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

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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

Mikal Bridges Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Mikal Bridges was only the 82nd-ranked prospect in the 2014 high school class[1].
  • Through 15 games this season, the six-foot-seven wing has averaged 22.6 points per 40 minutes on 62% effective shooting.
  • Bridges has the chance to isolate against his man every once in a while out of ball reversals and sealing his man for a catch in the extended elbow but acts mostly as a spot-up floor-spacer.
    • 45.7% of his shots have come from three-point range and 94.7% of his makes from beyond the arc have been assisted this season[2].
  • On the other end, the red-shirt junior starts possessions as a weak-side defender but Villanova switches aggressively on all screens, so he has had plenty of opportunities to guard different types of players.
  • He was ranked 11th on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

VERSATILITY

  • The 21-year-old[3] bends his knees to get down in a stance and has shown very good quickness sliding laterally several times to stay in front in individual defense. He doesn’t use the strength in his 210-pound frame[4] to contain dribble penetration but has a seven-foot wingspan[5] to reach around the opponent and make plays on the ball.
  • Bridges is agile enough to pick up smaller players on switches out on an island and on the move but might not be suited to cross-match onto them for entire possessions. He works to go over picks defending at the point of attack but can’t slide around them cleanly enough to beat his man to the spot, relying on his big teammate to prevent his man from getting downhill or turning the corner right away.
  • Bridges is strong enough to switch onto bigger players who aren’t that physical, as he’s able to hold his ground against these types playing stout post defense and boxing them out. It’s unclear if he is suited to match up with true behemoths and play some center, though.
    • He’s really only an average leaper chasing the ball off the rim – collecting just 13.4% of opponents’ misses over his 2,358 total minutes at Villanova[6].

EXECUTION

  • Bridges is attentive to his responsibilities executing the scheme as a weak-side defender, rotating inside to guard two men when Villanova sets up a strong-side zone against side pick-and-rolls and helping crowd the area near the basket against dribble drives.
    • There are times you’d wish Bridges made more attempts to play above the rim as a shot blocker but he’s averaging 1.7 blocks per 40 minutes this season, so I guess that’s nitpicking.
    • He’s also proven himself very willing to draw charges.
    • Bridges uses his length to make plays in the passing lanes as well – averaging 2.5 steals per 40 minutes this season.
  • His closeouts are effective and he’s shown the ability to run the shooter off his shot, stay balanced and slide laterally to keep pace with him off the dribble.
  • He leads the team in defensive rating among rotation players[7].

SHOOTING

  • Bridges is mostly an open shot set shooter at this point of his development but quite a good one from the corners. His release is quicker than it used to be and he is getting the ball out comfortably before the opponent can closeout to him effectively.
    • He’s nailed 45.2% of his 84 three-point attempts this season, at a pace of 7.1 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • His touch has improved every year: he’s gone from hitting 59 of his 75 foul shots as a freshman through 51 of 56 as a sophomore to 39 of 48 as a junior with half-the-season still to go.
  • Bridges is not yet a shooter capable of working around screens or pulling the trigger off balance but he has flashed some ability to make shots on the move as the trailer in transition, out of roll-and-replace, out of the pick-and-pop and drifting to the corner.
  • Attacking closeouts:
    • He doesn’t have an explosive first step but has long strides to get all the way to the basket on straight line drives and can elevate off one foot strong with some space to take flight, though he is yet to show much flexibility adjusting his body in the air for acrobatic finishes in traffic or a floater to score over length from the in-between area;
      • Bridges has converted his 76 shots at the rim at a 63.2% clip.
    • His one-dribble pull-up looks very fluid at times.

SHOT CREATION

  • He can crossover into pull-ups one-on-one but generally shows a loose handle and struggles against pressure. He can’t blow by his man on speed out of a standstill, hasn’t shown a whole lot of side-to-side shake and isn’t particularly fast with the ball.
  • Bridges can run a side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving and set up an elbow pull-up against a big dropping back but is yet to develop into a dynamic shooter off the bounce – hitting just 37.5% of his 24 two-point jumpers this season and 33.3% of his 27 such looks a year ago.
  • He is adequate making a drop-off or a kick-out pass on the move against the defense collapsing to his drive but nothing advanced yet in terms of handling against a set defense and making passes across his body to the opposite end of the court – assisting on just 11.5% of Villanova’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to hoop-math

[3] DOB: 8/30/1996

[4] According to Villanova’s official listing

[5] According to Draft Express

[6] According to sports-reference

[7] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Kevin Knox | Hamidou Diallo | Gary Trent, 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

Kevin Knox Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Kevin Knox, II was the 10th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

Through the first 14 games of the season, the six-foot-nine big wing has averaged 17.6 points per 40 minutes on 50.6% effective shooting and 22.8% usage-rate[2].

