7-footer, Catch&Score Finisher, Post Scorer, Stretch Big

Zach Collins Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Zach Collins was a McDonald’s All American last year but he was, for the most part, an unknown commodity entering the season as far as draft prospects are concerned.

Rivals ranked him 21st in the 2016 high school class and there wasn’t a lot of expectation the seven-footer would get a prominent role right away at Gonzaga, with stalwart Przemek Karnowski returning for a fifth year of eligibility and highly touted transfer Johnathan Williams becoming available after sitting out a year.

He was even expected to face some competition for the third big spot in the rotation, with Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura – two players who have impressed in FIBA junior events – also joining the program.

But Collins did break out immediately and while his playing time was still limited (just 17.3 minutes per game) due to the two veterans ahead of him in the pecking order and his constant foul trouble, the 19-year-old showed enough promise in his one year of college basketball to end up ranked 12th in Draft Express’ top 100.

Collins is certainly talented but he was also fortunate to join a team that put him in the best possible position to succeed. In a time where post play is getting increasingly devalued by the day, Gonzaga got a quarter of its shots coming out of the low block – as well chronicled by Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn.

With his 232 pounds well distributed over his seven-foot frame, Collins has an advanced physical profile for someone his age and was able to earn good position with his back to the basket from the get-go, though just as important was the fact that Gonzaga was a team run by veteran guards – with Jordan Matthews, Silas Melson, Josh Perkins and Nigel Williams-Goss entering the season with a combined 271 games of college basketball experience under their belts.

Collins did well demanding the ball but those ball-handlers did just as well getting it to him and that system empowered him – as he posted a 24.9% usage rate.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

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7-footer, Catch&Score Finisher, Tall Passer

Anas Mahmoud Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Anas Osama Mahmoud has averaged 27 minutes per game over his last four appearances prior to yesterday’s game against Pittsburgh, after logging just 17.6 minutes per game over the previous nine.

A bit player in his first couple of seasons at Louisville, the seven-foot center from Egypt is becoming a more prominent part of the Cardinals as the ACC portion of their schedule heats up.

And the way he’s performed so far, Mahmoud has become an interesting long-term pro prospect, though the fact he’ll turn 22 in May gives you some cause for concern regarding his development curve.

Lack of strength and toughness might ultimately prevent him from getting a real chance in the NBA but his height, ball skills and defensive intelligence should surely earn him paychecks in an alternative market elsewhere.

MOBILITY, SKILL LEVEL, IQ

Mahmoud has exceptional mobility for someone his height.

He is an asset to pick up smaller players on switches – proving himself able to bend his knees to get in a stance and shuffle his feet laterally to stay in front or keep pace with them on straight line drives to use his length to contest their shot at the basket.

Mahmoud has also shown a lot of intelligence making timely rotations as the last line of defense, beating dribble drivers to the front of the basket, preventing them from attacking the rim and forcing them into pull-up jumpers or floaters from the dead zone.

If they do decide to challenge him, Mahmoud can elevate off the ground out of two feet quite easily, jumping up vertically to legally knock the finisher off balance in the air or using his standing reach to alter and block shots – averaging 5.3 blocks per 40 minutes this season prior to yesterday’s game, according to basketball-reference.

Mahmoud is a foul machine, though. He’s averaging 6.1 personals per 40 minutes.

On offense, he also excels in areas related to his quickness, aside from showcasing some very appealing ball skills as well.

Mahmoud has good hands to catch the ball on the move and can play above the rim as a target for lobs diving down the lane out of the pick-and-roll or hiding behind the defense in the back-side. He’s also shown nice touch on non-dunk finishes – converting 25 of his 30 attempts at the basket this season prior to yesterday’s game, according to hoop-math.

His most impressive contribution on offense has been as an asset helping facilitate offense, though; handling in the high post for dribble-handoffs, hitting backdoor cutters when the perimeter defender overplays and passing out of the short roll to shooters made open by the threat of his rim runs – assisting on 10.5% of Louisville’s scores when he’s been on the floor, though his 19% turnover rate is sky high in the context of his 13.4% usage rate.

