Eric Dailey, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Eric Dailey, Jr. is currently the 25th-ranked recruit in the 2022 high school class[1].

This past season, the six-foot-six wing played a lower-end role on IMG Academy’s stacked rotation, filling in whenever Jarace Walker flexed to the point and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield flexed to stretch four in alternative lineups with Jaden Springer and Moussa Diabate off the floor.

He exceled more in transition, as a regular threat to leak out for long outlets or fill the lanes. In the half-court, the Tampa Bay native had a smaller role spotting up off ball, though the nature of IMG’s offense afforded him some opportunities to handle in a side pick-and-roll here and there.

On the other end, his chiseled 210-pound frame in the context of his height and his broad shoulders suggest he could become strong enough to develop into an option to guard some of the power wings who star in the pros nowadays. His lateral quickness left something be desired, though.

TRANSITION

  • Fast and coordinated in the open floor, not so much to run the break but on breakaways and filling the lanes
    • Flashed a good feel for leaking out
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs
  • Can go up for some really exciting dunks on one-on-zero fast-breaks[2]
    • Thundering dunks
    • Windmill dunks
    • 360s

SHOOTING

  • Capable open-shot shooter at this point of his development
    • Left-handed shooter
    • Has shown some versatility to his footwork, at times catching it on the hop and others elevating off 1-2
    • Doesn’t point all of his toes towards the rim, like most lefties, but has shown glimpses of turning in the air to better angle his body
    • Has a pronounced dip for rhythm
    • Gets a lot of elevation for someone his height
    • Fully extends himself for a high release
    • Pretty quick trigger overall
    • Gets a decent arc on his shot in his best makes
    • Tends to miss to the side on his worst attempts
  • Flirted with the ambition of taking shots drifting to the corner but for the most part hasn’t yet shown if he has developed some versatility to his release

PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE

  • Ran the occasional side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving
  • Flashed some ability to operate with pace and locking the on-ball defender in jail
  • Most often looked to get to his spots for jumpers off the bounce
    • Can rise on one-dribble pull-ups to burn his man for getting stuck or going under the pick
    • Can create separation off side-steps as well
    • Can stop on a dime and get great elevation with good balance to shoot over the top of most contests in high school
  • Hasn’t yet developed much in terms of court vision to create for others on the move
  • Can get to the basket if left unimpeded
    • Looks to gallop into two-foot leaps against a help defender stepping up to the front of the basket
    • Flashed a lefty finger-roll finish in transition but mostly acts like a rim-level finisher in the half-court who hasn’t yet developed or needed to show a lot of versatility to his finishing

CUTTING

  • Showed glimpses of smart activity off the ball
    • Flashing to the front of the basket to offer a passing lane when the play bogs down in the perimeter
    • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs on backdoor cuts

DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance
  • Has a couple of lateral slides in one direction to stay in front but eventually gets beat out in space
  • Has a strong frame for someone his age but hasn’t yet shown much in terms of leveraging that size into playing with meaningful physicality
  • Didn’t stand out as a help defender or in his contributions to the rebounding process

[1] According to ESPN

[2] I know it sounds like a really stupid observation but in a time where no one plays with flair and style anymore, I’m starting to find noteworthy whenever we see a good in-game dunker or a flashy passer, even if on instances where there is no defense

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

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is currently the eighth-ranked recruit in the 2022 high school class[1].

In his first year at IMG Academy, the six-foot-eight combo forward was essentially the team’s sixth man through most of the year, often subbing in for Jaden Springer, so Jarace Walker could flex to the point in alternative lineups. When Springer missed some time with injury late in the season, Huntley-Hatfield got moved to the starting lineup and his minutes went up.

He primarily spaced the floor in the half-court, while flirting with taking some shots on the move, taking his man one-on-one and running side pick-and-rolls to keep the offense moving from time-to-time.

On the other end, the Tennessee native was asked to pick up smaller players on switches a fair amount and held up well enough at times, but his technique defending on the ball left a lot to be desired. His impact on help defense looked to be a little more promising.

SHOOTING

  • Can grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and slow transition into a pull-up three-pointer if left totally unimpeded
  • Has a fairly interesting release
    • Elevates off 1-2 footwork
    • Doesn’t need to dip much for rhythm
    • Doesn’t bend his knees much – there isn’t a whole lot of weight transferring in his overall approach
    • Fully extends himself for a high release
  • Flashed a little bit of versatility to his release, taking some ambitious attempts coming off staggered screens
    • Pretty aggressive pulling the trigger on the move
    • Questionable if his footwork is dynamic enough for those
    • Tends to miss to the side on his hastier attempts
  • Will shot-fake into a two-dribble pull-up on occasion
    • Impressive balance rising off the bounce, even playing off contact