His role on the team is as a shot maker who relies on his teammates and the offense to get him in a position to take good shots, given he hasn’t had the chance to run pick-and-roll or isolate against his man regularly.

Although he does post up a smaller matchup every once in a while, his touches are mostly coming with him spotting up on the weak-side, coming to the ball for dribble hand-offs and curling around pindown screens.

His 15.0 PER is a cause for concern regarding his ability to make a tangible impact in the game other than scoring, though.

His 215-pound frame and six-foot-11 wingspan[3] make him suited to play as a big on smaller lineups but Kentucky rarely plays that way, so Knox has been a wing defender for the most the part.

He’s proven himself agile enough to guard out in space in the perimeter and attentive enough to execute the scheme as a help-defender. But for someone with his physical traits, Knox hasn’t created many events, posting low steal and block rates and grabbing defensive rebounds at an average rate.

He’s ranked 10th in ESPN’s top 100.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to Draft Express

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Hamidou Diallo Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Hamidou Diallo is ranked 21st on ESPN’s top 100.
  • Through the non-conference part of the schedule, the swingman averaged 21.5 points per 40 minutes on 49.7% effective shooting and 26.6% usage rate[1]. His unimpressive 18.7 PER indicates he is not leveraging his athletic prowess into many tangible contributions other than scoring, though.
  • The 19-year-old[2] is getting most of his touches in the half-court attacking off ball reversals and spotting up as a weak-side floor-spacer, though Kentucky will have him run from one side of the floor to the other around staggered screens for catches at the elbow and post him up from time to time.
    • He’s yet to handle the ball in middle high pick-and-roll against a set defense, though.
  • On the other end, the six-foot-six, 190-pounder has been mostly a pure wing defender. Kentucky has an exceptional on-ball defender in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and doesn’t do any cross matching or a whole lot of switching, so it’s unclear if Diallo can play down a position.
    • Though his seven-foot wingspan[3] suggests he could develop into an asset switching onto bigger players in the future, Diallo is not strong enough for that just yet.

AGAINST A SCRAMBLING DEFENSE

  • Diallo is a remarkable player in transition – flying up the court with just as impressive speed with as without the ball, using in-and-out and behind the back dribbles or euro-steps to weave his way through traffic and elevating off one foot explosively or showcasing great body control to finish at the basket.
    • He can certainly play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes as well.
  • In the half-court, Diallo can get all the way to the basket on straight line drives attacking closeouts or curling off pindown screens. He is an explosive leaper off one or two feet and can hang or adjust his body in the air for acrobatic finishes around rim protectors, though he’s not an ambidextrous finisher, proving to be a less capable scorer with his left hand.
    • Diallo has converted his 54 shots at the basket at a 61.1% clip[4] and averaged 6.2 foul shots per 40 minutes.

AGAINST A SET DEFENSE

  • Diallo is an inconsistent shooter at this point of his development in terms of how capable he looks from attempt to attempt.
    • Off the catch, he seems to do better catching on the hop than when he stands still on triple threat position – as going up and pulling the trigger almost look like two different motions and he struggles with his touch in these instances.
      • Diallo has nailed 36.4% of his 33 three-point shots so far this season but at a pace of just 3.8 such attempts per 40 minutes and he’s hit just 64.2% of his 53 free throws.
      • He is only an open-shot set shooter at this point of his development.
    • Off the dribble, his pull-up stroke looks good. His quickness and body control materialize in his ability to stop on a dime and rise up in a pinch. His mechanics look fluid but his touch is only OK as of now – hitting just 36.4% of his 55 two-point jumpers.
      • He’s flashed a floater to finish over length from the in-between area but needs to develop better touch on that shot as well.
    • Though he is yet to run offense in the half-court with some regularity, Diallo has proven himself a decent passer on the move, able to spot cutters and shooters becoming open with the defense collapsing to the threat of his drive – assisting on 12.8% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor.
    • When he’s had the chance to isolate against his man, Diallo has shown a combination of explosive first step and crossover move to shake him side-to-side and blow by him. But he hasn’t gotten all the way to the basket often off the bounce. Kentucky doesn’t provide ideal spacing but his shot selection is also suspect.
      • He’s taking 39.3% of his shots from mid-range and just 16 of his 33 makes at the rim have been unassisted.

