Jay Huff Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 73rd-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1];
  • Redshirted his first year at Virginia, was a minutes-eater the next two (logging a total of 422 minutes in 46 appearances across two years) and developed into arguably the best player on the team this past season;
    • Led the ACC in box plus-minus in 2019-2020[2];
    • Led a team in defensive rating among rotation players[3] that ranked first in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency[4];
  • Seven-foot-one center who protected the rim very well and proved capable of extending basic pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line a little bit, without fouling in volume;
    • Wasn’t asked to switch onto smaller players much but struggled when asked to hedge way high out in the perimeter, making it questionable he offers much versatility as a pick-and-roll defender;
    • Tough enough with his 232-pound frame to be average on the glass and defending the post;
  • Not a particularly explosive leaper in a crowd but proved capable of finishing lobs sneaking behind the defense (spot-up at the dunker spot or on longer rolls that necessitated the ball handler engaging his defender) and exceled as a floor spacer in college, though on a limited number of attempts;
    • His foul shooting percentage also makes you question just how real his three-point shooting ability really is;
  • Decent enough post scorer in college but not skilled enough or enough of a bully to be expected to develop into a shot creator in the pros;
    • Doesn’t project as much of a hub to facilitate offense either;
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 105.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Stuck pretty close to the rim based on the way Virginia played defense, but still impressed with his awareness as a help defender and consistently managed to leverage his general size and his rumored nine-foot-six standing reach[5] into making plays at the rim;
  • Pretty active and deceptively quick stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and intervening at the last second off shadowing an isolation;
    • Easy leaper off two feet to challenge shots via verticality or act as regular threat to block them – averaging 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes this past season;
    • His 11.2% block percentage would be higher than that of any player on ESPN’s top 105, except for James Wiseman, who appeared in just three games in his NCAA career before realizing the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze;
    • Challenged shots at the rim constantly without exposing himself to foul trouble – averaging just 3.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Impressed with his awareness making preventive rotations that denied the ball handler space towards driving all the way to the basket;
  • Also flashed awareness rotating in to pick up the roll man when the pick-and-roll wasn’t run at him but not quick or instinctual enough to make plays in the passing lanes regularly;
    • Has just 20 steals in 1,168 NCAA minutes;
  • Attentive to his boxout responsibilities, showed improved physicality as his frame got stronger over the course of his time at Virginia and showed decent quickness reacting to the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 20.6% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season, which is not an exceptionally great mark for a seven-foot-one center but not a troublingly one either;
  • Decent post defender: hustles to front the post and bat away some entries passes on occasion, even if without a ton of tenacity, and able to overwhelm opponents who can’t back him down on pure strength with his length when the ball does get entered.

PICK&ROLL DEFENSE

  • Hunches more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance to approach the ball handler but impressed some with his comfort extending coverage a couple of steps above the foul line and his nimbleness moving laterally to deny the ball handler space towards turning the corner;
    • Not very quick but agile enough to slide laterally and backpedal fluidly in order to prevent the ball handler from turning the corner right away off the pick a fair amount;
    • Not really a threat to shut down passing lanes or bat away lobs regularly, though;
  • Was asked to hedge and recover way high out on the perimeter a fair amount but struggled to influence ball handler effectively and isn’t fast enough to recover back to his man quickly enough, needing to over-rely on his outnumbered teammates behind him for a little too long.

PICK&ROLL OFFENSE

  • Decent screener who looks to draw contact and dislodge the on-ball defender off the ball handler but hasn’t yet developed or didn’t show or wasn’t asked to show advanced techniques (widening stance, flipping the screens, re-screening, moving picks);
  • Not a particularly impressive leaper but proved more than capable of finishing lobs sneaking behind the defense in the dunker spot and on longer rolls to the rim, while also showing pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Took half of his live-ball attempts at the rim and converted those 93 shots at a 75.3% clip this past season;
  • Most appealing aspect of his offense at this point is his ability to space the floor, not just on spot-ups, but out of the pick-and-pop as well;
    • Gets little elevation off the floor, needs to dip for rhythm and launches from a low release out in front but shoots an easy ball for a seven-footer, was able to get his shot quickly enough without much struggle at the collegiate level and showed legit NBA range often;
    • Nailed 38.5% of his 91 three-point shots over his 76 NCAA appearances across three seasons, though at a pace of just 3.1 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Hit just 59.1% of his 88 free throw attempts in his collegiate career, though, which puts into question how truly great a shooter he really is at this point of his development;
  • Demanded hard closeouts more often than not and showed glimpses of a basic off dribble skill;
    • Can shot-fake and attack the basket on a straight line out of triple threat position, and go up with power off one foot if unchallenged;
    • Hasn’t yet developed anything particularly advanced in terms of side-to-side shake, pull-up shooting or passing on the move if he needs to deal with any sort of traffic between him and the goal.

