After three years as a role player at Minnesota, playing less than 50% of the team's minutes, Colton Iverson transferred to Colorado State for his senior season and the 23 year old has shown some improvement after sitting out a season. The question is whether this will be enough for him to sneak into the second round as a late draft pick in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft.
Listed at 6'10", 261, Iverson is a traditional back to the basket post player, who is always fighting to receive the post entry pass. He is quite comfortable with the ball on either block and is proficient finishing in a variety of ways over his defender. According to hoop-math, he takes 69% of his shots at the rim, converting on 66% of them. His footwork is one his strengths, as he is able to maneuver around his defender to give himself a good look at the rim. He will need to show that he can score over defenders in the NCAA tournament and predraft workouts to give scouts faith he will be able to translate this skill to the next level.
The Rams use Iverson in the pick and roll often, but Iverson needs to do a better job of screening to free his teammate. He rarely becomes stationary on his screens to allow his teammate to use them, instead focusing on slipping every screen to the rim immediately after running up to set the screen. This makes the pick and roll tough to execute and Iverson will have to focus more on this at the next level. It will also help to develop an effective mid range jump shot, as he is shooting only 37% on 2 point jump shots, according to hoop-math. He always rolls right to the rim after the screen in search of the offensive rebound, making him a one dimensional player and easy to guard. This does allow him to grab offensive rebounds, contributing to his 11.8% offensive rebounding percentage but being able to pop out for the fifteen foot jump shot will make him a more dangerous offensive player.
Iverson's defense, on the other hand, is a major area in need of improvement. He gets beat in a variety of ways, almost to the point of being a complete liability on defense. He gambles for steals in the post, leaving his opponent with easy layups. He struggles with showing on the pick and roll or slowing down the ball, causing his teammate to get screened and the ball handler to have an easy look out of the screening action. His off ball rotations are often late or slow. Based on his current defensive ability, most offensively capable NBA big men will be able to score on him, which could limit his minutes if he doesn't improve in this area.
His defensive rebounding is one attribute that he excels in and something that should translate to the NBA, if he finds himself in a rotation. He is currently the 23rd best rebounder in KenPom's database, corralling 25.4% of available defensive rebounds. This translates to 9.4 per 40 minutes pace adjusted, good for 11th in Draft Express' rankings. Some of this likely can be attributed to Colorado State's system, as Iverson was rebounding only 17.8% of available rebounds in 2011-12 for Minnesota, but he demonstrates the ability to body his defender out of the way and find the ball.
His athleticism is a bit below average, so he has to rely on his strength and position to be a force on the defensive glass. This also contributes to his low block rate, as he blocks only 3% of shots, which is low for someone his size, showing that he struggles to get off the ground and challenge shots.
Iverson's defense will have to improve substantially if he wishes to stick in an NBA rotation. His size and offensive game might be enough to have a team take a late round flyer on him, especially if he performs well in March and the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, if invited. He projects to be a serviceable NBA backup for several years if he can improve a few parts of his game.