by Joey Davis
Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics.
The University of Pittsburgh Panther basketball team is coming off one of their most successful seasons in years. Head Coach Jeff Capel’s team fell short of the sweet sixteen last season at the hands of local favorite and Pitt alum Sean Miller’s Xavier Squad.
However, the 2023-24 team will look markedly different. New additions may make this team stronger overall, but many pundits have them slated for the bottom third of ACC rankings. Guillermo Diaz Graham is one of the players Capel will rely on to be the leader on the court.
Here’s Draft 412’s analysis on the Panther forward prospect:
Name: Guillermo Diaz Graham
Weight: 220 lbs.
Guillermo Diaz Graham is one of those interesting prospects that NBA GM’s salivate over. He has the size and athleticism to play multiple positions at the next level and has the potential to reach a very high ceiling.
Diaz Graham excels in a motion or in a pick and roll offense. When setting the pick, his exceptional footwork pins his defender, allowing the shooter to roll to the basket or hold for the kick back mid-range jumper. In a motion offense as a stretch four, the option for him to shoot will be there, and at his time at Pitt, he’s becoming increasingly more dangerous.
Diaz Graham plays the game with a high basketball IQ, even for a player on the younger age of the spectrum. His rebounding capability is his greatest strength on defense, and even with his slight build, he hasn’t been pushed around by more matured-bodied players. He does an exceptional job boxing his defender out and when defending the pick and roll, he excels at hedging the dribble. He has real talent with the ball in his hands, as he almost always finds the open man.
However, Diaz Graham needs to be more selfish and look for his own shot if he wants to thrive at the next level. Also, he will need to add weight and muscle before reaching his full potential to truly become an asset for a team as a rim protector. And extra bulk will allow him to be better on the attack against stronger defenders.
- Length that can’t be taught
- High basketball IQ
- Footwork; playsetter
- Needs to add muscle and weight
- Need to shoot more
If Diaz Graham can get stronger, his stock may skyrocket. The NBA is always on the prowl for potential and look less at player track records than ever before. It’s strange to say it, but it’s true. And Diaz Graham is loaded with potential. Pitt fans don’t have to look far to see a skinnier version of Steven Adams here, who’s become an NBA stalwart when he filled out his 7’ frame.
Although Draft 412 does not believe Diaz Graham will leave at the conclusion of the season, he is eligible and some team may take a run at him in next year’s 2nd round.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Late 2nd round or UDFA, or stay at Pitt and continue to improve his draft stock.