A 6'3” shooting guard with a 6'6” wingspan and broad shoulders, Darius Johnson-Odom has had a productive senior season, ranking second in the Big East in scoring while leading Marquette to an impressive 24-5 record.
The deadeye perimeter shooting ability he showed as a sophomore has mostly returned after a relatively disappointing junior season. While Johnson-Odom hasn't quite replicated the virtually unsustainable levels of efficiency he had as a sophomore (47.4% from three point range and 1.627 points per possession on catch and shoot jumpers), his 40.4% three point percentage should reassure most talent evaluators that his sophomore season wasn't a fluke.
On the negative side, Johnson-Odom still has yet to show much in the way of point guard instincts or the ability to create for others, a concern for a player who measured just 6'3” at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy last summer. Beyond not showing point guard instincts, he also tends to put his head down when driving to the rim, limiting his ability to capitalize on the attention defenses give him.
Johnson-Odom has always been a good catch and shoot player, a skill that will be very valuable at the next level when he is asked to create less. While he doesn't get all that much elevation on his jump shot, his good balance and follow through creates a very repeatable motion which allows him consistent results.
He's also shown an increased ability to make jump shots off of screens, something that can be utilized as he moves to more of an off the ball role at the next level.
Where Johnson-Odom has made the most progress is as a shooter is off the dribble. His 0.93 points per shot off the dribble represents a solid improvement off the 0.688 number he posted last year, and he looks significantly more comfortable with pull up and step back jumpers, which he didn't consistently show earlier in his career.
While he's unlikely to create off the dribble at the next level quite as much as he currently is asked to, having that skill set in his arsenal represents an advantage over many of his contemporaries.
Off the dribble, Johnson-Odom has some definite positive attributes, although this is held back somewhat by his limitations finishing at the rim. Johnson-Odom has a good combination of quickness, ball-handling skills with either hand and an ability to change speeds and direction, along with an improved ability to use his physical strength to gain separation and good touch with both hands.
That being said, his combination of size and average touch makes him an overall inefficient finisher at the rim.
On the defensive side of the ball, Johnson-Odom gives good effort on this side of the ball and has the upper and lower body strength to defend strong NBA shooting guards. His average size, however, is an issue for someone who is at his best off the ball.
If Johnson-Odom were 6'5” there would be no questions about his ability to contribute at the next level. His ability to make shots from the perimeter and create off the dribble are coveted skills, especially considering his winning pedigree and the intensity he brings on the defensive end.
Johnson-Odom's size may give some teams room for pause, but fortunately for him there is a long list of undersized shooting guards currently seeing extensive playing time in the NBA today. As much as any prospect, the personnel around Darius Johnson-Odom could play a hand in whether a team is able to find a role he could be effective in at the next level.