Ethan Chargois Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ethan Chargois was not ranked in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes on 60% true shooting and posted a 22.4 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Southern Methodist has deployed the 19-year-old[3] as a center who spaces the floor out of the three-point line on one end and offers some semblance of rim protection on the other. In that role the freshman has been very effective on both ends, despite lacking elite height for the position.
  • He’s unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

OFFENSE

  • 44.4% of his shots have been launched from three-point range, as Chargois has shown the ability to not only space the floor as a spot-up shooter but also taken catch-and-shoot jumpers on the move coming out of the pick-and-pop and as the trailer in transition.
    • He has a compact release and a quick trigger for someone his size, catching it on the hop and displaying decent touch.
    • He’s nailed 40.3% of his 67 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 6.2 such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 65.4% foul shooting over 52 free throws is a head-scratcher.
  • Other than that, Chargois has gotten the ball in the post and in the elbow on low horns sets as well.
    • He uses power moves to burn smaller players on switches but flashed the traits of a very skilled post game against bigger players, using shot-fakes and head-fakes to work his defender out of position and finish around them on up-and-under’s.
    • Chargois can take his man off the bounce on straight line drives, lacking an explosive first step but using the strength in his 235-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact and high-stepping to weave his way through traffic. He lacks lift off one foot to go up strong at the basket but flashed a running floater to score over length from the in-between area and showed nice touch on lefty finger-roll finishes.
    • Prior to the game against Tulane, Chargois had converted his 57 attempts at the rim at a 70.2% clip, with a third of his 40 makes at the basket unassisted[5].
  • He’s proven himself an asset to help facilitate offense on dribble hand-offs in the perimeter or scanning the floor out of the low post and figures to be an option passing out of the short roll if put in that position too – assisting on 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 433 minutes this season.
  • He is not a target to play above the rim as a target for lobs, lacking lift to go up strong off two feet in a pinch, and his impact in the offensive glass has been marginal.

DEFENSE

  • Chargois is pretty nimble for someone his weight and can be somewhat effective defending the pick-and-roll around the foul line but isn’t suited to pick up smaller players on switches or match up with shooting big men.
    • He has a couple of lateral slides in him to show-and-recover well against the pick-and-roll, able to contain the ball-handler and prevent him from getting downhill or turning the corner right away.
      • Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[6].
    • But he can get exposed backpedalling and doesn’t act as a deterrent for passes over the top.
    • Chargois bends his knees to get down in a stance in individual defense in the perimeter but lacks lateral quickness to stay in front of smaller players for more than a slide or two.
    • His closeouts are also ineffective, as he doesn’t seem to have above average length to contest catch-and-shoot jumpers effectively and isn’t quick enough to run shooters off their shots.
  • Chargois has shown good attention to his rotation responsibilities stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and coming off the weak-side in help defense.
    • He’s shown a knack for making plays on the ball – averaging 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes, but that pursuit of events have come at the cost of him putting himself at constant risk of foul trouble – as he’s averaged 4.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which have limited his playing time to just 22.8 minutes per game.
    • He ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[7].
  • Chargois plays disciplined post defense and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but has a high center of gravity, which affects his ability to hold ground some.
    • He’s collected just 17.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 1/19/1999

[4] According to Southern Methodist

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Omari Spellman | Brady Manek | Jaren Jackson, Jr.

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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Jarrey Foster Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Jarrey Foster was unranked in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-six combo forward has averaged 16.3 points per 40 minutes on 53.8% true shooting and posted a 20.8 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Foster is a wing-sized player who has been forced to play most of his minutes as a big in college, at times even as a center. The 21-year-old[3] has shown he can certainly execute the scheme operating as the last line of defense but ultimately lacks the physical profile not to be a liability one-on-one against true behemoths.
  • On the other end, his meal ticket is going to be his shooting. The junior is having a relative down year but has proven he is able to make quick catch-and-shoot shots out of the pick-and-pop. His off dribble portfolio isn’t much yet but has proven to be effective against bigger players out in space.
  • He’s ranked 32nd on ESPN’s top 100.

