Hidden Gem: Avis Wyatt

Thu, 02/01/2007 - 4:01pm

By Matthew Maurer

The Draft Review

[img_assist|nid=4014|title=Avis Wyatt goes for the block Photo:|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=238|height=304]As our avid readers know, back in early November I compiled a list of sleepers outside of Division One schools. Avis Wyatt was highlighted as a player who I thought could really make a push to get drafted. Throughout the season I continued to receive reports on how well Wyatt was doing so I decided to take a closer look and see him in person.

North Carolina Central was matched up against Avis’s team, Virginia State. Prior to seeing Wyatt on this night I heard that he had expanded his range and was transforming his game. I was shocked to see how talented and versatile Wyatt is when facing the basket and found it necessary to raise my previous evaluation of him. Rarely does a player with his size have the kind of face-up game he possesses, especially those on the Division II level.

Offensively he possesses excellent mid-range and three-point-range shots. Wyatt’s ball handling is among the best at his position. He’s capable of attacking his man with hesitation moves and crossovers. Court vision is another one of his gifts, which could be due to the fact that Wyatt was a guard for most of his life until his growth spurt in the 11th grade.

While immensely talented there are a few things Wyatt will have to improve upon, most importantly his strength. Developing his upper body strength and adding some bulk to his frame would do wonders. But adding 15-20 pounds shouldn't affect his athleticism because he has an excellent frame with good strength. To some degree, Wyatt’s level of competition will cause some to discredit him, as the CIAA is exactly a hotbed of NBA talent. There will also be some concern as to what position he will play.

Despite those issues, Wyatt is a Division I talent playing in Division II. I talked with Wyatt and his coach Tony Collins after the game. Collins has experience in preparing NBA prospects for the draft. Over the past 15 years he was the assistant coach at Austin Peay where NBA draftee’s Bubba Wells and Trenton Hassell played.

Wyatt is blessed with great potential and small forward skills in a power forward’s body. Come April Wyatt will need to have a good showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. One thing is for sure: Avis Wyatt is a legitimate prospect despite his small school setting.

*Mathew Maurer is a regular contributer to and runs the historical draft website

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