After a solid senior season at Iona College, AJ English entered the NBA Combine with the hopes of continuing his basketball career. Not only did he have his best season as a senior, but he lead the Gaels to a victory over Monmouth University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament and an NCAA Tournament berth. English's collegiate resume speaks for itself. At Iona, he was known for his ability to be a scorer and a passer.
Not only is the Wilmington, DE native coming off a productive season at Iona, but he maintained his confidence and production at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament last month. The former Iona guard had three strong games during the tournament. In the three games, English averaged 17.3 points, 6.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds per contest. His effectiveness at the Portsmouth Invitational earned him the PIT MVP award.
While AJ English may not be on many draft boards heading into the NBA Draft next month, he does things that could fill a team's needs next season. English's strongest attribute is definitely his knack as a scorer. Averaging 22.5 points with a 60% True Shooting Percentage, English has shown that he can put up big numbers while remaining efficient The Iona alum can be a good perimeter scorer; whether it's through off-the-dribble or catch-and-shoot as he shot 37% during his college career. English scored more than 30 points six thmes during his senior season; that included a 46 point game against Fairfield University and a 45 point game against Monmouth.
He saw his overall shooting percentage rise each year at Iona, his three-point shooting has decreased; however, he was taking more shots. Even though he was producing high numbers in his final two collegiate seasons, English will need to show his consistency with his outside shooting. The former Iona product does have a quick release, which was evident when Iona faced off against Fairfield.
(Video Courtesy: Erik Tesauro/Tez TV)
Although he stood as one of the best scorers in the country during his senior season, he's also a solid facilitator . In some instances, the 6'4" guard would attack the basket and draw a double team then will find the open man for an easy basket or a foul.
During his four years at Iona, he saw his assists numbers rise each year. When English entered Iona in 2012, he was averaging a little more than one assist (1.3) per game. As he got more acclimated to the system at Iona, he became the primary distributor on the team. By the time his senior season came to an end, the Wilmington, DE native was averaged more than six assists (6.2) per contest.
By having a stellar final season, English caught the attentions of several teams and scouts. Even though AJ English could get selected in the second round or even fall out of the draft, he has the potential to make it into the Association. He has a scoring prowess, can attack the rim, and has the length and size to play point guard. While he does fit the mold of a shooting guard, English's skills would translate to a scoring point guard. Teams and executives know the former Iona product can score and is a solid shooter off the catch, which would be a benefit for most teams.
With his ability to score in bunches, he could be a scoring punch off the bench. He can run the floor well and can be a good distributor. There's several teams that could use a capable shooter, but his lack of defense could make him a liability the opposition. At some points during his collegiate career, English showed he was careless with the ball. In his final two seasons, he averaged more than three turnovers per game; he averaged 3.8 turnovers per game as a junior and 3.6 turnovers per game as a senior.
Teams and executives know the former Iona product can score and is a solid shooter off the catch, which would be a benefit for most teams. He could make an impact as a scorer off the bench. He'll need to work on his defense, which is something that could hold him back from getting into to the league. If the former Iona guard finds the right situation, whether its in the D-League or overseas, he could round out his game and could be a contributor off the bench down the line.