For years now, the NBA D-League has been well known as a guard-heavy league. All this means is that when aspiring floor generals and sharpshooters look to make their mark in the minor league, there has to be something about their game that unquestionably stands out. What makes them unique? Are they better than those already gracing the NBADL hardwood?
Perhaps Tyler Strange's progress at the college level would suggest that, at the very least, he's on the right track.
Strange is the type of player that needed four years of college ball for him to develop, show steady progress and commitment, all the while improving his numbers at the same time. En route to averaging 7.4 assists per contest last season as a senior at Gardner-Webb, Strange also went on to lead the NCAA in total assists.
And now, like many others, Strange hopes the D-League is his next stop. The guard has entered his name into the 2015 NBA D-League Draft's player pool, a source tells RidiculousUpside.com.
He's a pure-bred floor general whose first instinct is to think and consider how he can potentially get his teammates involved. At 5'10" and 185 pounds, Strange will likely be considered a bit smaller than some of his other D-League and/or NBA (assignment) level opponents, if he were to make it to the D-League. Still, his 1.2 steals collegiate career average (a statistic that increased each year) suggests he may be able to contain his man a bit, should his basketball IQ also be up to par as he makes the adjustment to the professional level.
In taking plenty of pride in looking to set up his teammates, perhaps Strange's key vulnerability lies within his own ability to score the basketball. His game lacks explosiveness, and/or at least, the assertiveness necessary to take it to the hole and serve as a strong enough finisher. Being able to penetrate and create an easy path to the basket is important.
That said, Strange's respective prowess from deep also saw a steady improvement as his college career continued. He shot approximately 37% in each of his last two seasons at Gardner-Webb. Perhaps that is where he'll serve as a threat in his own way on offense.