Amar Sylla Scouting Report

Sylla was part of Real Madrid’s very successful junior team last season, which won the Adidas Next Generation Tournament and the Spanish League U18 without losing a single game while blowing out Mega Bemax and Barcelona in both finals by 19 and 24 points, respectively.

The six-foot-nine big man then joined the Senegalese National Team at the U19 World Cup in Crete last summer but struggled to help them compete in any meaningful way. In a team with a few other big men to accommodate, Sylla had to play as a wing for the most part, looked unimpressive from a skill level-standpoint and patched together a lousy statistical profile to boot (considering his status).

Unlikely to be considered for a spot on the roster with Real Madrid’s senior team, which is already stacked with big men and opted to fast-track the integration of Usman Garuba instead of his, the 18-year-old opted against another year at the junior level and transferred to Belgium squad Oostende, where he is now going through his first full season as a pro in the Belgium BSL and FIBA’s Basketball Champions League.

It hasn’t gone great so far.

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Obadiah Toppin Scouting Report

Toppin logged 873 minutes for a Dayton team that won just 21 of its 33 games and got bounced in the first round of the NIT last season. But in that limited playing time, the six-foot-nine combo big got to show a number of impressive traits.

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Isaiah Stewart, II Scouting Report

Stewart is another prospect who looks ready for the pros right now from a physical profile-standpoint, measured at six-foot-eight without shoes with a seven-foot-four wingspan and weighed at 242 pounds in the Nike Hoop Summit.

His game is mostly built around strength and physicality on both ends but Stewart has shown a good deal of hops and skill as well.

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James Wiseman Scouting Report

Ranked as the number one prospect in the 2019 high school class, Wiseman is currently viewed as the number one overall prospect in next year’s draft as well.

Measured at six-foot-11 without shoes with a seven-foot-four wingspan and weighed at 247 pounds in the Memphis Pro Day, he looks ready to step into an NBA game right now, from a physical profile-standpoint.

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Vernon Carey, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ranked sixth in the 2019 high school class[1];
  • Turned 18 in February[2];
  • Measured at six-foot-nine without shoes[3] with a seven-foot-one wingspan at the Nike Hoop Summit[4] and currently listed at 270 pounds[5];
  • Profiles as a post-up shot creator and below the rim finisher out of the pick-and-roll on offense;
    • But seems to be trying to develop as more of a face-up driver and jump-shooter;
  • Uneven defender who is most effective closer to the rim but doesn’t really block shots or rebound in volume;
    • Hasn’t shown a lot of range defending out in space;
  • Averaged 19.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 19 appearances with Nike Team Florida at the Nike EYBL circuit in the summer of 2018[6];
  • Ranked 28th on ESPN’s top 100 at the time of writing.

POST OFFENSE

  • Can get physical enough to leverage his strength into setting a deep seal when he puts his mind to it but has signaled that this is not really the way he prefers to play offense;
  • Creates separation for lefty hooks via power moves on occasion but not as often as his frame suggests he should;
  • Has shown more of a preference for facing up his man in the mid-post area and flashed decent footwork creating space for one-dribble pull-ups;
    • Step-back jumper;
    • Fake-spin one way and launch a turnaround fadeaway jumper turning the other.

FINISHING

  • Powerful leaper off two feet with time and space to load up;
  • Has not proven himself able to play above the rim as a target for lobs going up in traffic;
    • Slip screener who rarely rolls hard down the lane, showing more of a preference for popping into an open area for a jumper;
  • Soft touch on non-dunk finishes with his dominant left hand;
  • Iffy touch on non-dunk finishes with his right hand;
  • Works to set inside position in the offensive glass;
    • Tip-in threat but hasn’t yet shown a particularly impressive second jump.

FACING THE BASKET

  • Has shown decent ball skills and comfort handling it to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and can take it end-to-end if left unchallenged;
    • Does not have enough dynamism to trigger offense in the half-court;
  • Has shown decent coordination driving on a straight line, not just attacking closeouts off a shot fake but out of ball reversals as well;
    • Doesn’t have an explosive first step to blow by his man and lacks shiftiness or dribble moves to shake him side-to-side;
    • Mixes in a well-coordinated spin move and a euro-step from time-to-time but mostly relies on ability to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact as a wrecking ball driver;
    • Averaged 7.2 free throws per game at the Nike EYBL circuit in the summer of 2018;
  • Doesn’t show a lot of explosiveness elevating off one foot in traffic regularly but has flashed the ability to euro-step into a dunk off momentum;
  • Can finish through contact and has flashed a few resources (lefty finger-roll and lefty floater off 1-2 footwork) to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the basket;
    • But doesn’t have enough body flexibility to hang or adjust his body mid-air;
  • Spaced out to the wing quite a bit in high school and even took a few three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop and joining the offense late in transition;
    • Fully extends himself for a high release;
    • Has somewhat fluid mechanics but needs time to set his feet and load his shot;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a quick enough trigger to take shots on the move regularly;
    • Nailed just 33.9% of his 56 three-point shots at the Nike EYBL circuit in the summer of 2018, at a pace of 2.9 such attempts per game.

