Victor Wembanyama Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Seven-foot-two French center who emerged as a surprise standout performer at the FIBA U16 European Championship last month, where France placed second;
    • Is said to have struggled during preparation and started the tournament as the third center in the rotation but eventually became the most productive player on the team;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 34.5 PER, 15.3 points per 40 minutes on 51% effective shooting, 27.1% defensive rebounding rate, 16% offensive rebounding rate, 11.5% assist rate, 20.2% turnover rate, 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.2 steals per 40 minutes in 165 minutes[1];
  • Turned 15 in January[2], which meant he matched up against players on average a year-and-a-half older than him;
  • Nanterre, Ile-de-France native currently being developed on Nanterre 92’s youth system;
  • Exceled on defense, not only due to his combination of supreme height and length for someone his age but by showing remarkable quickness going up off two feet to put a lid on the basket and dominate the defensive glass;
    • Led the tournament in defensive rating;
  • Acted as a constant threat to score around the rim on catch-and-score finishes and, despite a very thin frame for someone his height, on a few deep seals posting up within close range;
    • Helped facilitate offense by flashing to the foul line or as a reset mechanism at the top of the key;
    • Flirted with some outside shots and his release looks quite projectable but it’s more theoretical than real for now.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane in help defense;
    • Quick leaper off one foot on longer rotations and off two feet out of a standstill position;
    • Averaged a jaw-dropping 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Without fouling – averaged just 1.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Showed great awareness shadowing isolations and post-ups;
    • Can leverage his length to block or alter shots even without being in the finisher’s personal space;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players getting downhill from the foul line down and proved himself quick enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Struggles to boxout all that well due to lack of strength and gives up inside position at times but still managed to dominate the glass due to massive rebounding area, length to rebound outside of his area and supreme quickness chasing the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 27.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
  • Can’t hold his ground in post defense due to lack of strength but guards with his arms up to wall off and intimidates opponents from trying to shoot over him.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

  • Asked to venture above the foul line regularly, showed some versatility in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Dropping back: showed a good deal of nimbleness sliding laterally to intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner but not yet fluid back-pedaling and let the roll man get behind him a couple of times;
    • Hedging: so-so at influencing ball handlers with his hedges, moves OK in recovery and leverages his length into deflecting passes or generating steals on his way back – averaged 2.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Switches: hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but proved himself able to stay attached on straight line drives well enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Sprints on closeouts to the three-point line and isn’t just effective contesting shots but can even block a few jumpers.

OFFENSE

  • Flashed some ability to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and even ran a break when left unchallenged but doesn’t appear to have the sort of dexterity bringing the ball up to be expected to develop into a capable ball handler;
  • Decent screener for someone his age: has a thin frame but widens his stance to try seeking contact and set some clever moving screens;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense and going up in traffic diving down the lane in pick-and-roll;
  • Active on the glass, not just to generate second chance opportunities with his ability to rebound outside of his area or reach the ball higher than most of his opponents within his age group, but acting as tip-in and tip-dunk threat as well;
    • Collected 16% of France’s misses when he was on the floor;
  • Iffy touch on non-dunk finishes and is unable to finish through contact at this point of his physical development;
    • Shot just 54.5% on 44 two-point shots, which is pretty low for the sort of close-range looks he got;
  • Flashed to the foul line to facilitate high-low action on occasion and often acted as an escape valve floating to the top of the key to aid the ball reversal process but attempted some reckless passes at times;
    • Assisted on 11.5% of France’s scores when he was on the floor;
    • Averaged 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes, which is a sky-high rate for someone with a 20% usage rate;
  • Got some deep post-ups against overwhelmed opponents on occasion but lacks the strength and physicality to get such a seal regularly;
  • Took six three-point shots in this tournament, not all of them in emergency situations, showing a fairly projectable stroke on spot-ups;
    • Hopped into his shot, got some unexpected elevation for a seven-foot-two guy and went through comfortable mechanics with good guide hand discipline and follow through;
    • Touch is questionable, though – made just 12 of his 21 free throws.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] DOB: 1/4/2004