SHOT CREATION

  • Capable of creating his own shot one-on-one from the perimeter
    • Can play through contact within his age group – not particularly bulky but has a well-developed 220-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-eight height
    • Well-coordinated on straight-line drives
    • Rim-level finisher in the half-court
    • Up-and-down leaper who hasn’t yet developed or hasn’t needed to show much versatility to his finishing, other than a righty finger-roll
    • Hasn’t yet developed side-to-side quickness or dribble moves but can create separation to pull-up by absorbing contact and pushing off
    • Flashed a sweet spin move into a stop-and-pop pull-up with straight-up balance
  • Ran the occasional side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving
    • Decent handle for someone his size but nothing very advanced
    • High dribbler
    • Only looked for basic passes over the top
    • Not very aggressive looking to turn the corner
    • Not very adept at getting to his spots to pull-up
  • Showed glimpses of court vision assisting backdoor cuts out of the high post

FINISHING

  • Glimpses of smart cutting
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes in transition
  • Mixes it up on the offensive glass
    • Has a quick second jump

DEFENSE

  • Pretty aggressive with his stunts taking an extra step to clog driving lanes
    • Reasonably effective discouraging less threatening opposing ball handlers from forcing the issue around his area
  • Mixes it up on scrums to crowd the area near the basket and can block a shot from the side
  • Showed very little urgency in his closeouts
  • Was asked to pick up smaller players on switches
    • Gets down in a very soft stance approaching the ball handler
    • Wasn’t challenged a whole lot but when he was, locked in a little bit and proved capable of contesting pull-ups very effectively

[1] According to ESPN

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

Jarace Walker Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Jarace Walker is currently the ninth-ranked recruit in the 2022 high school class[1].

In his second year at IMG Academy, the six-foot-six wing was fast-tracked into an uncommon role for many sophomores to be asked to fill in an elite high school team. He started on the wing but was the primary option to run the offense when Jaden Springer subbed out or missed time due to injury late in the season, including during the team’s third game against Montverde Academy.

Walker was a caretaker point guard for the most part, able to create for others in transition but yet to stand out for his court vision in the half-court.

He was primarily a floor-spacer with Springer available, though the nature of IMG’s offense offered him some possibilities to attack his man off a handoff or out of ball reversals and he looked more effective putting the ball on the floor than launching jumpers off the catch.

On the other end, the Pennsylvania native projects as the sort of defender capable of checking power wings and switch/crossmatch onto bigger players thanks to his strong 220-pound frame.

If he was being developed in the European system, there is a good chance his team would be carrying him with the senior squad, since he looks physically prepared to play a pro game right now, though he is still underdeveloped in terms of applying his physical skills into actual impact defense in all areas.

ISOLATION OFFENSE

  • Quick first step under all circumstances – out of a standstill, off a live-dribble and catching on the move
  • Looks quick and coordinated on straight-line drives, while also capable of playing through contact with his very strong frame for someone his age
  • Impressed with his discretion not driving into crowds often
  • Hasn’t yet developed much in terms of side-to-side quickness or dribble moves
    • Flashed a euro-step to weave his way through traffic around the rim
  • Can elevate with power off one foot with a clear path to the goal but acted more as a rim-level level finisher going up in traffic
    • More of an up-and-down leaper at this point of his development
    • Proved capable of finishing with either hand at the basket
    • Flashed a lefty scoop finish as his most advanced resource

PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE

  • Hasn’t yet developed a tight handle or an advanced feel for using/declining picks at the point of attack but showed some craft putting the defender in jail and is generally capable of manipulating the defender into the pick
  • Not very aggressive looking to turn the corner and get into the lane
  • Proved capable of delivering drop-offs and tossing up lobs on the move in transition but didn’t show particularly impressive court vision creating for others in the half-court
  • Not very adept at stopping on a dime and pulling up off getting to his spots
    • Unorthodox base on his jumper might be a hindrance there
  • Hasn’t yet developed a whole lot of touch in his floater

SPOT-UP SHOOTING

  • Capable open-shot shooter on set spot-ups
  • Unorthodox release
    • Sets a wide base
    • Gets very little elevation off the ground for a near-set shot
    • Needs a very pronounced dip for rhythm
    • Not a whole lot of weight transfer going on through the overall approach
    • Doesn’t go through his mechanics all that quickly
    • Fully extends himself for a high release
    • Does get a great arc on his best attempts
  • Hasn’t yet developed any sort of versatility to his release
  • Can shot-fake into a two-dribble pull-up with pretty good rhythm
    • Tends to fadeaway on his pull-ups due to unorthodox base

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes in transition
  • Legit threat to get the occasional putback dunk

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a proper
  • Moves pretty well laterally to stay in front of similar-sized players but doesn’t leverage his strength into chesting up and containing dribble penetration through contact
    • Impressed with his hustle on multiple effort plays where he stopped his man, forced a pass, and then rushed to contest a catch-and-shoot three-pointer
  • Struggles to stay in front of smaller players who can shake him side-to-side out in space
  • Ices ball-screens on the side of the floor
  • Unable to get skinny over ball-screens at the point of attack but stays active and puts in the effort to contest from the side
  • Not suited to chase shooters around screens due to his large frame

HELP DEFENSE

  • Really impressed with his hustle, his body control, and the employment of his length on hard closeouts
    • Not quite quick enough to run the shooter off his shot regularly but sprinted with urgency recovering back to him
    • Very well balanced not to crash into the shooter and commit three-shot fouls while running hard to contest within the shooter’s personal space
    • Proved capable of blocking a jumper on occasion
  • Did not stand out in help defense or in his contributions to the rebounding process

[1] According to ESPN

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

Lester Quiñones, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Lester Quiñones, Jr. was the 84th-ranked prospect in the 2019 high school class[1].

