Daniel Gafford Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Daniel Gafford was only the 47th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1] but after 569 minutes logged in his first year at Arkansas, the six-foot-11 center has quickly risen to the top 15 on ESPN’s top 100.

Through 26 appearances, Gafford is averaging 21 points per 40 minutes on 61.3% effective shooting and posted a 26.5 player efficiency rating[2].

The 19-year-old[3] has the best pace-adjusted plus-minus[4] on a team that has won more than two-thirds of its games and ranks 44th in the country in adjusted efficiency margin[5].

Gafford profiles as a catch-and-score finisher/rim protector who leverages his athleticism into making an impact near the basket via vertical spacing, second chance opportunities and shot blocking.

The upside is in his potential as a switch defender. He is a very agile player for someone his size and has proven himself able to exchange into smaller players out in space in a pinch, which is quickly becoming a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have” skill for a center these days.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 10/1/1998

[4] According to our stats’ database

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

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Bruce Brown, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Bruce Brown, Jr. was the 26th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].

In a year and a half at Miami, the 21-year-old[2] has accumulated 1,693 minutes of college ball experience. Through his time there, the Hurricanes have won two thirds of their games and looked like a reasonable Elite Eight hopeful each year.

Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-five combo guard has averaged 13.5 points per 40 minutes on 48.8% true shooting and posted a 16.6 PER[3].

Brown is not the one tasked with triggering the offense every possession but gets a fair amount of responsibility creating out of high pick-and-roll against a set defense. The presence of career 40.8% three-point shooter Anthony Lawrence, II as a stretch four offers decent spacing for him to work with but Brown isn’t having a particularly impressive season as a scorer, though the flashes of tantalizing reads on the move as a passer are still there.

More troubling, perhaps, is the fact he has regressed as a spot-up shooter, with his foul shooting percentage supporting concerns over that decline.

On the other end, Brown has the strength, the length and the lateral quickness to be expected to develop into a dominant defender who creates events and offers his coach a lot of flexibility on how to deploy him.

So, he is ranked 19th on ESPN’s top 100.

Brown will miss up to six weeks with a foot injury.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] DOB: 8/15/1996

[3] According to sports-reference

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Aaron Holiday Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Aaron Holiday was ranked 88th in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • In two-and-a-half years at UCLA, the junior has so far accumulated 2,697 minutes of college basketball experience.
  • Through 20 games this season, the six-foot-one point guard has averaged 20.5 points per 40 minutes on 59.7% true shooting, assisted on 26% of UCLA’s scores over his 732 minutes and posted a 19.9 PER[2].
  • Holiday applied to the combine last year and has done well seeking improvement based on the feedback he got at the event. As a small player who isn’t a speed demon or a genius passer, the 21-year-old[3] has to become a legit scoring threat off the bounce in order to get a fair shake in the NBA.
  • On the other end, Holiday is tough in individual and looks to execute the scheme but is yet to show he can overcome the limitations his size offers.
  • He’s ranked 42nd on ESPN’s top 100.

SHOT CREATION

  • Holiday is not a particularly impressive athlete, lacking an explosive first step attacking off a standstill and general speed with the ball.
  • He gets by his man to get deep into the lane or creates separation to pull-up off the dribble on skill:
    • He has a solid handle and is attentive enough to protect the ball in traffic. Despite posting higher usage and assist rates this season, his turnover rate is slightly down compared to last year.
      • 2016-2017: 22.5% usage, 24.3% assist, 19.4% turnover
      • 2017-2018: 25.3% usage, 26% assist, 18.4% turnover
    • Holiday can split double teams at the point of attack, snake the pick-and-roll to maneuver his way through traffic to get a pull-up jumper off and has an in-and-out dribble to get downhill.
    • In isolation, he uses basic crossovers, between the legs crossovers and spin moves to get his man off balance and has decent strength in his 185-pound frame[4] to maintain his momentum forward through contact.
      • He’s taken 30.5% of his shots at the rim[5] and earned 6.4 foul shots per 40 minutes this season.
    • Holiday does not have special court vision anticipating passing lanes a split-second before they come open. But he is a good shot creator for others on a fairly regular basis. Holiday passes ahead to speed up the pace of the game, is more than willing to hit open teammates on drive-and-kick’s or drive-and-dish’s, has flashed some ability to pass on the move to the opposite end of the court and can make passes over the top, despite his height.
      • He has a low 1.43 assist-to-turnover ratio this season but I think that has more to do with the fact that UCLA doesn’t have shooters as good as they used to last year than with some inability of his to get good looks for others or him being particularly turnover prone.

