Hamidou Diallo Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Hamidou Diallo is ranked 21st on ESPN’s top 100.
  • Through the non-conference part of the schedule, the swingman averaged 21.5 points per 40 minutes on 49.7% effective shooting and 26.6% usage rate[1]. His unimpressive 18.7 PER indicates he is not leveraging his athletic prowess into many tangible contributions other than scoring, though.
  • The 19-year-old[2] is getting most of his touches in the half-court attacking off ball reversals and spotting up as a weak-side floor-spacer, though Kentucky will have him run from one side of the floor to the other around staggered screens for catches at the elbow and post him up from time to time.
    • He’s yet to handle the ball in middle high pick-and-roll against a set defense, though.
  • On the other end, the six-foot-six, 190-pounder has been mostly a pure wing defender. Kentucky has an exceptional on-ball defender in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and doesn’t do any cross matching or a whole lot of switching, so it’s unclear if Diallo can play down a position.
    • Though his seven-foot wingspan[3] suggests he could develop into an asset switching onto bigger players in the future, Diallo is not strong enough for that just yet.

AGAINST A SCRAMBLING DEFENSE

  • Diallo is a remarkable player in transition – flying up the court with just as impressive speed with as without the ball, using in-and-out and behind the back dribbles or euro-steps to weave his way through traffic and elevating off one foot explosively or showcasing great body control to finish at the basket.
    • He can certainly play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes as well.
  • In the half-court, Diallo can get all the way to the basket on straight line drives attacking closeouts or curling off pindown screens. He is an explosive leaper off one or two feet and can hang or adjust his body in the air for acrobatic finishes around rim protectors, though he’s not an ambidextrous finisher, proving to be a less capable scorer with his left hand.
    • Diallo has converted his 54 shots at the basket at a 61.1% clip[4] and averaged 6.2 foul shots per 40 minutes.

AGAINST A SET DEFENSE

  • Diallo is an inconsistent shooter at this point of his development in terms of how capable he looks from attempt to attempt.
    • Off the catch, he seems to do better catching on the hop than when he stands still on triple threat position – as going up and pulling the trigger almost look like two different motions and he struggles with his touch in these instances.
      • Diallo has nailed 36.4% of his 33 three-point shots so far this season but at a pace of just 3.8 such attempts per 40 minutes and he’s hit just 64.2% of his 53 free throws.
      • He is only an open-shot set shooter at this point of his development.
    • Off the dribble, his pull-up stroke looks good. His quickness and body control materialize in his ability to stop on a dime and rise up in a pinch. His mechanics look fluid but his touch is only OK as of now – hitting just 36.4% of his 55 two-point jumpers.
      • He’s flashed a floater to finish over length from the in-between area but needs to develop better touch on that shot as well.
    • Though he is yet to run offense in the half-court with some regularity, Diallo has proven himself a decent passer on the move, able to spot cutters and shooters becoming open with the defense collapsing to the threat of his drive – assisting on 12.8% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor.
    • When he’s had the chance to isolate against his man, Diallo has shown a combination of explosive first step and crossover move to shake him side-to-side and blow by him. But he hasn’t gotten all the way to the basket often off the bounce. Kentucky doesn’t provide ideal spacing but his shot selection is also suspect.
      • He’s taking 39.3% of his shots from mid-range and just 16 of his 33 makes at the rim have been unassisted.

DEFENSE

  • Diallo mostly gets down in a defensive stance by hunching rather than bending his knees, keeping his chest up and back flat. Despite undoubtedly possessing quick feet, he has struggled to react laterally and been repeatedly beat one-on-one.
  • Diallo looks to go over ball-screens defending at the point of the attack but mostly just goes through the motions, without playing with the sort of intensity needed to make a real impact in terms of hurrying back to his man and using his length to deter or contest shots and passes from behind.
  • He is attentive to his help defense responsibilities a fair amount, rotating off the weak-side to the area near the basket, but hardly ever leverages his athleticism into impact plays.
    • It’s rare to see him drawing a charge and he has just 15 steals and two blocks in 343 minutes this season, though he is collecting 12.9% of opponents’ misses in his time on the floor – a decent mark for a two-guard.
  • His closeouts are lazy and opponents can easily get a good shot off or put the ball on the floor and leave him behind.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 7/31/1998

[3] According to Draft Express

[4] According to hoop-math

READ MORE: What was written on Diallo prior to the season.

