Tyrese Haliburton Scouting Report

CONTEXT

I think it’s fair to say that Tyrese Haliburton’s rise has been somewhat meteoric.

Besides being ranked 172nd in the 2018 high school class[1], the six-foot-five lead guard also had a fairly quiet first year at Iowa State last season – averaging just 8.2 points per 40 minutes on a staggeringly low 9.1% usage rate, though while posting 66.6% true shooting and turning the ball over just 28 times in 35 appearances.

Haliburton then made the Team USA sent to Crete, Greece to compete at the U19 World Cup last summer and exceled as one of the top shot creators on the team, earning All-Tournament honors at the end.

His percentages were as efficient against that level of competition as they were in his first year of collegiate basketball, with the 19-year-old[2] leading the tournament in offensive rating and effective field goal percentage while turning the ball over just eight times in 174 minutes.

Back to Iowa State for his second year, Haliburton was expected to take on a more prominent role within the offense as a sophomore and that has turned out to be the case so far, though it’s also fair to point out that his average of 17.2 points per 40 minutes on 13.2 field goal attempts per 40 minutes and his 20.9% usage rate are still short of what is usually associated with a guard projected to end up a top 10 pick, as he is currently ranked fifth on ESPN’s top 100, at the time of writing.

Maybe his rise to stardom says more about the general perception of a lack of superstar potential in this class or maybe the NBA is starting to adjust its view on what types of players it is looking for in the draft. If Haliburton does end up getting drafted ahead of guys like Cole Anthony and Tyrese Maxey, which are more in line with the types of lead guards the league has most often sought at the top of the order in the recent past, it might signal a potential shift in priorities.

That’s the case because Haliburton is not a volume scorer or an imposing physical presence. He doesn’t get to the rim a whole lot and earns very few free throws too.

What he brings to the table at this point of his development is intelligent execution within the flow of the offense, profiling as a caretaker point guard who can accommodate a ball dominant wing by being able to nail open shots, despite his unorthodox release, and create for others off a live dribble.

What that means is that Haliburton is likely to look better, or make more of an impact, when surrounded by better players. That’s obviously true for every player, but I’d argue it’s of particular importance for good “team players” like Haliburton.

But on a team with mediocre talent around him, he is probably unlikely to be viewed as a driver of success because he is not perceived as the sort of threat to score 30 that defenses fear the most. Considering that and the fact that he plays on a team that has lost nine out of 17 games so far, it would seem perhaps unlikely that his value would be properly matched with such a high investment. That’s why a potential top 10 selection would be somewhat surprising, historically speaking.

On the other end, Haliburton is pretty tenacious heating up the opposing ball handler and has shown a knack for creating events, not just reaching around for strips or jumping passing but even picking up a block quite regularly.

But despite his height, he doesn’t offer a lot of versatility as a defender yet because of his thin 175-pound frame, which probably restricts him to being viewed as more of a one-position defender at this point of his physical development.

Check the rest of the post at RealGM


[1] According to 247Sports

[2] DOB: 2/29/2000

Terren Frank Scouting Report

CONTEXT

I’ve found Terren Frank to be the best player on Sierra Canyon’s star-studded roster so far this season.

With Zaire Williams only making his season debut last week against Rancho Christian, the six-foot-eight combo forward played the first couple months of the year as a pure perimeter player but profiles more as a big wing who can matchup physically with big men on defense and draw them out to the perimeter on offense.

Now that he should spend most of his time in favorable matchups, given the fact Sierra Canyon must accommodate Williams, BJ Boston, LeBron James, Jr. and Amari Bailey out on the perimeter, I think he is going to stand out a little more.

ESPN currently ranks him 79th in its top 100 for the 2020 high school class but I expect him to end up far higher by the end of the year, especially considering the level of exposure Sierra Canyon has been given. It has played more games on US national television than the Knicks have this season.

In terms of skillset, the Texas Christian commit has shown a fairly well-rounded game while proving himself capable of handling the ball in transition, create a shot for himself in isolation, hit the occasional spot-up three-pointer and use some craft to finish among the trees.

