Ben Sheppard hid under the radar in the Missouri Valley Conference playing for Belmont, but had such loud upperclassman years that he was hard to ignore for NBA teams, earning an invite to the NBA Draft Combine. As a senior, Sheppard averaged 18.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG, and 2.2 TOPG on splits of 47.5/41.5/68.4. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Ben Sheppard
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’8/8’4
Hand size: 9 ½
Pre-Draft team: Belmont
Tools: Shooting, intelligence, quickness
- Good passer and vision; can run offense as a secondary ball-handler
- Good recovery ability and lateral sliding ability defensively
- Intelligent defender off-ball, being able to rotate and adjust for mistakes off-ball by others
- NBA range on his jumper
- Quick first step and overall fast on both ends of the floor
- Moves well without the ball
- Effective coming off of screens
- Comfortable passing on the move and along the baseline
- Low free throw percentage may raise eyebrows for NBA teams
- Ball-handling vs pressure
Ben Sheppard can run the offense successfully as needed, using his quickness to throw off defenders out of the triple threat, and he has the ability to make high-level reads at all three levels of the court offensively. Sheppard finds shooters, cutters, and rollers well off the dribble and out of the triple threat, making him both a scoring and passing threat offensively. While he may not be a full-time point guard, he can still be trusted as a secondary initiator to give his point guard he shares the floor with a play off as a playmaker, or to give a different option as a facilitator.
Defensively, Sheppard profiles as a quality defender, being able to use his ideal frame to guard multiple positions, good footwork and footspeed, and intelligence to his advantage on the defensive end. With good footwork and technique, being able to get in front of slashers ahead of their shot, Sheppard is almost always in contention defensively on-ball. While it is hard to project how well his defense immediately translates up from Belmont, in scrimmages at the NBA Draft Combine, he held his own being able to profile as the ideal shooting guard defender.
Overall, Sheppard’s game feels entirely translatable: he shoots from safely behind the college line, making his shot easy to adjust to the NBA range more easily and quickly, his speed and intelligence on defense allow for him to have a wider margin for error. With so many ways to impact the game, Sheppard should be able to stick in the NBA both for a long time and quickly. He is a classic small school guard that runs the show for his mid-major team, and in the NBA he will be able to scale down into becoming a high-level role player with a realistic path towards growth into becoming a more responsible rotation player with multiple roles every night.
With Sheppard’s strong NBA Draft Combine scrimmages, look for him to climb into the early second round range.
Similar to:Quentin Grimes, Will Barton, OJ Mayo
Projected draft range: 29-49
Expected role: Fully capable combo guard that can scale up or down any given night into whichever role is asked of him on either end.
Unplayable if: Unlikely unplayable due to such a well-rounded, efficient two-way game
Exceeds expectations if: True ability to be an all-around offensive player without sacrificing defense in the NBA with good volume translates, making him a starting caliber player.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 61/151 (40.1%)
Off the dribble 3s: 19/39 (48.7%)
Off the dribble 2s: 24/56 (42.9%)
P&R Ball-handler: 1.036 PPP (89th percentile)