New Mexico State's Troy Gillenwater Declares For NBA Draft

According to a press release from New Mexico State, junior Troy Gillenwater has declared for the NBA Draft but has no signed with an agent. The 6-7 power forward was a first team All-WAC selection after leading the Aggies in scoring (18.9 ppg) and rebounds (6.3 rpg). In all likelihood this is just an opportunity to test the waters as he isn't projected on any major draft boards and has a great deal to overcome as far as improving his overall profile as a pro prospect.  

Physically, Gillenwater leaves something to be desired as a power forward, lacking ideal size and explosive athleticism. What he does present is a versatile package that could ultimately lead to transitioning to the small forward position if he improves his overall quickness and first step.

While early in his career his primary means of scoring was operating in the post, Gillenwater has grown more comfortable in spot-up sets, with 21.6% of his overall possessions coming in this play-type last season according to Synergy Sports. He primarily operates as a catch and shoot player here, connecting on a respectable 36% of his attempts from beyond the arc (at nearly four attempts per game) and ranked in the 90th percentile nationally in spot-up efficiency. What scouts will like the most is the improvement the forward has made in operating off the dribble, not only opting to create for himself more frequently than in years past, but also finishing at a higher rate now.

Gillenwater is an equally efficient scorer in the post and around the basket in general. He possesses a strong base, soft hands and a nice touch around the rim, finishing an outstanding 63% of shot attempts in the immediate vicinity of the basket. He displays solid footwork and instincts, but his lack of explosive leaping often yields difficult shots inside despite his sound fundamentals, something that will only be further augmented against pro defenders. 

Defensively the junior is a mixed bag. His 225-pound frame allows him to hold his position and body up opponents in the post, but his average lateral quickness hampers him elsewhere. Gillenwater is only an average defender in spot-up and isolation situations, particularly when it comes to closing out on perimeter shooters, something he tends to do in a somewhat out of control nature.

 Again, long term this is likely an opportunity for Gillenwater to get familiar with the draft process and possibly receive some feedback from teams before returning for his senior year. Even then, barring a big final season, he is a long shot to get drafted by an NBA team. That isn't to say he isn't capable of earning a summer league invite or an opportunity to showcase his abilities in training camp (especially with more performances like the 25 points he put up on Arizona), but playing overseas is likely in the cards for the Aggie star.

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