DeAndre Kane, 6-foot-4 point guard, Iowa State
2013-14 stats: 17.1 pts, 6.8 rebs, 5.9 assists, 0.3 BPG, 1.2 SPG, .483 FG%, .398 3P%
At 25 years old following a journey that included prep school, an academic redshirt year and a transfer, Kane is experienced to say the least, but after a brilliant senior campaign, he changed the perception of his game. A big scoring point guard with a versatile all-around skill set, the Pittsburgh native is capable of creating for himself and others, as well as making his presence felt all over the court. Still, his advanced age can’t be ignored and with the red flags he earned prior to his final college season, Kane’s professional potential will be closely scrutinized.
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Career highlights: The former high school teammate of current NBA player DeJuan Blair began his college career at Marshall, where he was Conference USA’s freshman of the year and a third team all-conference selection, averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, then followed that up with averages of 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assist, earning second team all-league honors, with a 40-point outburst against Tulsa highlighting that campaign. As a junior, Kane became more of a playmaker, averaging 15.1 points, seven assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, again being named second team all-conference, logging a 33-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double against Hofstra, but by most accounts, also clashing with teammates and coaches, leading to his arrival at Iowa State, known as a haven for transfers. His senior year, Kane posted averages of 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists, while shooting a career-high 48.3 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from three-point range, winning the Big 12’s newcomer of the year and first team all-conference honors in the process, while helping the Cyclones win the Big 12 Tournament, of which he was named MVP, and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Strengths: Aggressive and physically imposing for his position, Kane often uses his strength to bully opposing point guards on both ends of the court, utilizing his ability to score on the interior. He also possesses solid court vision and has improved as an outside shooter, demonstrating that he’s now capable of keeping defenders honest. An excellent rebounder for his size, Kane is unconventional, yet effective and never shies away from making big plays.
Weaknesses: Obviously Kane’s age has to be taken into consideration when evaluating his dominant play against collegiate counterparts up to seven years younger than him, as his sturdy frame won’t be as much as an advantage on the next level. Although he’s improved at ball security, forcing the issues and subsequently, committing turnovers, can also be an issue for Kane and similarly, while he’s become a better outside shooter, his shot selection can be questionable and he’s a mediocre free-throw shooter for a guard with the ball in his hands so much. Additionally, as much as his size helps him make plays, Kane isn’t the quickest player at his position and could find staying in front of the explosive floor generals in the NBA problematic on occasion.
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Draft projection: Even after his stellar season, Kane will likely find himself selected in the middle of the second round, with the chance to go a bit earlier if his competitiveness in pre-draft workouts, overall versatility and the fact that he should be ready to step in and play sufficiently impresses the right team. Kane’s physical tools and all-around skills gives him a niche as a scoring combo guard that should be able to handle the rigors of the pros immediately, though finding the right fit is certainly a priority, as he could be buried on the bench in the wrong situation and end up spending time in the D-League, which isn’t ideal for a player of his age. Assuming he does wind up in an optimal landing spot, Kane could make an immediate impact as a high-energy rotation player off the bench early in his career, though his longevity depends upon less on his individual talent than being in the right place at the right time.