EXECUTION

  • Foster is an intelligent defender operating as the last line of defense, attentive enough to:
    • Step up to the front of the rim to prevent the opponents from taking uncontested layups and dunks – Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[4];
    • Come off the weak-side to play above the rim as a shot blocker elevating off one foot – averaging 1.5 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Rotating in to pick up the roll man – unable to go up strong off two feet to block shots but smart enough to raise his arms and wall off the front of the basket.
  • Foster is obviously mobile enough to guard pick-and-rolls above the foul line but has also shown quick thinking playing the angles and preventing the opposing ball handler from turning the corner whenever he could.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Foster bends his knees to get down in a stance and can slide multiple times to stay in front in individual defense against similarly sized players.
  • He doesn’t use the strength in his 220-pound frame[5] to contain penetration but can contest mid-range pull-ups somewhat effectively.
  • Against bigger players, Foster puts in the effort to front the post and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but lacks reach to prevent the post entry over the top and struggles to clear these types of players out of his rebounding area.
    • He’s collected just 11.7% of opponents’ misses over his 616 minutes this season.
    • Given these weaknesses having to play out of position for the most part, Foster has the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[6].

OFFENSE

  • Foster is not a volume outside shooter at this point – taking just 29.8% of his shots from three-point range and averaging just four such attempts per 40 minutes this season. But ultimately, that’s how he projects to produce the most on offense in the pros.
    • He has a fluid release with a reasonably quick trigger, dips for rhythm, has decent touch and often gets a nice arc in his shot.
    • Aside from basic spot-ups, Foster has also taken and made shots out of the pick-and-pop, able to set his feet quickly off a slip-screen.
    • He has nailed just 32.3% of his 62 three-point shots this season but 37.4% of his 174 such shots over his two-and-a-half year stay at Southern Methodist.
    • However, Foster has hit just 69.8% of his 53 foul shots this season and just 59.3% of his 177 such shots over his time in Dallas, raising legit concerns over how good of a shooter he is really.
  • Other than on spot-ups and out of the pick-and-pop, Foster has also gotten touches in the elbow out of a low horns set and on ball reversals. He is not particularly smooth putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, doesn’t have an explosive first step and has a loose handle but uses a few resources to get all the way to the basket off the bounce:
    • Shot fake to get his man out of position;
    • Strength to maintain his balance through contact;
    • Spin move to weave his way through traffic;
    • A high step to sustain his momentum forward.
      • Foster has taken 52.4% of his shots at the basket and, though he is not an explosive leaper off one foot, has finished these attempts at a 61.5% clip[7].
        • Partly because he can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts and filling the lanes in transition, as 39 of his 67 makes at the basket have been assisted.
      • Foster can make adequate passes off the bounce on drive-and-kick’s and has also flashed excellent court vision making crosscourt passes out of the low post – assisting on 16.6% of Southern Methodist’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season.
      • He has power moves to burn smaller players on switches in the post.
      • He has also played with nice energy crashing the offensive glass – collecting 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s misses when he’s been in the game, though he lacks the lift off two feet to translate these second chances into immediate scores – converting his 23 putback attempts at a 46.2% clip.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 12/9/1996

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Southern Methodist

[6] According to sports-reference

[7] According to hoop-math

READ MORE: Nik Slavica | Brady Manek | Wenyen Gabriel

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

Shake Milton Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Shake Milton was the 79th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-six combo guard has averaged 20 points per 40 minutes on 56.6% effective shooting and assisted on 24.9% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 693 minutes[2].
  • Having logged 2,912 minutes of college ball up until this point, Milton is the sort of player you can project whichever way you want, as there is at least some piece of evidence to support whatever view you have of him.
    • The junior can break down a set defense off the pick-and-roll and create shots for others against a scrambling defense or on pre-arranged reads, while also a threat to spot-up off the ball. He has shown appealing quickness matching up with smaller players one-on-one when engaged and has the length to potentially develop into an asset picking up bigger players on switches down the line.
    • On the other hand, the 21-year-old[3] lacks explosiveness to put pressure on the rim regularly, isn’t yet an elite shot maker or the sort of valuable gunner who can be moved around the floor, has a low assist-to-turnover ratio and rarely translates his elite physical traits into making an actual positive impact on defense.
  • ESPN ranks him 25th in its top 100.