In his first year at Memphis, the six-foot-five wing was a higher-end rotation player who averaged 29.4 minutes per game and 14.6 points per 40 minutes on 56.8% true shooting in 26 appearances[2].

He primarily spaced the floor as a freshman, logging just 18.9% usage and taking 59.3% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range, with just five of his 36 makes unassisted[3].

On the other end, the 19-year-old[4] was primarily relied on to execute the scheme as a weak-side defender and switch against people movement on the fly.

SHOOTING

  • Has a pretty clean catch-and-shoot stroke
    • Rises off 1-2 footwork
    • Gets pretty good elevation for someone his height
    • Quick dip for rhythm
    • Proved capable of getting his shot off comfortably over closeouts
  • Showed some versatility to his release
    • Relocating back to the perimeter off dribble penetration to receive an extra pass
    • Drifting to the corner in the half-court
    • Sprinting to the corner in transition
    • Coming off pindown screens in midrange
  • More of a shot taker than a shot maker at this point of his development
    • Nailed just 31.3% of his 115 three-point shots, at a pace of 6.0 such attempts per 40 minutes
  • Stops on a dime with good rhythm and elevates with good balance on two-dribble pull-ups off blowing by a closeout

PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE

  • Can run the occasional pick-and-roll late in the shot clock, with mixed results
    • Had some moments where he looked decisive turning the corner, others where he was more hesitant
  • Got all the way to the basket a decent amount, considering his role – took just 26.8% of his live-ball attempts at the rim and half of his makes at the rim were assisted but earned 5.2 foul shots per 40 minutes
    • Not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic – had zero dunks in 764 minutes[5]
    • Adept at using his left hand around rim protectors but didn’t show much in terms of versatility to his finishing – averaged just 0.84 unassisted makes at the rim per minutes
  • Showed some willingness to create for others in transition and on the move when he managed to draw help but hasn’t yet developed anything noteworthy in terms of court vision, other than being able to hit the stretch big on a pick-and-pop
    • Assisted on 14.4% of Memphis’ scores when he was on the floor, at a 1.02 assist-to-turnover ratio

ISOLATION OFFENSE

  • More inclined to make the extra pass around the horn to keep the ball moving but capable of handling in isolation in emergency situations
  • Has a quick first step and good straight-line speed to blow by bigger players on switches
  • Struggled to create separation against more athletic defenders
  • Prone to driving into crowds at times but impressed with his discretion with regards to shot selection and being mindful to where he was driving towards in the latter part of the season
    • Took just 13.9% of his live-ball attempts on two-point shots away from the basket

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance
  • Can slide laterally a few times to stay in front of less physical wings one-on-one
  • Listed at 210 pounds but that seems like a bit of an oversell[6]
    • Not very adept at containing dribble penetration through contact
  • Attentive to his responsibilities switching on the fly to make up for breakdowns against people movement
  • Picked up bigger players on switches on occasion and showed glimpses of tenacity to put up a fight but lacks physicality to hold up well
    • Tries to front the post but offers little resistance when the ball does get entered
    • Tries to boxout with toughness but gets pushed out of the way
  • Picked up smaller players on switches
    • Struggled to stay in front of smaller players who could shake him side-to-side

HELP DEFENSE

  • Has good urgency on his closeouts, as well as balance to defend off the bounce when he manages to run the shooter off his shot
  • Prone to ball watching and getting burned backdoor
  • Rotates in to front of the basket as the last line of defense when he’s lowest man to the baseline
    • Not a threat to block shots but can challenge via verticality reasonably well
  • Not particularly impressive making plays in the passing lanes
    • Averaged just 1.0 steals per 40 minutes
  • Collected just 9.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] DOB: Nov/16/2000

[5] According to barttorvik.com

[6] According to Memphis’ 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

DJ Jeffries Scouting Report

CONTEXT

DJ Jeffries was the 25th-ranked prospect in the 2019 high school class[1].

In his first year at Memphis, the six-foot-seven combo forward was a rotation player who averaged 27.1 minutes per game and 16 points per 40 minutes on 58.3% true shooting[2] prior to injuring his knee in early February and missing what would turn out to be the final 11 games of the season.

He looked like a promising role player filling the gaps on offense, primarily off the ball on cuts and spot-up catch-and-shoot three-pointers but occasionally sprinting to the ball for a handoff and running a pick-and-roll within the flow of the offense.

On the other end, the 20-year-old[3] showed a good deal of versatility, able to switch up and down against the level of competition he went against in the AAC, as well as make an impact at the rim in help defense.