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

  • Doesn’t leverage his frame into setting deep position in the post often but managed to get enough of a seal for some regular touches in emergency situations (logged just 18.8% usage this past season) in college;
    • Was effective with a basic approach backing his way into a righty hook in college (shot 42.1% on 38 two-point attempts away from the basket[6]) but hasn’t yet developed power moves, sleek footwork or fakes to dislodge or get his man out of position;
    • Didn’t show much of anything in terms of being able to create for others – assisting on just 8.6% of Virginia’s scores when he was on the floor, at a 0.75 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Pretty average on the offensive glass, not very impressive in terms of bullying his way into inside position, flying over for putback dunks or going back up strong through contact, but capable of leveraging his rumored seven-foot-one wingspan into rebounding outside of his area and the combination of his reach and decent second jump into getting some tip-ins from time-to-time;
    • Collected just 10.1% of Virginia’s misses when he was on the floor, though his time as a floor spacer should be kept in mind;
    • Converted 72.2% of his 22 putback attempts.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to Daily Progress

[6] According to hoop-math

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

Tomas Woldetensae Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Transferred from Indian Hills to Virginia last summer;
    • Scored 785 points in 615 minutes across two seasons at the JUCO level, which average out to a jaw-dropping 51 points per 40 minutes on 36.6 attempts per 40 minutes[1];
  • 38th-ranked prospect coming off the JUCO ranks in 2019[2];
  • Bologna, Italy native;
  • Six-foot-five lefty sniper, entirely a wing floor-spacer in his first year at Virginia (16.7% usage rate[3]) but not just on spot-ups, as the Cavaliers leveraged the quickness of his release to move him around the floor and get him looks off creative sets;
    • Took more than three quarters of his live-ball attempts from three-point range this past season;
    • Nailed his long-range bombs at an average clip but considering the difficulty of some of the shots he took on the move, his average accuracy should be valued more highly than his 1.0 point-per-shot average and .497 true shooting percentage suggest at first glance;
  • Not an indifferent defender, active one-on-one and fairly attentive trying to execute the scheme, but lacks the agility and/or the strength (listed at 195 pounds) to be a stopper on the ball and the quickness and/or the instincts to fly around and create events in volume away from it;
    • Showed some potential as a defender at the point of attack, which maybe opens up the possibility of him offering versatility as a wing who can steal minutes defending smaller guards for stretches;
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 105;

SHOOTING

  • Took 77% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range, not just on spot-ups but by taking quite a few shots on the run, as Virginia designed stuff to get him open and then played variations off his movement as well;
    • Catches on the hop, fully extends himself for a high release and pulls the trigger quickly;
    • Besides set spot-ups, took a lot of shots on the move too; sprinting around staggered screens, coming off pindown screens, snaking his way around multiple screens, off elevator doors sets, relocating off offensive rebounds, and drifting to the corner;
    • Nailed 36.1% of his 144 three-point shots, at a pace of 7.3 three-point shots per 40 minutes this past season;
    • Nailed 44.4% of his 347 three-point shots in his time at Indian Hills, at a pace of 22.5 three-point shots per 40 minutes.

DRIVING

  • Showed decent feel for working the second side, in terms of mixing in some curls off pindown screens and running some side pick-and-rolls to keep the offense moving;
    • Has a pretty decent handle for someone with his role, proving capable of withstanding pressure from defenders who were able to get physical him as he turned the corner;
    • Only turned the ball over on 13.6% of his possessions;
  • When he managed to get to the middle and even touch the paint on occasion, consistently looked to pass off dribble penetration;
    • Decent feel for engaging the last line of defense and drawing two to the ball to deliver well timed kickouts, drop-offs and even flashed a wraparound pass at one point;
    • Can hit the roll man over the top in side pick-and-roll;
    • Assisted on 9.8% of Virginia’s scores when he was on the floor this past season, at a 1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Can’t attack the basket with any sort of explosiveness and has no resources (quick first step, side-to-side shake, strength, dribble moves) if needed to create separation one-on-one in emergency situations, other than a crafty move where he fakes one way and turns around the other way for a fadeaway jumper;
    • Took just 11 shots at the rim in 785 minutes and converted just four of them this past season[4];
    • Earned just nine free throws;
    • Missed 21 of the 32 two-point shots he took away from the basket.

