Scottie Wilbekin Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Scottie Wilbekin just finished a very good year, leading Darussafaka to a Eurocup championship and winning MVP honors along the way – securing a berth in next season’s Euroleague.

Over his four years as a pro, the 25-year-old[1] has accumulated 5,310 minutes of experience in the Australian NBL, the Greek A1, the Turkish BSL, the Eurocup and the Euroleague[2].

Other than that, he has 3,467 NCAA minutes at Florida, 561 NBA Summer League minutes and 88 NBA preseason minutes with Philadelphia under his belt.

Most recently, the six-foot-two combo guard averaged 23.1 points per 40 minutes on 60.1% true shooting and compiled a 21.4 PER in 47 appearances last season.

In previous years, Wilbekin shared shot creation responsibility with Brad Wanamaker and Emir Preldzic but last season he carried a larger burden running offense and breaking down a set defense late in the clock – logging 27.4% usage.

On the other end, the native of Gainesville, Florida was often hidden in the weak-side but in Europe, most teams have multiple players capable of running a pick-and-roll in a pinch at almost all times, so Wilbekin was forced to defend on the ball regularly. He is not an ace defender by any means but puts in the effort to go over screens at the point of attack and contest shots as well as he can.

SHOT CREATION

Wilbekin has developed into a very resourceful shot creator.

He doesn’t have an explosive first step and isn’t particularly quick with the ball but has a very diverse bag of tricks to create separation for pull-ups or get into the lane in isolation and out of the pick-and-roll.

David Blatt ran a well-spaced offense where Wilbekin often gave the ball up earlier in the clock and got it back later after the defense was moved side-to-side but there were also plenty of times he was needed to create against a set defense off a high ball-screen or isolate against his man late in possessions.

Within a team context, Wilbekin has shown to be naturally inclined to pass ahead in transition to speed up the pace of the game, a ball mover making the extra pass around the horn and a willing back-screener when he is operating off the ball.

On the ball, Wilbekin can play with pace in pick-and-roll, put his man in jail and snake his way to a sweet spot at the elbow. He is also shown dexterity attacking either side of the pick and doesn’t kill his dribble before he should.

Wilbekin has proven himself to be a versatile passer. Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a collapsing defense, he can make a well-timed pocket pass, pass crosscourt to the opposite corner against the momentum of his body, make a skip pass to a stretch big in the pick-and-pop, toss up lobs in traffic, make a wraparound pass among the trees and spot cutters on the move – assisting on 31.9% of Darussafaka’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

Perhaps more impressive, Wilberkin turned it over on just 12.4% of his possessions – a phenomenal mark considering his high usage and assist rates.

He is also very versatile creating his own look. Wilbekin is not any sort of a speedster but has pretty good side-to-side shiftiness, particularly useful for him to get by big men on switches. He can put some pressure on the rim off hesitation moves (averaging 5.4 foul shots per 40 minutes last season) but is more often than not looking to pass off dribble penetration.

Against defenders who manage to wall him off the lane, Wilbekin can create decent separation for stop-and-pop mid-range jumpers off pick-and-roll and crossing over into his pull-up or going behind the back into a step-back jump-shot in isolation.

FINISHING & SHOOTING

When he attacks the basket, Wilbekin has shown he is not an explosive leaper off one foot or two feet in traffic and that he doesn’t have enough strength in his well-distributed but thin 176-pound frame to absorb contact and finish through.

He is a below the rim finisher who goes up-and-down for the most part, yet to show much ability to hang or adjust his body in the air. Wilbekin has shown dexterity finishing with either hand unimpeded, particularly on lefty scoop finishes, but struggles in a crowd, attempting to go high off glass from time-to-time, without good results often.

He can go to a righty running floater to finish over length from the in-between area but lacks touch when he attempts the same shot with his left hand.

Wilbekin hit just 45.4% of his 255 two-point shots last season and 49.1% of his 179 such attempts the year before.

The bulk of his scoring comes from three-point range.

He has impressed with the distance in some of his pull-up jumpers but, like most people, Wilbekin is a more prolific shooter off the catch. Besides basic spot-ups as a weak-side floor-spacer, he can make side-step one-dribble pull-ups off an escape dribble and take some good looks off movement – sprinting to the top of the key off pindown screens and to the ball on dribble-handoffs.

Wilbekin has a quick trigger and a high release – nailing 37.9% of his 1159 three-point shots, at a pace 8.7 such attempts per 40 minutes, over the last four years.

DEFENSE

Often hidden on the weak-side, he is not athletic or lengthy enough to fly around and create events in volume but has proven he can execute the scheme – rotating in to bump the roll man or bat lobs, switching across the perimeter on the fly and boxing out whomever is close by, though he lacks the physicality to be all that effective in the physical aspects of the game, which also prevents him from being an option to pick up bigger players on switches.

Wilbekin averaged 1.6 steals per 40 minutes last season and two steals per 40 minutes the year before but his contributions via blocks and defensive rebounds have been consistently marginal.