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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Emoni Bates Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Top-ranked prospect in the 2022 high school class[1];
  • Projected to be the first prospect drafted straight out of graduating high school, without the need to take a fake internship or a post-graduate year to enter the NBA without going to college or signing outside the United States, with the league expected to go back to the old rules in 2022;
  • Turned 15 in January[2];
  • Measured at six-foot-eight with a six-foot-nine wingspan and weighed in at 165 pounds at the Nike Elite 100 camp last month[3];
    • Broad shoulders suggest his frame should fill up in time;
  • Ball-dominant wing who plays more of an isolation-oriented game in AAU, while mixing in a few post-ups, some work in pick-and-roll and spotting up away from the ball a little bit in high school;
  • Uneven defender, as common with young teenagers – when engaged, can make a difference reaching around for strips on the ball, jumping passing lanes and walling off the front of the rim in rotation but doesn’t play with that sort of intensity regularly and is not a dominant figure on this end;
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan native who led Ypsilanti Lincoln High School to a state championship in his freshman year of high school last season;
  • Averaged 32.3 points per game on 54.5% shooting at the Nike Peach Jam last month[4] but BATES Fundamentals, coached by his father, lost in the first round of the elimination stage in the E15 division.

SHOOTING

  • Gunner who takes any opportunity he can get to launch a long bomb – at times pulling up from way past NBA range;
  • Hasn’t yet developed wide step-backs and side-steps that you are used to seeing from elite isolation gunners like James Harden and Luka Doncic, which could eventually make his pull-ups nearly uncontestable, but already has a deep arsenal of resources to get his shot off one-on-one;
    • Loves to go between the legs into a stop-and-pop three-pointer but also launches jumpers off hang dribbles, step-throughs, pull-backs, spin moves, jab-steps;
  • Sets an unorthodox base, bringing his knees closer together than you are used to seeing, and has a low release out in front but gets a good deal of elevation for someone who stands at six-foot-eight to get his shot off comfortably over every single defender within his age group;
  • Does shot prep with 1-2 footwork on catch-and-shoot’s and has good fluidity in his release, despite needing to take a pronounced dip for rhythm, with a quick trigger for someone his height thanks to compact mechanics;
    • Besides spot-ups, took a few shots on the move off relocating around the wing to offer his teammates a clearer passing lane but hasn’t yet shown what sort of versatility he has in his release – rarely coming off screens or working as the screener in pick-and-pop;
  • Showed glimpses of having a knack for getting to his spots in pick-and-roll;
  • Posts up smaller matchups from time-to-time and as he lacks the combination of strength and physicality to get a deep seal regularly, got pushed out further away from the mid-post often and showed to be more comfortable letting it happen, so he could face-up;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a patient approach operating with his back to the basket or any post moves to try getting his defender out of position prior to getting his shot off;
    • Mostly just faces up and shoots over the top;
    • Flashed a turnaround fadeaway jumper off a hiked leg.

FINISHING

  • Very comfortable on grab-and-go’s off a defensive rebound and can take it end-to-end or slow transition into an isolation but rarely triggers offense that involves his teammates;
  • Doesn’t have a quick first step out of a standstill position to blow by his man on speed but can maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact well enough against his age group, mixing in a well-coordinated spin move to gain momentum into the lane from time-to-time;
  • Flashed a good feel for declining the ball-screen and an in-and-out dribble to manipulate his man into it operating in middle high pick-and-roll;
  • Explosive leaper off one foot in space but most often looks to gallop into two-foot leaps in traffic;
  • Flashed some flexibility to adjust his body in the air with a rim protector parked between him and the basket but has so far shown to be a basic finisher who looks for speed layups for the most part;
    • That said, hasn’t gotten all that many opportunities to show if he has any versatility to his finishing package because he lives at the foul line playing against his age group – despite his thin frame, his style of play invites plenty of contact as he drives;
  • Has shown a good deal of dexterity on floaters with either hand off 1-2 footwork, euro-steps and spin moves – missing only a floater off a jump-stop to complete his tear-drop package;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense but doesn’t get many alley-oop opportunities with the teams he plays with;
  • Occasional put-back threat but not tenacious enough to get several of those a game.

