Although he has a very peculiar way of spelling his name, Adreian Payne has improved greatly during his time at Michigan State and has ended up the leading rebounder for the Spartans — especially on the defensive end.
Most missed shots appear to end up in the hands of the 6-foot-10 forward. His 180 total defensive rebounds ranks 76th in the country. Combine his tenacity on the glass with 39 total blocks (1.2 per game) and he is tied for 173rd in the country.
We’ve alluded to it a bit, but Payne is an athletic specimen in a green and white jersey. Aside from being 6-10, he’s 240 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. And if that wasn’t enough NBA Insider for ESPN Chad Ford, says he’s an ‘explosive jumper’. In case you were wondering what an ‘explosive jumper’ looks like, we’ve got you covered:
So yeah, there’s that… make the mistake of trying to over play him and get too aggressive, he’ll try to rip the rim off.
Currently Chad Ford has Payne as the seventh best forward in his class, and the 40th best player available for the 2013 NBA Draft.
But the scariest thing is Payne’s Hollinger PER. It’s 24.57. If you don’t know much about PER and how it works, just know this: Tim Duncan has a PER of 24.38 and Blake Griffin’s PER is 23.92.
Now obviously Payne is not some Duncan-Griffin hybrid, but then again he could be. He’s been described as ‘freakishly athletic’ and he has another thing I hate to hear thrown around in sports — potential.
Potential is a scary thing. If you draft on potential and a player pans out, you’re a genius. If you draft on potential and a player flops, it’s a sad story for them and most likely a pink slip for you.
Payne came into Michigan State at 215 and has grown to 240 pounds, coach Izzo has said he wants Payne to bulk up even more reaching 245-250. If he doesn’t have an NBA-sized body already, 250 pounds is a guarantee that he will.
But when you look at Ford’s take on Payne, the two negatives are: lack of strength and inconsistency. So despite his 10.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game — there’s more there, or so the scouts think.
Statistically yes, he is a very good shooter and even shoots a high percentage from both 2-point and 3-point range; but he doesn’t shoot it often. He shoots 58.2% on 2-pointers and 45% on 3-pointers sure, but I refuse to call a player with only 33 attempts from 3-point range a good shooter.
Nothing worse than wasted potential
While it could be the limitations of Michigan State’s offense, I’d expect a junior ‘freakishly athletic’ forward with NBA size and a PER higher than a future Hall of Famer to be the team’s leading scorer. Instead the majority of the offensive load is on the shoulders of Appling and freshman Gary Harris.
Can anyone see why I hate potential with such a passion yet?
He’s also turnover prone. I know turnover stats can be skewed with big men but Payne has the fourth most turnovers on the team with 54. His high amount of turnovers most likely can be attributed to his lack of post moves.
Scouting website Draft Express NBA had the following to say about Payne:
In terms of his post-game, Payne has improved some from his freshman year, still showing largely crude footwork and having problems with turnovers against top competition, but doing a better job taking advantage of his physical tools and showing decent touch on his finesse moves. He’s much more comfortable executing moves against weaker competition and with more space to operate, seeing his effectiveness go down markedly in more difficult situations. This area is still a work in progress for him, but he shows some nice flashes, specifically with a running hook that shows a very high release point and solid touch.
After reading that, you probably said something along the lines of “Wow that kid’s got something special if he can put it all together and continue to develop” if you did, you probably have something in common with Tom Izzo.
This next part isn’t a joking matter however. Payne unlike the rest of the players scouted, is riding a nice little wave of success.
Over the last five games he’s averaging 13.4 points and 9 rebounds; and he’s done it against fairly good competition. The list of opponents includes Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State. In those three games alone he’s averaging 12.6 points and 10.3 rebounds.
After reading that, you probably thought something along the lines of this.
But hold your horses. Back on January 19, Payne was coming off of a 17-for-22 shooting streak over the course of three games and was averaging near 15 points per game.
Since then? Well he’s been 63-for-120 or to make it simple, he has a 52.5FG%. As for that 15 points per game? Well it dropped a bit to 13.3 to go along with his 8.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
Okay, let your horses go, the kid is on fire. Despite what Draft Express has said, he’s been doing it against a “Who’s Who” of the Big Ten. His hit list includes: Ohio State (3), Indiana (2), Wisconsin (2), Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. He’s no one-hit-wonder, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota were the only teams during that stretch he didn’t play at least twice.
Chris Vannini from The Only Colors said to look out for senior Derrick Nix but right now after looking at the trends in Payne’s play as of late, I’m saying look out for him.
If he’s got it going we could see much more of this
Potential’s a helluva adjective..
and like, for real, for real, he’s trying to rip the rim off. I’m convinced.
Be sure to keep up with us on Twitter as we’ll wrap up our final scouting report with senior forward Derrick Nix.