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2015 NBA Draft Profile: Julian Washburn

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UTEP's iron man the past four years has a legit shot of doing the same thing he did at UTEP, but at the next level.

Maybe we didn't know it at the time, but when Tim Floyd added Julian Washburn to the UTEP roster prior to the 2011-12 season the skinny and talented swingman from Dallas wearing #10 would end up being one of the all-time greats in the storied program's history.

Before he got to El Paso, Washburn was rated as the number 24 small forward in the country, and a top-150 player overall and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, as well as the number six prospect in the Lone Star State in the Class of 2010 by Texashoops.com.

He leaves UTEP ranking first in school history in minutes (4,448), fourth in field goals (592), sixth in scoring (1,526 points), tied for eighth in three-point field goals (119), 11th in assists (274) and 12th in steals (118) .

He scored in double figures 81 times, played in 130 games for the Miners which is tied for the fourth-top total in school history and concluded his career as the only player in school history with four seasons compiling 1,000+ minutes.

Important stats at UTEP

Points per game: (Career) 11.7

274 assists, in 130 career games.

Shot .421 percent from the field combined in the past two seasons.

Accounted for 14% of UTEP's blocked shots in his freshman and senior year's

Portsmouth Invitational Measurable's

6'6.5 without shoes, 205 pounds, 6'11.5 wingspan

Best games during UTEP career

1/31/2015: vs. Middle Tennessee, 18 points, 5/10 FG shooting, 4/4 3PT FGs

12/13/14: @ Colorado State, 17 points, 6/11 FG shooting, 2/3 3PT FGs

1/30/14: vs. LA Tech, 21 points, 7/12 FG shooting, 4 assists,

1/25/14: vs. UTSA, 19 points, 6/7 FG shooting, 3/4 3PT FGs

12/23/13: vs. Montana State: 20 points, 8/12 FGs, 4 three pointers

12/17/11: vs. Southern, 19 points, 7/11 FGs, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

2015 Draft projections/rankings

DraftExpress #52 prospect

CBS Sports #66 prospect

Strengths

Washburn was one of the best (if not the best *homer disclaimer*) shut down and on ball defenders in college basketball the past three seasons, holding his opponents leading scorer, with grit, athleticism, and a will/pride to defend and hold them under their respective averages match up after match up.

His best asset is his great footwork.  It's rare you will see Washburn get burned or crossed up while in a stance, and he never gets forced out of a defensive stance, his active wingspan also causes trouble for smaller guards.

He can guard positions 1-4 in the college game, and is a sneaky shot blocker with his length and anticipation skills.

His mid-range game is something of an art when he is in the zone.  He has a text book form, and his ball fakes have improved greatly over his career,  he also improved his shooting percentages after his freshman year with his hard work gene that is another strength that fuels the 6'7 glue guy.

Washburn also has a very high basketball IQ.

Talking basketball with Julian this past season was like talking with a seasoned coach.  He understands how to get his teammates involved on the offensive end with his willingness to create plays off his dribble in a controlled, smooth manner, and thrived in Tim Floyd's multiple defensive schemes.

Of course he also thrived defensively with his elite athletic prowess, but this past season he took it to another level by showing very cerebral reactions, and anticipations within certain schemes.

In practice he was like an extra coach on the floor, and has always been billed as a great teammate who is willing to teach, and share information, and could become a solid coach down the road if that's what he desires

What needs work

Consistency and confidence in his offensive game.

Washburn had a tough shooting showing at the Portsmouth Invitational, and is an inconsistent outside shooter at this point in his career.

Added dimensions in his offensive game such as slashing, and cutting could be things NBA teams drill in his offensive game, he has the athletic ability and skill to drive the lane, and get to the free throw line, but developing confidence in doing that consistency is his next step in taking his offensive game to the next level.

Overall analysis

If you watched Washburn closely over the latter part of his senior year,  Washburn started to rebound more, and even though it was out of need due to injuries in UTEP's rebounding cavalry, Washburn continued the trend of putting up big rebounding numbers in Portsmouth.

There have been comparisons to Bruce Bowen, and its fairly just.

Relentless defensive effort, with superb footwork, and skill is what you're getting with Washburn, as well as a guy who has the ability to fill up box scores with a good shooting night.

Even if he goes undrafted, Washburn may have the most value and potential upside than any other undrafted rookie free agent in his class.

Teams he could fit in perfectly with

San Antonio Spurs

Chicago Bulls

Atlanta Hawks

Houston Rockets

Oklahoma City Thunder

Detroit Pistons