Inside the Numbers: Kyle Guy needs to learn to run the point

kyle guy national champKyle Guy is an NBA player. I’m just not sure it’s in the cards for him this year.

Guy is undeniably a baller. Now a two-time first-team All-ACC selection, Guy shot 44.9 percent from the field in 2018-2019, 49.1 percent on two-point shots, 42.6 percent on threes, 83.3 percent from the line.

At 6’2”, 175, he also averaged 4.5 rebounds per game, actually third-best on the Virginia team.

And you know, as a Tony Bennett player, he can play D, and Guy in 2018-2019 ranked in the Top 20 of the ACC in defensive rating.

So, there’s all that.

The thing he can’t overcome: the 6’2”, 175 thing.

And, yes, he’s not going to grow another couple of inches if he stays another season at Virginia.

Does he need to get thicker? Maybe.

The average NBA shooting guard, according to TheHoopsGeek.com, is 6’5”, 204.

Again, Guy can’t do anything about being only 6’2”, but he can do something about the 175, which is giving up 29 pounds to the average guy checking him.

Should he? That’s another question.

Getting thicker doesn’t make you quicker, and likely works in the other direction.

It does give you more when you’re in the lane to be able to finish at the rim.

It also helps when the other, bigger guard is taking you in the lane to get to the rim.

And there are a lot of those other, bigger guys, and not many guys like Guy.

I looked at all 30 NBA rosters, and found only seven shooting guards listed at 190 or below and 6’3” or below.

  • J. McCollum, Portland (21.0 ppg, 45.9% FG, 37.5% 3FG)
  • Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers (20.0 ppg, 42.5% FG, 36.1% 3FG)
  • Bryn Forbes, San Antonio (11.8 ppg, 45.6% FG, 42.6% 3FG)
  • Avery Bradley, Memphis (9.9 ppg, 40.8% FG, 35.1% 3FG)
  • Seth Curry, Portland (7.9 ppg, 45.6% FG, 45.0% 3FG)
  • Ian Clark, New Orleans (6.7 ppg, 39.4% FG, 32.7% 3FG)
  • Daryl Macon, Dallas (played in eight games, averaged 11.3 minutes per game)

My review of the rosters found a total of 13 shooting guards at 6’3” or below. The other notable here is Utah’s Donovan Mitchell (23.8 ppg, 43.2% FG, 36.2% 3FG), but Mitchell is listed at 6’3”, 215.

So, out of 480 guys on NBA rosters, we’ve got six contributors at Guy’s general size playing shooting guard.

There are a total of 73 players on current NBA rosters at 6’3” or below. The other 60 are point guards.

I’m suggesting here that it would help Guy more to be able to pick up some skill in running the point than it would for him to bulk up to be able to play at the two.

I’m not thinking, Kyle Guy needs to be John Stockton, here.

More like, Kyle Guy can be a sort of a Steph Curry, a Trae Young. A guy who can get the ball up the court, facilitate, initiate, be a threat on the perimeter and off the dribble.

Guy actually has one advantage over other smaller guards, in that we know he can defend.

If I’m advising Guy, I tell him to get with Tony Bennett, ask Bennett if he can play more one next year, and have his senior season in Charlottesville be a showcase for what he can do at the point.

Can he make this transition between now and the June draft? Maybe. He could certainly use summer league to round himself into point-guard shape, so to speak.

But, it’s a gamble. If he doesn’t have his name called in the draft, Guy would be scrambling to get a roster spot on a summer-league team, then scrambling after to get an invite to a camp in September.

What I don’t want to see happen for Kyle Guy is him giving up his fourth year at UVA for a year in the G-League or overseas, where he risks getting lost in the shuffle.

It’s no guarantee that Guy staying another year works out in the end, either.

Maybe he’s the next small shooting guard, the next McCollum, the next Williams.

I think his stock is a little more certain if he can add point to his repertoire.

Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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