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NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Troy Caupain

He may not be in many mock drafts, but Caupain is still in the running.

NCAA Basketball: Memphis at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If Troy Caupain is going to be selected in the NBA Draft, it probably won’t be until the second round, with an invite to the NBA D-League probably more likely, if he gets a shot at pro ball in America at all.

However, after four strong years with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Caupain has gotten enough interest to warrant a second look from pro squads at the very least. Caupain has already worked out for the Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz, showing off a bit of consistency from three-point range against Utah, as he hit 63-of-100 shots from distance. Caupain also took part in the first ever Professional Basketball Combine in mid-May.

So, if a team is willing to take a flyer on #CaupainAmerica, what should they expect?

At the forefront of Caupain’s skill set is his ability as a distributor. With a career assist percentage of 25.6 and the most assists in UC basketball history, Caupain ran the point as well as most who have called themselves a Bearcat.

Durability is another thing Caupain brings to the table as he played more than 30 minutes per game in each of his last three seasons while seeing action in 137 games over the course of four seasons. Obviously the 30-35 game slate in the college ranks is different than the 82 plus grind of the NBA season, but consistently logging big minutes in college means Caupain should have an easier time transitioning to the drain of professional basketball.

As a scorer, Caupain was never a stunning performer, with his 20-point outputs far and in between. However, he averaged 13.2 points per 40 minutes during his career, including a career-high of 15.5 in 2015-16. That number only sank last year because of the multitude of new scoring threats that emerged, namely Kyle Washington and Jarron Cumberland, but you’ll have to wait before they get their own draft profiles. Even if he wasn’t always the lead scorer in the box score, Caupain illustrated that he could be when he needed to be. For example, he netted 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Kansas State this past spring.

Shifting to the other half of being a basketball player, Caupain is not a guy to be messed with on defense. As a disciple of the Mick Cronin philosophy, Caupain has been forged in the fires of putting on constant defensive pressure. He averaged 1.1 steals per game during his career, and never had a defensive rating above 100. In addition, he had as many defensive win shares as offensive (7.9) in four seasons. At 6’3”, he’s not someone you can throw on bigger guards, but he should be able to handle other point guards and smaller two-guards as well.

Of course, with all the positives, there are some negatives. That’s why Caupain isn’t a sure thing to be drafted or even get a shot near the NBA. First, Caupain’s offensive efficiency has not always been ideal. Sure, he drained shots at Utah’s workout, but he is just a 33.8 percent career three-point shooter and has only been slightly better in total field goal percentage (.397). His PER never rose above 17.5 and his effective field goal percentage rose above .500 just once.

Caupain also wasn’t the best free-throw shooter as a senior, making just 68.7 percent of his shots from the stripe. A career 76.2 percent foul shooter, Caupain likely isn’t going to be a liability in this area, but his most recent results aren’t a promising indication of future success.

So that’s Caupain in a nutshell. Could he become an Avery Bradley type defender who can knock down threes after a few years of development? Absolutely. There’s that type of potential there. Plus, after watching him for four years, there’s no questioning his tenacity. At the very least, any team that drafts or signs Caupain will get a guy who will grind out there. It remains to be seen if that will be enough to get him a shot.