chances of Andrew Smith and Rotnei Clarke finding a spot on a roster or the chances they will be playing in Europe when basketball season rolls around this fall. First, we will take a look at Andrew Smith.

Coming off of a season in which he averaged only 11 points and 6 rebounds per game, Smith is not the type of player who has the type of numbers that will jump off of the page at a certain scout. He wasn’t someone who would dominate in the paint on any given night, despite his 6-11 frame. However, Andrew Smith was a solid piece to the puzzle last season on both ends of the floor and that cannot go unnoticed.

Perhaps the part that will standout the most to NBA GMs when looking to add someone to roster depth will be his ability to shoot from the mid-range area. Unfortunately, his shot did not improve from his junior year to his senior year statistically.

Having shot 35% from the 3-point line two seasons ago, it looked as if Smith would continue to develop that jump shot heading into his senior season with Butler, but he fell short of that mark, shooting just 29.8% from beyond the arc this past year. His free-throw shot did improve, however, by almost eight percentage points.

If he does hope to find a spot in the NBA, this mid-range style of play is where he is going to find his niche, so that jumper will likely have to improve.

“The big thing for me is the mid-range game,” he said in an interview after one of his two workouts with the Indiana Pacers. He also noted that his shot has improved since the season ended.

Up to this point, Andrew Smith has competed in several workouts for NBA teams and has been offered a Summer League spot by the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns. The likelihood of him being selected on draft night, though, still remains very slim.


That fact is still not a complete kiss of death to his NBA career as the Summer League will give him a chance to prove he can hold his own on an NBA roster, but he will have to play in a way that will make him standout and that is not necessarily something he has made a habit of in his time at Butler.

Moving forward, the most likely destination for Smith will lie playing overseas. His style of play, with his frame and his ability to step out and hit a 15-foot jump shot, will allow his game to translate easily in the European Leagues. As for the NBA, however, opportunities are still available for him to develop and find a role in the United States.

“After [the summer leagues], it’s just seeing who likes me and if I play well, and then hopefully I’ll be able to play on one of these teams,” he said.

 

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Tags: Andrew Smith Butler Butler Basketball Butler Bulldogs Indiana Pacers NBA Draft 2013 Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns

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