They Smell Like the Future: Charles Garcia

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 20, 2010 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images.

Seattle Junior
6’9.25”, 232 lbs (Combine measurements)
21 years old
Power forward
Projection: Second rounder

Charles Garcia has all the makings of both a second round stud and a draft night flub. On the one hand, there’s little doubt that if Garcia, a 6’9” mobile big, went to a top-flight college program (or was good enough to manufacture his own press like Steph Curry, for example), he’d be a higher profile prospect. There would be enough tape to earn him a legitimate place on the draft radar, enough buzz to drive up his stock, and enough of a highlight reel to generate serious interest. I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve seen a substantive amount of film on Garcia, and the same is likely true aside from the most dedicated draft aficionados, the Redhawk faithful, and the more thorough scouting departments.

That makes Charles a bit of a shot in the dark. But when you’re taking that shot to try to hit a prospect that stands with legit power forward size, can run the floor, and can finish around the rim? Still unlikely perhaps, but the odds are skewed slightly in your favor.

I won’t claim to know much about the more technical aspects of Garcia’s game, but I will say this: solid bigs are hard to come by, and it’s not uncommon for a quality power forward to slip through the cracks because of his school’s underwhelming reputation. No one views Seattle as a pro factory, and the fact that Charles was good — but not dominant — as the focal point of an offense at the college level puts him a few tiers below the elite big men of this draft class. That doesn’t mean he’s not useful, and it surely doesn’t mean that he’s not a quality player. In truth, most of us just don’t know at this point.

What we do know is that while Garcia has his strengths, he’s not a very efficient offensive player. He got his as a primary scoring option (to the tune of 28.8 points per 40 minutes, in fact), but committed more turnovers per 40 than anyone else in the NCAA. Does that matter? Sure it does. It’s not always easy to make the mental jump from centerpiece to role player, and his struggles could actually be compounded in the transition to the pros. It’s also possible that Charles’ turnover woes are a product of his style and inherent to his game. Still, to deny the influence of being a productive player on a sub-par team is ill-advised. Even if Garcia really is turnover-prone, the ramifications of that flaw should be limited by his modified role in the pros. Simply, he’ll have fewer possessions to squander and less defensive attention to deal with. Those factors usually have a little something to do with a player’s turnovers, and while eliminating them isn’t likely to turn Charles into a well-oiled offensive machine, it could be enough to preserve his utility against superior competition.

Garcia doesn’t have a lengthy track record against NBA-caliber opponents nor does he have overwhelming statistical support. Instead, he has a solid foundation of evidence that points to the possibility of him being a solid pro, a clear desire to attack the basket, and a complete lack of red flags over his size and speed. To get an NBA athlete this late in the draft isn’t a bad thing, even if it never really works out.

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

Per Game18.
Per 4028.812.

2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Offense):


2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Defense):


Other People:

Matt Kamalsky, Draft Express: “Always in attack mode, Garcia is not terribly discerning when defenses key in on him, leading to a great deal of inconsistency and some problematic habits. Still apt to take a contested jumper with multiple defenders around him, he makes himself a difficult player to play alongside. Creating little within the framework of Seattle’s half court sets, doing the majority of his damage operating one-on-one or in transition, and  turning the ball over as often as any player in our database per-40 minute pace adjusted,Garcia will need to improve his ability to function as a roleplayer on the next level. In order to do that, he’ll need to polish his jump shot, be more active moving without the ball, and cut down on his turnovers to be more efficient as a slashes or face-up post player. Most importantly, he must improve his recognition of things that are happening on the floor, and not just barrel his way into the lane the way he all too often does at the moment. Garcia’s basketball IQ is simply not up to par with his talent-level, something that became more and more obvious as the season moved on.”

Brett LaGree, Hoopinion: “Once one adjusts for pace (Seattle averaged almost 80 possessions per game last season, 13 more than an average college team), Charles Garcia’s production appears far less impressive. Per on-court possession, the only real comp he has in terms of blocks and steals is Luke Harangody, only Dwayne Collins and Tiny Gallon come within 75% of his turnover rate, his offensive rebound rate is below average (though his defensive rebound rate is strong), and he’s a below average shooter inside the arc, outside the arc, and from the free throw line. A year in the D-League is likely his best case scenario.”

Supplementary Materials:

Video from Draft Express.

Stats courtesy of Draft Express and Stat Sheet.