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NBA Draft profile: R.J. Hunter

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NBA Draft profile: R.J. Hunter

CSNwashington.com's coverage leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft will include profiles of prospects as well as their potential fit on the Wizards. Washington currently owns the 19th and 49th selections.

R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State

6'6" | 185 lbs. | 21 years old

2014-15 stats:

19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.1 steals, 37.2 minutes

Projection:

14 to 25

Competition:

Rashad Vaughn (UNLV), Justin Anderson (Virginia)

Details:

Burst into national scene with a super-long, game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the NCAA Tournament that stunned third-seeded Baylor and knocked his injured and coaching father off his stool. Yet the playmaking guard isn't a newcomer to the scouting circuit. ...Selected CAA Rookie of the Year before winning back-to-back Player of the Year honors in the Sun Belt after Georgia state switched conferences. ...Has the length (6-foot-11) and instincts to become a strong defender, but it's his work on the offense end that draws attention. ...Don't let his 29.8 percent on 3-pointers last season fool you. The streaky shooter has great range - and opposing teams knew this, making the Indianapolis native the focal point of their defensive schemes. He attempted 7.4 per game, sinking 2.2. Those numbers are in line with his previous seasons, but Hunter sank 40 percent as a sophomore. ...Somewhat limited athletically compared to other wings in the draft, which gives him less margin of error in terms of getting off his own shots. ...Thrives in big spots. Didn't just make the game-winning basket against Baylor, but scored 12 of his 16 total points in the final 2:39 as the Panthers closed the game with a 13-0 run. ...Lots of personality combined with leadership qualities.

He said it:

"Being a coach's son and a captain alone, it's extra pressure, so I had to learn how to react to coaching for me and my teammates. I feel I'm a good leader, I think I'm a proven leader and I'm a good teammate. Coach's sons, the perception is we're spoiled, we don't get along with our team, stay off campus, but I was always with my team, always involved with my team so I'm ready to show that."-- Hunter (via CSNchicago.com)

Fit for the Wizards

If the Wizards aren't set on taking a big man, Hunter might be the ideal pick considering team needs and the modern NBA. His size and length would allow Coach Randy Wittman to use the rookie with John Wall and Bradley Beal in three-guard sets. His playmaking ability would allow the offense to run through him when needed. Talented and gutsy. Heat-check type scorer could help a second-unit that often lacked a go-to point-producer. Would also provide Wittman with a backcourt scoring option on the wing if Beal misses games due to injury for a fourth straight season.  Mock drafts are 50-50 whether Hunter will be on the board at 19. Several teams picking ahead of the Wizards including the Thunder, Celtics, Bucks and Rockets could also use a deep shooter with size.

(Sidebar - I've watched Hunter since his freshman season from my days of covering George Mason in the CAA. Have tracked his career and waited for him to turn pro ever since. Previously wrote that Hunter reminds me some of an extrovert Otto Porter with deeper range because both are long and possess great instincts. Landing with the right or wrong team can make all the difference in terms of development, but I'd be stunned if Hunter doesn't find a niche/make a splash on the NBA level.)

MORE DRAFT PROFILES: 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Keifer Sykes

Bobby Portis (post-workout)

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Christian Wood

Sam Dekker

Cameron Payne

Tyler Harvey

Justin Anderson

FEATURES:

Rashad Vaughn

Dez Wells

Satnam Singh

Delon Wright

Jerian Grant

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Thomas Bryant's game-winner came on a play Scott Brooks once used to beat the Wizards

Thomas Bryant's game-winner came on a play Scott Brooks once used to beat the Wizards

The Wizards won their game in London against the Knicks Thursday in bizarre fashion, the game-winner coming via a goaltending call on a Thomas Bryant shot attempt in the paint.

And according to Bradley Beal, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has called the play Bryant "scored" on before...to beat the Wizards in 2015. 

"It's crazy. I remember Coach drew that up against us when he was in OKC," Beal told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. 

On Jan. 21, 2015, when Brooks was still the head coach of the Thunder, Russell Westbrook scored a layup with one second left in overtime to give Oklahoma City a 105-103 victory over Washington. 

(Watch the video above to see a side-by-side comparison of Westbrook's basket and Bryant's game-winner.)