INTERIOR OFFENSE

  • Milton runs some middle pick-and-roll against a set defense late in the shot clock but a lot of his catches come off Iverson cuts on the side of the floor. He subsequently gets a ball-screen attempting to guide him towards the lane.
  • Milton doesn’t have an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed and hasn’t yet developed many dribble moves to shake his defender off balance often. He has a strong preference for going left and his best resource for now is a hesitation move that can be effective at times but rarely results in him just losing his man.
    • More concerning, perhaps, is the fact that Milton hasn’t shown any burst to burn big men on switches.
    • Also yet to develop strength in his thin 205-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact regularly, Milton’s taken just 22.5% of his shots at the rim this season[5], though he’s been successful at earning foul calls, as he’s averaged 5.6 free throws per 40 minutes.
  • When he’s managed to get all the way to the basket, weaving his way through traffic with euro-steps, Milton has flashed a diverse arsenal of finishes. Aided by his seven-foot wingspan[6], he’s shown the ability to overextend and complete reverses among the trees. Milton lacks explosiveness elevating off one foot with possession of the ball, though. He’s also unable to finish through contact at this point of his development.
    • Milton has shot 52.8% at the rim as a junior, after shooting just 56.5% there as a sophomore.
    • He shot 70.4% at the rim as a freshman but 20 of his 38 makes were assisted.
      • Milton can play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes in transition and sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts.
    • He’s shown decent touch on floaters, both off jump-stops and on the run, to finish over length from the in-between area.
    • Milton is an adequate passer off dribble penetration, able to make a drop-off or a kick-out pass against the defense collapsing to his drive, but not a particularly special shot creator for others as of now. He’s flashed a wraparound pass to the opposite corner and can toss up lobs on the move but it’s rare to see him sucking in the defense deep into the lane before putting someone in scoring position.

PERIMETER OFFENSE

  • Most of Milton’s assists come with him facing the defense and making passes over the top, aided by his advantageous point of view, or on-pre-arranged reads. He can toss up well timed lobs to wings diving to the rim on baseline cuts and make the skip pass to the big in the pick-and-pop. He’s also flashed some ability to make passes across his body to the opposite end.
    • Milton is more of a robotic passer rather than an instinctive one, which can be fine if you have a well-structured offense (which Southern Methodist reasonably does). But the cost of it manifests itself against teams that have him well scouted and know when to jump the passing lanes[7], as well as in the fact that Milton sometimes passes a split-second too soon, without totally engaging the help, making it easier for the opponent to closeout effectively.
      • He has a 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio this season and a 2.13 one over his time at Southern Methodist.
    • Milton has attempted to hang dribble or cross his man over into pull-ups but isn’t much of a tough shot maker at this point. His most effective way to shoot off the dribble is a step-back fade-away, which he doesn’t do with deep range yet, as just 10 of his 49 three-point makes have been unassisted this season. Though he struggles to create separation against high level competition, Milton has nailed 45.1% of his 71 two-point jumpers this year, with just 10 of his 32 makes assisted.
    • He is at his most valuable as a spot-up shooter. Milton gets little elevation but fully extends himself for a high release off the catch and has a quick trigger. He’s nailed 42.8% of his 428 three-point shots over his two-and-a-half years at Southern Methodist, at a pace of 6.5 such attempts per 40 minutes this season in particular.
      • Milton has also improved as a foul shooter year over year, going from 72.5% as a freshman through 75.8% as a sophomore to now 82.5% as a senior.
    • He seems to have changed his base a little, looking to bring knees closer together. Perhaps because of this or simply because of an increased need for him to operate on the ball, Milton is taking fewer shots coming off screens, which he did more regularly last season.