READ MORE: Grayson Allen | Gary Trent, Jr. | Miles 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

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Marques Bolden Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Marques Bolden was the 16th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1] but logged only 157 minutes in his first year at Duke, missing the first month due to injury and then struggling to make a positive impact once he did get on the court.
    • He averaged just 6.5 minutes per game as a freshman and logged more than seven minutes in just one of his last 12 appearances in the season.
  • The 19-year-old[2] is off to a much better start as a sophomore, having already logged 151 minutes in his first 12 appearances over the first month-and-a-half.
  • The six-foot-11 center is a bruising old school type who is only effective near the basket on both ends, yet to develop perimeter skills or to show enough nimbleness to defend above the foul line.
  • Though the pro game is going away from players with his profile, dominant forces near the goal can still have a small role in the backend of the rotation. But they have to be dominant. Bolden is not there yet but players with his combination of size and strength at his age are the ones with a shot of developing into such types down the line.

SIZE & STRENGTH

  • Bolden uses the strength in his 245-pound frame to get a deep seal in the low post consistently and relies on power moves to back his way into close-range looks.
  • 50% of his live ball attempts have been at the basket this season and he’s converted them at a 70% clip[3].
    • Disappointingly, he’s only averaging 3.7 foul shots per 40 minutes[4], though.
  • Bolden is not a high energy big but can set inside position in the offensive glass and has a seven-foot-six wingspan[5] to rebound outside of his area – collecting 13.5% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
    • He’s shown a decent second jump but doesn’t have much lift going back up strong in a crowd – converting his seven putback attempts at only a 60% clip.
  • Bolden can hold his ground in the post and is a tough presence to finish around when he is well set, given his decent quickness elevating off two feet out of a standstill position and his nine-foot-four standing reach.
    • He’s averaged 3.2 blocks per 40 minutes this season.
    • Thanks to his effectiveness close to the basket, Bolden is second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].
  • Bolden is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but doesn’t pursue the ball with a lot of intensity often – collecting just 16.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

SKILL LEVEL & MOBILITY

  • He’s yet to show a particularly diverse set of post moves in terms of working his man out of position patiently with shot fakes, head fakes and spins. His footwork isn’t all that fluid either.
  • His touch on turnaround hooks is iffy, as he’s converted his 20 shots away from the rim at a 30% clip.
    • He’s also missed six of his 14 foul shots this season.
  • Bolden is not a very good option as pick-and-roll finisher. He is a good screener who looks to draw contact but doesn’t roll hard to the basket often and can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs going up in traffic, though it’s fair to point out Duke doesn’t space the floor very well, rarely stretching Marvin Bagley, III or Javin DeLaurier out to the three-point line when one of the two is out there with him.
    • Bolden is more effective setting ball-screens to roll into post position.
  • He is yet to show much of anything in terms of shooting range or being able to facilitate offense from the elbows.
  • Given the specificity of how he can make a positive impact, Bolden has the second worst offensive rating on the team among rotation players.
  • Bolden isn’t all that quick coming off the weak-side in help-defense to challenge shots at the basket.
    • Often a step too late and prone to biting on shot fakes, Bolden is averaging five personal fouls per 40 minutes.
  • He hasn’t yet developed feel for making preventive rotations and keeping dribble drivers from getting to the basket in the first place.
  • Given his frame and iffy mobility, Bolden is not suited for guarding pick-and-rolls above the foul line, nor does he project as an asset to pick up smaller players on switches.
  • He struggles to closeout to the perimeter, so matching up with stretch big men figures to be a problem as well.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] DOB: 4/17/1998

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to Draft Express

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Wendell Carter, Jr. | Marvin Bagley, III