DEFENSE

  • Tries to stay active one-on-one and can slide laterally a few times in one direction to stay attached but lacks the strength to contain dribble penetration through contact by similarly sized players, though he put in the effort to contest at the rim as well as he could when bulkier opponents just bullied through him;
  • Crossmatched onto smaller players a fair amount his past year and showed some potential as a point of attack defender;
    • Can go over a screen and direct the ball handler to the side the defense wants to shade him towards decently well, though he’s not athletic enough to make plays from behind while hustling in pursuit;
    • Can chest up to contain smaller players one-on-one on straight line drives, though he doesn’t seem quick enough to stay in front of truly shifty guards who can shake him side-to-side out on an island;
  • Stayed engaged away from the ball and tried to execute the scheme as well as he could but isn’t athletic, lengthy or instinctual enough to fly around and create events in the passing lanes or at the rim and tough or strong enough to mix it up on scrums;
    • Rotates in to pick up the roll man and stunts in to clog driving lanes;
    • Averaged just 1.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Had just eight blocks in 29 appearances;
    • Collected just 8.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
  • Puts in the effort to closeout hard to the three-point line but not fast enough covering ground to be expected to run the shooter off his shot regularly.

[1] According to njcaa.org

[2] According to 247Sports

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to hoop-math

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

Joel Ayayi Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Second-ranked prospect with European ties, among those born in 2000[1];
  • Listed by Gonzaga at six-foot-five but last measured at six-foot-two without shoes at the 2016 Eurocamp[2];
  • Was a minutes-eater in his first year in the NCAA, logging just 128 minutes in 23 appearances as a redshirt freshman, and a caretaker point guard this past season, logging just 17.1% usage rate and 16.6% assist rate in 970 minutes across 33 appearances[3];
  • Has accumulated 545 minutes of FIBA experience with the French National Team at the youth level;
    • Earned All-Tournament honors at the 2019 U19 World Cup, off leading France to a third-place finish;
    • Averaged 31.7 points per 40 minutes on 57.9% true shooting and assisted on 26.4% of France’s scores when he was on the floor in that event;
  • Gonzaga had him triggering the offense and spacing the floor but didn’t rely on him too much in high leverage situations, with the system responsible for getting Corey Kispert open or dumping the ball to the post late in the shot clock;
    • Shot OK: took almost half of his live-ball attempts from three-point range and nailed them at an average clip but hasn’t yet developed a whole lot of versatility to his release;
    • Had some opportunities to create in pick-and-roll on occasion and impressed with his patient approach in traffic, especially considering he just turned 20 last month[4];
  • Has been more effective defending smaller players, with his thin 180-pound frame standing in the way of him projecting as a multi-position defender in the pros, at least for the near future;
    • Engaged and proactive off the ball, contributing some in the hidden areas of the game, but merely average in terms of flying around to create events;
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 105.

SMART OFFENSE

  • Has shown a knack for passing ahead to speed up the pace of the game;
    • Averaged 29.4 minutes per game for a team that ranked second in the country in percentage of initial field goal attempts coming in transition[5] and ranked in the top 50 in possessions per game[6];
  • Doesn’t have a quick first step, particularly impressive speed with the ball or much side-to-side quickness but managed to touch the paint a fair amount operating in pick-and-roll, as he plays with pace and has shown a patient approach waiting for slower-developing driving lanes to materialize;
    • Was often successful in his attempts to turn the corner, capable of playing through contact against smaller guards too when necessary, and took 39% of his live-ball attempts at the rim[7];
    • Not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and was mostly a basic rim level up-and-down finisher for the most part but proved capable of unleashing an euro-step to maneuver his way around a rim protector stepping up in his path and finishing with his left hand as well – converting two thirds of his attempts within close range;
    • Protected the ball well in traffic – turned the ball over on just 14.7% of his possessions;
    • Averse to contact – averaged just 2.6 foul shots per 40 minutes;
  • Has shown glimpses of being enough of a threat to score when bottled up in the in-between the area;
    • Showed pretty good touch in his runner and converted 43.2% of his 44 two-point shots away from the basket;
    • Generally didn’t show a lot of dexterity pulling up from mid-range in rhythm but flashed a nifty step-back pull-up off going between the legs from time-to-time;
  • Though these opportunities were few and far between, as his low assist rate for a point guard attests (due to his role as an off guard), the Bordeaux native exhibited good court vision in pick-and-roll and flashed a little bit of versatility to his passing as well;
    • Can deliver well timed pocket passes to the roll man and hit spot-up shooters with crosscourt passes over the top to the opposite wing or the opposite corner;
    • Posted a 2.08 assist-to-turnover ratio, better than the marks recorded by Killian Hayes, Nico Mannion, RJ Hampton and Ashton Hagans, though it’s fair to point out those guys had a higher burden of shot creation responsibility.

