News broke Wednesday evening of Louisville Senior graduate transfer Damion Lee planning to enter the NBA Draft. This doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise; Lee has received his degree from Drexel University and played one year at Louisville to use up his NCAA eligibility. Why this is news is because of speculation surrounding Lee’s game and if he is good enough to play in the association. Standing at 6’6” and 210 lb, Lee is slightly over the average size of an NBA shooting guard, the average measurement being 6’ 5” and 205 lb. Something that may throw NBA scouts for a loop on Lee’s game is his consistency, He has come up clutch in games such as the upset win against national runner-up North Carolina and he dominated the November and December portion of the Cards schedule, their toughest opponents in those months being Michigan State and Kentucky, but other than those two powerhouses it was North Florida and St. Louis headlining the early season opponents. The inconsistency appeared in games such as the season finale vs Virginia. Lee only had 9 points, 3-13 on field goals and 1-8 from three. Another example being the upset loss to Clemson is early January, where Lee only had 6 points. 2 of those 6 were from the free throw line, he was 2-12 on field goals and 0-7 from three. In the NBA, you have to be good consistently. Everybody has a bad night, but Lee didn’t show up in some games, especially the Clemson game where the entire Cardinal squad seemed to over look the Tigers.
Enough of the negatives, lets talk about some good aspects of Damion Lee’s game. Standing at 6’6”, Lee has a height advantage over his other opponents at guard. He averaged 4 rebounds a game (3.9, I rounded up) in his career at Louisville. But the best aspect of Lee’s game is his ability to score, especially from three-point range. Averaging 16 PPG (15.9, I rounded again) and shooting .341 from behind the arc, Lee is a threat as soon as he crosses mid court. He wasn’t selected to the college all-star 3 point challenge for nothing! From the charity stripe, he shot .842%. His season high in points came when the Cards played Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Lee put up 29. He also scored 27 against Kentucky, 24 against Grand Canyon, Duke, and North Carolina. Side note: I know Lee can score, I’m not saying he’s inconsistent, I’m saying he can be, and only on a few instances.
My prediction for Lee is he will go somewhere in the late second round. The team that takes him will give him a couple of seasons in the D-League to improve, and then he will be brought up and be a big contribution off the bench. A 6th man of the year award is not a crazy prediction for Lee. Draftexpress.com has Lee ranked as the 50th overall best prospect in the draft. Cbssports.com has Lee ranked as the 17th best overall shooting guard.
No matter what team, league, or country Lee plays in, the organization that takes him is going to receive a special young man with a lot of talent and potential to build on. Lee has made his mark on Louisville basketball and we cannot thank him enough. On behalf of River City Cards and the Louisville Cardinals community, we wish Damion the best of luck.