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

Gary Trent, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Gary Trent, Jr. was the 8th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1] but has been asked to play more of a secondary role in his first year at Duke, logging only 18.6% usage-rate[2] in his 394 minutes this season.
  • The six-foot-six, 209-pound wing does almost all of his work on offense as a weak-side floor-spacer who at times participates in the shot creation process with his movement around staggered screens for catches on the side of the floor.
  • In a team with Trevon Duval and Grayson Allen running an offense that prioritizes getting Marvin Bagley, III and Wendell Carter, Jr. touches in the elbows or the low post, Trent, Jr. hasn’t had many opportunities to create for himself or his teammates on the ball, other than emergency situations late in the shot clock.
    • 41 of his 55 field-goals have been assisted.
  • On the other end, the 18-year-old[3] hasn’t been asked to defend on the ball a whole lot, mostly acting as a weak-side defender when Duke plays man-to-man defense.

OFFENSE

  • His shots usually come from him sprinting from the middle of the floor near the baseline to the side off down screens or drifting from the wing to the corner as a spot-up shooter. Duke can also get him a look with one of the guards setting a quick flare screen for him, when a play dies midway through the shot clock.
  • Trent, Jr. is not yet Kyle Korver but has proven he is already decent at taking some of these more difficult types of shots on the move. He can set his feet in a pinch, has a fairly quick trigger off the catch and fully extends himself for a high point in his release. His touch is great as well and he gets good arc in his shot.
  • Trent, Jr. has nailed 38.2% of his 76 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 7.7 such attempts per 40 minutes. He’s also converted 30 of his 32 foul shots.
  • When the opponent has managed to run him off his shot, Trent, Jr. has shown he is coordinated enough to curl around the pick towards the middle of the floor and pull-up for stop-and-pop jumpers off the dribble. He can get enough separation leaning into his man and suddenly stepping back for a fade-away jumper.
  • With two of Marques Bolden, Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, Jr. out there most of the time, Duke doesn’t offer proper spacing for Trent, Jr. to get all the way to the basket regularly.
    • He is taking just 12.3% of his shots at the rim[4] and averaging just 3.2 foul shots per 40 minutes.
  • Trent, Jr. has a so-so handle and is yet to show much in terms of dribble moves or side-to-side shake but can create enough separation in straight-line isolations or get to his spots off the pick-and-roll to get a shot off. He is yet to prove himself an effective shot maker off the bounce, though, having hit just 31.1% of his 45 two-point jumpers.

DEFENSE

  • Trent, Jr. looks like he should be a good defender. His frame is excellent for someone his age, though his six-foot-eight wingspan[5] is somewhat subpar for a wing defender. He’s also a pretty good athlete who is expected to be able to slide laterally well enough to stay in front and contain dribble penetration.
  • Trent, Jr. has the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[6], though.
  • It’s rare to see him defending on the ball and he might be part of the reason why Duke plays a good deal of zone, though this is just speculation.
  • As a weak-side defender, he is yet to show many instincts making plays in the passing lanes or rotating inside to make himself a presence near the basket.
  • His closeouts are only so-so as well. He should be expected to run shooters off their shots more often.
  • As a defensive rebounder, Trent, Jr. has collected just 10.4% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor – a somewhat disappointing mark, though it’s fair to point out Duke has two dominant big men rebounders on the floor at almost all times.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 1/18/1999

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Draft Express

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Michael Porter, Jr. | Miles Bridges | Grayson Allen

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

Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

If Marvin Bagley III hadn’t reclassified and joined Duke in mid-August, perhaps Wendell Carter, Jr. would be a more prominent pro prospect right now.

In Bagley III’s absence, the six-foot-10 center would have probably benefited from extra touches and more notoriety.

Carter, Jr. could have used that bump in his numbers and perception of his dominance because he isn’t quite a perfect fit for the way the game is played in the NBA these days.

The 259-pounder is not an explosive leaper and can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs, so he figures to be a below average option as a pick-and-roll finisher. He is also yet to prove he can space the floor out to the three-point line in a way that truly threatens the opposing defense.