ESPN ranked him 51st in its way-too-early 2021 mock draft.

CUTTING

  • Smart cutter, not just backdoor but proactively flashing to the front of the basket when the play bogs down in the perimeter as well
    • Can go up with power off two feet with time and space to load up but not an explosive leaper through contact
    • Can finish a lob sneaking behind the defense
    • Averaged 2.56 assisted makes at the rim per 40 minutes, which accounted for 62.3% of his total makes at the rim[4]

SPOT-UP SHOOTING

  • Good open-shot shooter but low volume shot taker as a freshman
    • Nailed 39% of his 41 three-point shots, at a pace of just 3.2 such attempts per 40 minutes
  • Showed a pretty fluid catch-and-shoot release on his best attempts
    • Catches on the hop
    • Fully extends himself for a high release
  • Weight transfer wasn’t always great on his worst attempts
    • Elevation and mechanics looked like two separate, disjointed processes
    • Seemed as if he was shooting on his way down
  • Took some three-pointers off drifting to the corner but for the most part didn’t show much versatility to his release

BALL HANDLING

  • Did very little shot creation for himself and others
    • Logged 19.1% usage rate
    • Had just 27 of his 82 non-putbacks field-goal makes unassisted
    • Shot just 35 free throws in 515 minutes
    • Assisted on just 10.8% of Memphis’ scores when he was on the floor
  • Smooth operator getting all the way to the basket out of triple threat position, curling around handoffs and on straight-line drives out of the occasional middle high pick-and-roll
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step or much speed with the ball but can play through contact with his 225-pound frame
    • Not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and didn’t show much in terms of versatility to his finishing, other than a lefty scoop – averaged just 1.32 non-putbacks unassisted makes at the rim per 40 minutes
  • Can run a side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving and deliver pocket passes but didn’t show anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision on the move
    • 0.85 assist-to-turnover ratio
  • Rises in good balance off the bounce, especially on one-dribble pull-ups off a side pick-and-roll, but inefficient shooter when bottled up in the in-between area last season
    • Missed 71.7% of his 46 two-point shots away from the basket
    • Hit a single unassisted three-pointer all season

HELP DEFENSE

  • Quick leaper off two feet to challenge shots from the side while helping crowd the area near the basket
    • Can block a shot off a rotation – averaged 1.6 blocks per 40 minutes
  • Active and attentive helping the helper picking up the roll man
  • Proactive switching on the fly to make up for a breakdown against people movement
  • Played some center against Oregon and had some impressive rotations stepping up to the front of the rim to challenge shots via verticality
  • Good urgency recovering back to the three-point line
    • Can’t run the shooter off his shot regularly but puts in the effort to contest
    • Closes out in good balance to defend off the bounce against more hesitant shooters
  • Doesn’t seem to have above average length for someone his height and didn’t show much in terms of making plays in the passing lanes
    • Measured with a six-foot-nine wingspan at the 2017 Nike Elite 100[5]
    • Averaged just 1.1 steals per 40 minutes

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance defending on the ball
  • 225-pound frame at age 20 suggests he could become strong enough to be considered an option against the power wings in the pros
  • Moves his feet decently well against similar-sized players one-on-one, can contain dribble penetration through contact and plays with active hands attempting to strip opponents of the ball
  • Picked up smaller players on switches on occasion
    • Works to go over screens at the point of attack and ices them against side pick-and-rolls but can’t get over them cleanly in the middle of the floor
    • Has a couple of lateral slides in him to stay attached to less threatening guards who only look to go north-and-south and puts in the effort to contest pull-ups
    • Not suited to stay in front of shiftier types who can shake him side-to-side
    • Not built to chase shooters around pindown screens
  • Contributed to the rebounding process by boxing out with good physicality whoever was close by, though he couldn’t contribute as much in terms of chasing the ball of the rim himself
    • Collected just 11.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season
  • Showed glimpses of noteworthy hustle fronting the post while switched up on a big man but subsequently played soft post defense, unable to hold his ground

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: Dec/28/1999

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to future150.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

Samuell Williamson Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Samuell Williamson was the 24th-ranked recruit in the 2019 high school class[1].

In his first year at Louisville, the six-foot-seven wing played a lower-end rotation role – averaging just 15.7 minutes per game and logging 17.6% usage[2] in his 31 appearances.

He got some opportunities to isolate or attack out of ball reversals within the flow of the offense and got some touches curling off pindown screens on occasion but primarily acted as a floor spacer who didn’t get all that many three-pointers up and showed more of a comfort putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position.

On the other end, Williamson showed some promise on the ball and executing the scheme.

He hasn’t yet developed into an ace defender, but his 200-pound frame[3] at age 19[4] suggests he very well could end up strong enough to become an option for the tougher assignments.

The Rockwall, Texas native didn’t put together an impressive statistical profile in terms of flying around to create events but his commitment and attention to his help responsibilities away from the ball do stand out – making him seem a little more intriguing on video that he does on the spreadsheet.