SCORING

  • Holiday is not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic but has shown body control to adjust himself in the air for reverse finishes among the trees, seeks contact and is strong enough to finish on his way down.
    • He’s finished his 79 shots at the basket at a 67.1% clip this season, with over 90% of his makes unassisted.
    • He finished his 101 shots at the basket at a 64.4% clip last season, with over 80% of his makes unassisted.
  • Holiday can crossover into pull-ups one-on-one and spin into a floater to score from the in-between area attacking off the catch or off a live dribble. He hasn’t been an effective scorer from two-point range away from the basket this season but did well from that zone the season before.
    • Holiday has hit just 32.4% of his 74 two-point jumpers this season, after hitting 40.5% of his 79 such shots a year ago – with just two of his makes assisted.
  • The biggest development in his game has been the ability to nail uncontested pull-up three-pointers off the pick-and-roll. Holiday doesn’t have the sort of lightening quick release an elite prospect like Trae Young has but he is able to punish opponents who can’t bring the big to play up on him at the three-point arc.
    • He has nailed 19 unassisted three-pointers in 20 appearances this season, after making just eight such shots a year ago.
  • Holiday is also taking towards developing into a more versatile shooter off the catch. Aside basic weak-side spot-ups, UCLA has gotten him looks coming off pindown screens as well.
    • He has nailed 39.6% of his 106 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 5.8 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • He has now nailed 40.9% of his 328 three-point shots over his two-and-a-half years at UCLA, while also hitting 78.2% of his 248 foul shots.

DEFENSE

  • Holiday bends his knees to get down in a stance, has decent lateral quickness to stay in front of his man in isolation and gets skinny navigating over picks at the point of attack.
  • But he doesn’t often contain dribble penetration, despite his strong frame, and doesn’t have significant length to contest shots effectively.
  • Holiday executes the scheme and is attentive to his rotation responsibilities coming off the weak-side to help crowd the area near the basket. He is not a meaningful asset in rim protection, though.
  • Holiday has decent instincts making plays in the passing lanes and has shown a knack for going for the ball when he sees an opportunity to be aggressive doubling the post – averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes over this time in college.
  • Despite his size, he mixes it up on the defensive glass and has proven himself able to box out wings. His contributions collecting defensive rebounds are marginal, though.
  • Holiday has the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[6].

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 9/30/1996

[4] According to UCLA

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Trae Young | Jalen Brunson | Quade Green

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

Dzanan Musa Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Dzanan Musa is the second-ranked European prospect born in 1999[1].

The six-foot-eight shooter is very experienced for someone his age, logging his first high level pro minutes a couple of years ago, when he became the ninth-youngest player in EuroLeague history to make his debut as a 16-year-old.

That season, his first with Croatian club Cedevita Zagreb, Musa was not a regular rotation player and spent some time with the junior squad as well.

Now a full time pro over the last year-and-a-half, the 18-year-old[2] is averaging 22.1 minutes per game in 41 appearances for a Cedevita team that has won 30 of its 42 games this season.

The level of competition he’s faced is mid-level. The Eurocup is the second-tier continental league, behind the EuroLeague, and Next-Step Basketball ranks the Adriatic League only the ninth domestic league in Europe, while the Croatian A-1 Liga is unranked.

He started 2017-2018 pretty hot, coming off a summer where he led the Bosnia & Herzegovina Senior National Team to five wins in eight games in the 2019 FIBA World Cup of Basketball Pre-Qualifiers – averaging 31.7 points per 40 minutes on 70.8% true-shooting[3].