PASSING

  • Flashed some appealing court vision hitting the weakside corner over the top in pick-and-roll and off drawing two to the ball in isolation – height allows him to see over traffic;
  • Showed glimpses of being able to hit the stretch big over the top with good rhythm operating in pick-and-pop;
  • Willing to throw outlet passes if a teammate manages to leak out;
  • A bit of a reckless passer going for style plays at times.

DEFENSE

  • Played a role as more of a weakside defender with both BATES Fundamentals and Ypsilanti Lincoln High School, though he logged some time at center during the state championship game against Detroit Jesuit;
  • Edge in height and length was enough for him to discourage opponents from pulling the trigger with his so-so closeouts but got blown by often as those opponents put the ball on the floor;
  • Prone to ball watching and giving up a backdoor cut from time-to-time;
  • Showed flashes of activity rotating in to block shots from behind;
  • Was diligent with his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense – didn’t really explode off the ground to block shots or challenge them via verticality in volume but guards with his arms up near the rim, with those wall-offs good enough to make a difference within his age group;
  • Flashed some advanced position defense stopping the ball in pick-and-roll defense as a big on a show-and-recover;
  • Does not boxout – solely relying on his ability to rebound outside of his area to make plays on the glass;
  • Not a stout post defender but guards with his arms up, which tends to be enough to discourage opponents from trying to shoot over him;
  • Can jump a passing lane but doesn’t really play with the sort of energy to fly around and act as a dominant force on defense;
  • Attentive to his responsibilities switching on the fly and picked up shiftier ball handlers on occasion;
    • Gets down in a stance often but at times hunches down rather than bends his knees;
    • When engaged, showed some decent side-to-side mobility to keep pace one-on-one and quick reactions to leverage his length into reaching around for strips or blocking shots defending on the ball;
    • For the most part, didn’t stay in front of out in space but proved himself capable of staying attached and flashed some impressive hustle bothering from the side when he got beat;
    • Not built to slide around screens, neither at the point of attack nor chasing moving shooters around the floor.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 1/28/2004

[3] According to Rivals

[4] According to d1circuit.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Ousmane Dieng Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Six-foot-seven French wing currently being developed within INSEP’s system;
  • Turned 16 last May[1];
  • Drew interest with his appearance at the FIBA U16 European Championship earlier this month, where France placed second;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 18.6 PER, 15.9 points per 40 minutes on 42.5% effective shooting, 29% assist rate, 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes, 11.3% defensive rebounding rate[2];
  • Got a lot of opportunities to create shots against a set defense, most often acting as the team’s primary escape valve late in the shot clock;
    • Logged 23.5% usage rate;
    • His shooting percentages were bad, but his shooting stroke looked great and suggests there is a chance of him developing into a high-caliber shooter in a role as more of a floor-spacer;
    • His work in pick-and-roll was promising but lack of dexterity and explosiveness at the rim limits his potential in that role for now;
    • Proved himself a willing shot creator for others but shouldn’t be considered as a great passer just yet;
  • Did well as a weakside defender by executing the scheme but didn’t play with regular intensity as an individual defender on the ball or flying around to create events away from it.

