Articles

Khaliff Wyatt

Offense

 

There are not many better scorers in the country than Temple senior guard Khalif Wyatt, and certainly none quite as crafty. The A-10 leader with 20.5 PPG this season, Wyatt has mastered every move in the book needed to get off a decent look at the basket. Wyatt has what scouts like to call an ‘old-man game’ in that he controls the tempo and uses his body and change of pace moves to get by his man rather than quickness or athleticism. Wyatt has an extremely high basketball IQ, utilizing a pump fake, head fake, or hesitation step to keep his man off balance and get into the lane. He is one of the best players in the NCAA at getting to the free throw line, finishing 4th in the nation in free throws made this year. Wyatt seeks out contact in the paint, contorting his body to absorb a hit and get a look at the hoop. He is a very efficient scorer in the lane, getting results without great size or athletic ability. He can finish at the rim with either hand, possesses an excellent floater, and can finish the unconventional, off-balance circus shots with relative ease. On the perimeter, Wyatt understands the pace of the game and knows when to attack or when to pull it out and slow things down. He is a shooting guard with some point guard skills, particularly his elite leadership and desire to have the ball in his hands during crunch time. Wyatt is a strong passer off of the drive, and displays great toughness and competitiveness on the offensive end. Wyatt can put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor, thriving in controlling the tempo and getting in the paint to finish in the lane or at the line.

 

For all of Khalif Wyatt’s accomplishments as a scoring guard in college, there are questions about his pro prospects because of his measurable and shooting. Wyatt is more of a volume scorer whose PER numbers actually dropped this season as his shot attempts increased at a higher rate than his makes. In 34 games this season, Wyatt shot better than 50% in a game on only four instances. Wyatt has a very inconsistent jump shot, shooting just 41.7% from the field this season and 31.6% from deep. Wyatt does not always display great shot selection from the perimeter, often taking deep threes early in the shot clock although he is not one of the better shooters on the team from beyond the arc. Physically, scouts are concerned about Wyatt’s ability to score in the NBA because he is not a very good athlete. At 6 foot 4, Wyatt does not have the ideal size for a shooting guard, particularly considering his shoddy jumper. There are questions about whether Wyatt can continue to use tempo and guile to get looks in the paint at the same rate that he has done in college, and whether he can make up for his lack of athleticism to succeed as a scorer at the next level.

 

Defense

 

Wyatt has the physicality and competitive fire to be a decent defender at the pro level, as he has shown in flashes during his college career. Wyatt will gamble on the perimeter, looking to pick off a pass or strip an offensive player on the drive to generate turnovers. Wyatt has finished in the top-10 in the A-10 in steals for three consecutive years, displaying very quick hands and an aggressive mindset to turn the other team over. Wyatt uses his frame to guard on the wing, displaying average foot speed but a very strong ability to muscle his man off of his path into the lane. He competes very well on the glass for a guard, making up for a lack of great leaping ability with physical play and solid rebounding instincts. Wyatt gets by on the defensive end, utilizing his smarts to force turnovers and offset a lack of athleticism.

 

What hurts Wyatt the most when defending on the perimeter is his lack of great length or elite foot speed for a shooting guard. Wyatt can keep slashers out of the paint by playing a step off of his man and protecting against the drive, but he has a tough time against shooters because he cannot close out with length and force a difficult shot. He either has to give up the drive or the jump shot, lacking the physical tools to deny both. Wyatt is also a bit inconsistent in his effort and intensity level on the defensive end. On offense, Wyatt plays with great competitiveness and toughness both on the wing and in the paint. There are flashes of that same edge on defense, but Wyatt needs to show it more to really get the most out of his physical tools. Wyatt will never be a great defensive guard, but he has the chance to be a solid defender that forces turnovers if he guards with more veracity and improves his on-the-ball defense against speed.

 

Overview

 

One of the most dangerous scorers in the nation, Khalif Wyatt capped a stellar career with a very strong senior season in which he led his team to a 24-win season while pushing a top seed to the brink in the NCAA Tournament. Wyatt is an old-school scorer, using his body and a unique sense of tempo and pace to get into the lane and finish or get to the line. With the top usage rate in the A-10, Wyatt is able to get good looks against longer and more athletic players because of his extremely high basketball IQ and ability to absorb contact and shoot off balance. Wyatt can take over a game from the shooting guard position, dominating the ball on offense and creating his own offense or getting looks for others off the drive. But while Wyatt has been a sensational NCAA player, scouts have questions about his pro potential for a number of factors. Wyatt is not a very good athlete, and lacks great quickness or leaping ability that many NBA 2-guards possess. He does not have very good size or length for his position, and could struggle to score in the paint at the same rate that he has in college. Wyatt can score from anywhere on the floor, but has a very inconsistent jump shot that hurts his overall scoring efficiency. Wyatt struggled from distance this year, and needs to improve his jumper to better set up the penetration drive. Wyatt has a unique scoring ability, but needs to become a better shooter to make up for his lack of athleticism at the NBA level.