DEFENSE

  • Milton looks the part of an impactful defender:
    • When engaged, he can use his quickness to stay in front of smaller players one-on-one;
    • When well positioned, he steps up to the front of the rim in help defense and has proven himself willing to attempt drawing charges;
    • He has the body control to stay balanced closing back to his man after taking a couple of steps inside to help pack the lane;
    • He has exceptional length for someone his size and decent instincts making plays in the passing lanes – averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes this season.
  • But he’s not one, for the most part:
    • Milton looks go over ball-screens at the point of attack but rarely gets skinny well enough to navigate the pick cleanly and beat his man to the spot on the other side, playing with the sort of low energy that makes him completely dependent on his big teammate stopping the ball in order to be able to get back in front of his man;
    • Aside from not yet having developed a lot of strength, Milton generally doesn’t play with much toughness and can’t contain dribble penetration. He has lateral quickness to stay in front but only has two or three slides in him and eventually gets lots along the way;
    • He rarely stays in a stance off the ball, making him slow in his reactions, resulting in weak closeouts more often than not;
    • He’s not always attentive to his responsibilities as a help defender rotating inside to pick up the roll man and doesn’t make himself any sort of asset helping protect the rim;
    • Milton has picked up big men on switches a few times and does try to execute in these instances, looking to front the post and putting a body on his man in the glass, but plays with no physicality and isn’t suited to matchup with bruising types;
    • He is just an average rebounder – collecting 12.4% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 9/26/1996

[4] According to Southern Methodist’s official listing

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz

[7] As it happened in the game against Texas Christian, when he had four turnovers

READ MORE: Troy Brown, Jr. | Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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

CONTEXT

  • Troy Brown, Jr. was the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 15 games this season, the six-foot-seven swingman is averaging 16.1 points per 40 minutes on 51.4% effective shooting[2].
  • He looks the part of a 3&D wing but really likes to put the ball on the floor attacking closeouts and isolating out of ball reversals. He is also inclined to post-up smaller matchups every once in a while.
    • A point guard in high school, the freshman is tasked with setting up the offense when Payton Pritchard is out of the game but that only requires him to feed the side of the floor and trigger movement sequences, as Oregon doesn’t run high pick-and-roll that often.
  • On the other end, the 18-year-old[3] has been more impressive. Aside from possessing the physical profile to be expected to develop into an above average individual defender who offers versatility, Brown, Jr. has also shown appealing intelligence executing the scheme and making an impact in the hidden parts of the game.
  • He was ranked 19th on ESPN’s top 100 as of a month ago.

DEFENSE

  • Brown, Jr. hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but has enough lateral quickness to stay in front for two or three slides guarding on the ball, though he doesn’t use his 215-pound frame[4] to contain dribble penetration and sometimes does this thing where he’ll turn his body sideways when he feels he’s starting to lose attachment.
  • Oregon switches aggressively, not just on screens but on any sort of people movement, so he’s had plenty of opportunities to exchange into different types of players.
    • Brown, Jr. can keep pace with smaller players out on an island and has a six-foot-11 wingspan to effectively contest or intimidate shots.
    • Against bigger players, he opts to try playing stout post defense instead of tenaciously fronting the post. Given his chiseled frame, it’s not any sort of big who can back him down into an easy look.
  • Brown, Jr. is not a good option to cross-match onto smaller players for long stretches within a possession, though. He looks to go over picks at the point of attack but can’t get skinny and struggles to navigate them cleanly.
    • That said, he’s attentive enough to put a body on the roll man after passing up the dribble driver to his help defender.
  • Cross-matched onto bigger players, Brown, Jr. looked good in drop defense keeping pace with a pick-and-roll ball-handler attacking downhill and stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection as a help defender.
    • He doesn’t play above the rim as a shot blocker but is more than willing to plant his feet and attempt drawing charges.
  • He knows not to help one pass away off the strong-side corner, tries to contain the ball in transition defense and is a proactive communicator on those switches.
  • Brown, Jr. has also flashed high IQ executing the scheme as a weak-side defender, rotating inside to pick up the roll man and guarding two men when Oregon blitzed an action on the opposite side of the court.
    • He’s shown decent instincts using his length to make plays in the passing lanes as well – averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes.
  • His effort on closeouts comes and goes but when engaged, Brown, Jr. has proven himself able to run the shooter off his shot and stay balanced to slide laterally defending off the dribble.
  • He’s been a very active contributor on the glass – collecting 22.6% of opponents’ misses over his 465 minutes this season.
  • As a very good team defender and someone who has helped Oregon finish a lot of possessions with events, he has the second best defensive rating on the team among rotation players[5].

