Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley
For a guy his size, he's got a pretty decent touch from the perimeter. When I say that, I think the strength in his perimeter game doesn't lie in three-pointers, but rather in the mid-range jumpshot. He'll shoot it off dribble left or right and has good touch and good rotation on it. Graves is comfortable in the role of having to score points. He looks for places to get his offense and can move outside-in.
With his size, he can go down on the blocks and take care of business. And he'll do that a few times during a game -- he'll go to the blocks and post somebody up. I think he wants his calling card to be on the perimeter, but I've seen him go into the paint enough times during a game that I know he has that in him. And at 6-6, 240 pounds, he's got a size advantage somewhere if he chooses to use it.
One of the areas he's going to have to expand on is the three-point range because he's not accurate enough out there yet. His accuracy lies in the mid-range game. I think he has a chance to extend his shot and be a consistent long-range shooter, though. He's out there, he's taking threes. In the last three games I've seen him he's been slightly below a 30% three-point shooter, and if he's going to continue to take those, he'll have to improve because that's only going to get more difficult in college.
Defensively, that's going to be an area, like a lot of high school kids, that he's going to have to focus in on and make a priority. At Dudley there's such a need for him and Wake Forest signee Kevin Swinton to score the lion's share of the points, that defense is not something that he needs to worry about. He's going to be a guy that on the perimeter right now might have some trouble on defense. If you matched him up with a small forward in the ACC, those guys will be more athletic and faster than him. That's going to be a major focal area in his development as an ACC player
I haven't been in the gym to see his very best games, but I think when Graves is most successful is when he gets inside and helps Swinton on the glass. He's got to be the No. 2 rebounder for Dudley and when he does that he gets some easy buckets in the paint. I've liked him best when he's gone down there, helped Swinton and then stepped out and used his perimeter skill wisely from the mid-range area.
It's too early to say what exact position, as it depends on his development from now until the middle October of next year. But it's a safe assumption he'll be classified as a small forward. And I think he's a guy who can fill a role for North Carolina. He's a point producer. He's got to get himself ready to fulfill that role – the role of point producer. I think Graves can pass the basketball and has a pretty good feel for the game. Does he project to be a starter at UNC? Right now probably not. But obviously he was recruited to fulfill a role and I think that role is a guy who comes off the bench and gives them some offense.
What North Carolina is going to want to do with him is rein that power in. I think Graves, playing at the weight he's at right now, can do fine in high school. But what Carolina will be concerned about when they get him on campus is increased chances for injury. And, I know they'll want to do what Texas did with P.J. Tucker and trim him down and increase his athleticism.
The latter part of the Top 100.
The big challenge for Graves is going to when he first arrives in college. In my dealings with perimeter players, guys have performed better when they get lighter. The college game is going to be a big speed adjustment for Graves, and to counter that he'll need to get quicker himself. And that comes by finding a size where he's really comfortable and has the confidence that he can perform offensively and defensively.