For years, Sir`Dominic Pointer was the affable and energetic do-it-all wing who, despite a lofty surge in his recruiting ranking before coming to St. John's, wasn't a centerpiece of the Red Storm, even when given chances.
For three years, the man with all the nicknames (CostCo, Ziggy, Swiss Army Knife) did a lot of things for St. John's, but didn't do one thing particularly well outside of a desire to make defensive plays.
But as a senior, Pointer exploded - somewhat out of necessity - and was named the Big East's Most Improved Player and Defensive Player of the Year. He received the Haggerty Award as the NY-metro area's best player.
It wasn't just the minutes, or the fact that he didn't have Jakarr Sampson and Orlando Sanchez in front of him - or Max Hooper or Marc-Antoine Bourgault, one supposes. Placed in more of a central playmaking role, on a team where the ball didn't stop with two forwards who liked to shoot from 14-feet out, and given a chance to play loosely, Pointer thrived.
And in that time, Pointer looked like he could legitimately be the player recruiting pundits seemed to think he could be with lofty end-of-high school rankings.
Thanks to Steve Lavin, who broached the idea of Pointer redshirting for a season to perhaps light a fire underneath the forward from Detroit, Pointer was placed in a role where his hybrid skills could flourish.
He could lead the break, showing the point guard skills Lavin said he possessed years earlier.
He could attack the rim, putting that strength and athleticism to work.
And his rebounding skill and desire blew up. He didn't become Charles Barkley - his nights against Villanova were particularly off - but he was the defensive rebounder the team sorely needed with Chris Obekpa playing the shot blocker.
GioNYSports notes "his 1st half against SDSU in NCAA. He showed the country what he's all about."
Ed V brings up that completely filthy dunk on Matt Stainbrook of Xavier.
Chris mentions the 2013, "the buzzer beater he hit against St. Joe's in the [postseason] NIT," when D`Angelo Harrison was suspended from the team.
And Redmen9194 adds "too many moments for Sir Dom. Just too many..."
Scouting Sir`Dominic Pointer
Positive: Athletic defensive potential.
Pointer's raw athleticism played out in blocks and steals, and he has more potential. On St. John's, wings and guards often defended opponents very closely to funnel them into the paint and shot blockers. It worked in many games, but at times Pointer was "beaten" by his man, beaten in a way that he might not have been in a different defense.
But Sir`Dom Pointer has quickness and defensive focus; with some scoring, he could be, basically, Bruce Bowen - a nasty-minded defensive tough whose scoring is secondary to how he disrupts opponents.
Negative: lack of shooting.
Dom Pointer shot 13% of his shots in his career from beyond the arc.
Most looked to NOT be by choice - with the shot clock running down, for example. But we can't use that as an excuse, because he shot 33% in late offense situations, according to Hoop-math.com's calculations. So shooting under 20% for his career (with a sophomore year blip) from outside the arc belies a general struggle to shoot. Even inside the arc, he improved, but was not much of a scorer.
His damage was done in straight line drives to the hoop and baseline attacks. Even with the improvement to his mid-range jumper - Pointer shot 38% on two-point jump shots - Dom's scoring is going to give teams pause, especially if they are looking for a player who can play defense and hit enough shots to keep opponents honest on the other end of the floor.
Will a team take a second-round flier on Sir`Dominic Pointer, hoping to smooth out the rough edges? I think one might. Even if not, some team will bring him to training camp to see how he functions in the fast-paced NBA. Hey, if Jakarr Sampson's athleticism can earn him a shot, why can't Pointer's?
And if not, I see D-League stints in Pointer's future.
Sir`Dominic Pointer has worked out for the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons and apparently 15 other teams.
After Detroit, an interview: