Rawle Alkins– Arizona
CPP Big Board Ranking: #33 Overall (#17 SG)
Weight: 220 lbs
Age/Birthday: 20 (10/29/97)
Hometown: Middle Village, NY
High School: Word of God
(Jonny Gee 2/26/18)
Continuing with the talent-heavy Arizona Wildcats comes their sophomore shooting guard, Rawle Alkins. Coming out of high school, Alkins was the number one player from the state of New York, as well as the fourth best shooting guard in the nation. He has made a huge impact on Sean Miller’s roster, especially during his sophomore campaign, as he currently sits in third on his team in minutes (29.8), scoring (13.4), rebounding (4.3), and assists (2.7), all of which have improved since his freshman season. With first round draft picks as teammates, Alkins hasn’t been the explosive go-to-guy that he certainly would be at a lot of other schools. Last year with Markkanen and Allen, and this season with Ayton and Trier, Rawle seems to get lost in the shadows at times, but it is impossible to miss the unbelievable talent and potential that this young man has.
Although it is not on showcase as much as it could be, Rawle Alkins is an elite natural scorer. His 6’5” 200-pound frame gives Alkins an advantage as he is able to create space for his jump shot, as well as use his strong body to get to the rim and finish through contact. In his two seasons at Arizona, Rawle has proven his ball handling skills and has shown his ability to create his best offense off the dribble. Although there is certainly room for improvement before his transition to the next level, Alkins has the potential to score from anywhere on the floor. He is shooting just over 37% from three point range this season, and 45% on all field goals. Alkins’ ability to shoot from distance forces defenders to close out on him where his first quick step and pure strength allows him to get to the lane where he can either create a shot for his teammate or utilize his 220-pound athletic body to finish himself.
Despite the natural scoring abilities of Rawle Alkins, he is often found guilty of poor shot selection. At times he can rely too much on his physicality, drive the lane, and get lost with no options. He has been scrutinized over his two years at Arizona for not getting his teammates involved as much as necessary, which will only become a bigger issue in the NBA.
Looking at the other side of the ball, Alkins is a good defender, but as do a lot of collegiate defenders, he has lots of room for improvement before June. The tools are all there for Rawle to become an elite defender, but often times he can be found reaching instead of sliding in front of the ball, and then picking up unnecessary fouls. He sometimes seems uninterested or even unaware, especially in transition defense. Most NBA teams are ready to pull the trigger on Alkins’ offense and motor, but want to see the consistency on the defensive end and decision making before they make that early first round pick.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Tyreke Evans
Similar to his teammate Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins is one of the most intriguing guards of this draft class, after both players passed up possibly being first round picks in last year’s draft. Alkins has the tools with his strength, quickness, and versatility, but must continue to perfect his shot selection and defensive efficiency to become that impact player at the next level. Some question whether he will be able to utilize the strength and physicality of his game when battling bigger and longer NBA shooting guards, but after being considered one of the most impressive guards at last year’s combine, and following a solid sophomore campaign, many NBA scouts have put their doubts aside and have high expectations for Alkins.
Those high expectations would be appropriate when comparing Alkins to Tyreke Evans, 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year. Tyreke came out of the University of Memphis at almost the exact same size as Rawle (6’6”/220 lbs.), and the same strength, aggressiveness, and scoring instincts. Evans came into the league with a similar scouting report as far as his ability to shoot and handle the ball, but lacked consistency in shot selection and defense. The same questions floated around Tyreke Evans name in 2009, are now floating around the name of Rawle Alkins. Will he be a shooting guard or point guard? Will he be a starter or role player? Will he be as physically demanding as he is in college? Those questions will remain until Alkins is selected and given his chance among the pros, but if he sticks to a path similar to Tyreke Evans, he should be optimistic about a solid NBA career.
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