In an effort for a full Siena-Butler BracketBuster preview, in what might be one of the most crucial games for the Saints this season, we’ll take a look at the matchups, preview what Siena has to do and take a look at how tough it is to play at the top ranked Horizon League leader and likely tournament team. Follow us on twitter @SienaSaintsBlog

Gordon Hayward is a 6’9″ scorer who has been a scorer, has a great shot and can drive to the basket. He will likely give the Saints a tough matchup that they have been working on since traveling back from Western New York. Not only is he a scorer who can shoot the outside shot, including NBA three pointers, but he has grabbed double digit rebounds in the last two games heading into tonight.

Take a look at Sophomore Gordon Hayward, his scouting report (ESPN.com) update in January said:

Positives: Sharp shooter with deep range, Versatile player who can score in a variety of ways, Solid rebounder for a wing, Great size for his position, Adept at picking up steals

Negatives: Needs to add a lot strength to his frame, Isn’t an elite athlete, Lacks great lateral quickness

Haywood plays like a veteran and uses every skill in a basketball player’s arsenal to score, rebound and defend. He has terrific size and can play several positions. The fact that he isn’t a super athlete limits his potential somewhat, but he makes up for it with toughness and grit. Hayward has moved from 52 to 19 on our Big Board over the last few months.

He is listed as a mid to late first round pick in the NBA Draft next year on ESPN’s Draft boards.

Meanwhile the DraftExpress says of Hayward:

On the offensive end, despite a decrease in three-point shooting percentage this season (45% to 36%, on just 78 attempts), Hayward’s bread and butter is still his outside shot, boasting a high and quick release with range to the NBA three-point line. Hayward’s shot is incredibly smooth, and one of the most impressive aspects of his shooting is his excellent body control and shot selection, as he almost always squares his shoulders and gets his feet underneath him before taking a shot, leading to very few bad misses. He’s not a great shot creator off the dribble, however, even though he looks very comfortable pulling up in space.

Right now he ranks 24th in DraftExpress’ mock draft.