SHOOTING

  • Took 44.6% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range and proved a capable open shot shooter;
    • Does pretty good shot preparation catching on the hop;
    • Gets little elevation off the ground but rises in pretty good balance with his feet set;
    • Has a low release out in front but compact mechanics led to a quick trigger and he managed to get his shot off prior to closeouts consistently well at the collegiate level;
    • Got a good arc on his shot more often than not;
    • Nailed 34.5% of his 119 three-point shots this past season, at a pace of 4.9 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Has hit 54 of his 70 foul shots (77.1%) in his 56 NCAA appearances and 46 of his 65 (70.8%) in his 21 FIBA appearances;
  • Hasn’t yet developed the dexterity to get three-pointers off sprinting to the ball for dribble-handoffs;
  • Can hit a pull-up three-pointer if the on-ball defender decides to go under or gets stuck on the pick;
    • Hit 12 unassisted three-pointers this past season, which is an interesting amount for someone with his off guard role.

DEFENSE

  • Hustles in transition defense in a way that stands out;
  • Was mostly tasked with checking smaller guards on the ball and did reasonably well for the most part;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance, has good lateral quickness to be expected to stay in front if shook side-to-side, flashed some toughness to stone these smaller guys at times and even when he didn’t contain dribble penetration, guarded with his arms up to overwhelm or discourage potential shot attempts around him;
    • Only so-so at getting skinny through a screen at the point of attack cleanly but puts in the effort to hustle in pursuit, though the athleticism to make plays from behind isn’t there, at least yet;
    • A bit disappointing that he wasn’t seen using his six-foot-six wingspan to reach around for steals enveloping these smaller types more often;
  • Picked up bigger players on switches at times and despite his constant strength disadvantages in these matchups, showed enough fight and tenacity boxing out these guys and fronting the post to suggest he might offer versatility for these types of tasks more regularly if his body develops;
  • For now, still projects as more capable of making a difference as a point of attack defender, since his thin frame makes it tough to foresee him holding his ground against truly threatening wings in the pros;
  • Engaged and proactive off the ball, flashing some awareness to step up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense whenever he finds himself near the baseline and able to go up quickly off two feet to challenge a shot via verticality but not really an asset to act as a regular threat to block a shot when he rotates;
    • Can jump a passing lane, averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes last season, but nothing that stands out much;
  • Only so-so with his closeouts: effective when he manages to run the shooter off his shot while well balanced but at times sells out on a flyby and opens up the gate to the lane behind him;
  • Huge asset on the glass: mixes it up on scrums and quick reacting to the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 17.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor this past season, with only LaMelo Ball posting a better defensive rebounding percentage among the players ranked on ESPN’s top 10

[1] According to Eurospects

[2] According to Eurospects

[3] According to RealGM

[4] DOB: 3/5/2000

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to Team Rankings

[7] According to hoop-math

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

Corey Kispert Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 106th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1];
  • Has upper echelon basic measurements for a shooter – listed at six-foot-seven and 220 pounds, though they seem a little bit closer to generous roundups than realities;
    • There is no record of his wingspan;
  • Earned a rotation role immediately upon setting foot in Spokane and became a more prominent part of the team with each passing year;
    • Averaged 19.4 minutes per game in 35 appearances and logged 16.5% usage rate as a freshman;
    • Averaged 26.1 minutes per game in 37 appearances and logged 14.5% usage rate as a sophomore;
    • Averaged 33.0 minutes per game in 33 appearances and logged 18.2% usage rate as a junior[2];
  • Primarily a floor-spacer who took 60.3% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range over his 2,736 NCAA minutes across three seasons at Gonzaga[3];
    • Has some versatility to his release and could become the sort of shooter whose gravity can be moved around the floor;
    • Has a functional handle and decent feel for creating quick offense for himself or others on side pick-and-rolls but doesn’t have the athletic tools to be expected to develop into any sort of lead ball handler against a set defense, at least not any time soon;
  • Weakside defender who can execute the scheme but doesn’t have the athleticism or the instincts to make an impact flying around to create events or in the hidden areas of the game;
    • Puts in the effort to stay in front and contest less threatening similarly sized types one-on-one but isn’t the sort of primary defender you’d feel comfortable matching up against an ace scorer or a fit to switch/crossmatch onto smaller players and doesn’t really have the toughness to matchup with bigger players regularly;
  • Turned 21 early this month[4];
  • Ranks 45th on ESPN’s top 105.