OFFENSE

  • Brown, Jr. 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.
    • As is, he’s only an open shot set shooter at this point of his development – nailing just a third of his 57 three-point shots this season, at a pace of only 4.9 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • He has hit 80.9% of his 47 foul shots, so the touch for him to eventually become a better shooter than that is there.
    • Brown, Jr. has taken a few shots drifting around the wing but other than that, he hasn’t yet flashed much in terms of being able to take shots on the move.
  • He isn’t very smooth putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position or off ball reversals, lacking an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed or a tight handle to withstand pressure – turning it over on 17.7% of his possessions.
  • Brown, Jr. is not very fast with the ball and hasn’t shown much in terms of dribble moves or side-to-side shake to work his man out of position.
    • He can make a contested stop-and-pop jumper over his defender but is only capable and not yet a real shot maker – hitting just a third of his 33 two-point shots away from the basket[6].
    • Brown, Jr. does better forcing the issue, as he is able to get all the way to the rim one-on-one maintaining his balance and momentum forward through contact – taking 37.9% of his live-ball attempts within close range.
      • He is not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and hasn’t shown body control to hang or adjust himself in the air for acrobatic finishes among the trees but Brown, Jr. is strong enough to finish through contact – converting his 55 shots at the rim at a 63.6% clip and earning four foul shots per 40 minutes.
    • Brown, Jr. is inclined to post up smaller matchups every once in a while. He’s only shown a basic turnaround jumper leaning into his defender for now but has flashed appealing vision making cross-court passes after escaping a double team.
    • He is a ball mover making the extra pass around the horn and an adequate passer off dribble penetration, yet to show much in terms of passing across his body to the opposite end on the move but able to kick-out against the defense collapsing to him. His most advanced work so far has been making the skip pass to the big relocating to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop.
      • Brown, Jr. has assisted on 16.9% of Oregon’s scores when he’s been on the floor.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 7/28/1999

[4] According to Oregon’s official listing

[5] According to sports-reference

[6] According to hoop-math

READ MORE: Mikal Bridges | Hamidou Diallo | Miles Bridges

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

Nik Slavica Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Nik Slavica is the 7th-ranked European power forward born in 1997[1].
  • The six-foot-eight athletic big transferred from Cibona Zagreb to Cedevita Zagreb last summer but the move hasn’t improved his experience level.
  • Through 20 appearances this season, Slavica has logged just 209 minutes[2].
    • 147 of those minutes have come in the less competitive Croatian A-1 Liga[3], where Cedevita has won its 10 games by an average margin of 22.1 points per victory[4].
  • In his 11 appearances in the Adriatic League and the Eurocup, the 20-year-old[5] is averaging just 5.7 minutes per game, in an end-of-rotation role.
  • He injured his arm during a 47-point performance against KK Zagreb a couple of months ago and returned just this week.
  • Slavica was expected to develop into a big wing who could draw opposing big men out to the perimeter, use his athleticism to beat them off the bounce and attack the basket with power off one foot but that projection has not materialized.
    • His outside shot hasn’t developed yet and given his foul shooting percentages, it’s unclear to which extent it truly can.
  • As is, he’s becoming more effective as a catch-and-score finisher, even logging some time as a center when he’s shared the court with Damir Markota.
  • On the other end, Slavica leverages his athleticism into mobility extending pick-and-roll coverage beyond the foul line and has impressed with his rotations as the last line of defense, though he hasn’t created many events.
  • He was not ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

GOOD DEFENSE

  • He is attentive to his help defense responsibilities and has flashed some very good awareness making preventive rotations to keep the opponent from getting to the rim attacking baseline on side isolations.
  • Guarding middle pick-and-rolls, Slavica can keep pace with ball handlers attacking downhill when he is asked to show hard at the top of the key. He’s also flashed appealing lateral quickness containing the ball handler from turning the corner dropping back to prioritize interior defense.
  • Slavica is an asset to pick up smaller players on switches, as he’s comfortable defending out in space, given he was a wing at the youth level. Sometimes he hunches rather than bends his knees to get down in a stance but can slide laterally multiple times to stay attached and use his size to intimidate or effectively contest shots.

