Black bringing talent to increased opportunity
CRISIS creates opportunity, and it has certainly benefited NBA Draft prospect Anthony Black, who has taken his game to another level with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Although he had a slow start to his time with the team, an injury to fellow draft hopeful Nick Smith Jr. has seen the combo guard get significantly more touches over the past couple of months, and it has highlighted how much he can bring to the game.
In the past 12 months, he has tidied up a lot of areas of his game that were holding him back, and Black now looms as a selection in the upcoming NBA Draft at around the 10-15 range.
TEAM: Arkansas Razorbacks
HEIGHT: 6ft 7in
Black started his career in his hometown of Duncanville, Texas and attended Coppell High School, where he led the team’s offence and averaged 16.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. His size allowed him to develop as more of a rebounding guard, and emerge as a prospect for the future. Black made the move to Duncanville High School, and despite playing limited games, he still showed serious promise.
The guard signed with the Razorbacks after being named a five-star recruit and even considered taking his talents to the G-League, which is also becoming a genuine pathway. At Arkansas, he slotted into the starting lineup, and formed a damaging one-two punch with Smith Jr. before the latter was forced out of the side with injury.
Since taking the reigns at the guard position, Black has shown how much he has grown in the past year, having improved leaps and bounds as a playmaker thanks to some more touches on a nightly basis.
One of the big factors in his game that let him down early on was how frequent he would turn the ball over, but that has been addressed and adjusted in the past few months. He now makes calculated and composed decisions with ball in hand.
Being a combo guard, Black can impact the game on and off the ball and can still offer enough versatility to operate next to a ball-dominant player in the NBA. He offers plenty of size if played at the one, and is one of the better rebounding guards in this draft.
Black is more of a slasher than a shooter at this stage in his career, but has no problem using his speed on the floor to accelerate past the defender and can finish above the rim with ease.
The lengthy guard has benefited in a major way from the boost in opportunity due to an injury to his teammate, and in doing so, has boosted his own stock just months out from the draft.