On the other end, while there are glimpses of capable defense against smaller players out in space, he projects as someone more suited to hang his own against true big men near the rim (listed at 185 pounds and showing glimpses of being able to handle the most physical aspects of the game).

ON-BALL OFFENSE

The Chatsworth, California native has fairly well-developed ball skills for someone with his frame and likes to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound. Besides being able to take it end-to-end if left completely unchallenged, he’s also shown the ability to hit teammates filling the lanes with reasonably well-timed passes.

In the half-court, Frank has shown a strong preference for operating from the perimeter, suggesting he prefers to be developed as a ball handler of some sort.

Frank hasn’t yet developed an explosive first step, a whole lot of speed with the ball or particularly impressive side-to-side shake but, besides being able to act as a wrecking ball driver in high school due to his strength advantage, he has flashed a set of dribble moves to get dribble penetration on craft.

His handle is not all that consistent yet but there have been more than a few moments where he unleashed a crossover or a lefty in-and-out dribble to get by his man in isolation or manipulate him into the ball-screen to get downhill in middle high pick-and-roll.

Frank has not yet shown to be an explosive leaper off one foot if surrounded, most often looking to gallop into two-foot leaps in traffic. He has flashed some flexibility to adjust his body in the air for double clutch finishes but can also unleash some head fakes off a hard jump-stop to get the rim protector out of position in order to finish around him.

When kept from the basket, Frank has taken a runner and a floater off a jump-stop on occasion but his touch on these instances didn’t look too promising.

From the post, he has shown a strong preference for facing up, sizing up his man and creating separation for a jumper – usually a two-dribble pull-up going middle.

OFF-BALL OFFENSE

With Harold Yu and Shy Odom always on the floor hovering around the rim, Frank has not been deployed as a rim roller regularly.

In the few instances where he cut for a catch-and-finish opportunity, he’s shown good coordination catching the ball on the move, taking a dribble for balance and going up strong off two feet. Frank hasn’t yet proven to be an explosive leaper elevating off two feet in a crowd, though.

When he is off the ball, it’s more common to see him operating as a shooter, not just on basic spot-ups but flashing a little bit of versatility to his release as well – working off a pindown screen on a short jog, going to the ball for a handoff and sliding into an open spot out of the pick-and-pop.

He sets a bit of an unorthodox base at times but generally sets himself through 1-2 footwork, doesn’t need to dip for rhythm and fully extends himself for a high release. His touch doesn’t yet seem to be all that impressive, but the overall approach, most specifically on set catch-and-shoot’s, looks promising.

DEFENSE

Frank has some good moments in transition defense and has flashed the potential to maybe become a chase-down block threat.

In the half-court, he is mostly so-so at this point of his development.

Frank bends his knees to get down in a stance defending on the perimeter and puts in decent effort to try staying in front but gets beat one-on-one a fair amount as well.

Given his frame, he doesn’t seem suited to check pick-and-roll ball handlers due to the unlikelihood of him being able to get skinny navigating over screens at the point of attack.

Though there have been flashes of side-to-side quickness, Frank also doesn’t figure to be an option picking up smaller players on switches out on an island.

His urgency on closeouts is pretty mixed. There are instances of him showing good hustle running Chet Holmgren off his shot in the pick-and-pop but also looking slow on longer closeouts while executing a stunt-and-recover.

For now, his defense looks more promising as a big man.

Frank was asked to execute a hard trap while extending pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line in one of these games and proved himself capable of impacting the ball handler all the way to the sideline in impressive fashion.

On dropbacks, he hasn’t yet developed the position defense to stop the ball consistently but flashed the ability to keep pace with the ball handler foul line down and stay attached well enough to contest a shot from the side.

Since he played as a pure wing for most of the season to date, there aren’t a lot of instances where Frank was forced to play active help defense and protect the rim.

But on the post, he’s shown some toughness holding his ground against taller players and decent activity leveraging his length into walling up the basket reasonably effectively.

Frank has also flashed a good deal of physicality boxing out whoever was close by under the glass, though his quickness chasing the ball off the rim can improve.