ESPN ranked him 41st in its way-too-early 2021 mock draft but a better second year shooting the ball (if not better, at least more often) should attract more interest than that.

IN-BETWEEN SCORING

  • Took 44.3% of his live-ball attempts from mid-range last season and nailed them at a 41.2% clip[5]
  • Has a smooth two-dribble stop-and-pop pull-up operating out of triple threat position and in isolation off a catch-and-hold
    • Hasn’t yet developed a lot of dexterity creating separation via dribble moves and/or shiftiness
    • Can play through contact and step through into creating separation for a stop-and-pop pull-up
    • Rises in balance, gets good elevation off the bounce, and can get shots off over most similar-sized defenders
  • Flashed a runner off 1-2 footwork
    • Can get that shot off in isolation when the defender stays in front and curling off pindown screens
    • Got that shot off in a pick-and-roll against Clemson too
  • Can post up smaller/weaker matchups on occasion, looking to set up a turnaround fadeaway jumper

SHOOTING

  • Mostly an open-shot shooter at this point of his development
  • Pretty fluid release on spot-ups
  • Elevates off 1-2 footwork and fully extends himself for a high release
  • Doesn’t yet have a particularly quick trigger but can get his shot off prior to or over most closeouts in college
  • Nailed just one-third of his 27 three-point shots in his first year at Louisville, at a pace of just 2.3 such attempts per 40 minutes
  • Hit 20 of his 29 foul shots, suggesting the touch is there
  • Didn’t have the chance to show if and to which extent he has developed any versatility to his release

FINISHING

  • Had just seven unassisted makes at the rim that were not putbacks in his 478 minutes as a freshman, mostly via straight-line drives putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position
  • Has a decent first step to get by his man one-on-one but didn’t show enough speed with the ball to overcome the consistently crowded lanes of college basketball
    • Can blow by big men on switches
  • Proved himself capable of playing through contact against other wings consistently in his first year
  • Explosive leaper off one foot with a head of steam behind him but not yet as potent rising in traffic, not even by galloping into two-foot leaps
  • Can hang and adjust his body in the air
  • Didn’t show much versatility as a finisher, most often acting as a rim-level finisher looking for basic speed layups
  • Shot 64.9% on his 37 attempts at the rim, with 45.8% of them assisted and another 25% of them coming on putbacks
  • Averaged 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes – a sky high mark for someone his low usage rate
  • Averaged 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes – a sky high mark for someone his low usage rate

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

  • Not much of a shot creator for others at this point of his development – assisted on just 7% of Louisville’s scores when he was on the floor last season, at a 0.51 assist-to-turnover ratio
  • Has shown a knack for hunting for second chance opportunities – averaged 2.3 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes
    • Acts as a real threat to get putback dunks
  • Has shown to stay aware off the ball, looking for opportunities to cut backdoor or diagonally
    • Can go up strong off two feet with time and space to load
    • Can absorb contact and maintain his balance to go up in a position of strength to finish against a help defender rotating to challenge him at the basket

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance
  • Can slide laterally a few times in one direction to stay in front and flashed some side-to-side quickness to stay attached as well
  • Doesn’t yet project as an ace defender against power wings but leverages the strength in his 200-pound frame to contain dribble penetration through contact
  • Puts in the effort to contest pull-ups
    • Had some possessions where he brought the heat really impressively, contesting a shooter in his personal space
  • Works to go over pindown screens but hasn’t shown much in terms of hustling in pursuit to contest or block shots from behind

HELP DEFENSE

  • Stays in a stance off the ball
  • Rotates in off the weakside to make plays at the basket
    • Quick leaper off two feet to flyby contest
    • Can block a shot but is not yet a threat to make plays on the ball consistently – had just five blocks in his 478 minutes
    • Averaged 4.1 personal fouls per 40 minutes
  • Flashes of impressive quickness recovering back off stunts
    • So-so closeouts; at times showing great urgency, at others weak effort
    • In his best closeouts, showed good body control to run more hesitant shooters off the line and defend off the bounce
  • Puts in the effort to contribute to the rebounding process
    • Mixes it up on scrums, boxes out whoever is close by and attempts to do so physically, though he gets pushed out of the way on matchups against true big men
    • Crashes the glass reasonably well – averaged 4.2 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes
  • Showed glimpses of getting his length in driving lanes to clog paths to the basket or make plays from the side and can jump a passing lane fairly well but didn’t quite fly around to get steals and deflections in volume
    • Averaged just 0.8 steals per 40 minutes last season

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to Louisville’s official listing

[4] DOB: Sep/7/2000

[5] 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

Dariq Whitehead Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Dariq Whitehead is currently the ninth-ranked recruit in the 2022 high school class[1].

Yet to turn 16[2], the six-foot-five wing spent his first couple years of high basketball at Montverde Academy and as a sophomore earned a rotation role in a stacked team widely speculated as perhaps the greatest high school team ever.

With Cade Cunningham, Moses Moody, Zeb Jackson and Scottie Barnes moving on to college, Whitehead is in line for a more prominent role as a junior.

