What the Heat are getting in Kentucky’s Tyler Herro
Feedback on guard Tyler Herro, who was the Heat’s first-round pick, 13th overall, in Thursday’s NBA Draft after averaging 14 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in his one season at Kentucky:
▪ ESPN’s Jay Bilas: “One of the best shooters in the draft. Can attack and close out, good cutter. Also a good middle game. Good floaters. Tough. He has really short arms but he’s competitor and I thought he really made strides defensively during the course of the season. I was most impressed with him [in a game] at Louisville; tough minded.”
▪ ESPN.com’s Mike Schmitz listed these as his strengths: “Solid positional size for a combo guard at 6-6 in shoes despite short arms. Decent frame at 192. Scrappy defender who shows an impressive competitive level on and off the ball….
“High-level shooter who can fill it up out of a variety of actions, especially off the dribble. Can hop or 1-2 into pull-up 3s. Capable of creating space with step-backs. Great elevation and balance. Catches on the hop in transition. Can sprint off screens or into handoffs. Shot 93.5% from the free throw line as a freshman. Picturesque shooting stroke….
“Has offensive upside beyond shooting. Played some point guard at the prep level. Has touch on floaters.”
On the flip side, Schmitz said Herro “lacks a degree of defensive upside. Likely at his best guarding point guards in the NBA given his wingspan. Good but not great feet. Struggled with quicker guards like Jared Harper at the collegiate level. Will have to get by on feel and toughness in the NBA….
“Live-dribble game and finishing package are still developing. Made only 24 shots at the rim in the half-court in 37 games. Shot under 50% at the rim and generated only 3.1 free throws per 40 minutes. Has a floater but lacks deceptive finishes. Not overly explosive as a leaper and doesn’t get great extension.
“Given his role as a shot-maker, you’d like to see him knock down more than 35.5% of his 3s once he gets to the NBA. Looks much more comfortable off the dribble, as he ranked in the 47th percentile on catch-and-shoot jumpers (and only the 25th percentile when contested).”
▪ Kentucky coach John Calipari said Herro was “wired and driven like few other players” he has ever coached.
He told The Louisville Courier-Journal: “The more I was around him, I said this kid reminds me of some of the guys we have. I didn’t know how he worked the way he did. His work ethic is unbelievable. …
“He has the confidence, but it’s not fake. I’ve had guys that you’ve had to explain what it means to be fake confident, like, your swagger is fake, you haven’t earned it, you haven’t worked for it. You haven’t done enough things to have that, and you’re acting like you have it. This guy has earned his stripes.
“I’m in full support of Tyler’s decision [to turn pro]. What I’m most proud of is how Tyler became not only an efficient offensive player but an efficient defensive player.”
▪ ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla: “In watching him closely, I don’t know he has the same kind of athleticism and upside as Kevin Huerter showed for Atlanta. It’s more about below-average athleticism for his NBA position. He would be a work in progress.”
▪ ESPN’s Dick Vitale praised his “swag” and “toughness.”
▪ Western Conference scout: “Good all around player. Not a great athlete, but knows how to play. Moves well without the ball, competes. A little limited in terms of upside. He’s not Kyle Korver or JJ Redick yet. I still have some questions about the shooting. Some people say he’s a better shooter than his numbers indicate.”
He shot 46.2 percent overall last season, including 35.5 percent on threes.
MOURNING WEIGHS IN
Heat executive Alonzo Mourning has raved about Bam Adebayo in occasional radio appearances. And that continued Thursday in an appearance on 790 The Ticket.
“One thing you can’t teach is a motor and he’s got a motor, he’s got a serious motor and he’s got a physical build that you guys have seen already,” Mourning told Zack Duarte and Greg Likens on the WQAM/790 draft simulcast. “Each and every year, he’s gotten better ... and I don’t expect that to be any different this summer.”
On the Heat’s young core, Mourning said: “I feel confident, extremely and all of our staff. these individuals are hand picked for a reason because we saw a world of potential in them and now we’re seeing it blossom. ... We’re seeing these guys really come into their own right before our eyes and I expect them to continue to improve. I don’t think they’ve reached their potential yet.”
As the Heat enters the post-Dwyane Wade era, Mourning said: “You think about D-Wade, he got picked fourth and none of us expected D-Wade to turn out the way he turned out, so you never really know. So we can only hope that the 13th pick turns out like a D-Wade.”
▪ Mourning, on the hiring of Malik Allen to the coaching staff, replacing Michigan coach Juwan Howard: “Malik is part of the fabric of this organization. He played here and he understands and teaches what we want as an organization. Malik has to feel some pretty big shoes in Juwan and I think he’s capable. He already has some pretty significant coaching experience and he’s played in the league.”