The 18-year-old[1] has mostly played as an old school type who earns most of his scoring working with his back to the basket, though he has flashed traits of perimeter skills that fit more easily with the modern game in terms of handling the ball to facilitate offense on hand-offs and passing on the move as well.

The same is true on the other end where Carter, Jr. is an effective defender close to the basket but whose frame doesn’t seem to make him suited for picking up smaller players above the foul line often, though he’s done reasonably well when tested.

INTERIOR OFFENSE

Even with Bagley III out there as the focal point, Carter, Jr. has been an active participant within Duke’s offense, as his 22.5% usage rate[2] attests, and the bulk of his work is getting done in the post.

Despite his large frame, he has light feet and prefers relying on his skill a lot more than his strength advantage, showing a diverse arsenal of moves and a patient approach setting his man up with shot-fakes, head-fakes and spins in order to finish around them — converting his 66 shots at the rim at a 75.8% clip[3].

Carter, Jr. has great touch on his lefty turnaround hook and has even flashed a turnaround fade-away jumper, though since these are low proposition plays he has finished his two-pointers away from the basket at only a 37.5% clip.

He is getting plenty of touches with his back to the basket, though not quite in the best possible position to succeed because Duke doesn’t space Bagley III out to the three-point line enough and lead guard Trevon Duval can’t shoot. As a result, Carter, Jr. has dealt with double teams a decent amount and shown very good court vision passing out of them — assisting on 10.9% of Duke’s scores in his 314 minutes.

He is a good screener who looks to draw contact but isn’t an explosive leaper out of two feet in a crowd, needing to catch and gather himself before going up strong, so he isn’t much of an alley-oop threat.

Carter, Jr. has been an effective catch-and-score presence on the offensive glass, though. His motor is only OK but he has a seven-foot-three wingspan to rebound outside his area and a decent second jump to fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls – collecting 13.6% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor and finishing his 16 putback attempts at 85.7% clip.

PERIMETER OFFENSE

He is not being put in the pick-and-pop and isn’t asked to space out to three-point line at all in the half-court but Carter, Jr. has hit a few jumpers as the trailer in transition and facing his defender in the post, which suggest he has room to develop into a real threat to make outside shots regularly at some point in the future.

He has nailed of the 14 three-point shots he’s attempted so far, all wide open looks with plenty of time to set his feet, though just 67.3% of his foul shots. His release is quite slow at this point of his development but his mechanics look comfortable and he certainly has good touch.

His passing, however, is expected to translate more quickly. Carter, Jr. has shown to be a versatile passer with very good court vision for someone his size. Aside from picking apart double teams in the low post, he can facilitate movement handling the ball in the elbows, though perhaps more impressive have been the instances where he’s passed out of the short roll and facing the defense joining the offense late.

INTERIOR DEFENSE

He’s a good defender stationed near the basket, using the strength in his 259-pound frame to hold ground in the post and boxout diligently. Despite not being a high activity player, Carter, Jr. has managed to collect 22.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

He’s shown good awareness stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and decent quickness elevating off two feet to protect the rim. Thanks to his nine-foot standing reach, Carter, Jr. is a tough presence to finish around when he is well positioned, able to challenge shots with verticallity or make plays on the ball, as he’s averaged 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes[4].

That proactivity comes at a cost, though, as he’s also prone to biting on shot takes, making himself vulnerable to fouling — averaging 4.4 personal fouls per 40 minutes.

But Carter, Jr. is yet to develop into a help defender who can make preventive rotations that keep the opponent from getting to the basket in the first place and his high shot blocking average hasn’t quite acted as a deterrant or elevated the peformance of Duke’s defense as a whole.

Opponents have taken 31.1% of their shots at the basket, which ranks Duke 90th in the country, and finished these attempts at a 61.1% clip, which ranks them 223rd.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

Carter, Jr. is more nimble than his frame suggests and has handled himself decently when stressed into guarding outside his comfort zone near the basket.