Through 41 games this season, Musa has averaged 22 points per 40 minutes on 61.9% true-shooting. Though he’ll stop the offense every once in a while to run a pick-and-roll, Musa is getting most of his touches on the side of the floor via hand-offs and ball reversals, as 45.5% of his 329 shots have been three-point attempts.

Musa is for the most part a gunner because he hasn’t shown a lot of development in terms of athleticism and skill level. He has a thin 187-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-eight height[4] and struggles to get by his man one-on-one. His work in the pick-and-roll isn’t particularly advanced either.

On the other end, Musa is hidden off the ball but has flashed some potential of being able to make plays on the ball and switch onto bigger players.

[1] According to Eurospects.com

[2] DOB: 5/8/1999

[3] According to our stats’ database

[4] According to Cedevita’s official listing

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Kris Wilkes Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Kris Wilkes was the 26th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 20 games this season, the six-foot-eight wing is averaging 19.1 points per 40 minutes on 54.9% true shooting and 22.9% usage rate[2].
  • Wilkes acts mostly as a spot-up gunner, spacing the floor for Aaron Holiday or Jaylen Hands in the pick-and-roll and Thomas Welsh or Gyorgy Goloman in the post, but can create his shot off the bounce attacking closeouts, in transition and out of ball reversals from time-to-time.
    • The 19-year-old[3] has been assisted on 58.1% of his field-goals[4] and three-pointers have accounted for 41.3% of his live-ball attempts.
  • On the other end, the freshman looks the part of a potential difference maker. He has a thin 195-pound frame[5] in the context of his height but is expected to develop some strength eventually, sports a six-foot-11 wingspan[6] and has flashed appealing leaping ability at times. However, Wilkes just doesn’t play sound defense with any regularity right now.
  • He’s not ranked on ESPN’s top 100.

SHOOTING

  • Wilkes takes quick catch-and-shoot jumpers sprinting up the court in transition and drifting around the wing but is only an open shot shooter at this point of his development. He does decent shot preparation catching it on the hop, elevates with nice balance, has a fluid release and launches the ball up high but needs to refine his mechanics and improve his touch.
    • He rarely seems to hold his guide hand throughout the motion.
    • Wilkes has nailed just 34.1% of his 88 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.6 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • All of 30 of his three-point makes have been assisted and he has just 11 unassisted two-point jumpers in 20 appearances.
    • He’s also hit just 61.7% of his 81 foul shots.

SHOT CREATION

  • Wilkes has a decent handle in transition and good coordination putting the ball on the floor to attack a closeout or isolating out of ball reversals. He is yet to show a particularly impressive first step but has flashed a spin move, an in-and-out dribble and a high step to create separation for stop-and-pop jumpers or get dribble penetration.
    • His shot selection is suspect, as a quarter of his shots have been two-point jumpers but he’s converted them at a lousy 34% clip.
    • He still pressured the rim a fair amount, though; about a third of his shots have been at the basket and he’s averaged 5.6 foul shots per 40 minutes.
      • Wilkes is not yet an explosive leaper off one foot off the dribble but has shown body control adjusting himself in the air to finish among the trees on up-and-under’s and reverses – as he’s shot 69.4% at the basket this season.
    • Wilkes hasn’t handled the ball from the top against a set defense very often but has flashed some ability to pass on the move, not just on drive-and-kick’s and drive-and-dish’s but the eventual pass over the top as well – assisting on 10.4% of UCLA’s scores over his 579 minutes.
    • As a gunner, he’s turned it over on just 9% of his possessions.
    • Wilkes can read the defense well moving off the ball and is an explosive leaper off one foot on diagonal cuts and can play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes in transition – 20 of his 50 makes at the basket have been assisted.
    • He’s shown an inclination for posting up smaller players every once in a while. His post game isn’t much yet but he has light feet working with his back to the basket to set up a turnaround hook over the top of the smaller defender and flashed some nice passing to the opposite wing.
    • Wilkes can also crash the offensive glass in some instances, showcasing high leaping ability and a quick second jump. He’s really only collected 6% of UCLA’s misses when he’s been on the floor but has translated his 14 putback attempts into immediate scores at a 69.2% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Wilkes doesn’t bend his knees to get down in a stance and is unable to stay in front out in space.
  • He consistently goes under picks defending at the point of attack.
  • Wilkes stays flat-footed off the ball as well and helps one pass away off the strong-side corner with alarming regularity.
  • Despite his length, he is yet to show particularly impressive instincts making plays in the passing lanes – averaging just 1.1 steals per 40 minutes.
  • Wilkes is somewhat attentive to his help defense responsibilities coming off the weak-side to crowd the area near the rim. He challenges some shots but does a more impressive job planting his feet and raising his arms to wall off the basket.
  • Wilkes does not mix up in the defensive glass, rarely looking to box out anyone, but can put his athletic ability to use taking advantage of his teammates doing the dirty work – collecting 13.4% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 9/18/1998