DEFENSE

  • NSU University School asked him to go only towards the foul line and drop back against middle pick-and-rolls;
    • Doesn’t often put in a lot of hustle to contest pull-ups by the ball-handler;
  • Activity stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense leaves something to be desired but can be effective challenging shots via verticality when he is well positioned;
    • Strong enough frame to absorb a hit and challenge a shot with his nine-foot standing reach;
    • Not an explosive enough leaper off two feet without time and space to load up to act as a constant shot blocking threat;
    • Blocked just 21 shots in 19 games at the Nike EYBL circuit in the summer of 2018;
  • Attentive to his boxout responsibilities and physical putting a body on whoever is close by but hasn’t impressed with his quickness chasing the ball off the rim;
  • Doesn’t seem able to bend his knees a whole lot to get down in a stance defending out in space;
    • Can keep pace with slower face-up big men/big wings one-on-one on straight line drives off a standstill but vulnerable to get blown by if forced to recover from a stunt and guard out on an island;
  • Slow on closeouts – sells out to run the shooter off his shot and exposes the defense behind him.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 2/25/2001

[3] I still don’t understand what’s the point of measuring guys without shoes but that’s the standard the NBA adopts now, so from now on the focus will be on stating the players’ height without shoes

[4] According to The Stepien

[5] According to Duke’s official listing

[6] According to d1circuit.com

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

Chet Holmgren Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Fourth-ranked prospect in the 2021 high school class[1];
  • Aged 17;
  • Listed at seven-feet tall and 190 pounds[2];
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota native who played his first couple years of high school basketball at Minnehaha Academy;
    • Played a key role in the school’s back-to-back title winning campaigns at the Minnesota state championship class 2A these past two seasons;
  • Played AAU ball with the Grassroots Sizzle in the Under Armour Association last offseason;
    • Statistical profile: 22.6 points per 40 minutes on 64% shooting, 49% three-point shooting on 4.6 such attempts per 40 minutes, 8.6 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, 7.3 blocks per 40 minutes in 14 appearances[3];
  • Projects as a modern center who can space the floor on one end and protect the rim on the other;
  • Is developing some versatility to his release and has flashed the ability to put the ball on the floor against hard closeouts;
    • Extremely thin frame for someone his height makes him a very mobile big man and Minnehaha even called some plays for him to catch off running around screens;
  • Lack of strength is a factor in the more physical areas of the game but plays with energy and intensity in pick-and-roll defense and as a help defender.

HELP DEFENSE

  • Blocked 63 shots in 373 minutes in the Under Armour Association, which averages out to 7.3 blocks per 40 minutes;
  • Aggressive rotating across the lane off the weakside;
    • Not impressively explosive elevating off one foot but seems to have superior length to block a shot even when he’s not in the immediate area of the finisher;
  • Attentive to his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense;
    • Quick leaper off two feet to block shots in volume or challenge them via verticality – does not need to load up to go up off a standstill;
    • Gets knocked back at times when trying to challenge shots via verticality due to lack of core strength;
  • Showed glimpses of very good awareness making preventive rotations that intimidated ball handlers from driving all the way to the rim;
  • Shadows isolations and is aggressive coming to the rescue of teammates getting beat out in space.

PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE

  • Was most often asked by Minnehaha Academy to go up to the foul line and drop-back in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Nimble and agile enough to move sideways, intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner, then turning around to contest the roll man effectively;
    • Coordinated and fluid while dropping back but doesn’t leverage his length into making plays on the ball going for strips or challenging feeds to the roll man;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players on straight line drives foul line down;
    • Can block a shot defending on the ball;
  • Picked up smaller players on switches from time-to-time;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance;
    • Mobile enough to stay in front of less shifty types out on an island;
    • Puts in the effort to contest pull-ups.

OTHER AREAS OF DEFENSE

  • Not always diligent with his boxout responsibilities and isn’t very physical when he does put a body on whoever is close by but plays with decent activity chasing the ball off the rim and can reach it at a higher level than other high schoolers in Minnesota;
  • Can execute the scheme and make a difference as a weakside defender on actions in the middle of the floor;
    • Agile enough to stunt inside, take away a driver’s path to the basket, and then recover into blocking a three-pointer on a hard closeout thanks to his combination of long strides and length;
    • Flashed some awareness to switch on the fly;
  • Struggles to hold his ground in the post but does guard with his arms up near the basket, which often intimidates the opponent from trying to finish over him;
  • Hustles back in transition defense and can pick up the occasional chase-down block.

OFFENSE

  • Played mostly as a floor-spacer with Minnehaha Academy, clearing the lane for Jalen Suggs to post up smaller guards or get downhill in isolation;
    • Has a fluid release and a fairly quick trigger for someone his height;
    • Compact mechanics without that much of a dip for rhythm, launching the ball from out in front and off little elevation, but managing to get his shot off prior to or over closeouts consistently comfortably due to his height;
    • Doesn’t always get the greatest arc on his shot;
    • Guide hand discipline could use some work;
    • Nailed 49% of his 43 three-point shots in the Under Armour Association, at a pace of 4.6 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Got some catches sprinting off screens on the side of the floor: not yet an aggressive shot taker on the move but has enough of a handle and coordination to put the ball on the floor curling around pindowns;
    • Has long strides to get from the three-point line all the way to the rim in one dribble;
    • Can go up strong off one foot if left unchallenged;
    • Tucks the ball to protect it from getting stripped of him in traffic;
    • Despite thin frame and lack of strength, showed some ability to play through contact in high school;
  • Was involved in pick-and-pop a little bit;
    • Slip screener only;
    • Can get quick looks off from midrange;
    • Glimpses of being able to roll into a face-up isolation: showed a quick first step to get by the level of competition he played against in high school, flashed a euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic and exhibited decent touch on a lefty finish over the crowd;
  • Good cutter;
    • Can catch the ball on the move and go up strong off two feet with a little bit of room to load up;
  • Struggles to set deep position in the post due to lack of strength;
  • Can grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end if left unchallenged but hasn’t shown a lot of dexterity triggering offense in the half-court;
  • Willing passer over the crowd but yet to show anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision, either on the move or facing the defense or operating with his back to the basket;
  • Doesn’t often crash the offensive glass in high school due to role as floor-spacer but has flashed a quick second jump when does mix it up around the rim.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to USA Basketball

[3] According to uaa.io

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