He is certainly mobile enough to keep pace with dribble drivers from the foul line down as they turn the corner out of the pick-and-roll and even managed to slide laterally well enough to stay alive on straight line drives when asked to extend above the foul line from time to time.

Carter, Jr. does not project as an asset to pick up smaller players on switches in the pros but is flexible enough to bend his knees to get down in a stance and has shown some ability to not get completely blown by in isolation at the collegiate level.

[1] DOB: 4/16/1999

[2] According to our stats’ database

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] 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

Grayson Allen Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Grayson Allen has now logged 3,050 minutes of college basketball, which is incredible when you consider there was a real chance of him going pro after his breakout appearance at the 2015 national championship game.
  • It’s hard to say Allen is a substantially better player in his age-22 season[1] than he was then, or even as a senior in relation to his junior year. His physical profile (six-foot-four, 195-pound frame) remains the same as well.
  • Duke has fewer capable off dribble scorers than last season’s team, with Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson all departing. Yet, Allen’s usage rate and assist percentages are down.
  • His role remains as an off guard whose ability to shoot on the move is leveraged mostly by having him work off screens for catches on the side of the floor, but he also runs point when Trevon Duval sits.
  • His defense remains unimpressive at best. Allen looks like he gives a crap out there, which is something, but lacks the physical traits to be an impact player and has never shown particularly impressive instincts executing the scheme.
  • He is probably one of the reasons why Duke has played so much zone defense over the last couple of years.

SHOOTING

  • Allen has been a really sick shooter throughout his college career. He is not just a gunner defenses can’t help off spotting up on the weak-side or lose relocating to open spots around the perimeter but also someone who can make shots on the move — sprinting from one side to the other around staggered screens and to the ball on dribble hand-offs.
  • Allen has nailed 39.5% of his 574 three-point shots over the last three-and-a-half seasons, at a pace of 7.5 such attempts per 40 minutes[2]. He’s converted 83.4% of his 507 foul shots over the same stretch.
  • His release is quite quick coming off these down screens, his balance elevating at a moment’s notice is exceptional and he can make shots without needing to dip for rhythm.
  • His quick trigger projects as an asset to be leveraged as the backscreener popping to the arc on Spain pick-and-rolls and his range could make him a weapon for Spanoulis pick-and-rolls (sprinting from the backline to a hand-off at the top of the key), which the Utah Jazz are starting to make popular in the NBA.
  • Allen is extremely impressive using shot fakes to attack closeouts but is usually looking to set up a stop-and-pop mid-range jumper when he is forced to put the ball on the floor.
  • He can hang dribble into pull-ups OK in instances where he transitions into an isolation after stopping the ball but his MO is mostly a couple of hard dribbles, stopping on a dime and leaning into his defender to create separation for a step-back jumper.
  • Allen has hit 43.2% of his 37 two-point shots away from the rim this season, with just five of his 16 makes assisted[3].

SHOT CREATION

  • Allen does a good job curling around down screens into the middle of the lane and can get to the basket some on straight line drives off a live dribble against a scrambling defense.
  • He is not an explosive player against a set defender in isolation and hasn’t yet developed much strength in his 195-pound frame just bully his way to the rim off the bounce often. He also hasn’t shown much in terms of dribble moves.
  • His handle isn’t particularly impressive, though he has been a low turnover player throughout his time at Duke.
  • Allen has taken just 19.9% of his shots at the basket this season, after that rate was 19.3% a year ago. He is also averaging just 4.3 foul shots per 40 minutes.
  • Allen runs point when Trevon Duval hits the bench and remains an adequate pick-and-roll runner. He manipulates his man around the ball-screen well and can make a quick bounce pass if the defenders overcommit.
  • Allen can get deep into the lane from time to time and make a wraparound pass to a big close by in traffic but he is more often looking to get to his spots for a pull-up and hasn’t yet shown to be an advanced passer in terms of hitting weak-shooters with passes to the opposite end of the floor or tie up the help defender to free his roll man for an alley-oop.
  • Allen does do an excellent job making the extra pass around the horn and on kickouts to the strong-side off a closeout attack.
  • He’s assisted on 20.4% of Duke’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season.