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to UCLA

[6] According to Draft Express

READ MORE: Shake Milton | Troy Brown, Jr. | Mikal Bridges

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

Ben Emelogu, II Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ben Emelogu, II was unranked in the 2013 high school class[1].
  • Through 20 games this season, the six-foot-five gunner has averaged 13.2 points per 40 minutes on 69.3% effective shooting and posted a 18.3 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Emelogu, II struggled in his first two seasons at Southern Methodist after transferring from Virginia Tech but seems to have developed into a real knockdown shooter in his senior year. His outrageous shooting percentage is going to regress towards the mean eventually but the types of shots the 23 year-old[3] has taken should still make him a prospect of mild interest.
  • On the other end, he is an asset to pick up bigger players on switches and cross-matches due to the strength in his 215-pound frame[4] and the general physicality with which he plays in the interior. However, his lack of intensity in the perimeter is disappointing for a veteran with 2,458 minutes of college ball experience under his belt.
  • He’s unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

SHOOTING

  • Emelogu, II is not just a weak-side spot-up shooter, as he’s also proven himself able to make shots relocating around the wing on roll-and-replace and popping to the three-point line as the back-screener on Spain pick-and-rolls.
    • He does nice preparation catching it on the hop, has a fluid release and a quick trigger, fully extends himself to launch the ball from a high point and gets a good arc on his shot.
    • Emelogu, II has nailed 56.6% of his 83 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 5.4 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • He’s nailed 37.9% of his 340 three-point shots over his 111 NCAA appearances, at a pace of 5.5 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • The fact he’s hit just 64.8% of his 122 foul shots over his three-and-a-half seasons in college is a head-scratcher.

OFF THE DRIBBLE

  • Emelogu, II is smooth attacking closeouts and though he lacks a quick first step, he is able to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact. He has some body control to hang and adjust himself in the air in his best days for the eventual reverse finish but is not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and hasn’t developed much dexterity drawing contact.
    • After shooting 44.2% there as a junior and 38.9% as a sophomore, Emelogu, II has finished his 28 shots at the rim at a 57.1% clip this season, with six of 16 makes at the basket assisted[5].
      • He can play above the rim as a target for lobs leaping off two feet sneaking behind the defense on a wheel route play Southern Methodist likes to run.
    • Emelogu, II has averaged 1.7 free throws per 40 minutes this season and just two fouls shots per 40 minutes over his time in college.
  • His best resource off the dribble is a floater off a jump-stop but his most productive work is on drive-and-kick’s – as he’s assisted on 11.1% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 618 minutes this season.
  • Emelogu, II can run a side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving but is not a good option to create his own shot against a set defender. He has a rudimentary handle and lacks side-to-side shake to get his man off balance, with a spin move as his only resource to get penetration.
    • Unable to create much separation, he’s shot just 32% on two-point jumpers this season.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

  • Emelogu, II doesn’t really bend his knees to get low in a stance and doesn’t put in much effort to stay in front in isolation or navigate over ball-screens at the point of attack, though he’ll put in some effort to contest pull-ups if he’s close by.
  • His closeouts are ineffective as well, as he doesn’t seem to have above average length to contest catch-and-shoot jumpers effectively and isn’t quick enough to run shooters off their shots.
  • He’s shown some instincts making plays in the passing lanes – averaging 1.6 steals per 40 minutes in his 89 appearances for Southern Methodist.