IFFY DEFENSE

  • He doesn’t seem suited to cross-match onto smaller players for entire possessions, though. Slavica works to go over ball-screens defending at the point of attack but is too big to navigate them cleanly.
  • He struggles with the most physical aspects of the game. Slavica has a 231-pound frame[6] but hasn’t developed a lot of toughness yet. He can’t hold his ground in the post and while he is attentive to his boxout responsibilities, Slavica isn’t very physical clearing the opponent out of his rebounding area.
    • He’s collected just 16.7% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
  • Despite his athleticism, Slavica hasn’t been very impactful challenging shots at the rim, averaging just 0.7 blocks per 40 minutes.

OFFENSE

  • His best skill at this point of his development is his passing. Assisting on 9.17% of Cedevita’s scores when he’s been in the lineup, Slavica has pretty good court vision and can act as a hub to facilitate offense in multiple ways:
    • On pre-arranged reads in high-low action;
    • Kicking out to shooters out of the short roll;
    • Scanning the floor from the low post with his back to the basket;
    • Driving-and-kicking attacking a closeout.
  • He is very fluid and coordinated putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position and can go up strong off one foot to attack the basket with power. He can hang in the air and finish through contact as well.
  • If Slavica develops his three-point shot, he can become a truly dangerous weak-side option. Harder closeouts would open up better opportunities for him to attack the rim on catch-and-go’s off ball reversals against a scrambling defense. But right now, he shoots kind of a sling-shot and doesn’t have good touch.
    • Slavica has missed nine of his 12 three-point shots with Cedevita this season and 38 of his 44 three-point shots with Cibona last year.
    • He’s also missed nine of his 13 foul shots this season and hit just 55.9% of his 134 free throws a year ago.
  • Diving off the pick-and-roll, Slavica can elevate off two feet explosively and play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense.
    • Sometimes he cuts his rolls shorts near the foul line area to attempt floaters off jump-stops. His touch in these instances is merely so-so.
    • He’s converted 62.9% of his 89 two-point shots this season.
  • At times the most athletic big man on the floor, Slavica crashes the offensive glass and has been effective generating second chances – collecting 11.9% of Cedevita’s misses with him in the game.
  • He struggles to get deep position in the post and doesn’t have much in terms of power moves, shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves at this point of his development. But his feet are light and he gets good lift on turnaround hooks, though his touch here has plenty of room to improve as well.

[1] According to Next-Step Basketball

[2] According to Real GM

[3] Which Next-Step Basketball does not rank as one of the 10 strongest domestic leagues in the continent

[4] According to Real GM

[5] DOB: 2/7/1997

[6] According to Cedevita’s official listing

READ MORE: PJ Washington | Sacha Killeya-Jones

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

Trae Young Scouting Report

CONTEXT

It’s hard to believe Trae Young was only the 23rd-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

The six-foot-three lead guard is taking college basketball by storm, as he’s averaged 35.5 points per 40 minutes[2] on 62% true-shooting and assisted on 55.6% of Oklahoma’s scores over his 494 minutes[3] so far this season.

Young is an exceptional shooter who has shown a lightning-quick trigger and deep range on pull-ups out of the pick-and-roll. Someone with that skill-set is probably the number one asset for an NBA offense these days, as he is able to stress defenses from the moment he crosses half-court.

And yet, that’s not all the 19-year-old[4] does. Young has also shown the ability to break down the defense off the bounce with one of the most advanced packages of dribble moves you will ever see from someone his age. Though he is not an athletic marvel and has been a subpar finisher on live-ball attempts in college, Young has lived at the foul line and proven himself a very good passer on the move.

It must always be pointed out Young is in the very best position to succeed as well. Oklahoma runs a fast-paced pro-style offense that emphasizes floor spacing. The Sooners have a stretch big in the game for 37 of the 40 minutes and constantly have that player (usually Brady Manek) set picks for Young in order to create an opening at the point of attack.