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

Bronny James Scouting Report

CONTEXT

LeBron James, Jr. has been, up until this point, a lower-end rotation player in his first year at Sierra Canyon.

Surrounded by three players ranked on ESPN’s top 100 for the 2020 high school class and another one on ESPN’s top 25 for the 2022 high school class, the 15-year-old[1] freshman has no shot creation responsibility against a set defense and is mostly tasked with spacing the floor, generally only putting the ball on the floor against a scrambling defense on ball reversals and by attacking a closeout.

On the other end, the six-foot-two guard has shown flashes of intensity heating up opposing ball handlers but is most often seen as a weakside defender – not yet making a huge impact in terms of flying around to create events but executing the scheme pretty well in terms of stunting in to help clog driving lanes, showing a knack for using his length in the passing lanes to get some deflections and hustling to closeout to the three-point line urgently.

SHOOTING

Though only a capable open shot shooter who doesn’t seem comfortable pulling the trigger with a hand in his face yet, James has looked very promising on spot-ups.

He has quite a pronounced dip for rhythm and a low release out in front but gets great elevation off the ground, rises in balance and gets the ball out quickly due to compact mechanics. His misses tend to be long or short, not to the side, and his touch looks good.

James has shown glimpses of being able to take shots on the move on occasion but mostly looks to put the ball on the floor when he has worked coming off screens for catches on the side of the floor.

He can work his way into a one-dribble pull-up in rhythm off a side pick-and-roll but has shown more of a strong preference for relying on his runner when he’s had to shot fake into an escape dribble – a floater James has launched from a step within the high school three-point line a couple of times.

DRIVING

The Cleveland, Ohio native hasn’t yet developed a tight handle operating against pressure. Playing against an older age group on average, his athletic ability is not yet up to the level where he could show particularly impressive speed with the ball or be able to maintain his balance and his momentum through contact with his 165-pound frame. Based on those limitations, James has often been a hesitant driver for now.

But when he does attack, James has proven himself capable of turning the corner by mixing in a hesitation move to get by his man on the way.

He has mostly acted as a rim-level finisher in the half-court and, though unable to finish through contact at this point of his physical development, James has shown a fairly versatile package to score in traffic for someone his age – unleashing left-handed scoops, right-handed finger-rolls and even a wrong foot, wrong hand layup in transition.

But as a passer, James hasn’t yet been able to show if he’s inherited the legendary court vision his father is known for.

DEFENSE

On the ball, there have been glimpses of bulldog defense heating up opposing point guards.

He hunches a little more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance but has impressed with his lateral agility reacting side-to-side to stay in front out in space. James has also flashed the ability to contain dribble penetration through contact against similarly sized players and puts in the effort to contest pull-ups.

He hasn’t yet developed the technique to get skinny navigating over screens at the point of attack but shows urgency hustling in pursuit to try bothering from behind.

Most of his time has been spent as a weakside defender, though, and James has shown an interest for executing the scheme.

He hasn’t yet proven himself capable of making plays at the rim in help defense and it’s rare to see him flying around to steals or rebounds in volume, but James does solid work in the hidden areas of the game: stunting an extra step in to help clog driving lanes, leveraging his length into getting a few deflections and showing urgency in his closeouts (even flashing the footspeed to run the shooter off his shot and the body control to stay balanced defending off the dribble on occasion).


[1] DOB: 10/6/2004

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

Keion Brooks, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Ranked 36th in the 2018 high school class[1], Keion Brooks, Jr. has been mostly a lower-end rotation player in his first year at Kentucky.

The six-foot-seven combo forward has logged some of his minutes as a wing with two of Nick Richard, EJ Montgomery and Nate Sestina on the floor, and some as the second “big” on smaller lineups.

His role is mostly the same on offense, regardless of who is around him: attempt to space the floor on the weakside and be on the lookout for opportunities to cut backdoor or flash to the foul line on occasion. Given his struggles as a shooter, the team has been more capable of scoring without him on the floor.