His closeouts leave something to be desired from time-to-time but in critical games Wilbekin tries as well as he can to run the shooter off his shot and maintain his balance to keep pace as that player puts the ball on the floor. His hustle in plays that required multiple efforts was also quite pleasing during the most important games of Darussafaka’s season.

He still found himself guarding on the ball regularly, though. Wilbekin gets into a soft stance, not bending his knees that much to get really low, and lacks the strength, tenacity or physicality to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact. He can move his feet laterally well enough to stay in front a fair amount but lacks the standing reach to contest shots effectively.

Wilbekin gets stuck on picks from time-to-time but puts in the work to go over screens at the point of attack often and hustles in pursuit. He lacks the length to block shots or deflect passes from behind but tries to challenge everything as well as he can.


[1] DOB: 4/5/1993

[2] According to RealGM

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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Kerwin Roach, II Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Kerwin Roach, II was the 47nd-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].

In his three years at Texas, the 21-year-old[2] has accumulated 2,624 minutes of college basketball experience.

Most recently, the six-foot-four combo averaged 14.8 points per 40 minutes[3] on 50.6% effective shooting and compiled a 14.9 PER in 32 appearances last season[4].

His primary role was to space the floor, given the team lacked other reliable shooters after Andrew Jones left the team to battle leukemia. But Roach, II also had the chance to create on the ball quite a bit, not just on side pick-and-rolls but middle pick-and-rolls against a set defense as well, and impressed with his ability to get to the rim in volume and create for others a fair amount.

On the other end, the Houston native spent most of his time as a weak-side defender, mostly matched up against smaller off guards due to his thin 180-pound frame. While limited in individual defense due to his lack of strength, he offers nice potential flying around to create events.

SHOT CREATION & FINISHING

Roach, II got plenty of touches creating off a live dribble on handoffs and against a set defense on pick-and-rolls or in isolation.

He has an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed, not just off triple threat position but out of a standstill as well, and also proved to have quite a bit of side-to-side shiftiness – able to dribble behind the back in a pinch or pivot into a well coordinated spin move in the blink of an eye.

Roach, II can’t maintain his balance through contact but is very quick with the ball and can euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic – taking 34.7% of his shots at the basket[5], though he earned just 4.1 foul shots per 40 minutes.

While he is unable to absorb and finish through contact, Roach, II is an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic, has a finger-roll lefty finish when forced to his off hand and can adjust his body in the air for acrobatic finishes around rim protectors – converting 63.4% of his 111 shots at the rim, with just 14 of his makes assisted.

Roach, II has also proven himself a very willing passer on the move. He can play with pace in pick-and-roll, keeps the ball in a string and keeps his dribble alive to probe around the defense when a pocket pass isn’t immediately available.

Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a collapsing defense, Roach, II has also shown pretty good court vision to toss up lobs in traffic – assisting on 21.3% of Texas’ scores when he was on the floor, though his average of three turnovers per 40 minutes is quite high for someone with his 21.8% usage rate.

SHOOTING

Roach, II can create separation by using hang dribbles into a nifty crossover move but hasn’t developed into an efficient shot maker off the bounce just yet – missing 70.5% of his 88 two-point jumpers last season and 76.4% of his 72 such attempts the season before[6].

He was a lot more capable off the catch. Roach, II took some shots coming to the ball for dribble-handoffs but got most of his looks as a weak-side floor-spacer on spot-ups, flashing some pretty deep range at times. He launches the ball from a low release out in front, almost at forehead level, but gets monster elevation off the ground and has compact mechanics to shoot over or prior to closeouts more often than not.

Roach, II nailed 36.4% of his 121 three-point shots last season, though at a pace of just 4.5 such attempts per 40 minutes. He nailed just 63.6% of his 360 foul shots over his three years at Texas, though – hitting the breaks on some of the excitement over his potential as a shooter.

DEFENSE

Roach, II bends his knees to get down in a stance and can get skinny to go over screens. He leverages his agility to shuffle his feet laterally and stay in front but lacks strength to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact.

Roach, II also lacks particularly impressive length to contest shots effectively, though he can explode off the floor to block some shots on the ball from time-to-time.

He makes more of a contribution on defense off the weak-side. Roach, II has shown to be quite instinctive making plays in the passing lanes and is attentive to his responsibilities rotating inside in help defense, unable to crowd the area near the basket effectively due to his thin frame but able explode off the ground to block shots from time-to-time – averaging 1.8 steals per 40 minutes last season and picking up 24 blocks in his 97 NCAA appearances.

He also pitched in some in the defensive glass – collecting 10.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor this past year.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 10/24/1996

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] 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

Luka Doncic Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Luka Doncic just finished a remarkable season on Tuesday.

After playing a key role on the Slovenian National Team squad that won the 2017 Eurobasket, the 19-year-old[1] went on to win Euroleague and Spanish ACB MVP honors, while leading Real Madrid to continental and domestic titles.

