DeAndre Liggins

Drafted #53 in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Magic
RCSI: 35 (2008)
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
Weight: 213 lbs (97 kg)
Position: SG/SF
High School: Findlay Prep High School (Nevada)
Hometown: Henderson, NV
College: Kentucky
Current Team: Heartfire
Win - Loss: 6 - 0


Top NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC, Part Four (#16-20)

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Scott Nadler
Scott Nadler
Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Sep 27, 2009, 05:09 am
Matthew Williams

Lost in all of the news surrounding John Calipari, the hype of a John Wall-led recruiting class, and the return of Patrick Patterson to Lexington, we find the versatile, excitable, and sometimes immature headliner of Billy Gillespie’s last recruiting effort. A 6-6 guard capable of playing every perimeter position, Liggins started off last season with a string of productive performances before seeing both his playing time and effectiveness tail off as the season went on. Opting to return to the Wildcats instead of transferring or being shown the door like some of his former teammates, Liggins has accepted a huge challenge by returning to Kentucky. With potential top-draft pick John Wall assuming minutes at point guard along with Eric Bledsoe, a high ranked 2009 point guard recruit in his own right, and a handful of returners joining him on the wing, Liggins will have to improve significantly if he’s to earn the trust of his new head coach.

Measuring in at a long and lean 6-6, Liggins is a good overall athlete, and while he’s not super explosive, he possesses fine leaping ability and nice speed in the open floor due to his stride length. Born in 1988, Liggins is a year older than most of his classmates due to the additional year he spent at iconic basketball school Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. Skilled, smooth, and capable of making some difficult passes look easy, Liggins offers an assortment of offensive tools, but his highly questionable decision-making held him back from being an efficient player last season.

When functioning as a primary ball-handler, Liggins shows solid ball-handling ability, but his tendency to get tunnel-vision to the rim as soon as he receives an outlet pass and the way he seems enamored with holding near half-court in some half-court sets limit him considerably. Liggins is the type of player that on one play will turn the ball over immediately by telegraphing his initial pass to the wing before splitting two defenders in the lane with a no-look pass on the next possession, before forcing a contested three on the next. Posting an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.23, the Chicago native is a polarizing figure with the ball in his hands, ranking amongst the top-10 players in our database in assists per-40 pace adjusted, but ranking second in turnovers per-possession as well. Not showing much restraint when deciding when to push and when to trot the ball up the floor, Liggins has a natural feel for making the tough pass in traffic, but his penchant for the spectacular doesn’t compensate for the wide array of mistakes he makes.

Compounding those mistakes are Liggins’s lack of scoring efficiency. Though he ranks amongst the top-5 players in our database in terms of assists per-field goal attempt, the possessions that he does use don’t often yield positive results.

Shooting an incredibly mediocre 36.2% from the field, Liggins doesn’t get great elevation on his jumper, pushes his elbow out to the side like Ronnie Brewer, and forces too many outside shots with a hand in his face. Though he’s capable of connecting from the outside, mainly when given considerable time to catch and shoot, his 23.5% shooting from deep compounds the limitations his lack of blow-by quickness and great leaping ability put on his finishing ability. Liggins’s shot isn’t terribly quick either, which limits him when he puts the ball on the floor to pull-up. His ability to earn playing time and put himself firmly on the NBA radar will have everything to do with the development of his efficiency and maturation on the offensive end, which may be difficult at this stage with how much he appears to need the ball in his hands to be successful.

Utilizing his length and instincts on the defensive end to create some turnovers, Liggins is not the most disciplined or fundamentally sound defensive player. Often getting turned around as the ball moves around the floor, Liggins makes an effort to keep his man out of the lane, but his defense off the ball leaves a lot to be desired. Lacking great lateral quickness and having some issues getting through screens, Liggins has little trouble using his big wingspan to contest shots, but will need to make some major improvements to have a bigger impact on the defensive.

Considering the obstacles he’ll face in earning playing time next season, DeAndre Liggins is a player that may not factor into draft conversations for some time. An oversized play-maker at this point, Liggins will need to mold his game to legitimize his stock, as his current feast or famine productiveness and maturity need an overhaul. With John Calipari bringing a new offense to Lexington, Liggins’s poise will be tested every time he’s on the floor, and if he refines his capacity to pick and choose his spots and works on his game, he could become an interesting prospect. With minutes at a premium at UK this season, Liggins needs to take advantage of this season to learn and improve, even if he’s not seeing more than the 16.5 minutes per-game he saw last year.