On the other end, the 19-year-old[2] is generally a weakside defender for the most part but was the one tasked with guarding Louisville’s Jordan Nwora – the biggest challenge Kentucky has faced this season in terms of a wing capable of creating some of his own scoring on the ball – and did fairly well, combining with Kahlil Whitney to hold Nwora to just eight points on two-for-10 shooting in 39 minutes.

But it remains questionable what level of individual defender he truly is for now, while he hasn’t really impressed in terms of flying around to create events away from the ball. Those uncertainties, combined with his poor percentages as a shooter, have held him from consideration as a pro prospect for the immediate future, so ESPN does not rank him in its top 100 at the time of writing.

OFF BALL DEFENSE

Brooks has proven attentive to his responsibilities rotating in to pick up the roll man and can block a shot if he has the time to load up before going up strong but hasn’t yet shown much of anything above average in terms of a knack to make plays at the basket.

That’s also been the case in the passing lanes. He stunts and recovers with pleasing urgency but hasn’t yet developed a sense for leveraging his length into getting steals and deflections often.

Brooks is proactive switching on the fly, though he could improve his communication on these instances, and helping the helper.

He hustles to chase shooters all over the floor, struggling to negotiate his way around staggered screens but hustling in pursuit to bother a shot from behind. That sort of energy raises the possibility that maybe he could be a viable option to do the same defending the point of attack, though it’s unclear (and probably unlikely) if he’d be as effective against quicker types.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana native mixes it up on scrums under the glass and has proven attentive to his responsibilities boxing out whoever is close by and doing it with pretty good toughness as well. He is only so-so pursuing the ball off the rim, though – collecting 13.9% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor[3].

ON BALL DEFENSE

Brooks bends his knees to get down in a stance (though a bit of a soft stance) and has a couple of lateral slides in him to stay in front of similarly sized players one-on-one. He’s done well leveraging his strength to contain dribble penetration through contact and puts in the effort to contest pull-ups. Brooks does get beat on the first step some but has shown the ability to recover and stay attached in order to make it challenging for the driver to finish with him in his personal space.

He has picked up smaller players on switches on occasion and got shook side-to-side by shiftier types. Given his frame, Brooks struggles to get skinny over picks at the point of attack but, as mentioned above, his hustle and length keep the door open that if paired with a big man defender who can stop the ball particularly well, maybe he could hold his own in pick-and-roll defense a fair amount.

But the endgame for whatever versatility he ends up offering seems to be Brooks crossmatching into bigger players for stretches. He can already hold his ground in the post reasonably well and it’s possible his body develops even further.

OFFENSE

His release can look reasonably fluid if he’s given time and space to go through it comfortably: fully extending himself for a high release and getting a fair amount of elevation for someone who stands at six-foot-seven.

But his approach completely disintegrates when he’s rushed, often missing to the side, and the touch is often questionable no matter what, as Brooks has shot 31.2% on his 48 attempts away from the rim this season[4].

Other than that, there isn’t much to conclude about his offense for now.

He is coordinated putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position but not all that fast or shifty or crafty working off the bounce, in large part because of Kentucky’s struggles to generate clear driving lanes in the half-court.

Brooks hasn’t shown much of anything in terms of court vision creating for others on the move either but has proven himself a quick ball mover making the extra pass around the horn, which is good to see at his age.

He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on a cut or filling the lane in transition – converting 16 of his 23 attempts at the basket, with nine of his makes assisted and another five coming on putbacks – but hasn’t shown anything particularly impressive in terms of explosiveness to suggest maybe he could be an above average scoring threat on rolls to the rim.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 8/7/2000

[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

EJ Montgomery Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Despite being the 13th-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class[1] when he joined Kentucky, EJ Montgomery has not been asked or been given the opportunity to play a prominent role in his year-and-a-half in Lexington.

His part has expanded from 15.1 minutes per game and 15.4% usage rate in year one to 23.5 minutes per game and 19.1% usage rate in year two[2], but he remains more of a complimentary player on offense.

For now, the six-foot-nine big man profiles as a potential connective tissue on offense – a player who can link up play between ball handlers and finishers/shooters on short rolls, act as a hub to facilitate offense on handoffs, post-up to pass and maybe space out to the three-point line on occasion.