FINISHING

  • Allen is an explosive leaper in the open court but struggles to go up with the same sort of power in the half-court.
  • He’s shown some creativity elevating off the wrong foot to try neutralizing shot blockers in the past but his most capable of way of finishing remains a speed layup.
  • He can adjust his body in the air to attempt reverses but doesn’t have top end athleticism to hang and lacks length to over-extend and complete tough finishes.
  • Allen has shot 63.3% at the rim this season but just nine of his 19 makes have been unassisted. He’s shot just 37.7% on 172 two-point attempts against teams in the Associated Press’ top 25 over his time at Duke[4].

DEFENSE

  • Allen has decent lateral quickness to stay in front or at least attached in isolation and his flops lead to some charges every now and then. But he lacks strength to contain dribble penetration and length to contest shots effectively or reach around to strip his man of the ball.
  • Allen is attentive enough to ice pick-and-rolls and works to go over the screen regularly but doesn’t play with a lot of intensity getting skinny and looking to stay attached, so he is totally dependent on his big preventing the ball-handler from getting downhill right away to make it back in front in a way that doesn’t compromise the scheme behind him.
  • His closeouts are iffy and he lacks the length to contest catch-and-shoot’s effectively anyway.
  • Allen stays on a stance off the ball but isn’t much of an asset in help defense. He lacks the length to make many plays in the passing lanes and hasn’t yet developed an understanding of how to make himself a presence near the basket more often.
  • He’s collected just 8.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season, but 10.8% over his three-and-a-half year stay at Duke.
  • Allen has the third worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players this season[5].

[1] DOB: 10/8/1995

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: What was written on Allen last year.

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

Trevon Duval Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Trevon Duval was the top ranked point guard in the 2017 high school class[1] but hasn’t shined as brightly as peers Collin Sexton and Trae Young over the first month-and-a-half of the season.

His job is more challenging, though.

Differently than Sexton, Duval has four other pro prospects out there on the court with him at any given time, needing to balance the need to keep everyone engaged. And differently than Young, he doesn’t get to monopolize possession of the ball, given the nature of Duke’s offense.

The 19-year-old[2] is responsible for triggering an attack that focuses more heavily on getting the wings catches on the side of the floor off screens and the big men touches in the low post. He handles the ball in high pick-and-roll a fair amount but no one will ever confuse this offense with the Houston Rockets’.

Duval has done a sufficient job keeping things moving as they should. Duke leads the country in adjusted offensive efficiency[3].

But his struggles as a scorer, especially against tougher competition, figure to tank his draft stock somewhat. He is averaging just 1.15 point per shot on 47.3% effective shooting[4].

On other end, Duval plays good individual defense and has a high steal average but is also part of a unity that has struggled to execute help defense principles and been picked apart by top end competition — allowing more than a point per possession in the games against Michigan State, Florida, Indiana and Boston College.

SHOT CREATION

Duval is naturally inclined to speed up the pace of the game, either passing ahead or pushing the ball up the floor himself. With him at the wheel, Duke ranks 46th in the country in possessions per game[5]. He is fast in the open court and an explosive leaper off one foot with some space to take flight.

In the half-court, Duval has a combination of physicality and skill that has made it very tough to keep him from getting dribble penetration at the collegiate level, even though opponents can play off him due to his inability to make jumpers.

He keeps the ball in a string, has some bulk in his 186-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact against similarly sized players and an arsenal of dribble moves to get by the quickest types; in-and-out dribbles, crossovers and euro-steps to weave his way through traffic. 48.5% of his live ball attempts have come at the rim[6].

But despite not being known as a point guard whose priority was creating for others in high school, Duval has been asked to play as more of a distributor at Duke – posting only a 20.6% usage rate and assisting on 31.6% of Duke’s scores in his 396 minutes this season.