DEFENSE

  • Diallo mostly gets down in a defensive stance by hunching rather than bending his knees, keeping his chest up and back flat. Despite undoubtedly possessing quick feet, he has struggled to react laterally and been repeatedly beat one-on-one.
  • Diallo looks to go over ball-screens defending at the point of the attack but mostly just goes through the motions, without playing with the sort of intensity needed to make a real impact in terms of hurrying back to his man and using his length to deter or contest shots and passes from behind.
  • He is attentive to his help defense responsibilities a fair amount, rotating off the weak-side to the area near the basket, but hardly ever leverages his athleticism into impact plays.
    • It’s rare to see him drawing a charge and he has just 15 steals and two blocks in 343 minutes this season, though he is collecting 12.9% of opponents’ misses in his time on the floor – a decent mark for a two-guard.
  • His closeouts are lazy and opponents can easily get a good shot off or put the ball on the floor and leave him behind.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 7/31/1998

[3] According to Draft Express

[4] According to hoop-math

READ MORE: What was written on Diallo prior to the season.

READ MORE: Grayson Allen | Gary Trent, Jr. | 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

Miles Bridges Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Differently than what happened last season, when he spent most of his time on the floor as the second tallest player on four-out lineups, Miles Bridges has played as a wing on a full-time basis this year, in order to accommodate the many big men Tom Izzo judges worthy of playing time, with the only exception I’ve seen being the final eight minutes of the game against Southern Utah last Saturday.

Michigan State is running an offense that is mid-post oriented, with the wings getting their catches around down screens or to the elbow for hand-offs. The six-foot-seven combo forward is handling the ball 25 feet away from the basket less, hardly ever running middle high pick-and-roll, and taking more quick shots on the move than I remember being the case a year ago.

He’s gone from averaging 6.4 three-point shots per 40 minutes in 2016-2017 to 7.9 such shots in 2017-2018[1], while getting to the rim and to the foul line a bit less as well, though it’s worth pointing out that Bridges missed two games with an ankle sprain a month ago, so it’s possible the injury affected or is affecting his shot selection.

As a full-time perimeter defender, the 19-year-old[2] has been able to show that, while it’s unlikely he’ll be an elite stopper at the next level, he has enough lateral quickness to handle more than a few matchups against smaller players, aside from being able to execute the scheme as a weak-side defender.

Bridges has also impressed with his activity lately, following the example of teammate Jaren Jackson, Jr. by looking to challenge everything he is close by over the last few games. His defensive box plus-minus is 30% higher than it was last season.

DEFENSE

Michigan State has played almost all of its minutes with two true big men on the floor, so Bridges has consistently been assigned to defend true perimeter players.

He’s shown he can be quick enough to play such a role, proving himself able to slide laterally and stay in front of lighter players such as Grayson Allen, Gary Trent, Jr. and Theo Pinson in isolation, though it’s somewhat disappointing to see him not using the strength in his 230-pound frame to contain dribble penetration more often.

Bridges is too big to navigate over ball-screens and depends on his big teammate to recover back to his man in a timely manner. But he’s been able to do a better job chasing shooters around down screens when he’s focused and can closeout, run the shooter off the line and stay in front off the dribble when he is on his best effort.

His most impactful work has been executing the scheme, though. Bridges has been fairly reliable rotating off the weak-side to pick up the roll man and can leap off two feet explosively to contest shots at the basket or contribute on the defensive glass – averaging 2.2 blocks per 40 minutes and collecting 16.5% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

SHOOTING

Bridges is doing the bulk of his work catching the ball off screens. He’s taking a lot of quick shots on the move without being able to set his feet and his percentages show he is not yet a good enough shooter for the types of shots he’s taken this season – as he’s nailed just 31% of his 29 mid-range jumpers[3] and 34% of his 50 three-point shots.

His release seems somewhat quicker and more fluid but the lefty remains a fair more capable shooter on corner threes when he has plenty of time to set his feet than when he is forced to rush through his mechanics, though he has proven himself able to make some of these more difficult shots from time to time and it doesn’t seem out of the question he could develop into that level of shooter down the line.

His 89.5% foul shooting certainly brings more reason for optimism than last season´s 68.5% mark, though it’ s fair to point out it’s been achieved on just 19 attempts.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] Who only turns 20 next March

[3] 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