There has never been a player who accomplished as much by such a young age.

The Ljubljana native has accumulated 4,404 minutes of pro experience over the last four years, defending Real Madrid in the two toughest leagues outside the United States and his country in the most competitive tournament among nations.

Most recently, the six-foot-eight passing wizard averaged 22.5 points per 40 minutes on 59.2% true shooting and compiled a 22.8 PER in 73 appearances last season[2].

With Sergio Llull injuring his knee during the summer and subsequently missing the vast majority of the year, Doncic was the top shot creator on the team and was relied on to run a ton of offense – logging 26.8% usage rate and assisting on 30.5% of Real Madrid’s scores when he was on the floor.

Most people view him as best suited for a role as secondary shot creator but Doncic showed this year, at the highest level of European basketball, that he is capable of doing more than just breaking down a scrambling defense or running offense for short stretches. And soon we will get to see to which extent his shot creation prowess can translate to the NBA.

On the other end, Doncic regressed. Tasked with a larger burden on offense, his commitment to off ball defense declined. And it was once again proven true that he is not suited to defending at the point of attack, consistently needing to be paired with a smaller player capable of handling opposing point guards.

There were still glimpses of intelligent help defense, though. And his contributions on the glass continued to be pretty strong.

PASSING

Creating for others remains the best part of his skill-set.

Doncic has remarkable court vision on the move and can anticipate passing lanes a split-second before they become evident. He excels in transition as well but the true foundation of his game is operating in pick-and-roll.

Doncic enjoys an advantageous point of view thanks to his height but has also developed the ability to freeze help defenders with his eyes. I can’t believe there are teams that still hedge against him, as he’s proven time and time  again that he can absolutely destroy them seeing over the top, spotting whomever is over in the blink of an eye and firing bullet passes no big man can outrun.

Off dribble penetration, Doncic has shown he can pass across the court to the opposite corner against the momentum of his body, make wraparound pocket passes and toss up lobs in traffic – averaging 7.1 assists per 40 minutes last season.

Just as a significantly, Doncic has really improved his ability to take care of the ball. A reckless passer who was constantly trying to thread the needle earlier in his career, he turned it over on just 15.3% of his possessions this past year – an acceptable rate for someone with his high usage and assist rates.

SHOOTING

Doncic took a step forward as a catch-and-shoot shooter. One year ago in the 2017 Euroleague Final Four, Fenerbahçe beat Real Madrid in the semifinal in large part by playing off Doncic when he spaced the floor. Such a strategy was no longer viable last season, as he improved into a more consistently capable open shot shooter, if not yet a knockdown one.

His catch-and-shoot stroke looks good more often than not, as he does great shot prep, rises up in balance and has compact mechanics. His release gets a little bit quicker every year, though the fact he gets little elevation off the ground and his launch point out in front might cause him to struggle a little bit more against lengthier NBA wings closing out to him.

Doncic took some shots coming off pindown screens and coming to the ball for dribble hand-offs from time to time but doesn’t have a dynamic enough release to take shots on the move with regularity at this point of his development.

He nailed just 31% of his 348 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 7.5 such attempts per 40 minutes. That percentage was so poor because Doncic had to create a large portion of his long bombs off the bounce, including a good deal of them late in the shot clock.

He showed development as a shooter off the dribble as well, taking them in very diverse ways; raw step-back pull-up off suddenness and going between the legs into a step-back pull-up in isolation, turnaround fade-away jumper in the post, stop-and-pop and pull-back pull-ups out of the pick-and-roll, shot fake into a one-dribble side-step three-pointer escaping a closeout.

Doncic has range out to the three-point line on some of these shots but for the most part these tough looks were responsible for his lousy percentage from beyond the arc. However, he established himself a good shot maker from mid-range. Doncic hit 58% of his 370 two-point shots, while making most of his living on these pull-ups.

There is some skepticism regarding his ability to create good enough separation in isolation to make as good a living on these looks at the NBA level, though. Doncic doesn’t have an explosive first step, a particularly advanced handle or a whole lot of shiftiness. His best resource for setting himself up so far has been leaning into his man as he initiates forward momentum and then taking a hard step-back, with the exception of when he is able to destabilize the opponent by going between the legs into his step-back – something that can be taken away from him if the defender is on top of the scouting report.

FINISHING

Doncic can get deep into the lane off pick-and-roll by playing with pace and putting his man in jail. He can also mix in the eventual spin move to gain some ground as he charges forward.

Doncic can go up off two feet with power if he has some space to load up but isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic. He also hasn’t shown much ability to over-extend around rim protectors, lacking elite length for someone his height.

But Doncic is a fairly resourceful scorer on finesse finishes; spin move into lefty finger-roll layup, lefty speed layup, shot fake off stopping on a dime into a righty scoop finish, neutralizing shot blockers by wrong footing his leap or stepping through, running floater, floater off a jump-stop.