He was primarily a floor spacer last season, taking most of his shots on spot-ups, but also showed glimpses of potential as a slasher in garbage time and given Montverde’s track record at developing wing-sized ball handlers who can run pick-and-roll against a set defense[3], Whitehead could very well be next.

On the other end, his very well-developed 190-pound frame for someone his age and his proactivity trying to leverage his quick leaping ability helping at the rim suggest he could become the sort of defender who has the combination of physical profile and athletic ability to make an impact on the ball and as a help defender.

SHOOTING

  • Capable open-shot shooter
  • Fairly fluid shooting stroke, though need to dip for rhythm can look a bit to pronounced at times; gets little elevation off the ground but fully extends himself for a high release
  • Tends to miss long or short
  • Didn’t have many opportunities to show if he has much versatility to his release

CUTTING

  • Flashes of very smart cutting
  • Explosive leaper off two feet with time and space to load up
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs in transition, should be able to do so if asked to hunt for opportunities as a backdoor cutter in the half-court

DRIVING

  • Mostly handled on a few grab-and-go’s off a defensive rebound in transition but had opportunities to run some isolations in garbage time
    • Quick first step
    • Despite almost always being one of the youngest players on the floor, often managed to play through contact at the high school level
    • Loose handle – managed to get to the rim successfully on straight-line drives but struggled a little more in traffic and didn’t show much in terms of dribble moves
    • Explosive leaper off one foot in space – showcased thundering dunks in the half-court and sick windmill dunks in transition
    • Can hang and adjust his body in the air to unleash double-clutch finishes and reverses around rim protectors
    • Willing passer on drop-offs off engaging the last line of defense
  • Ran side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving here and there
    • Flashed good feel for declining picks off a jab-step and exploding on a straight-line to the goal
    • Proved capable of delivering over the top to the roll man on clear reads

DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance, moves his feet laterally to stay in front out in space and leverages his strength into containing dribble penetration through contact well while checking smaller guards
  • Struggled to navigate picks cleanly at the point of attack and didn’t impress in terms of hustling back in pursuit to make plays from behind
  • Stayed active away from the ball, stunting in to try clogging driving lanes
  • Can jump a passing lane but didn’t necessarily stand out as a ballhawk
  • Was active rotating to the basket, not just to help crowd the area near the rim, but attempting to make plays on the ball by challenging shots on flybys, taking a foul when necessary and picking up a block on occasion
  • Did not stand out in his contributions to the rebounding process

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: Aug/1/2004

[3] Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, RJ Barrett, Cade Cunningham

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

Caleb Houstan Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Caleb Houstan is currently the third-ranked recruit in the 2022 high school class[1].

After impressing in the 2018 Bio Steel All Canadian Futures game, the six-foot-eight wing enrolled at powerhouse Montverde Academy, where he’s spent his first couple years of high school basketball.

In a team stacked with talent all around him, widely speculated as a perhaps the greatest high school team ever, Houstan earned a starting spot as a sophomore.

Prior to this past season, the Ontario native led the Canadian National Team to a second-place finish at the U16 Americas Championship, averaging 33.5 points per 40 minutes on 55.5% true shooting and posted a 38.2 PER[2].

He took 43.1% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range in that event but mixed in some work as a driver curling off pindown screens and the occasional isolation late in the shot clock as well.

But at Montverde, the 17-year-old[3] primarily spaced the floor and had no shot creation responsibility. Canada leveraged the versatility of his release a little bit and got him some shots on the move but most of his three-pointers at Montverde materialized via spot-ups.

On the other end, Houstan generally acted as a weakside defender and impressed with his toughness mixing up on scrums but didn’t particularly stand out in terms of flying around to create events or making an impact in the hidden areas of the game by executing the scheme.

SHOOTING

  • Catches it on the hop with his feet set on spot-ups but employs 1-2 footwork elevating off movement
  • Pretty fluid mechanics – needs to dip for rhythm but it’s not that pronounced, fully elevates himself for a high release, quick trigger
  • Has shown legit NBA range
  • Took most of his three-pointers on spot-ups at Montverde but also flashed some versatility to his release on a few attempts off drifting around the wing and off a light sprint to the corner in transition
    • Canada had him working off staggered screens and as the screener in the pick-and-pop as well
    • Nailed six of his 19 three-point shots at the 2019 U16 Americas Championship, at a pace of 10.2 such attempts per 40 minutes
  • When the opponent managed to run him off his shot, Houstan liked to escape into a two-dribble pull-up from mid-range
    • Very coordinated out of triple threat position
    • Fluidity getting to his spots off the bounce stands out
    • Flashed incredible rhythm elevating in rhythm

CUTTING

  • Flashed glimpses of really smart cutting
  • Needs to load up to go up with power at this point of his physical development
  • Impressed with his body control handling the rim protector recovering back to him near the rim in a hurry, employing head-fakes and escape dribbles to maneuver that rim protector out of the way