Fast forward to Jan. 17, 2019, and the play succeeded again, but this time for the Wizards. However, it went quite differently the second time around. 

"Russ started (in the backcourt), got a full head of steam on me and laid the ball up to win the game," Beal said. "And it was pretty much the same situation, but I ended up slipping. And I just thank God (Bryant) actually played the game of basketball and rolled to the basket. And I just had to trust him to be able to make the right play."

And even though the ball didn't go through the hoop, Bryant ultimately made the right play to give the Wizards a hard-fought, comeback win across the pond.

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Wizards show toughness, resiliency in crazy comeback win over Knicks in London

Wizards show toughness, resiliency in crazy comeback win over Knicks in London

The Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks 101-100 in London on Thursday afternoon. Here are five observations from the game...

1. The Wizards' trip to London, England as global ambassadors for the NBA was close to being remembered for a disaster of a game. They came out sluggish and trailed by as many as 19 points to a Knicks team they had won 17 of 19 against entering the day.

But the Wizards once again showed resilience, as they have so often lately despite missing key players due to injury. They locked down on defense to allow only 11 points in the fourth quarter and that helped them overcome a 12-point hole entering the final frame, their largest deficit after three quarters in a win since the 2016-17 season.

Late-game defense proved the difference, but it was a key play in the final seconds that sealed the victory. Down one, Thomas Bryant drew a goaltending on Allonzo Trier with 0.4 seconds left to put the Wizards ahead for good.

The play nearly failed as Bradley Beal slipped around halfcourt. But he got the ball to Bryant, who was cutting through the lane and Trier made a mistake trying to save the game.

The Wizards, of course, will not complain. They now head back to the States having won six of their last nine.

2. Beal ended up with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, but this was another game where he started slow and heated up late. He began the game 1-for-7 and shot just 10-for-29 (34.5%) overall.

Beal continues to show an ability to adjust midgame to counter defenses. And much like Sunday's loss against the Raptors, he began by missing outside shots, switched to attacking the rim and then everything else fell into place.

3. Three-point defense has been an issue for the Wizards all season, even after the acquisition of Trevor Ariza, and it was once again a problem in this one. The Knicks, who entered the game ranked 22nd among 30 teams in three-point percentage (34.4), got hot early from long range.

The Knicks made nine threes in the first half, nearly what they average for full games this season (10.2), and on 18 attempts. They finished 12-for-29, good for 41.4  percent. No one killed them more than Luke Kornet, who went 4-for-6.

The Wizards may have underestimated the Knicks' ability to shoot, as some of their early looks were uncontested. By the time the Wizards woke up and made closing out a priority, several Knicks players had found a rhythm and kept knocking them down despite good defense.

The Wizards, though, did hold New York to 3-for-11 from three in the second half.

4. It took until midway through the third quarter, but Troy Brown Jr. again got some run. That is now two straight games where head coach Scott Brooks has turned to Brown for a spark when he needed it.

Brown once again was impressive. He made some nice passes, including a no-look dime to Sam Dekker for an easy slam. He even had his first career poster-dunk:

Much of the criticism from fans and others who didn't like the Wizards taking Brown at 15th overall centered around his perceived lack of athleticism and low ceiling on offense. But he can get up high enough to make plays like that.

5. This game was always going to have extra importance for the players from Europe like Tomas Satoransky and Ian Mahinmi, who each had a host of friends and family in attendance. Satoransky, in particular, rose to the occasion.

The Wizards guard had one of his most efficient games of the season. He had 14 points in 30 minutes on 6-for-8 from the field. He dished five assists and added two steals and a block.

The Knicks had major trouble staying in front of Satoransky, who drove into the lane with ease. He made a series of plays in the lane including a putback slam and a nice up-and-under move around Kevin Knox. It was a post move you don't often see from guards, the type of three-step combination Ben Simmons has made a living off of.

Satoransky has a lot of potential in posting up smaller guards. He's 6-foot-7 and has nice touch around the rim. That move may have been a glimpse of more to come as Satoransky continues to develop his offensive game.

Satoransky, though, didn't play much down the stretch. As the Wizards gained momentum, especially on defense, Brooks went away from Satoransky to roll with what was working.

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