SHOOTING

  • Besides basic spot-ups, also took shots on the move – as the trailer in transition, getting open in the second side of a ball-screen action on roll-and-replace, as the slip screener in the pick-and-pop and coming off pindown screens on baseline out of bounds sets;
  • Catches on the hop, gets monster elevation off the ground for someone his height, goes through compact mechanics with a low release out in front and pulls the trigger quickly;
    • Can shoot prior to or over closeouts comfortably and consistently;
  • Nailed 43.8% of his 178 three-point shots this past season, at a pace of 6.5 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Thanks to his prolificacy as a shooter, averaged 1.19 points-per-field goal attempt last season, which ranked third among wings on ESPN’s top 105;
  • Nailed 39.3% of his 455 three-point shots across his three seasons at Gonzaga, at a pace of 6.7 such attempts per 40 minutes;

SIDE PICK&ROLL

  • Functioned as an escape valve on the side of the floor, running quick pick-and-rolls out of dribble handoffs to keep the offense moving;
    • Was reasonably aggressive within the flow of the offense but without taking too many ambitious attempts that would tank his percentages;
    • Flashed really good feel for dancing with his defender in the give-and-go within the handoff/side pick-and-roll action;
  • Can play through contact some and go to a hesitation move to get by his man if he’s not well balanced but isn’t very smooth putting the ball on the floor, lacks a quick first step, doesn’t have any sort of speed with the ball or side-to-side shiftiness, has only a basic handle, often struggles with his balance in traffic and can’t go up strong off one foot or two feet in traffic;
    • Took just 28.6% of his live-ball attempts at the basket and finished at a 56.4% clip there last season[5], with almost half of his makes assisted (he’s a good backdoor cutter with a good feel for burning his defender when he overplays the threat of a run to the high post for a handoff);
    • Had just 25 unassisted makes at the rim that were not putbacks in 1,089 minutes last season, which averages out to only 0.92 such makes per 40 minutes;
    • Averaged just 3.1 foul shots per 40 minutes;
  • Is more of a scoring threat when he manages to get to his spots around the elbow and create separation for a rhythm pull-up;
    • Looks pretty smooth on two-dribble pull-ups and can go to a floater off a jump-stop on occasion as well – converting 43.9% of his 57 two-point shots away from the basket last season;
    • Flashed some ability to pull-up from deep range handling in side pick-and-roll if the defender gets stuck on a screen or purposely goes under – nailing 11 unassisted three-point makes last season, which is an interesting amount for someone with his low usage rate;
  • Showed glimpses of appealing court vision creating for others on the move, but more in terms of functionality to his ball handling than anything particularly special as far as advanced passing goes;
    • Can hit the roll man over the top and deliver well timed pocket passes;
    • Assisted on just 9.9% of Gonzaga’s scores when he was on the floor last season, at a 1.52 assist-to-turnover ratio.

DEFENSE

  • Stays active away from the ball and puts in the effort to execute the scheme for the most part but lacks the athletic ability and apparently the length to make plays in the passing lanes and at the rim, while also having not shown anything particularly impressive in terms of feel for anticipating rotations that deny opponents space towards driving to the rim;
    • Rotates in to pick up the roll man when Gonzaga had its big men hedging way high on the perimeter and even flashed some tenacity fronting the opposing big man to deny him the ball;
    • Averaged just 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per 40 minutes over his 105 NCAA appearances across the last three seasons;
    • Rarely seen well positioned or going up quickly enough to challenge shots via verticality;
    • Boxes out whoever is close by but isn’t very quick chasing the ball off the rim – collecting just 11.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the court over the course of his collegiate career, which is a disappointing mark for a big wing;
  • Uneven with his closeouts: shows urgency in his sprints to the three-point line and manages to do so with good balance but often isn’t effective enough in terms of running the shooter off his shot, depending on how much ground he needs to cover;
  • Hunches more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance but has a couple of lateral slides to one direction in him to stay in front of similarly sized and similarly athletic players, has shown some toughness to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact, and puts in the effort to contest shots as well as he can;
  • Switched onto smaller players and even crossmatched onto them on occasion but can’t do much more than hold up on a straight line at best, lacking the lateral quickness to stay in front of shiftier types who can shake him side-to-side and unable to go over a screen cleanly enough at the point of attack or hustle in pursuit to make plays from behind;
  • Has some bulk in his frame but hasn’t shown enough toughness to project as someone who can switch or crossmatch onto true big men regularly.

