Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cerebral Tuttle Ready For Next Level

Watching this year's NBA Finals, Northern Iowa product Seth Tuttle has taken sharp note of Cleveland's Matthew "Delly" Dellavedova.

Delladova's smothering defensive pressure, teary floaters, ruggedness, acumen in the pick-and-roll game, and knack for sprawling on the ground for 50-50 balls has vaulted the Saint Mary's product into cult hero status.

Now an unlikely supplementary source to Lebron James, the Australian-born "Delly" has generated mega-headlines and hype on an international scale.

 Tuttle is not the least bit surprised.

Having twice played against "Delly" in college, Tuttle noticed a cerebral energizer, capable of dictating the game flow with or without the ball.

Dellavedova's integral ingredient for success, a high basketball IQ, has paralleled Tuttle's career.

At Northern Iowa, the 6-foot-9 Tuttle was hyper-efficient, shooting a scalding 63 percent from the floor and knocking down treys at a 43 percent clip.

By making reads few bigs can pull off, including key decisions during amplified pressure, Tuttle's in-game know-how is akin to Dellavedova.

"How he (Dellavedova) approaches the game is how I would approach it," said Tuttle, who averaged 15.6 points, 6.9 boards, and 3.3 assists en route to Associated Press Second Team All-American Honors.

Beyond leaving his mark across the stat sheet, Tuttle was a vocal presence and a dependable one-man support system, a leadership-heavy veteran on which UNI ate off of.

 A hardened work ethic, which saw him pack on 20 pounds after all but camping out in the weight room this summer, helped as he catapulted UNI to the national spotlight.

On a team rife with sharpshooters, Tuttle wasn't just another option from beyond the arc.

 He was the sole orchestrator of UNI's perimeter assault.

"I got more accustomed to making the right reads," said Tuttle, who doled out a career-best nine assists against South Dakota State back on December 28.

A major selling point of Tuttle is the low-risk factor. A pick-and-pop threat who can space out the floor as a four-man, Tuttle never dipped under 52 percent during his four years at UNI.

As a senior, he twice turned in games of 9-for-12 and 6-for-8 FG shooting, including a 10-for-12 performance.

While the future is as unpredictable as his past has been eventful, the man who helped catapult UNI to Top-25 national status is thinking NBA first and foremost.

He doesn't bother scouring the mock drafts for his name, or weighing his assessments and evaluations amongst other four-men of his make-up.

Tuttle refuses to engage in mock draft and website hype, especially with much of the noise emanating from self-anointed experts who weren't actually present at any NBA workouts.

Tuttle has had workouts with the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, L.A. Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, L.A. Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, Atlanta Hawks. He earned the most positive reception from Atlanta and Dallas.

With one final workout slated for the Bobcats, Tuttle will trek from South Florida to Charlotte on Tuesday.

Heading into his senior campaign, an uptick in workload was integral in Tuttle's transition to go-to-guy.

"We just killed in the weight room all summer," Tuttle recalled.

 "With bench press, squats, power lifts, and a variety of other workouts, I was able to put on size and really pack on muscle."

Unsung and vastly under-recruited out of Sheffield, Iowa, Tuttle's biggest attribute may be the perpetual chip on his shoulder.

His teammates describe him with words such as "Warrior" and "Beast" and "Monster," though his court sense, calming influence with the basketball and know-how may ultimately determine his career path.

"Seth's basketball IQ is the best of any four-man in this draft class," opined Elev8's Cody Toppert, who has worked out Tuttle and a bevy of others in Elev8's Pre-Draft.

"He's got enough size to play in the NBA, but he brings a unique skill-set as a perimeter player with tremendous passing ability."

In addition to preparing Tuttle physically, Toppert has helped Tuttle play with an added dose of confidence.

Shooting the ball more effectively from the outside, refining his handle and taking on different reads has steadied him as he continues to build a portfolio as a diversified, multi-dimensional draft prospect.