DRIVING

  • Had some opportunities to drive all the way to the basket with Canada, curling off pindown screens and in the occasional isolation in emergency situations
  • Hasn’t yet developed a tight handle or dribble moves and doesn’t have much speed with the ball but managed to play through contact against his age group
  • Not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and can’t finish through contact at this point of his development but flashed a double clutch finish and didn’t shy away from contact
    • Earned 27 foul shots in 74 minutes at the U16 Americas Championship, an average of 14.6 free throws per 40 minutes
  • Flashed a pocket pass in side pick-and-roll and proved a willing passer off drawing two to the ball on basic kickouts/drop-offs
    • Assisted on 18.5% of Canada’s scores when he was on the floor in the event

DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance
  • Has a thin 170-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-eight height and doesn’t yet seem capable of playing physical defense on the ball
  • Primarily played off the ball and stayed active stunting in to try clogging driving lanes but didn’t stand out in terms of flying around to create events or making an impact in the hidden areas of the game by executing the scheme
  • Found himself crossmatched into a big man on a breakdown and impressed with his tenacity trying to front the post but got pushed off
  • Mixes it up on scrums and tries to put a body on whoever is close by but gets pushed off
    • Didn’t stand out with his ability to chase the ball off the rim with Montverde but collected 19.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor with Canada at the U16 Americas Championship against his own age group

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: Jan/9/2003

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

Moses Moody Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Moses Moody was the 45th-ranked recruit in the 2020 high school class[1].

After spending the last two years at powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida, the Little Rock native is joining Arkansas, where he’s expected to replace Isaiah Joe as the team’s top sharpshooter. That seems like a very good fit on the surface, because Eric Musselman ran good sets designed to showcase the versatility of Joe’s release and the hope is that he will manage to do the same for Moody.

The six-foot-five wing primarily spaced the floor via spot-ups at Montverde. He had some opportunities to take shots off light movement (off pindown screens and drifting around the wing) on occasion but in the most critical games, Moody never really had plays that were designed to get him open run for him, which makes it difficult to truly evaluate the versatility of his release at this point of his development.

On the other end, the just-turned 18-year-old[2] most often played off the ball as well, primarily acting as a weakside defender who showed good attention to his responsibilities crowding the area near the basket but not standing out much in terms of flying around to create events.

Given the unique situation at Montverde, where giant point guard Cade Cunningham proved capable of defending the point of attack consistently and Scottie Barnes showed a strong desire for defending on the ball from time-to-time too in order to showcase his versatility on defense, Moody was rarely asked to crossmatch or switch onto smaller ball handlers.

He ranked 29th on ESPN’s way-too-early 2021 mock draft but should be expected to rise into lottery status with a good season, given the nature of his size and skill-set, which are in high demand in the NBA right now.

SHOOTING

  • Shoots an easy ball
  • Very fluid mechanics, quick trigger, needs only a slight dip for rhythm when he catches a pass out of his shooting pocket, fully extends himself for a high release, has proven himself capable of elevating in rhythm out of 1-2 footwork and catching it on the hop
  • Took most of his three-pointers on spot-ups but has shown flashes of being able to launch quick bombs on the move here and there – drifting around the wing and coming off a pindown screen

FINISHING

  • Did not have any sort of shot creation responsibility on the ball
  • Got to the rim only on occasion, via attacking closeouts and filling the lanes in transition
    • Smooth putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position and coordinated attacking on a straight line but has a loose handle at this point of his development and is prone to having the ball stripped of him in traffic
    • Hasn’t yet shown to be an explosive leaper off one-foot in traffic but has flashed glimpses of versatility as a rim-level finisher by mixing in finger-rolls, over-extended righty finishes and shot-fakes to get the rim protector out of the way

DEFENSE

  • Hunches more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance
  • Has a chiseled 185-pound frame for someone his age but hasn’t yet developed enough strength to project as an ace defender against big wings
  • Has a few lateral slides in him to stay attached and shows side-to-side quickness as well but doesn’t often contain dribble penetration through contact
  • Has found himself defending the point of attack on occasion, works to go over picks and hustles in pursuit in these instance, showing enough quickness to suggest he could be a viable option to switch or crossmatch onto smaller players more regularly
  • Has found himself crossmatched onto big men after a breakdown and impressed with his tenacity attempting to front the post
  • Stays active off the ball and hustles his way around pindown screens
  • Shows urgency in his closeouts, quickness to run the shooter off his shot and balance to defend off the bounce, though he gets beat by quicker wings after a few slides
  • Rotates in to pick up the roll man aggressively and helps crowd the area near the basket consistently – unable to make plays on the ball and act as a threat to block shots regularly but has proven himself willing to draw charges
  • Hasn’t really stood out in his contributions to the rebounding process

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 5/31/2002

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

Uros Trifunovic Scouting Report

Pretty interesting idea of a player, Uros Trifunovic.

Listed at six-foot-six by Partizan[1], the wing ran point for the Serbian National Team at the 2019 U19 World Cup, where he averaged 17.2 points per 40 minutes on 56.3% true shooting[2]. Though mostly responsible for triggering an offense that focused more heavily on posting up Filip Petrusev and Marko Pecarski, he had some opportunities to get downhill or turn the corner in pick-and-roll on occasion.