[1] According to 247Sports

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] DOB: 3/3/1999

[5] According to hoop-math

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

Patrick Williams Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 28th-ranked prospect in the 2019 high school class[1];
  • Wasn’t really expected to but didn’t quite star on offense in his first year at Florida State: averaged 22.5 minutes per game in his 29 appearances, came off the bench in every single one of them, logged 22.1% usage rate and effectively shot 49.8%[2];
  • Mostly played a similar role to the one he’ll have in the pros: spaced out as well as he could, attacked scrambling defenses whenever opponents closed out to the him off balance and cut pretty well (with almost half of his makes at the rim assisted and another quarter coming on putbacks[3]);
    • Showed flashes of some shot creation potential, in terms of pull-up shooting and passing in the pick-and-roll, but is not expected to develop into a lead ball handler in the pros, or at least not any time soon;
  • Has prototypical size for a combo forward (listed at six-foot-eight and 225 pounds) and stood out defending big wings and proved tough enough to match up against true big men regularly as well;
    • Impressed with his impact as a help defender too: active with his rotations and making plays at the rim;
  • Didn’t look as capable picking up smaller players on switches or chasing quicker shooters around the floor;
  • Only turns 19 in August[4];
  • Ranks 20th on ESPN’s top 105, at the time of writing.

HELP DEFENSE

  • Impressed with his activity, reactions, instincts and quickness rotating off the weakside coming all the way across the lane or stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense;
  • Has long strides to cover a lot of ground;
  • Explosive leaper off one foot to block shots on longer rotations and quick leaper off two feet to block shots or challenge them effectively via verticality;
    • Averaged 1.8 blocks per 40 minutes last season;
    • 5.6% block rate ranks second among wings ranked on ESPN’s top 105, behind only Lamine Diane;
  • Made quite a few preventive rotations that denied the ball handler space towards driving all the way to the basket;
  • Overhelps off the strongside at times;
  • Prone to biting on shot fakes but didn’t put himself into too much danger in terms of foul trouble;
    • Averaged just 2.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Decent at leveraging his six-foot-11 wingspan[5] into making plays in the passing lanes from time-to-time;
    • Averaged 1.8 steals per 40 minutes last season;
  • Does poorly on closeouts recovering back to the perimeter;
    • Sprints to the three-point arc with urgency but gets blown by off the bounce an unsettling amount.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance, has fluid lateral slides to stay in front of similarly sized players, can chest up to contain dribble penetration through contact, puts in the effort to contest pull-ups as well as he can and can block a shot defending on the ball if an opponent gets past him;
  • Crossmatched onto bigger players and spent some time as one of the biggest players on the lineup as well, and exceled by fronting true big men in the post and boxing them out physically;
    • Not particularly quick at reacting to the ball off the rim but not troublingly slow either – collecting 13.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
    • Considering his toughness one-on-one and his positive impact as a help defender, Williams should be an option to steal minutes at center in the pros right away;
  • Switched onto smaller players on occasion and didn’t look as capable: showed flashes of intensity and smarts using his length in ball denial but struggled one-on-one, regularly getting beat on the first step out in space and lacking the lateral agility needed to hang with shiftier types, though he’s able to block a shot from behind when he can keep pace on a straight line;
    • Opponents didn’t need the aid of a screen but if needed to guard the pick-and-roll at the point of attack, Williams doesn’t look capable of getting skinny going over a pick due to his bulky frame;
  • Not built to chase shooters around the floor: struggles to negotiate screens and tends to bite on shot fakes.

CUTTING & CRASHING THE OFFENSIVE GLASS

  • By far the most developed skill on offense at this point of his development is his cutting: smart reading opportunities to sneak behind the defense, can play above the rim as a target for lobs and has proven himself tough enough to finish through contact;
    • Took 40.9% of his live-ball attempts at the rim and finished there at a 62.4% clip, with 41.5% of his makes assisted and another quarter coming off putbacks;
    • Could become an option to act as a rim runner in the pick-and-roll, though Florida State didn’t use him that way.
  • Collected just 7.0% of Florida State’s misses when he was on the floor but proved quite effective when he did crash the offensive glass, converting his 17 putback attempts at an 81.2% clip;
    • Explosive leaper off two feet with a full head of steam behind him to go up for some tip-dunks;
    • Flashed some second-jump-ability as well.

SPOT-UP SHOOTING

  • Underdeveloped and inconsistent shooter at this point, unable to go through his mechanics with good enough fluidity to get catch-and-shoot’s off in volume and over effective closeouts;
    • Shot 32% on 50 three-point shots last season and hit just 34.1% of his 123 total attempts away from the basket;
    • Did hit 62 of his 74 foul shots, 83.8%, suggesting the touch to serve as a foundation for a more capable three-point stroke is in place;
    • Flashed some ability to get his shot off without needing to dip for rhythm and off some light movement drifting to the corner but for the most part, has a slow, mechanical release and struggles to get off a good shot if contested.