Those glimpses are few and far between, though, and there isn’t a lot in his statistical profile to confirm those assumptions.

On the other end, he has shown flashes of being able to switch onto smaller players, stop the ball in pick-and-roll defense while extending coverage above the foul line and make plays at the rim in help defense.

His rebounding is only OK, and his 225-pound frame seems somewhat lean for someone with his height but if he improves his physicality a little more, Montgomery could end up as a viable option to play center for long stretches.

That said, one could argue his entire game is completely theoretical for now, so he’s currently unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

PICK&ROLL DEFENSE

The 20-year-old[3] is mobile and comfortable defending out in space. His stance is soft at times but staying upright seems to be how he is more capable of sliding laterally to prevent the ball handler from turning the corner right away off the pick, though his speed recovering back to his man leaves something to be desired.

Montgomery is pretty fluid backpedaling to stay in the ball handler’s path to the rim when that player manages to get downhill and has an eight-foot-10 standing reach[4] to challenge shots effectively, though he hasn’t yet proven himself capable of blocking shots defending on the ball or leveraging his six-foot-11 wingspan into making plays in the passing lanes.

The Florida native has picked up smaller players on switches from time-to-time and has shown he can hang with quite a few of them out on an island. He does bend his knees to get down in a stance in these one-on-one instances and has surprised with his side-to-side quickness staying attached to fairly shiftier types, his discipline guarding with his arms up to potentially intimidate a shot here and there, and his urgency reacting to contest a pull-up.

RIM PROTECTION

Montgomery has shown promising activity stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane on longer rotations in help defense. He is not a particularly explosive leaper and his eight-foot-10 standing reach is not remarkably above average but what he does have is good enough for him to make more than a few plays at the basket – averaging 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes in his 47 NCAA appearances.

On the flipside, he’s a bit too jumpy and has averaged 5.2 personal fouls per 40 minutes over the course of his college career.

Montgomery is attentive to his boxout responsibilities, though his physicality could improve, as could his reactions chasing the ball off the rim. He is collecting 19% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season, a decent mark but nothing that stands out necessarily.

OFFENSE

The lefty has done quite well with his touch around the rim, converting 75% of his 28 attempts at the basket[5] so far this season.

He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense with time and space to load up but hasn’t really shown to be one of those explosive leapers who can just rise off balance in a split second and dunk anything regardless of the level of the pass, so he’s done a fair amount of his finishing on plays where he’s had to catch, gather himself and go up for a contested layup.

Most of those opportunities have usually come out of dump-offs, cuts and in transition, as Montgomery hasn’t had many, if any, chances to dive hard to the rim out of pick-and-roll.

He’s shown flashes of being able to make quick passes out of the short roll, as well as facilitate offense on handoffs and post-up to pass (including on a crosscourt pass over the crowd to the opposite corner when he opts to face up). But despite some glimpses of appealing court vision, Montgomery has assisted on just 4.8% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor over the course of his college career.

As a post scorer, he’s impressed with his touch on quick turnaround hooks, even with his right hand. Montgomery also mixes in a turnaround jumper and a face-up jumper off sizing up his defender on occasion. Though there isn’t a lot of advanced moves in his arsenal and his footwork can look mechanical at times, he’s been decently effective when kept from the rim – converting 39.4% of his 33 two-point shots away from the basket.

Montgomery takes a spot-up jump-shot in the short corner from time-to-time but hasn’t proven himself capable of spacing out to three-point range regularly for now – taking just 15 such attempts in his 795 total minutes over the last year-and-a-half. His 53.7% foul shooting on 41 free throws also puts into question if the touch he’s shown on hooks and finishes around the basket could be translated into touch for jumpers as well.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] According RealGM

