Chet Holmgren Scouting Report

CONTEXT

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

HELP DEFENSE

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

PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE

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

OTHER AREAS OF DEFENSE

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

OFFENSE

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

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to USA Basketball

[3] According to uaa.io

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

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Usman Garuba Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Six-foot-eight big man viewed as the next teenage phenom coming out of Europe;
  • Currently the second-ranked prospect with European ties, among those born in 2002[1];
  • Turned 17 in March[2];
  • As previously written about, played a key role in the dominant year Real Madrid’s junior squad had last season;
  • Madrid native who has already logged 71 minutes with Real Madrid’s senior team in the Spanish ACB so far this season;
  • Played a key role in the Spanish National Team’s title-winning campaign at the U18 European Championships in Volos;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 33.2 PER, 22.5 points per 40 minutes on 21.1 live-ball attempts per 40 minutes and 4.8 foul shots per 40 minutes, 48% effective shooting on 28.4% usage rate, 31.2% defensive rebounding rate, 17.1% offensive rebounding rate, 16.3% assist rate, 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.3 steals per 40 minutes in 193 minutes[3];
  • Got quite a lot of his offense from the low post but also a fair amount as the roller in pick-and-roll, impressing with the versatility of his screening at such a young age;
    • Spaced out to the three-point line only on occasion and has a shooting stroke that seems viable, but the ball doesn’t go in yet;
  • Was asked to venture above the foul line in pick-and-roll defense and proved himself capable of impacting the ball handler in a multitude of ways: contesting pull-ups effectively, playing with active hands to go for strips on the ball, stopping the ball on dropbacks and switching on occasion;
    • Exceled as a help defender and dominated the defensive glass too;
    • Ranked second in the tournament in defensive rating.

OFFENSE

  • Has a fairly diverse arsenal of moves operating with his back to the basket for someone his age;
    • Has a 229-pound frame[4] to set a deep seal consistently within his age group;
    • Can create separation with a couple of bumps, has good coordination and shows nice touch on hiked-leg turnaround fadeaway jumpers off the defender’s right shoulder;
    • Unleashed some power moves to back his way into short toss-ins against opponents too overwhelmed by his size and physicality;
    • Showed some enticing footwork and dexterity while drop-stepping into shot-fakes or head-fakes to get his defender out of position;
    • Flashed decent feel for double teams coming off the blindside and has the court vision to hit shooters drifting around the opposite wing;
    • Prone to moving his pivot foot quite a bit and struggles with the touch in his deliveries at times – averaged 3.5 turnovers per 40 minutes in Volos;
  • Very good screener for someone his age;
    • Widens his stance to draw contact in an attempt to disrupt the on-ball defender and free up the ball-handler;
    • Re-screens;
    • Mixes in slip-screens against opponents overcommitting on blitzes or hard hedges;
    • Hustles as a weakside screener, setting moving picks to free up shooters sprinting around the side of the floor;
  • Showed some versatility as a rim roller as well, proving himself capable of scoring on more than just basic catch-and-finish’s, but struggled with his efficiency and his tendency of turning the ball over;
    • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense;
    • Has good hands to catch the ball on the move diving down the middle and can go up powerfully off two feet with a little bit of room to load up but struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Flashed an impressive combination of body control, coordination and agility handling traffic between him and the basket –rolling into quick post-ups, rolling into spin moves and passing out of short rolls;
    • Has enough of a handle and coordination to catch the ball around the foul line area and go around slower defenders on straight line drives;
    • Showed glimpses of advanced footwork on drives in traffic, euro-stepping and spinning into shot-fakes or head-fakes, but struggled a little bit to play through contact and was prone to having the ball stripped of him in a crowd;
    • Showcased a right-handed scoop finish to score with a rim protector parked between him and the goal but didn’t show enough body flexibility to complete reverses or explosiveness elevating off one foot with the ball in tow and generally struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Posted a disappointing 22.5% free throw rate for someone who got up as many shots as he did, most of them within close range;
  • Active and effective in the offensive glass;
    • Worked to get inside position;
    • Had a very clear edge in quickness reacting to the ball off the rim and going up off the ground within his age group;
  • Spaced out to the perimeter only on occasion, taking just eight three-point shots in 193 minutes in Volos;
    • Shooting stroke seems viable, though he needs to be wide open to get through his motion;
    • Fully extends himself for a high release and tends to get a decent arc on his shot;
    • Questionable if he has the touch to be expected to develop into a more real floor-spacer in the near future – missed 52.2% of his 23 free throws in the tournament;
  • Has enough ball skills and coordination to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end on a slow break if left unchallenged, even flashing some dexterity on drop-offs.

