NBA DRAFT GRADES
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2004 (Redshirt): Sat out the season after transferring from Virginia.
2003 (Sophomore): (at Virginia) Started 18 of 31 games played, averaging 20.9 minutes... Averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds... Scored in double figures 11 times... Scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers at Loyola Marymount (12/19/03)... Recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against Coastal Carolina (12/22/03)... Netted 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 attempts from the charity stripe against Iowa State... Scored 18 points at No. 19 Wake Forest (1/31/04).
2002 (Freshman): (at Virginia) Started 16 of 31 games played, averaging 20.9 minutes... Averaged 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds... Scored a season-high 20 points and swiped five steals coming off the bench in a 72-65 win over Gardner-Webb (12/19/02) ... Netted 16 points as a reserve in an 84-76 victory over East Tennessee State (12/17/02) ... Scored 15 points and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range in the win over Florida State (1/29/03)... Tallied 11 points in Virginia’s loss to Indiana (11/27/02) and 10 points in the Cavaliers’ victory over Kentucky (11/26/02) at the Maui Invitational Tournament... Grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in the win over Chaminade (11/25/02) in Maui... Started the first five games of the season... Made two free throws with 1:56 left to play to provide the final margin of victory in a 61-58 home victory over N.C. State (2/9/03)... Shot 42.4 percent (14-33) from 3-point range in the last 14 games in which he played... Scored in double figures 10 times.
Personal: Derrick JaVaughn Byars … Born April 25, 1984 in Memphis, Tenn... Son of Barbara and David Byars… Has fours siblings, including brothers David Byars (32), Darryle Byars (34) and sisters Desiree Anderson (33), Bridget Byars (19)... Undecided in his major... Nickname is “Dee Bee”... Wears a size 16 shoe... Chose Vanderbilt over Mississippi State, Tennessee and Ole Miss. High School: Named fourth-team Parade All-America and Gatorade Player of the Year in Tennessee as a senior, averaging 23.2 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in 2001-02… Earned First Team All-State honors and was a Tennessee Mr. Basketball finalist as a senior… Chosen the District 15-AA regular season Player of the Year, Tournament Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Player in the Region 8-AA Tournament and was the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Class AA State Tournament Most Valuable Player... Helped lead Ridgeway to the District 15-AA Tournament championship, the Region 8-AA Tournament title, the West Tennessee Substate title and the TSSAA Class AA State Championship in 2002… Named the Memphis Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Class AA Best of Preps Player of the Year... Shot 37 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the free throw line… Averaged 20.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and five assists a game while shooting 41 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the free throw line as a junior... Earned honorable mention All-State honors and was named to the Region 8-AA All-Tournament Team, the District 15-AA Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and a First Team All-District selection during the regular season… Three-year letterman and starter for head coach Wesley Henning.
Strengths: Byars is a decent athlete with pretty good size for a wing, and he has a versatile, all-around skill set. Byars is a pretty good outside shooter, especially when he has space and time to get his feet set. He's a smart player and crafty with the ball, using jab steps and ball fakes well to get past his man. He finishes well at the hoop because of his strength. Byars plays great fundamental defense. He really understands how to play on that end of the floor, not over-relying on his athleticism.
Weaknesses: Byars is a good but not great athlete. He lacks a bit in ballhandling skills for a perimeter player. With the ball, he usually relies on craftiness rather than explosiveness to get past his man. He may have more trouble with that at the next level. He also lacks a mid-range game, almost always taking the ball to the hole on penetrations. His outside shot has very strange mechanics, including a bit of a side-to-side motion. That results in an inconsistent release point and inconsistent results.
Outlook: Byars is a fringe first-round prospect, but could go in the early 20's if a team falls in love with him. He had some great performances on big stages as a senior, most notably against Georgetown and Florida. Byars' potential probably caps out at about a team's third or fourth option, due to his lack of elite athleticism. Cleaning up his shooting mechanics would definitely help him in the future.
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