SHOOTING

  • Shooting stroke looks great for someone aged 16: fluid mechanics, dips for rhythm, fully extends himself for a high release, pulls the trigger quickly;
  • Efficiency isn’t there yet: nailed just 32.4% of his 34 three-point shots at the U16 European Championship, at a pace of 8.7 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Besides basic spot-ups, took some shots off the catch on the move as well, by relocating around the perimeter to get open;
  • A chunk of his looks materialized via pull-ups;
    • Has a knack for getting to his spots in pick-and-roll, especially by showing a good feel for using re-screens;
    • Showed an appealing combination of handle and rhythm to create separation to get his shots off in isolation: crossover into step-back pull-up and going behind the back into step-back pull-up;
    • Adept at shot-faking to try baiting the defender into leaving his feet or destabilizing him just enough to create space for a short-range jumper;

FINISHING

  • Has a thin frame for someone his height and is only so-so at playing through contact at this point of his physical development;
  • Got downhill in pick-and-roll some but didn’t attack the lane all that often;
  • Has good court vision in terms of not insisting on drives when the path to the goal isn’t apparent and rarely drove into crowds;
    • On the other hand, didn’t show good speed with the ball when he did turn the corner;
  • Tucks the ball to protect it in traffic;
  • Showed no floater to act as a scoring threat from the in-between area;
  • Didn’t attack the basket with power and didn’t show a particularly diverse finishing package to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the goal;
    • Showed just 34.6% on 26 two-point attempts in the tournament;
    • Earned just 3.6 foul shots per 40 minutes.

PASSING

  • Assisted on 29% of France’s scores when he was on the floor but at a low 1.56-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Most of his assists materialized of him being a willing passer on drop-offs and kickouts to the strongside off drawing two to the ball;
  • Plays with a nice rhythm in pick-and-roll, which afforded him opportunities to deliver some neat passes on delayed reads: hitting the dive man over the top on a slower-developing roll off a shot-fake, jump-passing back to the stretch big in pick-and-pop and flashing the ability to make a pass over the top to the opposite end.

DEFENSE

  • Impressed with his hustle in transition;
  • Executed the scheme pretty well as a weakside defender;
    • Rotated in to pick up the roll man and leveraged his length into deflecting some passes from the side;
    • Disciplined, consistently aware not to help off the strongside – averaged 1.5 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Stepped up to help crowd the area near the basket on rotations off the weakside – not an explosive leaper to act as a shot blocking threat but guards with his arms up to challenging via walling off;
    • Shows good awareness making preventive rotations to take away a clean path to the basket when he was the lowest defender;
  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance and put together a few possessions heating up opposing ball handlers somewhat impressively but doesn’t often play with that sort of intensity;
    • When engaged, has enough lateral slides to stay in front out in space and leverages his length to contest shots effectively but can’t contain dribble penetration through contact;
  • Doesn’t go over picks at the point of attack quickly enough to be considered an option to crossmatch or switch onto smaller players;
  • So-so discipline on closeouts: at times sells out to run the shooter off his shot and gives up a clean path to the middle, at times showed great body control to contest catch-and-shoot’s effectively without crashing into the shooter;
  • Played solid post defense against similarly sized wings;
  • Diligent boxing out whoever was closed by but wasn’t of much help going after the ball whenever others did the dirty work;
    • Collected just 11.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] DOB: 5/21/2003

[2] According to RealGM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Tyrese Maxey Scouting Report

According to d1circuit.com, Tyrese Maxey averaged 20.1 points per game in 19 appearances at the Nike EYBL Circuit last season.

The six-foot-three gunner was a potent scorer at the youth level and figures to play a similar role to Devin Booker, Jamal Murray and Tyler Herro at Kentucky – curling off pindown screens and taking three-pointers off handoffs.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Precious Achiuwa Scouting Report

Precious Achiuwa is one of five top 100 recruits joining Memphis, with coach Penny Hardaway landing the top-ranked class in the country.

The six-foot-nine combo forward has the perfect combination of frame and length the NBA looks for in its big wings these days but has some way to go in terms of the skill level needed on offense to excel in that role.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Jaden McDaniels Scouting Report

Jaden McDaniels has enjoyed quite a leap in status over the last year-and-a-half. 247 Sports ranked him only 77th midway through his junior year of high school but the subsequent 18 months saw Juwan Howard’s nephew develop into a blue-chip prospect with expectations to be one-and-done in college, as he enters Washington ranked eighth in his incoming class and slotted in the same spot on ESPN’s way-too-early 2020 mock draft.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)