DEFENSE

  • Was asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line on hard shows and proved himself capable of disrupting it in different ways;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance;
    • Nimble, coordinated and agile moving sideways and backpedaling fluidly to stop the ball out in space;
    • Played with active hands going for strips on the ball;
    • Leveraged his length into getting deflections and picking up steals challenging feeds to the roll man;
    • Can keep pace with smaller players on straight line drives and block shots defending on the ball;
    • Picked up smaller players on switches from time-to-time and had the lateral quickness to stay in front of these players out on an island;
  • Excelled as a help defender as well;
    • Plays with good activity and intensity coming across the lane on longer rotations;
    • Attentive to his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense;
    • Flashed very good awareness making preemptive rotations that intimidated the ball handler from driving to the rim;
    • Despite good energy, constant involvement in contact plays and making common teenage mistakes such as biting on shot fakes from time-to-time, was not foul prone – averaged just 2.5 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Dominated the defensive glass with physical boxouts and quickness chasing the ball off the rim – ranking third in the tournament in defensive rebounding rate;
  • Played surprisingly soft post defense but was still effective guarding with his arms up near the basket, which discouraged some opponents from trying to finish over him;
  • Played very poor weakside defense on the perimeter, either not closing out at all or getting blown by on half-assed closeouts.

[1] According to Eurospects

[2] DOB: 3/9/2002

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to Real Madrid’s website

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

Victor Wembanyama Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Seven-foot-two French center who emerged as a surprise standout performer at the FIBA U16 European Championship last month, where France placed second;
    • Is said to have struggled during preparation and started the tournament as the third center in the rotation but eventually became the most productive player on the team;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 34.5 PER, 15.3 points per 40 minutes on 51% effective shooting, 27.1% defensive rebounding rate, 16% offensive rebounding rate, 11.5% assist rate, 20.2% turnover rate, 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.2 steals per 40 minutes in 165 minutes[1];
  • Turned 15 in January[2], which meant he matched up against players on average a year-and-a-half older than him;
  • Nanterre, Ile-de-France native currently being developed on Nanterre 92’s youth system;
  • Exceled on defense, not only due to his combination of supreme height and length for someone his age but by showing remarkable quickness going up off two feet to put a lid on the basket and dominate the defensive glass;
    • Led the tournament in defensive rating;
  • Acted as a constant threat to score around the rim on catch-and-score finishes and, despite a very thin frame for someone his height, on a few deep seals posting up within close range;
    • Helped facilitate offense by flashing to the foul line or as a reset mechanism at the top of the key;
    • Flirted with some outside shots and his release looks quite projectable but it’s more theoretical than real for now.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane in help defense;
    • Quick leaper off one foot on longer rotations and off two feet out of a standstill position;
    • Averaged a jaw-dropping 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Without fouling – averaged just 1.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Showed great awareness shadowing isolations and post-ups;
    • Can leverage his length to block or alter shots even without being in the finisher’s personal space;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players getting downhill from the foul line down and proved himself quick enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Struggles to boxout all that well due to lack of strength and gives up inside position at times but still managed to dominate the glass due to massive rebounding area, length to rebound outside of his area and supreme quickness chasing the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 27.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
  • Can’t hold his ground in post defense due to lack of strength but guards with his arms up to wall off and intimidates opponents from trying to shoot over him.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

  • Asked to venture above the foul line regularly, showed some versatility in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Dropping back: showed a good deal of nimbleness sliding laterally to intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner but not yet fluid back-pedaling and let the roll man get behind him a couple of times;
    • Hedging: so-so at influencing ball handlers with his hedges, moves OK in recovery and leverages his length into deflecting passes or generating steals on his way back – averaged 2.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Switches: hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but proved himself able to stay attached on straight line drives well enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Sprints on closeouts to the three-point line and isn’t just effective contesting shots but can even block a few jumpers.