INTERIOR DEFENSE

  • Despite his height, his highest value on defense is closer to the basket, as he is able to pick up bigger players on switches and cross-matches. He is tough enough and plenty strong to hold his ground in the post and box them out in the battle under the defensive glass.
    • Emelogu, II has collected 15% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
    • Due to his work as an interior defender, he ranks third on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 11/24/1994

[4] According to Southern Methodist

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Gary Trent, Jr. | Troy Brown, Jr. | Arnoldas Kulboka

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

Ethan Chargois Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ethan Chargois was not ranked in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes on 60% true shooting and posted a 22.4 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Southern Methodist has deployed the 19-year-old[3] as a center who spaces the floor out of the three-point line on one end and offers some semblance of rim protection on the other. In that role the freshman has been very effective on both ends, despite lacking elite height for the position.
  • He’s unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

OFFENSE

  • 44.4% of his shots have been launched from three-point range, as Chargois has shown the ability to not only space the floor as a spot-up shooter but also taken catch-and-shoot jumpers on the move coming out of the pick-and-pop and as the trailer in transition.
    • He has a compact release and a quick trigger for someone his size, catching it on the hop and displaying decent touch.
    • He’s nailed 40.3% of his 67 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 6.2 such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 65.4% foul shooting over 52 free throws is a head-scratcher.
  • Other than that, Chargois has gotten the ball in the post and in the elbow on low horns sets as well.
    • He uses power moves to burn smaller players on switches but flashed the traits of a very skilled post game against bigger players, using shot-fakes and head-fakes to work his defender out of position and finish around them on up-and-under’s.
    • Chargois can take his man off the bounce on straight line drives, lacking an explosive first step but using the strength in his 235-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact and high-stepping to weave his way through traffic. He lacks lift off one foot to go up strong at the basket but flashed a running floater to score over length from the in-between area and showed nice touch on lefty finger-roll finishes.
    • Prior to the game against Tulane, Chargois had converted his 57 attempts at the rim at a 70.2% clip, with a third of his 40 makes at the basket unassisted[5].
  • He’s proven himself an asset to help facilitate offense on dribble hand-offs in the perimeter or scanning the floor out of the low post and figures to be an option passing out of the short roll if put in that position too – assisting on 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 433 minutes this season.
  • He is not a target to play above the rim as a target for lobs, lacking lift to go up strong off two feet in a pinch, and his impact in the offensive glass has been marginal.

DEFENSE

  • Chargois is pretty nimble for someone his weight and can be somewhat effective defending the pick-and-roll around the foul line but isn’t suited to pick up smaller players on switches or match up with shooting big men.
    • He has a couple of lateral slides in him to show-and-recover well against the pick-and-roll, able to contain the ball-handler and prevent him from getting downhill or turning the corner right away.
      • Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[6].
    • But he can get exposed backpedalling and doesn’t act as a deterrent for passes over the top.
    • Chargois bends his knees to get down in a stance in individual defense in the perimeter but lacks lateral quickness to stay in front of smaller players for more than a slide or two.
    • His closeouts are also ineffective, as he doesn’t seem to have above average length to contest catch-and-shoot jumpers effectively and isn’t quick enough to run shooters off their shots.
  • Chargois has shown good attention to his rotation responsibilities stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and coming off the weak-side in help defense.
    • He’s shown a knack for making plays on the ball – averaging 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes, but that pursuit of events have come at the cost of him putting himself at constant risk of foul trouble – as he’s averaged 4.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which have limited his playing time to just 22.8 minutes per game.
    • He ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[7].
  • Chargois plays disciplined post defense and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but has a high center of gravity, which affects his ability to hold ground some.
    • He’s collected just 17.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 1/19/1999

[4] According to Southern Methodist

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Omari Spellman | Brady Manek | Jaren Jackson, Jr.

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