His large 228-pound frame also invites contact, as Doncic averaged 7.7 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

He is not as capable of getting to the basket one-and-one, though. The most concerning aspect of his game is his inability to get by big men on switches, even unathletic types. His lack of shiftiness and explosiveness really hurts him here.

DEFENSE

While he is capable of running point on a full time basis on offense, Doncic is not suited to defend the point of attack on defense. He is too big to be able to get skinny over picks at the point of attack and while he has shown some hustle to try making plays in pursuit in the past, that sort of tenacity seems to have gone away.

Doncic also struggles to stay in front of smaller players out in space, so he is not a good option to pick up these types on switches either.

Against similarly sized players, he can bend his knees to get down in a stance, has multiple lateral slides in him to try staying in front, can leverage his bulk to chest up and contain dribble penetration by less physical types, and can use his eight-foot-nine standing reach[3] to contest shots.

However, his post defense, once stout, has regressed, as he no longer put up that much of a fight when wings took him to the block.

His effort away from the ball was the biggest issue, though. His closeouts left a lot to be desired and he lost his man from time-to-time, aside from the fact he struggled to navigate screens chasing around shooters who get their looks off movement. Doncic also doesn’t play with enough intensity to fly around disrupting plays in the passing lanes.

But there were still glimpses of potentially elite help defense here and there. When he is locked in, Doncic can execute the scheme, rotate in to pick up the roll man and go up off two feet to contest shots via verticality or even pick up the eventual block every once in a while – recording 27 blocks last season.

And he remained an elite defensive rebounder for a perimeter player – collecting 20.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.


[1] DOB: 2/28/1999

[2] According to our stats’ database

[3] According to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz

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

Melvin Frazier, Jr. Scouting Report

Melvin Frazier is a name most people probably aren’t familiar with but he could be a player that we look back on as a real steal in this year’s draft.

The junior guard out of Tulane stands at six-foot-five with a 200-pound frame, elite length and good athleticism, possessing adequate scoring ability and a nose for the ball. His numbers last season were extremely respectable for the Green Wave, as he averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per 40 minutes, while posting a 22.4 PER[1].

Frazier is an adequate scorer who can shoot it a little, converting on 38.5% of his three-point attempts last season and sporting a .631 true shooting percentage.

The faster, the better for Frazier. He excels in transition and attacking downhill off the dribble. He’s got solid first step quickness and can get to the rim or shoot off the dribble, but does most of his damage from dribble handoffs or behind the back dribbles usually going to his right.

Frazier can finish above the rim or through contact due to his athleticism but also his crazy length of course, as he was measured with a seven-foot-two wingspan[2].

The poster dunk Frazier had against North Carolina, where you see him beat the defender off high pick-and-roll with that behind the back dribble, was possibly the best play of the last college basketball season. He can finish with both hands and has good touch around the rim but seems to mainly look to go to the right.

As I mentioned above, Frazier’s best asset seems to be when the pace of the game speeds up and he’s in transition. He usually makes positive plays on the break and has very impressive speed in the open floor. Frazier is great at taking a defensive rebound and changing ends, getting the break going and staying on the lookout to find open shooters trailing him. He’s also great at turning steal and defensive plays into transition opportunities, often scoring from steals.

His shooting concerns me some but his field goal, three-point, free throw and two-point percentages all trended upwards during his three seasons at Tulane. Mechanically speaking, there doesn’t seem to be too many things standing out about his shot that are poor, besides really nitpicky things such as the ball being released behind his head or it seeming to be a little slow, as the ball kind of sticks at times with his release point. His follow through is sometimes inconsistent but he showed real progression over the past two seasons.

His handle is solid but his ball security seems to be a real issue, as he averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes. His dribble gets high at times and he gets the ball knocked away too often on drives, showcasing a limited arsenal in terms of his creativity as a ball handler. Frazier also has a strong preference for going right, as he just doesn’t seem particularly comfortable setting up lefty finishes.

The other end is where Frazier is really going to make his money in the league, especially with his ability off ball. He’s a thief, finishing with 152 steals over his three years in college and averaging 2.3 steals per 40 minutes.

Frazier does a good job of keeping his head on a swivel, reading passes and utilizing his great length to get into passing lanes. He’s a good team defender, helping often from the weak-side and even when he gets beat, Frazier has the length and quickness to recover and at least alter the shot.

Frazier definitely can get greedy at times and his effort off ball can come back to haunt him, as he gambles frequently for steals. This causes him to get out of or give up position to his man and give up easy buckets. As long as he can keep his energy level, while maintaining better discipline, he should limit these errors and excel as a defender at the next level.

As an on ball defender, the story is different. He’s not bad, but far from great.

Frazier gets beat off the dribble more than you would expect. His fundamentals are pretty poor; he stands way too upright and is rarely down in a stance, something that usually gets taken advantage of.

Frazier just kind of goes through the motions and that’s a big issue for me, as I view him as lazy. If he can capture the same intensity and effort he brings off the ball to when he is guarding on the ball, he has the potential to be an upper echelon defender in the NBA.