OFFENSE

  • Flashed some ability to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and even ran a break when left unchallenged but doesn’t appear to have the sort of dexterity bringing the ball up to be expected to develop into a capable ball handler;
  • Decent screener for someone his age: has a thin frame but widens his stance to try seeking contact and set some clever moving screens;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense and going up in traffic diving down the lane in pick-and-roll;
  • Active on the glass, not just to generate second chance opportunities with his ability to rebound outside of his area or reach the ball higher than most of his opponents within his age group, but acting as tip-in and tip-dunk threat as well;
    • Collected 16% of France’s misses when he was on the floor;
  • Iffy touch on non-dunk finishes and is unable to finish through contact at this point of his physical development;
    • Shot just 54.5% on 44 two-point shots, which is pretty low for the sort of close-range looks he got;
  • Flashed to the foul line to facilitate high-low action on occasion and often acted as an escape valve floating to the top of the key to aid the ball reversal process but attempted some reckless passes at times;
    • Assisted on 11.5% of France’s scores when he was on the floor;
    • Averaged 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes, which is a sky-high rate for someone with a 20% usage rate;
  • Got some deep post-ups against overwhelmed opponents on occasion but lacks the strength and physicality to get such a seal regularly;
  • Took six three-point shots in this tournament, not all of them in emergency situations, showing a fairly projectable stroke on spot-ups;
    • Hopped into his shot, got some unexpected elevation for a seven-foot-two guy and went through comfortable mechanics with good guide hand discipline and follow through;
    • Touch is questionable, though – made just 12 of his 21 free throws.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] DOB: 1/4/2004

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

Emoni Bates Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Top-ranked prospect in the 2022 high school class[1];
  • Projected to be the first prospect drafted straight out of graduating high school, without the need to take a fake internship or a post-graduate year to enter the NBA without going to college or signing outside the United States, with the league expected to go back to the old rules in 2022;
  • Turned 15 in January[2];
  • Measured at six-foot-eight with a six-foot-nine wingspan and weighed in at 165 pounds at the Nike Elite 100 camp last month[3];
    • Broad shoulders suggest his frame should fill up in time;
  • Ball-dominant wing who plays more of an isolation-oriented game in AAU, while mixing in a few post-ups, some work in pick-and-roll and spotting up away from the ball a little bit in high school;
  • Uneven defender, as common with young teenagers – when engaged, can make a difference reaching around for strips on the ball, jumping passing lanes and walling off the front of the rim in rotation but doesn’t play with that sort of intensity regularly and is not a dominant figure on this end;
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan native who led Ypsilanti Lincoln High School to a state championship in his freshman year of high school last season;
  • Averaged 32.3 points per game on 54.5% shooting at the Nike Peach Jam last month[4] but BATES Fundamentals, coached by his father, lost in the first round of the elimination stage in the E15 division.

SHOOTING

  • Gunner who takes any opportunity he can get to launch a long bomb – at times pulling up from way past NBA range;
  • Hasn’t yet developed wide step-backs and side-steps that you are used to seeing from elite isolation gunners like James Harden and Luka Doncic, which could eventually make his pull-ups nearly uncontestable, but already has a deep arsenal of resources to get his shot off one-on-one;
    • Loves to go between the legs into a stop-and-pop three-pointer but also launches jumpers off hang dribbles, step-throughs, pull-backs, spin moves, jab-steps;
  • Sets an unorthodox base, bringing his knees closer together than you are used to seeing, and has a low release out in front but gets a good deal of elevation for someone who stands at six-foot-eight to get his shot off comfortably over every single defender within his age group;
  • Does shot prep with 1-2 footwork on catch-and-shoot’s and has good fluidity in his release, despite needing to take a pronounced dip for rhythm, with a quick trigger for someone his height thanks to compact mechanics;
    • Besides spot-ups, took a few shots on the move off relocating around the wing to offer his teammates a clearer passing lane but hasn’t yet shown what sort of versatility he has in his release – rarely coming off screens or working as the screener in pick-and-pop;
  • Showed glimpses of having a knack for getting to his spots in pick-and-roll;
  • Posts up smaller matchups from time-to-time and as he lacks the combination of strength and physicality to get a deep seal regularly, got pushed out further away from the mid-post often and showed to be more comfortable letting it happen, so he could face-up;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a patient approach operating with his back to the basket or any post moves to try getting his defender out of position prior to getting his shot off;
    • Mostly just faces up and shoots over the top;
    • Flashed a turnaround fadeaway jumper off a hiked leg.

