They Smell Like the Future: Aubrey Coleman

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 24, 2010 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

Photo by Icon SMI.

Houston Senior
6’4”, 200 lbs.
22 years old
Shooting guard
Projection: Second rounder/undrafted

The last thing the Mavs need is another undersized shooting guard, and Aubrey Coleman doesn’t exactly help his case with his high-volume approach. Coleman was a big fish in a small pond (well, one of the biggest ponds in the country if you want to be technical about it, but you know what I mean), but on the NBA stage, his scoring talents would be marginalized. He’s not quite efficient enough to make the most out of limited scoring opportunities just yet, meaning Coleman could turn out to be a Willie Green clone. Even if Willie has managed to hang around in the NBA and make a few bucks, that’s not meant as a compliment. But he could also turn out to be Marcus Thornton-esque, which would be pretty fun.

There’s only so much room in the league for these types of scorers, particularly those that haven’t developed a consistent jumper. The fact that Coleman was the nation’s leading scorer matters a great deal, but so does his level of competition in Conference USA. That’s more of a qualifier than an asterisk, but it needs to be said. NBA GMs often seem reluctant to experiment with fringe NBA players from smaller college programs, but I do think Coleman has talent worth investigating. There doesn’t seem to be enough interest in Aubrey to warrant a draft selection (even at 50), but if Dallas is looking for a perimeter scorer that could be useful down the road, Coleman deserves a proper look.

Plus, he’s not a bad defender. His height puts a limit on his defensive impact as a pro, but he’s actually quite relentless. He rebounds very well, he works hard, and he plays like anything but a shot-eating prima donna.

Some of his offensive tendencies are a bit of a turn-off though, and I don’t think Coleman is quite ready to be an NBA role player. He’s going to come into the league with the same inefficient approach that hindered his statistical excellence at Houston, and while having more scoring threats on the floor could give his shooting percentage and turnovers a healthy bump, you can’t change a player like Coleman overnight. He needs time to work on his game with a professional team, but not necessarily the Mavs. That’s why the D-League or a European team are likely the best option for Coleman’s immediate future, at least until NBA types can properly gauge his abilities against quality competition.

2009-2010 Traditional Per Game and Per 40 Minute Stats:

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game25.67.42.62.32.7.425.317
Per 4027.78.02.82.52.9------

2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Offense):

TS%eFG%ORB%TO%AST%FTRUSG%
51.546.06.310.215.644.434.1

2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Defense):

STL%BLK%DRB%
4.00.415.6

Other People:

Joe Treutlein, Draft Express: “Coleman’s saving grace is the contributions he makes on the boards and on the defensive end, where he plays with high intensity consistently, putting his physical tools to use to disrupt the opposition. He approaches the game with a high motor in general, and his offensive problems appear to be more about not having much familiarity with team basketball than him being selfish. Coleman lacks a significant amount of high-level experience, as he did not play much basketball in high school, went to a junior college, and then played in an extremely loose system under Tom Penders at Houston.”

Draft Express: “Now, Coleman is on the cusp of getting the chance to do that on a nightly basis. Regardless of where he lands though, the player who didn’t know a thing about basketball except how to play hard, isn’t going to suddenly change the approach that has taken him this far. ‘When I first started out I made my mark because I was a hustle guy who never stopped running and that caught the coach’s eye,’ he said. ‘It shows that if you put your mind to it you can do it. I’m not where I want to be yet, I want to rise higher and higher and show people that I’m one of the best players in the nation, not just because of my scoring either.’”

Joe Treutlein, Draft Express: “Coleman’s offensive game starts with his outstanding handle and creativity attacking off the dribble, showing a complete repertoire of moves and the instincts to meld them all together. Coleman’s first step is not overwhelming, but he frequently manages to create separation at the second level either by changing speeds, changing directions, using an advanced move to get his man off balance, or some combination of all three. At the basket, Coleman is extremely aggressive in seeking out contact, and elevates pretty well around the rim, where he is a very good finisher at this level. His size poses some problems projecting to the NBA, though, where he could have a harder time finishing against weakside defenders, while opponents may also be less likely to foul him. Coleman could definitely help himself by working on his floater in this regard, as it would make him a more dynamic threat finishing in the lane if it were a more reliable weapon.”

Supplementary Materials:

Stats courtesy of Draft Express and Stat Sheet.