Oklahoma has also been sensitive to his limitations on the other end. The freshman is a poor individual defender at this point of his development, so the Sooners have hidden him off the ball and switched somewhat aggressively on flare screens at the top in order to always try maintaining Young a weak-side defender, where he’s actually carried his weight executing the scheme and showcasing good instincts making plays in the passing lanes.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to our stats’ database

[4] DOB: 9/19/1998

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman was the 18th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].
  • Through 15 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 16.3 points per 40 minutes on 54.8% effective shooting and 12.1 rebounds per 40 minutes[2].
  • The 20-year-old[3] is a multi-dimensional scorer who gets his touches in the post one-on-one and from three-point range on spot-ups and out of the pick-and-pop.
    • He’s taking about a third of his shots from each zone[4].
  • Spellman has a 245-pound frame[5] and iffy agility out in space. With that as the case, the red shirt freshman plays center on defense. He is not an explosive leaper but his length and general size around the basket have made him an effective interior defender.
  • He was not ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

POST GAME

  • Spellman has a large frame but doesn’t play with a lot of force looking to set up deep seals in the low block, as he seems more comfortable getting the ball in the mid-post instead.
  • But he does use his strength on power moves backing down less physically imposing opponents for looks within close range. He doesn’t get a lot of lift leaping off two feet and his touch on turnaround hooks is iffy.
  • Spellman has not yet shown a particularly diverse set of post moves working his man out of position with shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves. He doesn’t have particularly light feet either.
  • Spellman has shown a strong preference for catching, turning, facing, sizing up his man and jab-stepping before rising up for no-dribble jumpers over his defender. He gets good elevation and fully extends himself for a high release, aside from showing nice touch in his jumper for someone his size.
    • He’s nailed 45.2% of his 42 two-point jumpers this season.
  • Spellman has flashed a face-up drive if his defender plays up on him but lacks coordination and handle getting all the way to the basket in a position of strength.
  • He is yet to show much in terms of court vision passing out of the post – assisting on just 4.1% of Villanova’s scores over his 382 minutes.

SHOOTING

  • Spellman regularly spots-ups beyond the arc, freeing up the post for Jalen Brunson as Villanova inverts the offense. He catches the ball on the hop, gets more elevation than he perhaps should given his size, has a high release and shows good touch on his shot.
    • He’s nailed 46.5% of his 43 three-point shots, at a pace of 4.5 such looks per 40 minutes.
    • He’s also made 18 of his 26 free throws.
  • Spellman has shown some ability to make shots out of the pick-and-pop as well. He is a good screener who looks to make contact, can set his feet quickly and has a reasonably fluid release for someone his size.

FINISHING

  • Spellman can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs and usually pops to the three-point line or rolls into post-up position off ball-screens.
  • He isn’t an explosive leaper off two feet in traffic – converting his 41 shots at the basket at a 48.8% clip.
  • Spellman doesn’t play with a high motor and doesn’t have a quick second jump but can set inside position when he translates his size into toughness and has a seven-foot-two wingspan to rebound outside his area.
    • He’s collected 12.6% of Villanova’s misses when he’s been on the floor.
    • But lacking the explosiveness to go back up strong off two feet, he’s converted his 16 putback attempts at only a 40% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is not always attentive to his help-defense responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He also doesn’t play with a lot of energy looking to challenge everything he is close by. Despite his size, he doesn’t act as a deterrent.
  • But when well positioned, Spellman has been an effective interior defender thanks to his length and general size. Though he is not an explosive leaper, he has gone up to contest shots via verticality and has blocked shots in volume at the collegiate level – averaging 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Spellman has plenty of strength to hold his ground in stout post defense but isn’t always attentive to his boxout responsibilities. He has a big rebounding area and decent instincts chasing the ball off the rim, though – collecting 22.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.
  • Villanova switches aggressive across all ball-screens and Spellman has found himself on smaller players every now and again. He bends his knees to get down enough in a stance but lacks lateral quickness to be an effective perimeter defender, unable slide multiple times to stay in front in isolation or cover a lot in a pinch recovering to block or contest shots from behind.
  • Spellman is asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line often but isn’t suited for it, lacking agility out in space to act as anything more than a traffic cone.
  • He is also unable to closeout to the three-point line effectively, so he isn’t suited for guarding shooting big men either.
  • Spellman ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 7/21/1997

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Brady Manek | Wenyen Gabriel | Wendell Carter, Jr.

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