Donte Divincenzo: Evaluation

The state of Delaware doesn't receive as much acclaim for its talent as other states, but over the years The First State certainly has enjoyed its share of successes.


Introduction

Donte Divincenzo aims to become another native to make his way to higher level hoops prominence. He didn't burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion, he simply put his head down, did work and generated a local reputation that became regional, then national.

We first began to cover him last fall. At that point he claimed offers from Syracuse, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Penn State, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.

He later added an offer from Villanova and committed to the Wildcats in December. Divincenzo toured with Team Final on the EYBL circuit this past spring and summer and performed creditably, even if not in starring fashion.

Assets

Descriptions like the following tend not to excite fans, but Divincenzo is "pretty good" at a lot of things. He's reasonably quick and has okay jump shooting form, makes some nice passes on the move (perhaps his best trait), plays intelligently and tends not to force the issue as a scorer.

He's thin but not weak, and over time he should easily gain the required strength for college. He possesses a good head for the backcourt and is a fine playmaker for a wing, and he'll have four years to learn Jay Wright's system.

He also doesn't back down from a challenge, is confident and chipped in with four rebounds, three assists and two steals per game for Team Final, while committing under two turnovers per game. That versatility offers him a lot of avenues by which to make an impact.

And in fairness, while his stats mostly were pedestrian, he labored through a ankle injury and also played for a strong, balanced squad.

Deficits

The primary question Divincenzo must answer affirmatively is whether he can create separation from himself and defenders with the dribble. At the Lawson/Oladipo game this past July, there were times when that appeared to be a potential issue.

Meanwhile, he shot inefficiently on the EYBL circuit: 36 percent from the floor in 19 games, including only 25 percent on threes. His mechanics don't look bad, he simply needs to work on repetition and muscle memory. On the upside, he does shoot 80 percent from the free throw line — always important for a guard.

Outlook

I'm not going to throw sunshine on fans and overheat this evaluation. Divincenzo is unlikely to become a star at Villanova and may need several seasons before he's ready to start. He also faces an uncertain professional future.

Even so, however, teams have been winning big with recruits on the four star, lower top 100 border. The Wildcats didn't recruit him to be a primary scorer, they wanted him to solidify the backcourt and to provide cohesiveness over a four-year career. NCAA championships mostly are being won by teams that feature talent and experience, and that's where Divincenzo's value to the program largely lies.


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