Scoring is what Temple's Wyatt does best

Scoring is what Temple's Wyatt does best
June 10, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Despite conventional wisdom that the Wizards should take a post player over a guard in the draft, they just need scoring.

Temple’s Khalif Wyatt, a 6-3 guard, can provide it if he is still available in the second round June 27.

“Each team wants something different.  They have different philosophies,” said Wyatt, who worked out for the Wizards last week. “You’re just picking up stuff on the fly. Just got to take stuff in, listen and learn as fast as you can.”

Wyatt averaged 20.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals as a senior, leading Temple (24-10) to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Known for playing with an edge, Wyatt also has a reputation of playing big in big games. He had 33 points in an 83-79 upset of No. 3 Syracuse, 26 in a 69-62 loss to No. 6 Kansas and 22 in an 83-71 loss to No. 9 Butler. In a 58-52 loss to No. 4 Indiana in the tournament, Wyatt led with 31 points.

But for the season he only was 41.7% shooter, including 31.7% from three-point range, and averaged almost four turnovers per game.

Some of that can be attributed to Wyatt being a one-man show, but he has a throwback style that is played below the rim and warranted a look. The Wizards were the lowest scoring team in the NBA last season at 93.2 points. Scoring behind John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt was absent, except for the occasional outburst from A.J. Price who is a free agent July 1.

Wyatt will have at least a dozen workouts before the draft. When it comes to on the court, the question is whether or not his basketball IQ offsets his lack of elite athleticism. Defending his position is considered a major weakness.

Off the court, there are other questions he’ll have to answer. Wyatt was suspended for three games by Temple for disciplinary reasons. Last year, he was was charged with resisting arrest in a prostitution sting in Atlantic City, had to pay a $1,000 fine and perform community service. He didn't make three starts because he was late to for film study, a team meeting and study hall.

Ultimately, it'll come down to whether or not a he can play in the NBA. If he can, then it's simply a question of risk and if Wyatt is worth it. 

“I can score the ball in different ways. I've proven that at the college level. I just want the opportunity to prove that at this level,” said Wyatt, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. “Every team is going to say what you can do and there’s a long list of what you can’t do.  Just play your game though, be confident in yourself and know what you bring to the table. “