[3] DOB: 9/12/1999

[4] Measured at the 2018 Kentucky Combine, according to Kentucky itself

[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

Nick Richards Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 17th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1];
  • Is in his third year at Kentucky, which is unusual for prospects who come out of high school with his profile;
  • Role has expanded this season:
    • 14.7 minutes per game, 15.5% usage rate as a freshman;
    • 12.1 minutes per game, 16.2% usage rate as a sophomore;
    • 28.8 minutes per game, 17.9% usage rate as a junior[2];
  • 22 years old[3];
  • Kingston, Jamaica native;
  • Six-foot-10 center who has exceled as a lob threat and offensive rebounder;
  • Has a fairly basic post game and isn’t much of an asset to create for others with his back to the basket or act as a hub to help facilitate offense;
  • Has flashed a mid-range jumper on short corner spot-ups and even out of the pick-and-pop lately;
    • Has shot 71% on 183 free throws in his college career to date – an indicator of promising touch;
  • Explosive leaping ability and above average length has helped him block shots in volume, though his rebounding leaves something to be desired;
  • Has impressed with his nimbleness guarding pick-and-rolls above the line and might be an option to pick up smaller players on switches;
  • Currently unraked on ESPN’s top 100.

FINISHING

  • Decent screener: mixes it up between planting his feet to draw contact or slipping the pick to get a head start on his roll;
  • Has shown good hands catching the ball on the move;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense;
  • Has shown pretty decent touch on non-dunk finishes with his right hand;
  • Has converted 85.4% of his 48 shots at the rim this season[4], at a pace of 4.7 such makes per 40 minutes.

OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING

  • Hustles working for inside position under the glass, has a 247-pound frame that can be tough to be boxed out when he gets physical;
  • Has a seven-foot-five wingspan[5] to rebound outside of his area;
  • Has a quick second jump to fight for tip-ins and 50-50 balls;
  • Can go back up without loading up;
  • Has collected 13.3% of Kentucky’s misses when he’s been on the floor in his college career to date;
  • Only so-so performance as an immediate scorer in these second chances: has converted just two of his 29 offensive rebounds into putbacks this season, though he did have 17 such makes last season and 15 the year before.

SHOOTING

  • Has shown a little bit of range lately: catch-and-shoot jumpers on spot-ups in the short corner and out of the pick-and-pop;
  • Gets little elevation off the floor but fully extends for a high release, though still needs time and space to get a good look off;
  • Has hit 44.4% of his two-point shots away from the rim this season, which also includes some right-handed hooks whenever he gets to post-up on occasion;
  • Has nailed 71% of his 183 foul shots over his time in Lexington, which suggests there is nice touch in place for him to developed into a viable jump-shooter in the near future.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Seems be playing a little bit quicker and more active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane off the weakside in help defense;
  • Has impressed with his short-area quickness stepping up to stop a drive, forcing the drop-off and then turning around to contest an attempt by his man at the dunker spot;
  • Quick leaper off two feet + has a nine-foot-two standing reach = if engaged and well positioned, should be able to make lots of plays on the ball;
  • Has averaged three blocks per 40 minutes this season;
  • Hasn’t yet developed the ability to make preventive rotations and discourage dribble drivers from taking it all the way to the rim;
  • Prone to bite on shot fakes;
  • Has averaged 5.7 personal fouls per 40 minutes over the course of his 86 NCAA appearances;
  • Holds his ground in post defense and guards with his arms up near the rim;
  • Quick instincts chasing the ball off the rim but so-so attentiveness to his boxout responsibilities, resulting in him collecting 18.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

PICK&ROLL DEFENSE

  • Has been asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line and has proven himself capable of affecting plays way out in space;
    • Is nimble to show-and-recover at the three-point line, preventing the ball-handler from turning the corner right away off the pick;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a knack for leveraging his length into shutting down passing lanes – has just three steals in 345 minutes;
  • On dropbacks, has shown enough footspeed to keep pace with smaller players from the foul line down and has proved a threat to block a shot defending on the ball;
  • Has shown a good deal of urgency contesting jumpers out of the pick-and-pop but not enough quickness to run the shooter off his shot consistently;
  • Has picked up wings on switches from time-to-time;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance, has a few lateral slides in him and reacts quickly to contest pull-ups effectively;
  • Unclear if he’s a fit to pick up shiftier guards out on an island.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: 11/29/1997

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] Measured at the 2018 Kentucky Combine, according to Kentucky itself

