- Measurables: 6-foot-8, 215 lbs, sophomore forward from Duke
- Key Stats: 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game, 46 FG%, 42 3P% and 818 FT%
- Projected: Top 15
Matters to No One But Me …
Rodney Hood has already show great decision-making once in his college career — getting away from the infamous Renardo Sidney-led Mississippi State basketball team in favor of Duke. Instead of toiling as a talented player in a directionless program, Hood spent a year leading Duke’s scout team and educating his teammates on the merits of soul food before excelling on the court this season:
“They haven’t tried it, being from different places of the country, and they miss out on good food, so I just try to share it with them,” Hood said. “They still can’t get over the name, but if they tried the food, they’d like it.”
Junior guard Quinn Cook has had a plate.
Hood sat out last season as a transfer from Mississippi State, so while the Blue Devils played in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break, he went home to Meridian, Miss.
Cook and Hood have been roommates the past two seasons and don’t exactly cook for themselves often. So Hood brought back to school his leftovers, which included an entree that was foreign to Cook.
“So I ate some chitterlings for the first time in my life,” said Cook, a Washington, D.C., native. “It was good. It was good.”
Fits with the Pistons because …
Picture this: a perimeter player who takes a lot of shots from 3-point range. This shouldn’t be hard — we’ve seen players doing this a lot this season. Only now picture those shots being A. good looks at the basket and B. going in.
Hood doesn’t just fill a need for the Pistons. He fills the most overwhelmingly glaring deficiency on the team as a great 3-point shooter who also happens to be 6-foot-8, meaning (if he adds a bit more strength) he has the ability to play small forward and provide competent floor spacing. He also runs the floor well, he’s athletic and, after playing this season next to star Jabari Parker, he’s comfortable contributing in a complementary role, meaning he could still get shots naturally while the Pistons run their offense through Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond next season. Or, if you’re a masochist, if they run it through Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.
In addition to his shooting, Hood is smart, doesn’t turn the ball over much, can get a shot off the dribble and runs the floor and finishes well. All of those sound like the exact qualities the Pistons would want in a wing to complement their young bigs offensively.
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
Hood’s biggest question mark is on defense. He’s part of a Duke team that was not particularly good on defense this season. He’s tall and athletic enough to potentially improve on that end (although Draftexpress points out that Hood doesn’t have long arms), particularly if Drummond can add “not biting on all the pump fakes ever” to his arsenal and Monroe can add “moving feet on defense” to his next season. He’s also not particularly strong yet, so some of the league’s bigger wings could bully him.
Hood also plays with a laid back demeanor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for a Pistons team that frequently for … oh … five years or so now … has played with little to no intensity, it would be nice to come out of this draft with a player who adds a little fire to their lineup.
From the Experts
Hood is a little more one-dimensional, but his great size for his position and effortless stroke from long range have earned him a lot of fans in the late lottery to mid-first round.
Hood is generally an efficient player offensively, as he takes what the defense gives him and rarely looks out of control. He’s a solid straight-line ball-handler, particularly attacking closeouts, but was also given some ball-handling responsibilities in the half-court. Duke relied primarily on small-ball lineups this year, with Hood seeing a good amount of minutes at the power forward position, where he can be very effective as a mismatch threat against slower collegiate big men, particularly with the terrific spacing his team displayed. 32.5% of his offense came off isolation plays and on the pick and roll, even if it remains to be seen how much of a shot-creator he’ll be in the NBA when he’s asked to move down one or two positions and is guarded by legit wing defenders.