I don’t view Frazier as an elite prospect and he’s not going to change your franchise by any means. But he’s an adequate shooter and scorer, who can create at times for himself, thrives playing in transition and can generate steals in volume. He will add value to whatever team selects him and should be a rotation player for a long time, if he gets stronger and continues to improve his on-ball defense.

Frazier is a real dark horse in this class and would be a steal in the second round. To me, he should be late first round pick and could perhaps help a contender right away.


[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

Editor’s Note: Evan Wheeler is a regular contributor to ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Denver Sidekickswhere he is also a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @EvzSports

Jerome Robinson Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Jerome Robinson was the 308th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school[1].

But after three productive years at Boston College and what seems to be a workout tour for the ages, he’s now expected to be picked in the lottery on Thursday’s Draft[2].

The 21-year-old[3] enters the NBA with 3,118 NCAA minutes under his belt but has no other meaningful experience, in terms of participating in prominent offseason events or defending the United States National Team in FIBA events.

Most recently, the six-foot-five combo guard averaged 23 points per 40 minutes[4] on 60.7% true shooting and compiled a 20.2 PER in 35 appearances last season[5].

Boston College played the 48th-toughest schedule in the country[6] and had a +8.8 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor[7].

Robinson has a skill-set similar to Devin Booker’s on offense. He is a very good shooter who also proved he is able to create for himself and others out of the pick-and-roll. Luckily for him, he was given the chance to showcase the full extent of his capabilities, as Boston College got him looks on the move in diverse ways and let him run offense against a set defense with Ky Bowman off the floor.

Robinson logged 27.3% usage rate, assisted on 19.5% of Boston College’s scores when he was in the game and was assisted on just 46.9% of his field goals[8].

His production was far less inspiring on the other end. He was mostly hidden on defense but Boston College switched some and he defended on the ball from time-to-time. Robinson does the basics but doesn’t play with any energy or intensity and lacks the physical profile and athletic ability to make a positive impact when he does try harder on occasion.

SHOOTING

His top skill is his shooting.

Robinson has as pure a catch-and-shoot stroke you are ever going to find, featuring fluid mechanics, a quick trigger, perfect balance as he rises up and a high release thanks to the amount of elevation he gets and the fact that he fully extends himself – consistently being able to shoot over closeouts by players with similar length.

Besides basic weak-side spot-ups, he also took shots coming to the ball for dribble hand-offs, relocating around the wing, coming off pindown screens and sprinting around staggered screens. The only thing missing was deploying him as the back-screener in Spain pick-and-rolls or as the screener in small-small pick-and-pops.

Robinson nailed 37.6% of his 423 three-point shots over his three years at Boston College, including 40.9% of his 198 long bombs at a pace of 6.3 such attempts per 40 minutes last season. He also hit 75.5% of his 408 free throws, creating the expectation that he will be just as good a shooter in the pros.

Perhaps more impressively, Robinson has shown to be almost as versatile and capable a shooter off the dribble.

When the opponent prevents him from firing right away off the catch, he is able to shot fake into a side-step three-pointer or rise up for jumpers off a rip through move.

In terms of creating his own shot, Robinson took stop-and-pop pull-ups off the pick-and-roll often and flashed a pull-back three-pointer off a sudden stop. He also has multiple mid-range jumpers he can get to in isolation; a basic two-dribble pull-up working his way to a spot near the baseline, a step-back fade-away jump-shot off a spin move and a pull-up off a between the legs crossover.

Robinson established himself a good shot maker – hitting 43.4% of his 166 two-point jumpers, at a pace of 2.2 such makes per 40 minutes.

PASSING

The second most impressive aspect of his game is his passing.

He can create for others reasonably well for a gunner and part of his appeal is the ability to run offense in a pinch.

Robinson doesn’t have an explosive first step and isn’t very fast with the ball but impressed with his ability to play with pace in pick-and-roll – patient enough to keep his dribble alive when a path to attack right away wasn’t available and employing hesitation moves to try creating an opening a second or two later.

His court vision and his timing were also impressive. Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a scrambling defense, he can make a pocket pass, deliver a wraparound pass in traffic to a big man close by, pitch back to a stretch big man in the pick-and-pop and pass across the court to the opposite corner on the move.

Robinson averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes last season but those giveaways represented just 13.8% of his possessions – quite a low rate in the context of his high usage rate and the risks he took with the passes he attempted.

FINISHING

Though the jump-shot is the pinnacle of his game, Robinson got deep into the lane a decent amount.

His one-on-one game most often results in a jumper, as he isn’t shifty or explosive, hasn’t yet developed a set of dribble moves and isn’t strong enough to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact regularly.

But Robinson can get all the way to the basket off pick-and-roll. He isn’t fast enough to blow by the big man turning the corner but has an in-and-out dribble to destabilize him, can go in either direction and protects the ball in traffic – taking 29.2% of his shots at the basket and averaging 5.6 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

Though he flashed an explosive two-foot leap with some space to load up from time-to-time, Robinson is more of a below the rim finisher in traffic and can’t finish through contact due to his weak 188-pound frame in the context of his height.

