Magic Prospects: Devin Ebanks


So far HTD has taken a look at two of Orlando’s potential picks at 29 in next week’s NBA Draft, both small forwards – Quincy Pondexter of Washington and Darington Hobson of New Mexico. Today, we’ll take a look at another small forward on Orlando’s radar – West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks.

Back in 2008, Ebanks was one of the nature’s most sought after high school prospects. He was considered a five-star recruit by, was ranked as the nation’s second-best small forward and 11th best overall player. Ebanks had offers from basketball powers like Indiana, Memphis and Texas but the Oakdale, Connecticut native eventually decided to play college basketball for Bob Huggins at West Virginia.

Ebanks spent two seasons in Morgantown. During his freshman campaign, he averaged 10.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He didn’t seen much of a jump last season – he scored 12.0 points, grabbed 8.1 rebounds and dished out 2.4 assists per game. In fact, he actually saw a drop in his shooting percentage (47.0% to 45.7% and his three-point percentage (12.5% to 10.0%).

After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at Ebanks’ numbers*.


Ebanks was a bit of a disappointment last season. As mentioned above, he entered with all the hype and talent in the world but didn’t really showcase it. Usually players see a nice hike in production from their first season to their second. Ebanks didn’t, yet he still decided to enter the draft.

Ebanks is a good rebounder and was a force on the offensive glass last season.

Ebanks struggles off the dribble and doesn’t really create his own shot. Here’s what Draft Express had to say:

"We’ve discussed Ebanks’ limitations as a half-court player in a fair amount of depth in previous reports, and there’s not much new to report on this front. He’s 3/26 on the season from beyond the arc, and has not hit a 3-pointer in over a month, which tells you all you need to know about where he stands as a perimeter shooter at this point in time.His ball-handling skills remain porous, particularly with his left hand, as he struggles creating his own shot against set defenses, and thus does not get to the free throw line at a great rate."

Obviously, Ebanks isn’t much of a shooter from long distance but he has been a fairly consistent free throw shooter.

Playing for West Virginia has also hurt Ebanks’ productivity. They are team that plays at a slow a place and relies on good defense to win games.

Of course, playing for the Mountaneers had  it’s upside. West Virginia not only won the Big East Championship but they advanced to the Final 4, giving Ebanks a wealth of experience against top notch competition.

Let’s take a look at how Ebanks fared in those games. In the Big East tournament, Ebanks didn’t really get the job done. He opened the tournament with a 10-point performance against Cincinatti but it took him 13 shots to get there. In the next two games, he scored just 8 against Notre Dame and only 2 against Georgetown but only took a total of 8 combined shots in those games.

He was much better in the NCAA tournament. He scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Morgan State, went for 14 and 7 against Missouri, 12 and 7 against Washington and Kentucky and scored 11 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in West Virginia’s Final 4 loss to Duke.

Those are pretty good performances considering what was at stake. Ebanks seemed to shoot better and make better decisions as the tournament went on, increasing his field goal percentage in each round from the second round on, but his poor showing in the conference tournament still shows his inconsistency.

Ebanks is also a very good defender, which could be something the Magic really need should they lose Matt Barnes in free agency.

Ebanks is a talent with excellent athletic ability but he is not without his problems. Ebanks  reportedly got into a fist-fight with teammate Darryl “Truck” Bryant, injuring his hand. Ebanks also was suspended for the first three games of the season for what we can only assume were academic issues.

Ebanks has some maturity issues and has a ways to go concering the development of his game, so he may not be the best option for a team who wants to win now.

*Statistics provided by Ken Pomeroy.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).