Carsen Edwards Scouting Report

Carsen Edwards
Carsen Edwards (#3) ranked ninth in Division I for scoring this season with 24.3 points per game, and ranked at the 67th percentile for points per possession. (Photo courtesy of Purdue Athletics)

Carsen Edwards may only be 6-feet tall, but let’s be clear, he’s a shooting guard, not a point guard.  In his three years at Purdue, he never averaged more than three assists per game, and never led his team in assists.  For his career, he has an assist-turnover ratio of 1.13, which is respectable, but far from ideal for a point guard.  This is not to say that he’s incapable of running an offense, but it’s not his strength.  Edwards is shooter, and he would be a perfect fit for a team that is led by a point guard/forward who does most of his damage in the paint, such as the Sixers or the Bucks. 

Edwards is an exciting and intense player, who is always on the move and looking to score.  He led the Big Ten in scoring this season with 24.3 points per game, along with 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.  He took the second most 3-point shots (380) in Division I, making 35.5 percent.  He also averaged 6.1 free-throw attempts per game, making 83.7 percent.  The junior finished second in the nation for half-court jumpers attempted (438) and third in half-court jumpers attempted off the bounce (237) – Detroit’s Antoine Davis led the nation in both categories.  As a result of shooting so many jumpers, Edwards had a poor field-goal percentage (39.4 percent), but his points per possession (0.94, 67th percentile) were very good.

Athletically, Edwards is an interesting case.  His speed and quickness are well above average, but he’s not especially explosive off the ground.  His wingspan exceeds his height without shoes by more than seven inches, which is the main reason that he’s capable of making impressive dunks.  Additionally, pound for pound, he might be the strongest player in this draft.  At this year’s NBA Combine, he finished tied for sixth in the bench-press test, trailing Admiral Schofield by one rep, and besting the players such as Bruno Fernando and Tyler Cook.

This season, jump shots accounted for 74 percent of Edwards’ half-court offense.  He has a nifty handle, is very quick with the ball, is very capable with step-back moves, and can make shots with a hand in his face.  His shot mechanics are not perfect, but he gets great elevation, and has a quick release.  His best skill may be his ability to quickly pull up, rise, and fire, which he does in every way possible.  He’s effective coming off screens, with or without the ball, off the catch, and off the bounce, and he has deep range.  This season, the All-American took 203 shots between 23 and 30 feet, making 32.5 percent.  Overall, he was most efficient shooting off the bounce (from any range), averaging 0.91 points per possession (71st percentile). 

As a driver, Edwards is capable of making impressive finishes, featuring good body control, outstanding length, and the ability to finish with either hand.  However, as a 6-foot player lacking great vertical explosiveness, he has limitations, and he made just 45.5 percent of his half-court shots around the basket this season.  Part of the problem is that he doesn’t have a reliable floater game, which is something that he needs to add for the next level. 

Defensively, Edwards has ranked well above average for the past two seasons for points allowed per possession (73rd percentile this season).  He is a gritty defender, who is also very quick and agile.  His size is definitely a limiting factor, but his 6-foot-6 wingspan does allow him to play bigger than his listed height.  Even so, being unable to consistently contest shots is a concern at the next level – he averaged just 0.28 blocks per game this season. 

Position:  SG/PG Team/Class: Purdue (Jr.)
Birthday:  3/12/98 Nationality: United States
Height:  6-0 Weight: 199
Wingspan: 6-6 Vertical: 28.5 standing and 34.5 max
Shot Hand: Right Stats: Click here

Strengths:

  • Fast, quick, agile, and strong
  • Efficient scorer despite being the primary focus of opposing defenses
  • Gifted shooter off the bounce, with deep range
  • Comfortable handling in the pick and roll, which accounted for 29 percent of his possessions this season; ranked at the 73rd percentile for points per possession as a pick-and-roll handler
  • Excellent isolation scorer, ranking at the 89th percentile
  • Very good free-throw shooter
  • Solid perimeter defender
  • High-energy, high-intensity player

Weaknesses:

  • Volume shooter, who is not overly efficient from deep (career percentage of 36.7)
  • Lack of size and vertical explosiveness limits his effectiveness at the rim
  • Not a proven playmaker; had an assist-turnover ratio of 0.92 this season, and his pick-and-roll efficiency significantly dropped when including passes (60th percentile)
  • Not reliable with runners and floaters, making just 33 percent of those type of shots this season
  • Inability to consistently contest shots is a big concern at the next level

Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements:  Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports Technology and RealGM.com, and occasionally from Hoop-Math.com and Sports-Reference.com.  Other outside sources are noted with links to the source. 

About R. C. Harris 62 Articles
Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/analyst since 1998. He is the former CEO of FantasyFootballExperts.com and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN.com, SI.com, and USAToday.com. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.