But he can adjust his body in the air and finish with either hand. Despite his unimpressive length, Robinson proved he is able to complete reverses and over-extend for scoop finishes around rim protectors – converting 64% of his 150 shots at the basket last season.

He also unleashed a floater off a shot fake to finish over length from the in-between area every once in a while and was an option to play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on a wheel cut – as more than a third of his makes at the rim were assisted.

DEFENSE

Robinson is a bad defender, on and off the ball.

He does bend his knees to get low in a stance and there are times where he is locked in, works to slide laterally and manages to stay in front of less explosive smaller players.

But for the part Robinson didn’t offer much resistance. Boston College often hid him but it also switched some, so there were plenty of times he had to guard on the ball and his inability to play with any force or intensity showed.

Robinson doesn’t get blown by all the time but can’t chest up to contain dribble penetration through contact, doesn’t have much of a reach to try reaching around for strips and is unable to contest shots effectively due to his eight-foot-two standing reach[9].

Despite a frame that suggests he should be able to, Robinson doesn’t get skinny to navigate over picks at the point of attack and doesn’t hustle back in pursuit. That was also a problem when he had to chase shooters around.

Things weren’t much better away from the ball. He was often caught ball watching and lost his man, lacks the length and instincts to make plays in the passing lanes, and his closeouts were pretty weak.

Robinson rotated in to pick up the roll man and tried crowding driving lanes and boxing out bigger players from time-to-time but wasn’t an effective help defender – lacking the physicality and intensity to matter even when he was in the right place at the right time. His contributions through steals, blocks and defensive rebounds were marginal and he didn’t make any impact in the hidden areas of the game.

He had the second worst defensive rating on the team among high-minutes players and Boston College defended a lot better without him on the floor[10].


[1] According to 247Sports

[2] According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

[3] DOB: 2/22/1997

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to our stats’ database

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to our stats’ database

[8] According to hoop-math

[9] According to the measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

[10] According to our stats’ database

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

Robert Williams, III Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Robert Williams, III was the 50th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].

Despite an up-and-down first year at Texas A&M, he was expected to go one-and-done after compiling a pretty good statistical profile and standing out from a physical-standpoint but surprised many by opting to return for a second season.

I think it’s fair to say that decision didn’t really pay off, though it didn’t backfire either.

Williams is currently expected to be drafted around the same range he would have been last year (late lottery), with some chance that he might drop after skipping the 2018 NBA Combine and starting his workout tour late in the process.

In his two years at Texas A&M, the 20-year-old[2] accumulated 1,570 minutes of college basketball experience. But other than that, he has just 45 minutes in the 2017 adidas Nations under his belt[3].

Most recently, the six-foot-10 hyper athletic big man averaged 16.2 points per 40 minutes[4] on 63.2% effective shooting and compiled a 24.1 PER in 30 appearances last season.

Texas A&M played the fourth-toughest schedule in the country[5] and had a +22.2 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor[6] – which led the team.

His positive impact on a team that played tough competition is impressive when you consider he played out of position on defense and wasn’t given many chances to max out his potential on offense due to the fact he logged most of his minutes alongside Tyler Davis, a pure center.

Defensively, that offered him a chance to guard a little further away from the basket, which is how he figures to be deployed in the switch-happy NBA, at least in the near future. But on the other end, Williams didn’t have many opportunities and space to roll to the basket out of the pick-and-roll – a big problem, given he projects as a catch-and-score finisher in the pros.

FINISHING

Williams got to finish out of rolls to the basket just nine times all of last season[7]. In those few instances, he showed to be a decent screener who plants his feet and looks to influence the on-ball defender. Williams also flashed some quick recognition skills setting drag screens in transition.

But other than that, he had more than a few opportunities to prove he is an explosive leaper off two feet and can play above the rim as a target for lobs – in transition, sneaking behind the defense roaming around the baseline at the dunker spot and going up in traffic without needing to load up on cuts across the lane.

More impressively, perhaps, he has proven to be coordinated enough for instances where he needed to catch the ball on the move, take a dribble for balance and score around rim protectors on non-dunk finishes.

His touch on non-dunk finishes was pretty impressive as well, as Williams converted his 128 shots at the rim at a remarkable 83.6% clip[8].

He can crash the offensive glass hard and stress the defense as a putback threat. Williams has a seven-foot-four wingspan[9] to rebound outside of his area and a quick second jump to fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls – collecting 10.3% of Texas A&M’s misses when he was on the floor and converting 75% of his 38 putback attempts.

PASSING

After his finishing ability, passing is the most developed aspect of his skill-set on offense.

