Donte DiVincenzo – Villanova
CPP Big Board Ranking: #24 Overall (#10 SG)
Weight: 201 lbs
Age/Birthday: 21 (1/31/97)
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware
High School: Salesianum School
(Grant Kobrin – 6/16/18)
Donte DiVincenzo, the red-shirt sophomore out of Villanova, went through the pre-draft process, after having a breakout game in the national championship against Michigan, where he scored 31 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the field, which included 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. After participating in the NBA combine, including a standout showing in several of the scrimmages, and working out for several teams, DiVincenzo ultimately decided to keep his name in the draft, and is a projected first-round pick. While many question how one performance put Donte DiVincenzo into this position, he was a valued contributor for Villanova all season, where he was essentially the sixth starter, as he came off of the bench but played nearly 30 minutes a game and was the 3rd leading scorer right behind Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges. Donte DiVincenzo was also referred to as the “Michael Jordan of Delaware” throughout his high school basketball career, so it is safe to say that DiVincenzo has been on many scouts radars for a while now, but his performance during the national championship really brought him “under the light” in a sense. Donte DiVincenzo is an intriguing prospect to scouts because of his ability as a combo guard to score the ball at a high level, while also using his athleticism to create a well rounded game where defense, rebounding, and facilitating are all focal points of his basketball mentality. Donte DiVincenzo probably gained more from a single game than any other college basketball player has before in terms of his NBA Draft stock, and has been able to continue to show scouts and NBA executives why he is worthy of a first-round pick in this year’s draft, over the last few months.
Donte DiVincenzo has an excellent jump shot, and is particularly a threat from beyond the arc, where he shot over 40% from distance. His jumper is solid from mid-range as well. Mechanically his jump shot is very good, and he has good elevation and a quick enough release to get his jumper off at the next level. DiVincenzo is a very good scorer overall, where he can not only beat you with perimeter jumpers, but is good at getting into the paint and finishing through contact. He is a good ball handler, and can be a crafty scorer at times. He averaged over 13 points a game, where he was playing a secondary role to Jalen Brunson much of the time, so that is very impressive to say the least. Overall, Donte DiVincenzo is an efficient scorer as he shot over 48% from the field last season, which is outstanding for a guard who takes a lot of perimeter jumpers. While DiVincenzo is a talented scorer, he is a also a good overall playmaker and can be a very good facilitator at times. He is very unselfish, as he is more of a team player, and has good court vision, which was seen by averaging close to 4 assists a game on a team where he was not typically the primary ball handler. Additionally, Donte DiVincenzo is a great rebounder, where he uses athleticism and motor to be effective in this area of the game. He averaged nearly 5 rebounds a game this past season, which is great for a guard in college.
Athletically, Donte DiVincenzo is well above average for an NBA guard, and can seem to make remarkable plays on the court at times because of how athletic he really is. One instance that immediately comes to mind is when he met Charles Matthews from Michigan at the rim in the national championship game and stuffed him with two hands while keeping his arms completely straight. This was one of the best defensive plays I have ever seen in any game I have scouted before. Defensively, Divincenzo should be a plus defender in the NBA, and certainly was for Villanova the last two seasons. He is a tough defender, who doesn’t give up on plays easily. He has good enough size and strength to be effective guarding most perimeter players. There are questions about his ability to guard length, but we will get to that later on in this article. Lastly, and possibly, his greatest strength as a basketball player, is his ability to be a combo-guard. He is a natural shooting guard, and by measuring over 6’3” at the NBA combine, he is definitely tall enough to play the 2-guard position at the next level. However, he also possesses good instincts on the court, and is a good enough playmaker and facilitator to provide quality minutes as a point guard at the next level. He has some work to do in this area of his game, but his ability to play both guard positions will serve him well in the NBA. Overall, Donte DiVincenzo is known as a shooter, but has a fairly well-rounded game, where he can play either guard position, and can score, facilitate, rebound, and play defense at a fairly high level.
Donte DiVincenzo could benefit, as mentioned earlier, by continuing to improve as a ball handler and facilitator, so that teams can feel more comfortable playing him at point guard at the next level. This will make him a much more versatile basketball player. He does seem a bit turnover bound, as he averaged 2 turnovers a game last season, which was more than Jalen Brunson averaged, which is not a good sign because Jalen Brunson controlled the ball a lot more than Donte DiVincenzo did at Villanova. Besides this, Donte DiVincenzo needs to become less predictable on offense, and can do this by increasing his arsenal of moves. One thing that seems to be missing from DiVincenzo’s game is a floater or a runner, as he only attempted four of these shots on the year. In the NBA today, every smaller guard needs to have a floater/runner in their game.
Additionally on offense, DiVincenzo could benefit by not settling for as many jumpers, and using his quickness and athleticism to create better shots for himself. He attempted fewer than 3 free throws per game, so he should become more aggressive attacking the basket and drawing fouls for himself. He needs to become a better free-throw shooter as he only shot 71% from the line, which is not horrible for a guard, but is something that he needs to work on, considering how good of an overall he shooter he is. Defensively, Donte DiVincenzo struggles at times guarding in isolation scenarios on the perimeter, and even in the post, due to his lack of length. This is something that could be an issue, but overall Donte DiVincenzo has proven to be a quality defender, so this should not be huge concern as of right now. Overall, Donte DiVincenzo needs to continue to improve his point guard skills, needs to be less predictable on offense, needs to work on his free throw shooting, and needs to work on isolation defense.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Steve Kerr
Donte DiVincenzo is not an easy player to make an NBA comparison for. Steve Kerr seems to be most comparable to Donte DiVincenzo though. Both players are outstanding jump shooters, possess good instincts on the court, and are team-oriented players. While Donte DiVincenzo may never be the shooter that Steve Kerr was, he is a far better athlete and defensive player, and has the potential to be a more prolific scorer in my opinion. Donte DiVincenzo could be a similar role player for a playoff team, like Steve Kerr was for the Chicago Bulls.
Donte DiVincenzo had a consistent, and very productive overall season for the Villanova wildcats this past year. If he returned he most likely would have been a pre-season All-American candidate. However, his performance against Michigan in the national championship, made it evident that he had been undervalued all season and was clearly ready for the NBA. At this point, Donte DiVincenzo seems like a virtual lock for the first-round, where he will likely be selected in the 15-30 range. He could be an immediate spark to a team’s bench, and should be one of the more productive players from this draft class in his rookie season.
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