We may have announced the end of the Draft profiles a tad bit early. Lost in the shuffle was Albany's Gerardo Suero, who also tacks on at the tail end of the top 100.
The reason you might have missed Suero was that he is from the Dominican Republic and played just one season at the Division 1 level. Not that his season doesn't rank up there with the best in his conference, but no one has had the time to properly digest what his impact could be at the next level.
He battled through eligibility issues to even get to Albany, before tearing up the America East for 21.5 points per game.
So where does he stack up against the long list of wings in the coming draft? We look inside the numbers to find out.
School: Albany (Albany, N.Y.| America East)
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Accolades: 1st team All-America East, 4x Player of the Week in conference
Team Record: 19-15
There is no doubt that Suero has the build to make it in the NBA. He has the body of a shooting guard, he has the range of a shooting guard, and he has the hair to go along with it.
OK, so no one is going to draft Suero on the basis of his hair alone, although that would make for an interesting draft strategy. Perhaps Murray State's Ed Daniel can petition for that kind of strategy next year.
Suero was the cog of the offense for the Great Danes, and a lot of his talent comes from his experience playing internationally, and also erupting on the league as a junior. His size will go a long way toward helping his draft chances.
Final Season Averages:
21.5 pts... 3.1 asts...5.8 rebs...1.3 steals...4.2 turnovers..31.7 mins...45.9% FG...35.8% 3 PT...83.0% FT
As we said, Suero was the main scorer for the Great Danes this season, and a lot of that came from his work inside. Possessing the size and speed that he does, he is able to penetrate and get to the line to help augment his scoring. He shot 265 free throws this past season, which was 38 percent of the team's total this season.
The knock on him is that he doesn't do enough outside the lane, which is understandable. However Suero is good enough to take advantage of his superior strength inside. The bad news is that the America East is not the NBA, and Suero didn't see the type of defenders that he will meet if he is drafted.
Suero is also able to distribute the ball, but the side effect of him going inside so much is the high turnover rate (4.2 per game!).
Albany won 19 games this past season and a lot of that was because of the offensive effort put forth by Suero. The junior guard registered an 8.92 HOOPWAR/30, which includes a solid 9.3 points saved per 100 minutes. That puts him among the elite shooting guards available in the draft, and has him among the tops when you just consider offense (Suero gets credit for 500 points created this season: more than Will Barton, more than Kevin Murphy, more than Alex Young, and more than Cameron Moore).
That is some value, even if it is coming off the bench in the NBA.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Suero has the body for the NBA, and should be able to take the grind of going inside and taking the hits that he will see if he continues to play his inside game. He augments that with solid free throw shooting.
For his size, Suero is a strong rebounder.
The biggest knock against Suero is his outside shooting. While he puts up a decent 3-point percentage, he doesn't take as many from long range as you would expect given his position and scoring numbers. So much of his work came inside that his range has been called into question.
Suero also played just one year at the Division 1 level, although he has augmented that with experience internationally. It isn't like he hasn't seen any of the top competition. When thrown into games against teams in top conferences he has kept his performance up.
Against Pitt (first D-1 game) he scored 17. Against Syracuse, he put up 31. And against Maryland, he scored 22 (admittedly his worst shooting effort at 39 percent, but he added 8 assists to just 2 turnovers).
So despite a perceived lack of experience, Suero looks ready.
Current Prospect Rankings
Chad Ford (ESPN): No. 92 (No. 22 at position)
DraftExpress: Not Ranked
Suero is likely too far down the list to get a sniff on draft day. That doesn't mean he should be overlooked. There is a lot of offensive potential there, and there is always the chance that he would fit in an offense first lineup, one that plays fast and loose.
To me, his defense would be a concern at his position. He doesn't add enough defensively to be considered elite, other than rebounding -- something that will lessen as he moves into the bigger and stronger NBA. His ability to cover some of the best shooters is doubtful. Can you imagine him trying to get a hand up on someone who is four inches taller than him? It isn't going to happen.
That said, I wouldn't mind having a Suero coming off the bench for me as a mid-game spark who can surprise defenses with his speed and strength.
Without the well-rounded game, it seems doubtful that Suero will get the call Thursday night. But he certainly should get some chances to make a squad this fall with his scoring alone.