Williams has shown he is an adept passer on kickouts to the perimeter even when trapped against the baseline, out of working with his back to the basket in the low post and in instances where the defense collapsed to him when he caught the ball, dribbled for balance and went forward – assisting on 11% of Texas A&M’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

He struggled when crowded and doubled hard in the post, though, yet to show dexterity putting the ball on the floor for an escape dribble. His average of 2.7 turnovers per 40 minutes was sky-high for someone with a 19.3% usage rate and his 0.8 assist-to-turnover ratio was quite lousy.

POST GAME

Williams doesn’t use his 241-pound frame[10] to set deep position often and doesn’t play with a lot of toughness looking to back his man down with power moves.

He also didn’t show a particularly deep skill level in terms of trying to get his defender out of position with the use of head fakes, shot fakes, pivot moves or turnaround fade-away jumpers.

Williams can set up basic right handed hooks and was a so-so proposition in these looks – hitting 40% of his 80 two-point shots away from the basket last season, but doesn’t appear to consider his left hand a real option, as he was often seem contorting his body on awkward-looking baby jumpers when his defender forced him to his off hand.

SHOOTING

Williams was once envisioned as a potential unicorn – a center capable of protecting the rim on one end and spacing the floor out to the three-point line on the other, but he hasn’t developed as a shooter.

He gets little elevation off the ground but fully extends himself to launch the ball from up top, so his release is high and he brings the ball up fluidly, even if a bit slowly. The touch on his jumper is iffy, though, and his biggest problem is getting enough arc on his shot with some consistency.

Williams missed all 12 of his three-point shots last season, after missing 16 of his 18 such attempts the year before. More of an indictment in his potential as a shooter, perhaps, is the fact that he hit just 54.1% of his 170 free throws over his two years in college.

RIM PROTECTION

Williams made more of a tangible impact on defense when he had the chance to patrol the lane. His explosiveness off two feet translates in him acting as a constant shot blocking threat and Williams flashed some awareness making a lot of corrections on breakdowns around him, alongside pleasing effort on plays that required multiple efforts.

It’s fair to point out that he sold out for blocks at times and bit on more than a few shot-fakes from time-to-time, aside from not yet having developed the ability to make preventive rotations that keep the opponent from getting to the rim at all.

But Williams made a lot of positive plays rotating all the way in from the weak-side in help-defense, stepping up to the front of the rim acting as the last line of defense and blocking shots on the ball keeping pace with smaller players or face-up big men from the foul line down – averaging 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes last season.

He is not a stout post defender but used his reach to make plays on the ball for strips, which was also the case when a face-up big man took him off the dribble – averaging 1.2 steals per 40 minutes.

Williams puts a body in the closest opponent somewhat regularly but isn’t very physical with his boxouts and tougher big men can push him out of the way. However, he is very quick chasing the ball off the rim and can highpoint it in a different stratosphere than a lot of his matchups – collecting 27.2% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

Thanks in large part to his ability to create events in volume, Williams led a team in defensive rating that ranked 14th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

Logging most of his minutes alongside Tyler Davis, Williams was forced to extend out to the perimeter often.

Against face-up big men, he did well closing out to the three-point line in pick-and-pop defense and on stunt-and-recover’s to spot-up floor-spacers, not only blocking quite a few jumpers but also showing on a few instances that he is able to closeout, run the shooter off his shot and stay balanced as he forces that opponent to put the ball on the floor.

His performance on hedges was far less impactful, as Williams often showed subpar effort and didn’t influence ball handlers out in the perimeter with any regularity, though his hustle returning to the middle and spotting someone open to cover was OK.

Against smaller players on switches, Williams doesn’t bend his knees to get down in a stance but has long strides and can keep pace on straight line drives, at least well enough to block or effectively contest shots from behind.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 10/17/1997

[3] According to our stats’ database

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to our stats’ database

[7] According to research by ESPN’s Mike Schmitz

[8] According to hoop-math

[9] According to Draft Express

[10] According to Texas A&M’s official listing

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

Troy Brown, Jr. Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Troy Brown, Jr. was the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

In his one year at Oregon, the 18-year-old[2] accumulated 1,093 minutes of NCAA experience. Prior to it, he logged 86 minutes at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge, 122 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations, 169 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup and 16 minutes at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit[3].

Most recently, the six-foot-seven swingman averaged 14.5 points per 40 minutes[4] on 49.4% effective shooting and compiled a 15.8 PER in 35 appearances last season.

Oregon had a +4.9 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor[5] but played only the 84th-toughest schedule in the country[6].

Brown looks like the 3&D wing every single team is looking for these days.

He isn’t quite that player on offense, though. Brown shot poorly from long range in his one year in college and didn’t get up as many three-point shots as you’d like for someone in his role (weak-side floor-spacer), instead showing a stronger preference for putting the ball on the floor to attack closeouts and isolating out of ball reversals.

When Payton Pritchard was out of the game, Brown was tasked with bringing the ball up the floor and triggering ball movement sequences but didn’t have many, if any, chances to run high pick-and-roll against a set defense. He was a point guard in high school and flashed some nice passing on side pick-and-rolls, so there might be some hidden potential for shot creation there.