OFF THE DRIBBLE

  • Looked a tad more capable, if still a bit stiff, pulling up off the dribble when he handled the ball on the side of the floor, either attacking a closeout or out of a ball reversal or running a side pick-and-roll off a handoff;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a particularly advanced handle but showed a few resources to create separation to pull-up from the in-between area – left-to-right crossover, lefty in-and-out dribble and going between the legs into a step-back jumper;
    • Also showed a good feel for getting to his spots around the elbow;
    • But still hit just 35.6% of his 73 two-point shots away from the basket;
  • Capable but not especially effective at getting to the basket against a set defense;
    • Had just 18 unassisted makes at the rim that were not putbacks in 652 minutes all season, which averages out to 1.1 such makes per 40 minutes, and those tended to come on straight line drives against a scrambling defense;
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step or any sort of speed with the ball to blow by his man;
    • Can play through contact but doesn’t attempt to bully his way through contact as much as you’d expect from someone with his size;
    • Flashed the dexterity to gallop into a lefty floater or spin into a righty finger-roll finish in traffic;
  • Can deliver a jump pass to the roll man over the top, a skip pass to the stretch big in the pick-and-pop and well timed kickouts to the strongside off drawing two to the ball but the glimpses of appealing court vision are mostly few and far between;
    • Assisted on just 8.4% of Florida State’s scores when he was on the floor, at a pretty lousy 0.58 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Looked his best off the bounce attacking the basket off the catch on straight line drives; looked more comfortable galloping into two foot leaps and didn’t show a ton of versatility to his finishing but proved capable of finishing through contact and earning a fair amount of trips to the foul line, considering his role and usage rate;
    • Averaged 4.5 foul shots per 40 minutes;
    • His 35.7% free throw rate is higher than that of guys like Jaden McDaniels (33.9%), Jordan Nwora (29.8%) and Deni Avdija (27.2%), who figure to play a similar role in the NBA.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] DOB: 8/26/2001

[5] According to Florida State’s official website

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

Devin Vassell Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ranked 200th in the 2018 high school class[1];
  • Logged 63 appearances and averaged 19.3 minutes per game in his two years at Florida State, which has become a consistent producer of wings and combo forwards with the sorts of skillsets the NBA values;
    • Averaged 28.7 minutes per game in a more prominent role this past season;
  • Listed at six-foot-seven by Florida State but that seems more of an ambition than a reality, similarly to what it did with Terrance Mann, who is now listed at six-foot-five in the NBA;
    • ESPN currently lists Vassell at six-foot-five and that seems closer to the truth;
  • Projects as a floor-spacer in the pros but tended to operate more as a slasher last season, looking for opportunities to create off the bounce but within the flow of the offense and without overly ambitious attempts that would tank his percentages;
    • Logged just 20.1% usage rate[2];
    • Effectively shot 56.5%;
    • Took just 36.1% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range last season, a very disappointing rate for someone who profiles as a shooter, and just 43% of his two-point makes were assisted[3];
  • Played capable defense on the ball and while executing the scheme away from it but does not stand out as a physically imposing type for a 19-year-old[4] and doesn’t figure to be strong enough to check big wings regularly anytime soon, though his tenacity picking up some big men on switches suggests he could offer some versatility in the long-term future if his body continues to develop;
  • Currently ranks 19th on ESPN’s top 105.

SLASHING

  • Showed a lot of comfort attacking out of ball reversals, jogging to the ball for hand-offs, by attacking closeouts and running pick-and-roll (not just on the side of the floor to keep the offense moving but against a set defense late in the shot clock as well);
    • Very smooth and coordinated putting the ball on the floor;
    • Has a quick first step off the catch, not as much off a standstill;
    • Doesn’t have particularly impressive speed turning the corner in pick-and-roll or side-to-side shiftiness in isolation;
    • Hasn’t yet developed an advanced handle;
    • Can play through contact despite his lean 180-pound frame for someone with his height or gain some ground by weaving into a well-coordinated spin move;
    • Had some iffy decisions driving into crowds at times but generally showed pretty good court vision to know where he was headed with the ball – turning the ball over on just 6.6% of his possessions;
  • Showed flashes of explosive leaping ability off one foot in traffic and some core strength to finish through contact on occasion but was mostly average in terms of getting to the rim in volume and didn’t show particularly impressive versatility to his finishing when he got there;
    • Took just 24.5% of his live-ball attempts at the rim;
    • Had just 12 unassisted makes at the rim that were not putbacks in 863 minutes last season, averaging out to just 0.5 such makes per 40 minutes;
    • Averaged just three foul shots per 40 minutes;
    • Took just 93 free throws total in 1,216 NCAA minutes in his two years at Florida State;
  • Showed glimpses of appealing court vision creating for others on the move, but more in terms of functionality to his ball handling than anything particularly special as far as advanced passing goes;
    • Assisted on just 11.2% of Florida State’s scores when he was on the floor, though at a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio;
    • Can play with pace in pick-and-roll and deliver a pocket pass to the rim runner, a skip pass to a stretch big in the pick-and-pop or a pass against the momentum of his body to a shooter in the opposite wing getting open off roll-and-replace;
    • Showed some good timing on drop-offs and lobs to the dunker spot off engaging the last line of defense on deep drives.

