Dusan Ristic Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Dusan Ristic is a very experienced 22-year-old[1]:
    • 2,640 minutes over four seasons of college basketball experience at Arizona;
    • 55 minutes at the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational;
    • 403 minutes defending the Serbian National Team at the 2010 and 2011 U16 FIBA European Championships and 2012 U18 FIBA European Championships;
    • 134 minutes defending the Serbian National Team at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament;
    • 271 minutes with FMP Beograd in the Serbian League in the 2012-2013 season;
    • 39 minutes in the Adriatic League and 8 minutes in the EuroLeague with Red Star in the 2013-2014 season.
  • Most recently, the seven-foot center averaged 18 points per 40 minutes[2] on 60.6% true shooting and compiled a 20.0 PER in 35 appearances last season[3].
  • Arizona played the 68th-toughest schedule in the country[4] and had a +18.8 pace-adjusted point differential in Ristic’s 949 minutes[5].
  • The Serbian got a fair amount of touches in the post and out of ball-screens but was not the priority on offense, logging 21.4% usage rate. He tried to expand his skill-set to accommodate Deandre Ayton by spacing the floor out to the three-point line more proactively this past season but hasn’t yet developed into a real threat from long range.
  • On the other end, Ristic was a so-so rim protector at best in college and doesn’t figure to be particularly impactful in the pros unless he becomes the sort of quick thinking help defender who anticipates rotations, which he has flashed in bits and pieces. He is also not built to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line or pick up smaller players on switches.
    • He averaged 27.1 minutes per game on a team that ranked 255th in opponents’ shooting percentage at the rim, as they converted 62.3% within close range[6].

OFFENSE

  • Ristic uses the strength in his 245-pound frame[7] to get a good seal in the post.
  • He has a patient approach in the post and though he had a strength advantage to knock back his defender on most nights, Ristic liked to rely on shot fakes and fake pivots to work him out of position. He can also launch turnaround hooks with either hand and even flashed a turnaround fade-away jumper from time-to-time. His touch is decent.
    • Ristic hit 54.3% of his 175 two-point shots away from the basket last season[8].
  • He struggled feeling double teams and didn’t show dexterity opting out of the post-up into an escape dribble.
    • Two turnovers per 40 minutes.
  • He never showed particularly impressive instincts passing out of the low post, though it’s fair to point out Arizona didn’t space the floor well enough to encourage diagonal cuts.
    • 6.4% assist rate last season.
  • Ristic is a decent screener who looks to draw contact and influence the on-ball defender but can’t roll hard down the lane or play above the rim as a target for lobs and needs to catch, gather and load up to elevate for power finishes. He’s proven to be a capable scorer at rim level but often struggles with his touch on non-dunk finishes in traffic.
    • 62.6% clip on 123 shots at the rim last season, which is somewhat underwhelming for a seven-footer.
    • As is, he’s often better served rolling into post-ups, which he does quite a bit.
  • Ristic is not a high leaper and doesn’t play with a high motor but is a tough body to boxout and has enough length to rebound outside of his area. He lacks a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores regularly.
    • 10.1% offensive rebounding rate.
    • 60% shooting on 26 putback attempts.
  • Ristic has a taken a few catch-and-shoot jumpers out of the pick-and-pop. He is more capable from mid-range than three-point range but ultimately doesn’t yet have a dynamic enough release for these types of shots from either range.
  • As a spot-up shooter, Ristic can make the eventual open shot with plenty of time to load up. He has compact mechanics and gets good arc on his jumper but shows a slow release.
    • He nailed 14 of his 30 three-point shots over his four years at Arizona.
    • He hit 69.8% of his 285 free throws during his college career but has shown noticeable improvement in his touch over time, converting 77.7% of his 162 foul shots over the last two seasons.
  • Ristic can hit backdoor cutters on pre-arranged reads and aid the shot creators on dribble hand-offs.

DEFENSE

  • Ristic has better side-to-side movement than expected but isn’t suited to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line.
    • He showed some nimbleness hedging and hustling back to his man in a timely manner in college but ultimately figures to be exposed in the pros.
  • He is not an option to pick up smaller players on switches.
  • He is also unable to closeout to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop.
  • Ristic has flashed some reading skills anticipating rotations to prevent the dribble penetrator from getting all the way to the rim.
  • He is not an easy leaper off two feet but put in the effort to challenge shots via verticality.
    • Just one block per 40 minutes over his time at Arizona.
  • Ristic didn’t use his length to cut off bounce passes and passes over the top around his general area. And though a stout post defender, he doesn’t play with active hands searching for strips.
    • Just 0.5 steal per 40 minutes in college.
  • Ristic is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but isn’t quick reacting to the ball off the rim.
    • He collected just 20.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

[1] DOB: 11/27/1995

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to RealGM

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to Arizona’s official listing

[8] 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

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