A former five star recruit, Dariq Whitehead’s freshman season got off to a rocky start with a pair of foot injuries. Still, he managed to find ways to impact the game in his niche role at Duke. On the year, he averaged 8.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 1.4 TOPG in 20 minutes per game on splits of 42/43/79. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Dariq Whitehead
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’10/8’7.5
Hand size: 10
Pre-Draft team: Duke
Tools: Shooting, athleticism
- Outstanding jump shooter from any spot
- Shoots well both off the dribble and spotting up
- Good recovery ability on defense
- Good motor
- Quick first step
- Needs to improve guide hand on jumper release
- Had more turnovers than assists
- Can often pass first, think second; game has to slow down for him
- Still a bit raw on defense
- Needs to prove slashing ability and finishing at the rim
While Dariq Whitehead is one of the top shooters in the Draft, he will have to prove two point scoring ability, primarily as a slasher and finisher at the rim. With a quick first step & a great frame, this should be something NBA teams can focus on to unlock his upside that made him a preseason top five prospect.
As a shooter, Whitehead is capable both as a spot-up shooter and self-creating shooter. As he develops his handle, he will become a more lethal shot creator which would be a big part of unlocking his high ceiling. Look for Whitehead to be an off-ball threat in his early years, then growing into a more on-ball role as he earns the trust of whichever organization drafts him in the following years.
Defensively, Dariq Whitehead has the ability to be a strong defender, given his strong recovery ability & knowledge on rotating off-ball. He can be beaten easily by quick first steps & unexpected fakes by ball-handlers, so as Whitehead develops and learns how to guard more advanced moves, his defense should easily be above-average. With effort, athleticism, and size, Whitehead should be able to develop into a good defender, as long as his work ethic is strong.
Overall, Dariq Whitehead has a high upside with a good floor as an off-ball player that can develop into a positive defender given he goes to the right situation. Look for Whitehead to climb draft boards after the Draft Combine if his health checks out.
Similar to: Will Barton, Khris Middleton, Bojan Bogdanovic, Desmond Bane
Projected draft range: 11-18
Expected role: Off-ball threat with some defense early on, then growing into on-ball ability.
Unplayable if: Unlikely to become unplayable, but a worst case scenario for Whitehead is if he is a one-dimensional player as a shooter that doesn’t develop as a slasher or defender.
Exceeds expectations if: Defense translates, and point guard skills develop in the NBA.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 45.3%
Off the dribble 3s: 36.4%
Runner: 25% (2/8)