FINISHING

  • Very comfortable on grab-and-go’s off a defensive rebound and can take it end-to-end or slow transition into an isolation but rarely triggers offense that involves his teammates;
  • Doesn’t have a quick first step out of a standstill position to blow by his man on speed but can maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact well enough against his age group, mixing in a well-coordinated spin move to gain momentum into the lane from time-to-time;
  • Flashed a good feel for declining the ball-screen and an in-and-out dribble to manipulate his man into it operating in middle high pick-and-roll;
  • Explosive leaper off one foot in space but most often looks to gallop into two-foot leaps in traffic;
  • Flashed some flexibility to adjust his body in the air with a rim protector parked between him and the basket but has so far shown to be a basic finisher who looks for speed layups for the most part;
    • That said, hasn’t gotten all that many opportunities to show if he has any versatility to his finishing package because he lives at the foul line playing against his age group – despite his thin frame, his style of play invites plenty of contact as he drives;
  • Has shown a good deal of dexterity on floaters with either hand off 1-2 footwork, euro-steps and spin moves – missing only a floater off a jump-stop to complete his tear-drop package;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense but doesn’t get many alley-oop opportunities with the teams he plays with;
  • Occasional put-back threat but not tenacious enough to get several of those a game.

PASSING

  • Flashed some appealing court vision hitting the weakside corner over the top in pick-and-roll and off drawing two to the ball in isolation – height allows him to see over traffic;
  • Showed glimpses of being able to hit the stretch big over the top with good rhythm operating in pick-and-pop;
  • Willing to throw outlet passes if a teammate manages to leak out;
  • A bit of a reckless passer going for style plays at times.

DEFENSE

  • Played a role as more of a weakside defender with both BATES Fundamentals and Ypsilanti Lincoln High School, though he logged some time at center during the state championship game against Detroit Jesuit;
  • Edge in height and length was enough for him to discourage opponents from pulling the trigger with his so-so closeouts but got blown by often as those opponents put the ball on the floor;
  • Prone to ball watching and giving up a backdoor cut from time-to-time;
  • Showed flashes of activity rotating in to block shots from behind;
  • Was diligent with his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense – didn’t really explode off the ground to block shots or challenge them via verticality in volume but guards with his arms up near the rim, with those wall-offs good enough to make a difference within his age group;
  • Flashed some advanced position defense stopping the ball in pick-and-roll defense as a big on a show-and-recover;
  • Does not boxout – solely relying on his ability to rebound outside of his area to make plays on the glass;
  • Not a stout post defender but guards with his arms up, which tends to be enough to discourage opponents from trying to shoot over him;
  • Can jump a passing lane but doesn’t really play with the sort of energy to fly around and act as a dominant force on defense;
  • Attentive to his responsibilities switching on the fly and picked up shiftier ball handlers on occasion;
    • Gets down in a stance often but at times hunches down rather than bends his knees;
    • When engaged, showed some decent side-to-side mobility to keep pace one-on-one and quick reactions to leverage his length into reaching around for strips or blocking shots defending on the ball;
    • For the most part, didn’t stay in front of out in space but proved himself capable of staying attached and flashed some impressive hustle bothering from the side when he got beat;
    • Not built to slide around screens, neither at the point of attack nor chasing moving shooters around the floor.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 1/28/2004

