POSITION: Power Forward
WEIGHT: 250 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: South Dakota State
Shooting - Great shooter, can shoot at a standstill or on the move.
Scoring Ability - Scores in a variety of ways uses Dirk one leg fadeaway and turn around jumper; Can put the ball on the ground
Length - Good wingspan, creates space for fadeaways
Athleticism - Below average athlete, lacks lateral quickness on both ends of the floor.
Finishing vs length - Plays below the rim, gets a lot of shots blocked in the paint
Defense - Can he guard anyone? Is a negative defender at the college level
Lateral Quickness - Will be a liability in PNR, lacks the foot speed to defend the quick guards in the NBA.
The Mike Daum story is already one of the better ones in college basketball. Hailing from the middle of nowhere (Kimball, Nebraska,) the best thing to happen to Daum was playing against 7’6” Tacko Fall, now at Central Florida. Daum matched up against Fall and hit 12 threes and caught the eye of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits coaching staff. Fast forward to the 2016-2017 season and Daum is a 25 ppg scoring machine with a lightning quick release.
Daum is a high volume, high efficiency scoring machine. He’s a great shooter that can either knock down shots on the move or spotting up from NBA range. If you chase him off the line, he’s good shooting off the dribble. The coaching staff at SDSU uses Daum in a variety of ways and you can tell they’ve watched a lot of Dallas Mavericks tape looking for ways to get their star open. No, he’s not Dirk Nowitzki but Daum does a good job scoring off of pindowns and scoring in the pinch post. Daum even has the Great Value version of Dirk’s patented one legged fadeaway. He’s really good at getting into his defender and fading away going to his left which has become pretty unblockable.
Daum should be able bring his sweet shooting to the NBA as the game has obviously shifted towards the perimeter. Pair him alongside a scoring point guard and you have a problem on defense. Daum made 42% of his three point attempts per game as the main focus, he should be able to to replicate that success in a lesser role. If your guard switches on to him, Daum can take advantage of him in the post. He won’t have the same volume he has in college but I can see some of his game translating. Worst case scenario, he should be able to stand in the corner as a stretch forward.
Conversely, I don’t think Daum can guard a chair. It’s easy to blame his scoring responsibilities for his lack of defensive ability, but it turns out he’s just not a good athlete. He’s got the foot speed of a past his prime Dirk Nowitzki but he’s not 7 feet like Dirk. He’s going to struggle even to defend back up point guards and will be taken advantage of. It’ll be interesting to see if his wingspan is as great as it looks but even still his lack of athleticism may be too much to overcome. Offensively, teams will chase him off the 3 point line and make him score off the dribble. In the tournament against Gonzaga, Daum struggled against Jonathan Williams who has the prototypical build of the small ball 4. Daum was stifled to 7-16 shooting. Length really bothers Daum again due to him being a below average athlete. He get a lot of his shots in the paint blocked or altered. Daum is definitely a professional basketball player but whether he can play defense adequately at the NBA level will determine his future.
JAMES BARLOWE - OCTOBER 10, 2017
Here is a breakdown of Daum's possessions over the 2016-17 season