National Prep Showcase: Day Three

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Nov 20, 2007, 02:17 am
Liggins’ second game in Lowell was not quite as impressive as his first, and his team went from blowing out one of the best prep schools in the country in South Kent to nearly losing to a fairly anonymous squad in New Hampton.

Liggins’ biggest problem today was the overexcited nature in which he played. He looked very wild at times driving into traffic, causing unnecessary turnovers (9 on the night) and not giving his team the same terrific rhythm they had yesterday on their impeccable half-court sets. In addition to that, Liggins settled for way too many 3-pointers (7), when really he isn’t that great of a shooter to begin with. There’s no doubting his talent, but if Liggins is to continue to play the point guard position at the collegiate level, he will have to improve on letting these things come to him.

It wasn’t all bad in this game, though, as Liggins’ talent was clearly on display in the 38 minutes he played. Showing excellent ball-handling skills with either hand, and terrific speed in the open floor, Liggins creates offense extremely well for both himself and his teammates, as evidenced by his 9 assists tonight. He is extremely creative with his spin moves and such, and is able to go both ways on his drives, making him very difficult to stay in front of when he is reading the defense and not forcing the issue.

Liggins is more than just an intriguing offensive prospect, he also brings plenty of versatility to the floor in many other parts of the game. He’s an excellent rebounder, a capable defender, as well as a terrific passer. He was about as unique a player as we saw this weekend, and will be a very interesting draft prospect to follow once he lands at Kentucky, somewhat similar to Ronnie Brewer.

National Prep Showcase, Day Two

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Nov 18, 2007, 01:13 pm
Liggins came into the event as one of the more highly touted prospects, and he failed to disappoint in Findlay Prep’s game versus South Kent. Despite what some might view as a relatively marginal statistical output, the impact that he had on the game digs much deeper than the box score can tell you.

The Chicago native made his presence felt immediately with his ability to control the tempo of the game and distribute the ball. He did an outstanding job of initiating the offense and making everyone happy, without forcing the issue for himself. Throughout the game, Liggins handled the playmaking duties for him team, and looked quite comfortable doing so. He consistently made the right reads on who to hit coming off of screens, knew when certain players needed touches, and properly identified when and when not to look to create for himself. The basketball IQ that he displays is uncommon for a player his age, much less many of the selfish converted shooting guards that we see playing point guard on the prep school scene.

While not exactly an offensive juggernaut, DeAndre did make the most of the few times that he did look to score for himself. He displayed great body control and poise when attacking the basket, creating shots very nicely off the dribble. Possessing quickness adequate enough to get to the rim, Liggins consistently was able to get to the rim when he chose to. The only major downside to his offensive performance on the day was his inability to hit an outside jumper, as both of the three pointers he attempted were blocked by much smaller defenders. This seems to be a part of his game that he really needs to work on.

Liggins made the most of his long frame on both ends of the floor, rebounding the ball well while also playing lockdown defense. He had no problem moving laterally when guarding quicker players, using his nice wingspan to create deflections. Billy Gillespie and Co. will be awfully happy with the versatility that Liggins will bring to the floor , enabling the UK staff to place him on virtually any opposing perimeter player.

The biggest question mark about Liggins game is certainly his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. The form on his jumper is reminiscent to that of Jazz shooting guard Ronnie Brewer, in that his elbow is out to the side, providing mixed results. Besides this, the other glaring weakness we observed was his average leaping ability. Not a terrible leaper, Liggins is certainly not a player whom you will see shooting down the lane and dunking on opposing big men. This is not anywhere near as much of a pressing issue as the mechanics in his jumpshot, however.

Throughout the first two days here in Boston, DeAndre is certainly in the upper echelon of prospects that we observed. His versatility, basketball IQ, and toughness are enough to make him one of the few players in the country that can legitimately play three positions on the floor at any given time. Kentucky will have a perfect fit for their system, receiving a guard who can handle the ball, makes smart decisions, and can guard a multitude of positions.

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