[3] According to Rivals

[4] According to d1circuit.com

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

Ousmane Dieng Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Six-foot-seven French wing currently being developed within INSEP’s system;
  • Turned 16 last May[1];
  • Drew interest with his appearance at the FIBA U16 European Championship earlier this month, where France placed second;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 18.6 PER, 15.9 points per 40 minutes on 42.5% effective shooting, 29% assist rate, 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes, 11.3% defensive rebounding rate[2];
  • Got a lot of opportunities to create shots against a set defense, most often acting as the team’s primary escape valve late in the shot clock;
    • Logged 23.5% usage rate;
    • His shooting percentages were bad, but his shooting stroke looked great and suggests there is a chance of him developing into a high-caliber shooter in a role as more of a floor-spacer;
    • His work in pick-and-roll was promising but lack of dexterity and explosiveness at the rim limits his potential in that role for now;
    • Proved himself a willing shot creator for others but shouldn’t be considered as a great passer just yet;
  • Did well as a weakside defender by executing the scheme but didn’t play with regular intensity as an individual defender on the ball or flying around to create events away from it.

SHOOTING

  • Shooting stroke looks great for someone aged 16: fluid mechanics, dips for rhythm, fully extends himself for a high release, pulls the trigger quickly;
  • Efficiency isn’t there yet: nailed just 32.4% of his 34 three-point shots at the U16 European Championship, at a pace of 8.7 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Besides basic spot-ups, took some shots off the catch on the move as well, by relocating around the perimeter to get open;
  • A chunk of his looks materialized via pull-ups;
    • Has a knack for getting to his spots in pick-and-roll, especially by showing a good feel for using re-screens;
    • Showed an appealing combination of handle and rhythm to create separation to get his shots off in isolation: crossover into step-back pull-up and going behind the back into step-back pull-up;
    • Adept at shot-faking to try baiting the defender into leaving his feet or destabilizing him just enough to create space for a short-range jumper;

FINISHING

  • Has a thin frame for someone his height and is only so-so at playing through contact at this point of his physical development;
  • Got downhill in pick-and-roll some but didn’t attack the lane all that often;
  • Has good court vision in terms of not insisting on drives when the path to the goal isn’t apparent and rarely drove into crowds;
    • On the other hand, didn’t show good speed with the ball when he did turn the corner;
  • Tucks the ball to protect it in traffic;
  • Showed no floater to act as a scoring threat from the in-between area;
  • Didn’t attack the basket with power and didn’t show a particularly diverse finishing package to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the goal;
    • Showed just 34.6% on 26 two-point attempts in the tournament;
    • Earned just 3.6 foul shots per 40 minutes.

PASSING

  • Assisted on 29% of France’s scores when he was on the floor but at a low 1.56-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Most of his assists materialized of him being a willing passer on drop-offs and kickouts to the strongside off drawing two to the ball;
  • Plays with a nice rhythm in pick-and-roll, which afforded him opportunities to deliver some neat passes on delayed reads: hitting the dive man over the top on a slower-developing roll off a shot-fake, jump-passing back to the stretch big in pick-and-pop and flashing the ability to make a pass over the top to the opposite end.

DEFENSE

  • Impressed with his hustle in transition;
  • Executed the scheme pretty well as a weakside defender;
    • Rotated in to pick up the roll man and leveraged his length into deflecting some passes from the side;
    • Disciplined, consistently aware not to help off the strongside – averaged 1.5 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Stepped up to help crowd the area near the basket on rotations off the weakside – not an explosive leaper to act as a shot blocking threat but guards with his arms up to challenging via walling off;
    • Shows good awareness making preventive rotations to take away a clean path to the basket when he was the lowest defender;
  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance and put together a few possessions heating up opposing ball handlers somewhat impressively but doesn’t often play with that sort of intensity;
    • When engaged, has enough lateral slides to stay in front out in space and leverages his length to contest shots effectively but can’t contain dribble penetration through contact;
  • Doesn’t go over picks at the point of attack quickly enough to be considered an option to crossmatch or switch onto smaller players;
  • So-so discipline on closeouts: at times sells out to run the shooter off his shot and gives up a clean path to the middle, at times showed great body control to contest catch-and-shoot’s effectively without crashing into the shooter;
  • Played solid post defense against similarly sized wings;
  • Diligent boxing out whoever was closed by but wasn’t of much help going after the ball whenever others did the dirty work;
    • Collected just 11.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] DOB: 5/21/2003

[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

Tyrese Maxey Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

According to d1circuit.com, Tyrese Maxey averaged 20.1 points per game in 19 appearances at the Nike EYBL Circuit last season.

