Articles

Robert Covington

 

Robert Covington

 

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders                  Senior                        Power Forward          #33

 

6'8"                 204 Pounds                22 Years Old             From: Bellwood, IL

 

17.0 PPG        8.0 RPG          1.3 APG          1.7 BPG          2.2 SPG           38.8 3P%

 

 

 

Overview: Covington has been relatively unknown on the national stage throughout his four years as a Blue Raider. He was having a fairly productive season this year before he was sidelined with a knee injury that cost him a month of his senior campaign. Covington is a marginal product who may convince one team to take a flyer on him late in the second round. One of the things he does have going for him is that he's one of the best shooters in the draft. Despite unorthodox shooting mechanics, he has deep range and can shoot a high percentage from behind the arc. Workouts will be important for him to convince teams that he can be more than a one trick pony in the pros.

 

Offensively, Covington is a classic tweener forward prospect. He has the height for a power forward but he game really only suits playing as a small forward. He struggles heavily in the post and can easily be pushed off his spot on the block when he tries to bang down low. Even when he does catch the ball in the post, he lacks ideal post footwork, making it difficult for him to create a post scoring opportunity for himself. He also doesn't do a great job of finishing around the hoop, typically because of his thin frame. Finishing through contact is very difficult for Covington. As mentioned before, one strength of his game is that he can shoot the basketball very well and can help stretch out a defense. Defenses will pay for leaving him open. His shot has a high amount of arc on it which makes it difficult to effectively contest. His percentages dipped this season but part of that is due to the fact that he missed time and then came back from a knee injury. He does a good job in all shooting situations; he can catch and shoot, run off screens, and pull up off the dribble. He's also useful as the initial screener in a pick and pop situation where he'll receive the pass to shoot. He actually has a decent first step and solid ball handling to get by his defender; that said, he always goes to his right. Opponents have begun to catch onto that and this only further reduces his effectiveness offensively. Off the ball, there are a lot of times where if he isn't running off screens to receive the ball to score, he seems to loaf around on the baseline aimlessly. He doesn't cut often unless it's to run off a pick. Aside from his jumper, there aren't many things he projects to do very well at the NBA level.

 

Defensively despite his length and impressive wingspan for a wing defender, he's not a great defender. He lacks ideal athleticism, even before the knee injury, which doesn't help him in that area. He isn't a bad help defender off the ball, he's usually alert and will make the necessary rotations. Much like on offense, he struggles mightily defending the post; just about any post player with bulk will be able to push him around. Opposing players have no issue establishing very deep position against him and with his smaller frame for the position, he has difficulty contesting many shots. He can struggle closing out against his matchup, often times he'll close out with his hands down which is problematic against any quality shooters. He also has a tendency to stand too upright when he's guarding on the perimeter which allows quicker matchups to blow by him with ease. He also doesn't rebound terribly well for his position either. Some of these things may be due to the knee injury but there aren't a lot of signs that he'll be a good defender at the NBA level .

 

Overall, Covington is an interesting prospect solely for the reason that he can shoot the basketball well. Other players like this in the past have drawn interest from teams and have improved their all around games. Covington has an uphill battle to face though. He's a tweener forward who isn't terribly athletic for when he'll inevitably get shifted to the small forward role. He can shoot and if a team in the second round is desperate enough for a shooter, he may be a decent choice, but other than that, there isn't much reason to think he'll be drafted at all.

 

 

 

Key Strengths:

 

·      He is a very good shooter with a quick release and deep range. That alone makes him appealing to pro teams.

 

·      He has alright ball handling skills for his size; his right handed moves are very good, but his lefty moves could use some work.

 

·      For his size and lack of overall athleticism, he has a pretty decent first step.

 

·      His wingspan is impressive and helps him disrupt passing lanes.

 

Areas to Improve:

 

·      He is very weak when he decides to play in the post and therefore he gets pushed around a lot.

 

·      He doesn't have great athleticism which will hurt him when he's shifted to the wing.

 

·      Covington isn't a great finisher around the hoop despite his height.

 

·      He has been known to struggle against top talent, which will scare some teams away.