He can split double-teams at the point of attack to get downhill in middle high pick-and-roll but has also proven himself able to play with pace against hard shows, hedges and soft traps — keeping his dribble alive and probing under the basket when a passing lane doesn’t present itself right away.

Duval can deliver well timed bounce passes or make wraparound passes to a big close by in traffic and hit the roll man over the top when the opponent cuts off his path to the lane. His decision making on the move has been solid as well, as he’s posted a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

SCORING

Duval doesn’t attack the rim with as much explosiveness in traffic as he does in the open court but can adjust his body in the air to score on reverses against lengthy defenders protecting the basket, though he struggles with his touch on left-hand finishes, which has proven to be a bigger problem against top end competition.

He has shot 62.5% at the rim overall this season but that number is down to 57.6% over 26 such attempts in the five games against Michigan State, Texas, Florida, Indiana and Boston College.

Duval also has room to improve in terms of getting to the foul line. He’s averaging 4.4 free throws per 40 minutes, which is a solid but somewhat underwhelming mark when you consider he’s taking almost half of his shots at the basket.

The number one priority in his development needs to be fixing his jumper, though.

Duval has shot very poorly in college — missing 20 of his 35 mid-range jumpers and 28 of his 33 three-point shots so far. Perhaps more troubling, he’s missed 17 of his 44 free throws as well.

His mechanics aren’t particularly fluid, given rising up and letting up the ball go seem disconnected. The launch point in his release is inconsistent. And he’s struggled with his touch.

Opponents help off him to double the post or pack the paint when Grayson Allen is handling the ball, sag off him in isolation and duck under the ball-screen in the pick-and-roll.

His offensive rating is second worst on the team among rotation players[7].

DEFENSE

The six-foot-three guard has the quickness, good size and plays with enough effort to be expected to become at least an average defender on the ball.

Duval gets down in a stance and can slide side-to-side to stay in front. He doesn’t contain dribble penetration regularly but uses his six-foot-nine wingspan to reach around for some strips and contest shots effectively.

That length also opens up the possibility of him offering flexibility in terms of switch-ability and optionality (being tasked with defending true wings) but his 186-pound frame needs to mature some more for that to be the case, so he figures to be a one-position defender over his first few years in the league.

In pick-and-roll defense, Duval is attentive enough icing the ball handler to try preventing him an easy path to using the ball-screen towards the middle of the floor and can get skinny to go over the pick.

Off the ball, he’s shown good instincts making plays in the passing lanes but is yet to prove himself able to execute the scheme and make an impact as a help defender. His defensive rebounding rate is disappointingly low too, even for a point guard on a team with two dominant big men rebounders.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] DOB: 8/3/1998

[3] According to kenpom.com

[4] According to our stats’ database

[5] According to Team Rankings

[6] According to hoop-math

[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

Marvin Bagley, III Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Even though he was a late addition, not making his decision to reclassify and join the team this year until mid-August, Duke wasted no time incorporating Marvin Bagley III and making him their center of gravity on offense. He leads the team in usage-rate among rotation players, at 26.8%[1], and getting him the ball tends to be the Duke’s priority on every other possession.

Though he projects as a center in the pros, the six-foot-11, 234-pounder has played just about every minute this season with another true big man in the lineup. As a result, opponents have matched up their stronger big on the pure center and often designated lighter, smaller types to guard Bagley III, which Duke has consistently viewed as an opportunity to explore getting him to work mostly below the foul line.

They haven’t been proven wrong at this level yet, given they’ve won 11 of 12 games so far and the lefty is averaging 27.3 points per 40 minutes on 63.5% effective shooting.

He hasn’t had much opportunity to dive to the basket in pick-and-roll, though, and a lot of the interest in him as a pro prospect surrounds his potential as both a lob finisher and an outside shooter — which hasn’t advanced much, in large part because he is not asked to space the floor a whole lot.

Defensively, the 18-year-old[2] impresses in instances where activity is required of him, which is what to be expected given his remarkable athletic prowess. His defensive box plus minus is positive.