The 19-year-old[3] had essentially the same role with Mega Bemax, where he logged his first 65 minutes of the past season before transferring back to Partizan for the remainder 262 minutes.

With the Serbian giant, Trifunovic was asked to play more like a common wing, running some basic side pick-and-rolls to keep the offense moving but primarily spacing the floor, which he didn’t excel at.

The Belgrade native took 48.5% of his live-ball attempts from beyond the arc and averaged 6.6 three-point shots per 40 minutes among the pros this past season but missed three-quarters of his 54 such attempts.

That said, there is more evidence of him being a better shooter than that, as Trifunovic nailed 11 of 29 three-point shots at the U19 World Cup, 10 of 19 at the 2018 U18 European Championships, and 38.1% of his 126 such attempts in the season in between, mostly spent with Mladost Admiral Zemun in the Serbian KLS.

His release looked a tad mechanical at times at the U19 World Cup but seemed more fluid during the club season. He gets little elevation off the ground but fully extends himself for a high release and tends to get a good spin on the ball, at least on open shots. His 77.5% foul shooting on 98 free throws across the past two seasons also offers some cause for optimism.

But what draws some intrigue regarding Trifunovic is his potential as a ball-handler. He is probably more likely to develop into a caretaker point guard than a volume shot creator, though, considering his athletic limitations.

At the U19 World Cup, Trifunovic flashed a good feel for using or declining picks at the point of attack and a knack for getting to his spots in mid-range while using spins, hesitation moves and step-backs to create separation. As a point guard within his age group, he was able to use his height advantage to shoot over the top of most defenders and looked like a decent shot maker when able to pull-up in rhythm.

Trifunovic can make basic reads and deliver over the top in pick-and-roll but other than the occasional jump-pass to the opposite corner when he’s facing that way, he didn’t show anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision on the move and through traffic – assisting on 14.8% of Serbia’s scores when he was on the floor at the U19 World Cup and just 7.9% of Mega Bemax’s/Partizan’s scores in his 327 minutes this past season, mostly spent operating out of triple threat or off the occasional dribble-handoff.

He is not a threat to attack the rim in volume at this point of his development, lacking an explosive first step, side-to-side quickness and/or dribble moves to get by his man in isolation, as well as strength to play through contact. His 194-pound frame is pretty thin in the context of his height.

His handle is underdeveloped as well, as he is prone to having the ball stripped of him in traffic.

When he made it all the way to the rim, Trifunovic unleashed an euro-step at one point to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the basket but tends to attack as a basic up-and-down finisher looking for a speed layup. He is not an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic, hasn’t shown much flexibility to hang or adjust his body in the air, can’t finish through contact regularly and hasn’t yet developed much dexterity over-extending or using his left hand as an option.

Trifunovic has flashed a runner and a floater off a jump-stop here and there but generally struggled when forced to take a two-pointer of any kind in the pros – shooting just 44.8% on 58 two-point shots this past season.

On the other end, I’d say he’s about as promising but as uneven.

Trifunovic hunches more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance and has his moments where he seems lackadaisical going over picks at the point of attack and doesn’t hustle in pursuit to leverage his size making plays from behind.

But when locked in, especially seen during Serbia’s defeat to Lithuania in the quarterfinals of the U19 World Cup, Trifunovic works to go over screens in pick-and-roll and when paired with a big who can prevent the ball handler from turning the corner right away off the pick, he is able to get back in front with fairly impressive quickness, even if it was still rare to see him block or effectively contest a shot from behind.

Within his age group, Trifunovic showed a good deal of lateral quickness, not just sliding in one direction to stay attached but working side-to-side to envelope smaller guys as well, though it was not common to see him containing dribble penetration through contact or reaching around for pokes and strips, as he picked up just three steals in 228 minutes at the World Cup.

Given his frame and the fact he’s not a fit to defend more physically developed wings who are a threat to create one-on-one for now, Trifunovic operated more regularly as an off-ball defender in the pros and didn’t stand out in terms of making plays in the passing lanes either – picking up just four steals in 327 minutes with Mega Bemax and Partizan.

His work hustling to navigate through multiple screens chasing shooters around the floor, running the shooter off his shot on hard closeouts and staying balanced to defend off the bounce was a little more impressive, as was his toughness.

Trifunovic was at times asked to switch onto big men within his age group and showed a lot of tenacity playing post defense. In the pros, it was common to see him mixing it up on scrums and showing attention to his responsibility boxing out whoever was close by, though he is not athletic enough to continue contributing to the rebounding process by going after the ball himself – collecting just 10% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor this past season.

The case is the same in help defense as well, where Trifunovic is active helping at the basket, in terms of helping crowd the area near the rim and proving himself willing to draw charges, but is not a threat to block a shot off a rotation.


[1] According to Partizan’s official listing

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: 12/5/2000

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