Southerland was a darkhorse to make the team considering he only played in two of his team’s eight preseason games and made one of three three-point attempts while averaging 4.5 minutes a game. Coach Steve Clifford likes Southerland because of his size, shooting ability and work ethic. He showed his skills by sparking Syracuse to the NCAA Final Four last season, but he didn’t get picked in the NBA draft in June. It’s no secret that fabulous collegiate careers don’t guarantee a player success in the NBA.
The Bobcats gave him a non-guaranteed deal as an undrafted free agent.
Southerland, a forward, hopes to prove to be a suitable backup at that small forward spot to the likes of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. In that respect, he could be an impact player for the Bobcats as a shooter from off the bench. He played during the summer with the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Orlando Summer League and also saw action with the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League. His summer performance was enough to give him a tryout with the Bobcats.
He averaged 13.3 points and 30 minutes per game in his senior year with Syracuse. He shot 39.8 percent from behind the three-point circle and was 45 percent in field-goal shooting. If he has a chance to get some playing time and feel more comfortable around the NBA game, Southerland could occasionally give the Bobcats an offensive boost during the season.