But he needs to develop in more subtle aspects of the game like being more attentive to his boxout responsibilities, acting as a deterrent as the last line of defense and controlling the action in front of him in the pick-and-roll – areas that will become more important when he moves up a level and can no longer solely rely on his athleticism to make a difference.

POST OFFENSE

Bagley III lacks strength to establish a deep seal in the low post, even against switches, and gets consistently pushed further out to just inside the arc. That hasn’t stopped him from putting up the shots he is best at right now, though, whether it’s facing up or with his back to the basket.

He doesn’t have power moves and hasn’t yet shown much dexterity in terms of being able to work his defender patiently with shot-fakes or head-fakes but his feet are light and his touch is tremendous, so his turnaround lefty hooks, while somewhat simplistic, have been very effective.

That said, his go-to move in college has been looking to drive past opposing big men. He is getting the ball in the elbow a ton. His handle is rudimentary at this point of his development, as he is prone to getting the ball stripped in traffic and hasn’t shown much side-to-side shake. But Bagley III has long strides, a spin move and a euro-step to get all the way to the basket more often than not.

At the rim, he hasn’t yet shown much flexibility to hang or adjust his body in the air but is an explosive leaper off one-foot (even in traffic), uses his length well to over-extend and has great touch to score around rim protectors – converting his 91 layup/dunk attempts at a 79.1% clip[3], with 32 of his 72 makes unassisted, at a pace of 3.4 unassisted makes at the rim per 40 minutes.

And against defenders who have managed to stay attached to him or prevent him from taking it to the goal comfortably, Bagley III has even flashed a running floater to score from the in-between area and some ability to make a drop-off or a kick-out on the move – assisting on a not awesome but decent 8.3% of Duke’s scores when he’s been on the floor.

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

Duke doesn’t have him diving hard to the basket a whole lot in pick-and-roll but Bagley III has proven he can play above the rim as a target for lobs.

When he has set high ball-screens, almost always slip screens, his priority has mostly been rolling into post position or popping to a spot in the perimeter for a catch-and-shoot jumper, though.

Bagley III is yet to take meaningful steps forward to prove himself a credible threat as an outside shooter, nailing just eight assisted two-point jumpers and eight three-point shots this season.

Some of the types of shots he’s hit sporadically, a step-in three-pointer as the trailer in the secondary break and quick trigger bombs in the pick-and-pop, still make you hopeful for the sort of shooter he could become with some encouragement.

But other than isolating, Bagley III’s most significant contribution has been on the offensive glass, where he puts his explosive leaping ability to work going up to get the ball at a higher point than his opponents, also possessing a quick second jump to go back up strong and fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls – collecting 13% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor this season and converting his 26 putback attempts at an 81.8% clip.

DEFENSE

He struggles to hold ground in the post and isn’t very disciplined attending to his boxout responsibilities, though he’s managed to collect 24.1% of opponents’ misses in his 375 minutes thanks to the same attributes that make him effective on the offensive glass.

But his biggest issue has been in pick-and-roll defense.

Bagley III excels picking up smaller players on switches out in space, as he’s able to get down in a stance and slide laterally well enough to keep pace with them on straight line drives in order to intimidate or effectively contest shots.

But when he is asked to drop back, Bagley III always seems kind of lost. He hasn’t yet learned how to control the action in front of him, in terms of finding the right mix between backpedalling to prioritize preventing the ball handler from getting downhill but not giving away so much space that he has such an easy pull-up that most guys at the highest level of college ball can make. Boston College really succeeded in exploring this gap in his game, as it sought to put him in pick-and-roll time and time again in the second half of last week’s upset.

As the last line of defense, Bagley III is yet to develop into a help-defender who can protect the rim by making preventive rotations that keep the dribble driver from getting to the basket in the first place but has shown in bits and pieces that he has room to become that sort of player down the line, especially given his quickness.

Differently than he had shown in high school, Bagley is yet to translate his athleticism into making an impact as a shot blocker, though, which is putting into question his ability to anchor a defense at the next level, as chronicled by The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks today.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 3/14/1999

[3] 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