Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Nate Wolters


  • Measurables: 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, senior guard from South Dakota State
  • Key Stats: 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists per game on 49 percent shooting.
  • Projected: Second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Random Fact

Nate Wolters is the reason that people love college basketball. He was a normal looking dude at a mid-major college (with one of the best team names in the country — the Jackrabbits) who just got buckets, as evidenced performances like this one:

“Good grief!” his father, Roger, wrote him after South Dakota State’s 80-74 win over IPFW on Thursday night in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Wolters scored a Division I-best 53 points and connected on a school-record nine three-pointers. The 6-4 guard went 9 for 14 from beyond the arc, 17 for 28 overall and 10 for 11 at the free-throw line.

“I didn’t realize how many I had until after the game, it’s tough to explain. I was definitely feeling it,” Wolters said by phone late Thursday night. “The scoring came in such a barrage at the end. When I heard it was 53, I was like ‘whoa.’ “

Fits with the Pistons because …

With the first of their second round picks, the Pistons would do well to come away with Wolters if they don’t end up taking Trey Burke or C.J. McCollum in the first round. Wolters was certainly a shoot-first guard in college, but that’s OK. He was good at it. Aside from a weird junior year where his three-point shooting dipped significantly, Wolters was 36 percent or better from three in each of his three other college seasons. He’s also a decent passer who took good care of the ball and, at 6-4, he has good size for the point guard position.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

It’s still unclear what the Pistons are actually looking for in their backcourt. Is Brandon Knight a one or a two or a sixth man who plays both? Are they re-signing Jose Calderon and Will Bynum? What are they going to do with Rodney Stuckey, who Maurice Cheeks seemed to like for some reason during his introductory press conference? I think many fans wouldn’t mind seeing the Pistons blow up the entire backcourt and start from scratch in the draft and free agency, but the team has given indications that some or all of last year’s guard crop could be back in the mix. If that’s the case, there probably won’t be minutes for a player like Wolters.

Also, his clear deficiency is defense. He’s strong and physical, but will probably struggle to stay in front of the league’s quicker guards.

From the Experts:

Chad Ford:

Wolters doesn’t play in a big conference (Summit League), but his huge numbers for the second straight season can’t be overlooked. He also has been pegged primarily as a scoring guard, but his 6.1 assists per game and nearly 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio prove that he’s more than just a scorer.


On the offensive end, Wolters proved to be one of the most productive players in all of college basketball as a senior, displaying an impressive all around skill set, as his combination of ballhandling skills, scoring instincts, and feel for the game made him very difficult to defend at the college level.

On Film:



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