On the other end, Brown proved he is able to execute the scheme as a weak-side help defender and has the physical profile to be expected to offer versatility picking up bigger players on switches. He doesn’t appear to have the lateral quickness needed to develop into an ace stopper and isn’t suited to defend smaller players for longer stretches, though.

OFF BALL DEFENSE

Brown impressed with his attention and awareness.

He keeps his stance off the ball, can switch on the fly, rotates in to help crowd the area near the basket, comes off the weak-side to bat away or prevent simple passes to the roll man and knows how to position himself to try guarding two men when Oregon blitzed an action on the opposite side.

Brown knows not to help one pass away off the strong-side corner and is a proactive communicator on those switches.

He is not an explosive leaper off two feet and doesn’t act as a threat block shots regularly but can help protect the rim in help defense by planting his feet and effectively contest shots with his eight-foot-nine standing reach[7].

Brown was also an asset finishing possessions by collecting 18% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor and leveraging his six-foot-10 wingspan to get into passing lanes, as he averaged two steals per 40 minutes last season.

His struggles off the ball were when he had to chase shooters off screens and closeout to spot-up shooters. He is not very quick disentangling himself from traffic and needs to sell out to run the shooter off his shot, allowing an easy path off the bounce and exposing the defense behind him.

ON BALL DEFENSE

Brown bends his knees to get down in a stance, has two or three lateral slides in him to stay in front of similarly sized players out in space and puts in the effort to contest pull-up shots effectively, though he doesn’t use the strength in his 208-pound frame to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact often.

Oregon switched somewhat aggressively, not just on screens but on people movement as well, and Brown was asked to defend players of different sizes from time-to-time.

He has just about enough agility to pick up less explosive smaller players midway through the shot clock but isn’t suited to cross-match onto them for entire possessions due to his inability to get skinny over screens at the point of attack.

He did well against bigger players, though. Brown showed some tenacity late in the season trying to front the post and prevent easy entry passes. He can also play stout post defense and box out softer big men, though he is not very physical and tougher types can still push him out of the way or rebound around his boxouts.

But his most impressive work was probably in pick-and-roll defense. Brown looked good in drop defense keeping pace with a ball-handler attacking downhill, stepping up to the front of the basket acting as the last line of defense and on short closeouts against shooting big men in the pick-and-pop.

OFFENSE

Odds are that in order to make it in the pros, Brown will need to be a shooter. His one year in college wasn’t very promising, though.

He missed 70.9% of his 110 three-point shots, at a pace of just four such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 74.3% foul shooting on 105 free throws offers hope that this was an unusually poor year instead of one reflective of his low potential as a shooter.

Brown likes setting up his catch-and-shoot jumpers off 1-2 footwork, takes a pronounced dip for rhythm and has a bit of a long release. Given these issues, he hasn’t yet developed a quick trigger and doesn’t always get a great arc on his shot. He took a few shots drifting around the wing but for the most part didn’t show much in terms of being able to take shots on the move.

Rather than pulling the trigger aggressively, Brown showed a stronger preference for operating off the bounce.

He doesn’t have a quick first step out of triple threat position, isn’t fast with the ball, lacks shiftiness and showed only a rudimentary handle – averaging 3.1 turnovers per 40 minutes.

But he got all the way to the basket often by leveraging his strength to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact, while mixing in the eventual light hesitation move. 40.4% of his shots were at the rim and he earned 3.8 free throws per 40 minutes – a decent, if not necessarily impressive, mark.

Brown isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic but can use his length to over-extend on finger-roll finishes and his strength to finish through contact – converting his 131 shots at the rim at a 63.4% clip[8]. He also flashed some ability to adjust his body in the air elevating off two feet after loading up to go up.

Brown wasn’t as efficient when forced to stop his drives short. He hasn’t yet developed into much more than a capable shot maker on step-back pull-ups and didn’t show much in terms of running floaters or floaters off jump-stops to finish over length from the in-between area – hitting just 34.6% of his 81 two-point shots away from the basket.

He is inclined to post up smaller matchups every once in a while. His turnaround fade-away jumper is OK but the best outcome out of him operating with his back to the basket tends to be his shot creation for others, as Brown has flashed appealing vision making cross-court passes after escaping a double team.

Passing is his most developed skill, by the way. He passes ahead in transition to speed up the pace, makes the extra pass around the horn to keep it moving, delivers shovel passes when he spots cutters coming across the lane and proved to be an adequate passer off dribble penetration – yet to show much in terms of passing across his body to the opposite end on the go but able to kick-out and drop-off against a collapsing defense.

Brown also had the chance to run some side pick-and-roll to keep the offense flowing and proved he can make the skip pass to the big relocating to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop and hit the roll man with passes over the top – assisting on 18.6% of Oregon’s scores when he was on the floor last season.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 7/28/1999

[3] According to our stats’ database

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to our stats’ database

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to the measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

[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