SHOOTING

  • Exceled more as a pull-up shooter – taking 39.5% of his live-ball attempts from the in-between area and nailing them at a 43.1% clip, with just 11 of his 50 such makes assisted;
    • Showed a knack for getting to his spots around the elbow in pick-and-roll and can create separation for a fadeaway pull-up in isolation by absorbing contact or weaving into a well-coordinated spin move;
    • Has a high release and was able to launch his shot over most contests somewhat comfortably in college;
    • Took some pull-up three-pointers in pick-and-roll on occasion but had just seven unassisted three-point makes all season;
  • Took some three-pointers on the move by getting open off roll-and-replace in the second side but for the most part his long-range attempts materialized on basic spot-ups, which he exceled at as well – making his low three-point rate (36.1% in year two, after 52.1% in year one) even more disappointing;
    • Gets little elevation off the ground but rises in great balance, fully extends himself for a high release, dips for rhythm very quickly and gets a good arc on his shot consistently;
    • Nailed 41.7% of his 168 three-point shots in his two years at Florida State, at a pace of 5.5 such attempts per 40 minutes.

DEFENSE

  • Played as a weak-side defender for the most part and did well executing the scheme, both in terms of flying around to create events and making an impact in the hidden areas of the game;
    • Generally stayed in a stance off the ball and was active helping crowd the area near the basket;
    • Quick leaper off two feet to bat away lobs, challenge shots via verticality or even block a shot coming off the weakside – averaging 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes last season;
    • Rumored to have a six-foot-10 wingspan, which he puts to use stunting in to help crowd driving lanes, getting his arms out to try swatting the ball from the side or jumping a passing lane here and there – averaging 1.9 steals per 40 minutes last season;
    • Mixes it up on scrums, boxes out whoever is close by and can chase the ball off the rim fairly well – collecting 15.5% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season;
    • Has impressed with his urgency closing out to the three-point line and his body control staying balanced when he manages to run the shooter off his shot;
  • Uneven individual defender against all types of opponents;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance and has several lateral slides to stay in front of similarly sized wings one-on-one but struggles to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact due to his 180-pound frame;
    • Not quick enough side-to-side to stay in front of smaller/shiftier players out in space and struggles to get skinny going over screens at the point of attack, though he’s shown glimpses of impressive effort hustling in pursuit to block a shot from behind;
    • Has picked up bigger players on switches on occasion and, though he lacks the physicality to do especially well all the time, Vassell was tenacious enough to front the post and boxout these types in college;
    • Struggled to chase shooters off screens.

[1] According to 247Sports

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] DOB: 8/23/2000

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

Onyeka Okongwu Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Onyeka Okongwu is another prospect considered to have risen in prominence, compared to how he was viewed entering his first year of college basketball.

Though he was the 20th-ranked player in the 2019 high school class[1], the six-foot-nine center was not widely projected as a potential one-and-done.

Nonetheless, 858 NCAA minutes later, he’s now ranked sixth on ESPN’s top 105.

Okongwu stood out because of his impact around the rim on both ends, while his combination of coordination and smoothness moving around the floor offers hope he could, soon enough, be about as good out in space too.

But for now, though the potential to become a difference maker is evident, he’s actually quite uneven in pick-and-roll defense, while his post-up scoring doesn’t seem to be up to the level required for getting those types of touches in the pros, so the 19-year-old[2] doesn’t project as a shot creator in the next level. His foul shooting percentage is strong for a pure big man, but his jump-shot is completely theoretical at this point of his development as well.

But even if Okongwu doesn’t develop into a particularly effective player away from the basket, he seems like a safe bet to make a living in the NBA for a while. In this day and age, an average big man is out there, even a stretch big, to help you defend better near the basket, otherwise it doesn’t make sense to play him instead of a smaller player who offers more dynamism on offense and switching ability across the perimeter on defense. And that’s what the Chino Hills native excels at.

Check the rest of the post at RealGM


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 12/11/2000