The six-foot-three gunner was a potent scorer at the youth level and figures to play a similar role to Devin Booker, Jamal Murray and Tyler Herro at Kentucky – curling off pindown screens and taking three-pointers off handoffs.

Maxey has a low release, launching the ball from almost in front of his face, but gets great elevation off the ground and tends to get a good spin on the ball. He nailed just a third of his three-point shots at the Nike EYBL Circuit but on 145 such attempts and at a pace of 5.5 of them per game.

The Dallas native has a quick first step to get into the lane curling around picks. He has a runner to score over length from the in-between area, a lefty scoop and a reverse to score around length at the rim, and some bulk in his 198-pound frame to score through contact at rim level.

Maxey has a quick first step out of a standstill position as well and good speed with the ball to blow by man in isolations. He has shown more of a preference for relying on his pull-up package, though – rising in balance off side-steps, rhythm dribbles and jab steps.

Maxey can make a pass ahead in transition and has proven himself to be a willing passer off drawing two to the ball but is yet to show particularly impressive court vision in the half-court.

When engaged, he can lock up opposing wings defending on the ball. Maxey has the lateral quickness to stay in front, chests up to contain dribble penetration through contact and can hold his ground in the post against similarly sized wings.

He even flashed some ability to hustle in pursuit to contest shots from behind while crossmatching onto Nico Mannion in the second half of the Nike Hoop Summit, which could be key for his future in the pros. Considering he has below average height for a wing, having the versatility to defend smaller players and perhaps transition into a role as a 3&D point guard who supplements a ball dominant wing might be a swing skill in terms of how he is viewed heading into the NBA.

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

Precious Achiuwa Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

Precious Achiuwa is one of five top 100 recruits joining Memphis, with coach Penny Hardaway landing the top-ranked class in the country.

The six-foot-nine combo forward has the perfect combination of frame and length the NBA looks for in its big wings these days but has some way to go in terms of the skill level needed on offense to excel in that role.

He has shown decent moves to create his own shot out of ball reversals or slow transition into an isolation off a grab-and-go – flashing an in-and-out dribble to shake his defender off balance, pivoting into a well-coordinated spin move to get into the lane or crossing over into a pull-up – but hasn’t yet developed the handle and the court vision needed to create in middle high pick-and-roll.

For now, Achiuwa mostly projects as a floor-spacer who will operate out of triple threat position, though he needs a lot of development as a shooter to have the chance to put the ball on the floor often.

He can make a shot with time and space to go through his shooting motion but was still a hesitant shooter for the most part in his senior season at Montverde Academy. His release is somewhat slow and not all that fluid, but his touch is probably the biggest cause for concern, considering he shot poorly on free throws in AAU and the All-Star events.

If he develops as a shooter to command hard closeouts or at least gets the chance to attack a scrambling defense a fair amount, Achiuwa figures to impress with his athleticism on hard drives to the basket. He can get to the rim with balance and explosiveness on a straight line, go up with power off one foot with momentum and can finish through contact or adjust his body in the air to score in traffic.

On the other end, the Bronx native was active rotating off the weakside to make plays at the basket. He is a quick leaper off two feet to challenge shots via verticality or block shots – averaging 3.5 blocks per 40 minutes in eight appearances in the Under Armour Association last season. Achiuwa was pretty active on the glass as well – collecting 23.1% of opponents’ misses in 194 minutes.

That said, he wasn’t as active flying around to get steals and deflections in the passing lanes and hasn’t yet developed a feel for leveraging his length into clogging driving lanes and making plays from the side on occasion.

The 19-year-old can hold up well one-on-one when engaged – bending his knees to get down in a stance, moving his feet to stay in front for a few slides and putting in the effort to contest shots, though it’s somewhat surprising that he isn’t as adept at containing dribble penetration through contact as his frame suggests he should.

Achiuwa picked up smaller players on switches on a few occasions and proved himself capable of staying attached on straight line drives, even putting in the effort to try going over picks at the point of attack, though his hustle in pursuit to try discouraging or blocking shots from behind left something to be desired.

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