(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)
Frank Kaminsky is one of the most interesting players in college basketball due to the versatility of his skill-set on offense. Wisconsin’s seven-foot tall center took over a fifth of his shots from three-point range last season, according to hoop-math.com, and hit his 98 attempts from beyond the arc in 38 appearances at a 37.8% clip. Kaminsky doesn’t elevate off the ground much but has a high point in his release because of his height and decent speed on his trigger in the context of his frame. His accuracy was particularly impressive considering Kaminsky has more room to improve as a shooter, as he doesn’t consistently keep his off-hand pointed up in his follow through.
He was a willing shooter but not a gunner, displaying very good shot selection. Kaminsky proved himself very comfortable putting the ball on the ground to attack a closeout. He is not particularly fast off the dribble but passed intelligently to shooters rotating to the open spot in the perimeter, assisting on over a tenth of Winconsin’s field goals when he was on the floor, which is above average for his position. Kaminsky has a high vantage point thanks to his seven-foot height but also showed a good understanding of where to look for his teammates, as his low turnover rate was not merely a product of Bo Ryan’s offense.
Kaminsky did a lot of his work from the perimeter, with jump-shots accounting for 70% of his attempts. Ryan utilized the threat of his shooting and his passing skills to open up the interior for Traevon Jackson to penetrate off the dribble and the post for Sam Dekker to bully smaller defenders, so Kaminsky mostly floated to an open spot behind the arc when he screened for the ball-handler. He was generally a poor screener, often more concerned in slipping to the wing than drawing contact. When he dove to the basket, Kaminsky flashed the potential to play above the rim but wasn’t a consistent target for lobs. Nonetheless, he looked natural filling open vacancies around the basket, showed soft hands to catch the ball on the move, and good touch to finish at rim level.
Where he most impressed with his footwork was in the post, though. Ryan’s offense provided him a lot of opportunities to operate from either side of the block. Kaminsky doesn’t have a wide body, with his 234 pounds well distributed on his frame, but mostly proved himself able to gain good position with his back to the basket. There were also times he set up from the mid-post area, which can in part be attributed to the nature of the offense. Kaminsky did not bully opponents into submission, but flashed a variety of unusual moves to protect his shot against lengthy defenders. He took 36.4% of his shots at the rim and finished them at a 72.6% clip, leading the nation in post scoring according to Synergy.
He was also a factor on the glass. Over one-tenth of his shots at the rim were off putbacks, and Kaminsky ranked seventh in the conference in offensive rebounding rate. He showed good instincts tracking the ball off the rim and was able to reach the ball at a higher point than the average opponent due to the combination of his height and leaping ability. As a result of the wide range of things he brought to the table, Kaminsky ranked second in the conference in offensive rating, with Wisconsin averaging 127.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
Kaminsky was less of a difference maker on defense. Despite his size, he was moved on the post and often worked to front the opponent. Though he did an adequate job switching onto perimeter players, Ryan preferred to have him guarding the pick-and-roll flat. Opponents took 40.6% of their shots against Wisconsin from the mid-range area. Kaminsky showed good timing in his rotations from the weak side to protect the rim, blocking 6.1% of opponents’ shots while on the floor, which ranked him sixth in the Big 10. He can get off the ground well for someone his size, but that actually worked against him at times, making him prone to being burned on up-and-unders. His instincts tracking misses also translated on this end, where he ranked eighth in the conference in defensive rebounding rate.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara.