For those who are new to the site, The Case For... is a series of looks at players who are on the fringe of the draft, but still have parts of their game which make them appealing prospects. Today, I am looking at an athletic small forward from Iowa State via Gulf Coast Community College - Marquis Gilstrap.
The Good - Gilstrap is athletic, has good size (6'7, 215) and runs the court exceptionally well. He operates best along the baseline, but has the quickness to take his man to the basket out on the wings. He has the ability to hit the perimeter shot consistently out to 17 feet, and has 3 point range. When he does play along the baseline, he is an effective offensive rebounder, using his leaping ability to put back the ball before defenders get a chance to grab it. Defensively, he shows good footwork guarding on the perimeter and has the ability to rebound from anywhere.
The Not-So-Good - While Gilstrap has a multi-faceted offense, he is a lot like Stanley Robinson in that he zones in on one or two moves, and it makes him easier to guard. While he shows perimeter ability, he should work on getting his shot off quicker. Also, with his athletic ability, he should finish stronger at the rim, and not shy away from big contact. Defensively, he needs to become more physical, as his athletic ability will not be enough at the professional level. In the post, he tends to let his player back him down, then hoping to block the shot. He should become more assertive on both ends, looking for the ball on offense and going after the ball on defense - there are too many long stretches where he disappears.
The Verdict - Right now, Gilstrap needs to work on becoming a more all-around threat as a player, as his athleticism outshines his basketball skills. He does have the kind of top-level athletic ability to make some teams take notice. He won't get the kind of coaching he needs in Europe, I think his best bet would be to play in the NBDL and take advantage of the ties between teams to gain the skills he needs to play in the NBA. I would look for him to eventually get his shot after a solid year in the Developmental League, but don't expect to hear his name on draft day.
Make sure to check back later this week for more prospects on The Case For...