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

Immanuel Quickley Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ranked 25th in the 2018 high school class[1];
  • Has 240 minutes of experience playing for the United States at the 2016 U17 World Cup and the 2017 U19 World Cup;
  • Role has expanded this season:
    • 18.5 minutes per game, 15.7% usage rate as a freshman;
    • 28.2 minutes per game, 22.3% usage rate as a sophomore[2];
  • 20 years old[3];
  • Six-foot-two guard who hasn’t yet offered clarity on, or been allowed to show, what exactly is his ideal role on offense;
    • Pretty decent mid-range scorer, capable in the exact sorts of looks opposing defenses like to give up;
    • Good looking but inefficient off-ball shooter at this point of his development;
    • Nothing special in terms of creating for others on the move;
  • Has shown glimpses of pretty good on-ball defense against similarly sized players and tested with above average length for someone his height but lack of strength and physicality limits the versatility he offers as an option to make an impact near the rim, pick up bigger players on switches or crossmatch onto wings for long stretches;
    • Does not stand out flying around to create events;
    • No evidence of a potential impact on the hidden areas of the game;
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

OFFENSE

  • Most promising work has been as a pull-up shooter against opponents dropping back in middle pick-and-roll and on runners curling into the middle of the lane off catches on the side of the floor;
    • Has shown glimpses of advanced ball skills keeping his dribble alive against hedges and a good feel for declining picks at the point of attack;
    • Does not operate as a shot creator against a set defense regularly – third in the pecking order behind Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans;
    • Has shot 40% on 40 two-point shots away from the basket so far this season, though eight of his 16 makes from such a range have been assisted[4];
  • Has some side-to-side shake to create separation for a mid-range pull-up in isolation;
  • Kentucky offers no spacing in the half-court and his 188-pound frame[5] doesn’t often absorb contact well, so he’s unable to do a whole lot turning the corner or getting downhill in pick-and-roll;
    • Has taken just 15 shots at the rim in 310 minutes all season;
    • Not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic but has proven capable of scoring among the trees on clutch finishes and using his left hand as an asset from time-to-time;
    • Uses head and shot fakes in a crowd to draw contact, earning five shots per 40 minutes);
  • Primary role on this team is working the second side out of floppy sets, horns and sometimes just generally sprinting around staggered screens;
    • Hasn’t yet proven himself to be a particularly good shooter on the move or shown consistent range out to the three-point line in these instances;
  • Can make plays for others in transition and kickout to the strongside off drawing help in the half-court but for the most part hasn’t shown much of anything all that impressive in terms of court vision passing on the move;
    • Has assisted on just 12.9% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season;
  • Spot-up shooting stroke looks promising: catches it on the hop, rises in balance consistently, has a low release out in front but goes through his compact mechanics quickly and gets good elevation to shoot over closeouts;
    • Rhythm pull-ups off an escape dribble look equally as promising;
    • Ball does not go in a whole lot yet: has nailed just a third of his 132 three-point shots in his 48 total NCAA appearances, at a pace of 5.3 such attempts per 40 minutes.

DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance defending on the ball and shown glimpses of very appealing activity heating up opposing ball handlers but can’t quite be considered a lockdown defender;
    • Has several slides in him to stay in front one-on-one but struggles to contain dribble penetration through contact due to lean frame and doesn’t leverage his six-foot-seven wingspan[6] into making plays reaching around for steals regularly;
  • Uneven help defender: attentive to his responsibilities helping scram post switches but at times overhelping one pass away from the strongside corner;
    • Not very effective helping clog driving lanes, both in terms of generally crowding the area near the basket or leveraging his length into making plays on the ball from the side;
    • Not an asset to assist the rim protection process, having not blocked a single shot all season;
    • Doesn’t play with particularly special intensity flying around to create events, averaging just 1.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Average rebounder at best, having collected just 11.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor;
  • Has the worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[7].

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: 6/17/1999

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Kentucky’s oflicial listing

[6] Measured at the 2018 Kentucky Combine, according to Kentucky itself

[7] According to sports-reference

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