Draft Analysis: James Southerland

With an increased role this past season, Southerland excelled. Now he looks to elevate into a place in the professional realm. More inside.

Syracuse Orange alum James Southerland leaves the team after completing his eligibility with the university.

During his time in Syracuse, he was asked to provide aid as a reserve.

In his senior season, Southerland, though coming off the bench at times, averaged starter's minutes. He played in just under 30 of the 40 regulation minutes each game in the 2012-13 campaign.

With almost double his normal time on the court between his junior (16 minutes per game) and senior seasons (29.5 minutes per game), Southerland rose his output in points, rebounds, assists, and steals per game.


Southerland's best attribute in his game is the long ball. He was Syracuse's most dangerous weapon from three-point range, capable of launching from anywhere. His 12 made shots from 15 attempts beyond the arc helped provide the Orange the opportunity to move through the first two rounds they played in during their final Big East Conference Tournament.

During a non-conference round game in his senior season, Southerland connected from deep on nine three-point attempts giving Syracuse a win in a tough contest away from the Carrier Dome.

A benefit of having Southerland is in his ability to get going either as a starter or off the bench instead of looking like two different players depending on whether or not he is in the starting five.

Areas needing improvement:

Though Southerland definitely has the talent to connect from long range, he struggles when defenders put a body on him or a hand in his face. He has to create his own shot when well-defended to make it in the NBA.

Southerland also can make himself more valuable to teams by using his size inside and back down opponents more. He has shown that he can attack the rim in transition and in a half court offense. Now it is time to display that element of his game more often.

In his senior season, Southerland became more than simply a pure shooter. He began to get involved on the defensive end, stealing the ball, blocking shots, and working in general to negate opponents' possessions. His play on defense has been stated as being helpful in elevating his draft stock and his efforts are invaluable in helping him gain a notable place at the next level.

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