Mahmoud has flashed a catch-and-shoot jumper from mid-range in a couple of occasions a guard got so deep into the lane before pitching him the ball that he was wide-open on the catch, caught it in rhythm and felt compelled to let it fly but hasn’t yet developed into any sort of a real threat in these instances. He has a low release, almost letting the ball go on his way down, and his 50.8% career free throw percentage suggests he’ll need to build his mechanics from the ground up.

Mahmoud has also flashed some skill scoring on emergency post-ups; impressing with the way he can catch the ball, plan on doing something else but then pivot into a quick turnaround hook in a well coordinated manner.

STRENGTH AND TOUGHNESS

But Mahmoud is not a viable option to get isolated in the low block regularly. He has a very lean 215-pound frame in the context of his seven-foot height, struggling to get deep enough seals and generating space for his finishes by backing down his defender.

The biggest problems are on defense, though.

Mahmoud gives up deep post position to opposing big men with any sort of strength. He’s proven able to elevate out of two feet and block a shot from time to time but can’t hold his ground and often gets backed down all the way to under the basket.

He’s attentive to his boxout responsibilities and often puts in the effort to put a body in his opponent but lacks strength and physicality to push him out of inside position. At this point of his development, Mahmoud is a massive liability protecting the glass, collecting just 9.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

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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7-footer, Catch&Score Finisher

Justin Patton Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Justin Patton was not very familiar for draftniks around the internet prior to the season. He was unranked by ESPN coming out of high school, and then redshirted in his first year at Creighton.

But two months into his collegiate career, the 19-year-old (who turns 20 in June) has already become a household name, helping lead the Bluejays to 15 wins over their 16 games.

Draft Express currently ranks the seven-footer 33rd in its top 100.

HELP DEFENSE

Patton has impressed the most with his positional defense up until this point. It’s rather surprising how far along he is for a first year player in terms of being fully aware of his responsibilities protecting the basket.

He is mobile enough to extend his pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line, wall off dribble penetration to prevent opponents from getting to the rim in a lot of instances and keep pace with smaller players on straight-line drives when they get downhill.

Patton has also flashed a lot of intelligence making his rotations coming off the weak-side, beating dribble drivers to the spot and forcing them into pull-ups from the dead zone. When they still try to challenge him, he’s proven himself able to get off the ground without any struggle and use his nine-foot-two standing reach to jump up vertically or block shots, as he’s averaged 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes – according to basketball-reference.

Generally speaking, Patton just makes a lot of plays that show he’s focused on what’s going on around him. Creighton plays a four-out offense and as a consequence, it often puts some players on the floor who might be vulnerable to getting posted up and Patton’s been attentive to his double-and-recover responsibilities in these instances as well.

POST DEFENSE & REBOUNDING

Creighton lists Patton at 230 pounds but that weight is not yet all that well distributed for a seven-footer, as he has plenty of room to improve his frame in terms of both upper body and core strength.

At this point, Patton can’t prevent deep seals by opposing big men in the post and struggles to hold his ground. He also isn’t yet able to bully guys from out of under the rim when he gets physical with his boxouts.

Patton can rebound in traffic, able to use his standing reach and leaping ability to high point the ball, but has not been a dominant presence. His motor leaves something to be desired. He’s collected 19.9% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor, which is not a particularly impressive figure, especially considering he’s often the single true big man Creighton has on the floor.

SKILL LEVEL

Aside from his defense, Patton is also a very appealing prospect because he’s shown some flashes of being able to do just about anything on offense.

He’s gotten quite a few post touches and showcased pretty good potential with his back to the basket. His footwork is pretty fluid and his arsenal of moves (still in its infancy) is fairly diverse; smart use of shot fakes, an up-and-under, hook over opponents’ right shoulder, left handed toss, face-up drive from the high post.

Aside from short drives, Patton has also proved himself capable of taking opposing centers from the top of the key to the basket on straight line drives. That’s the case because he’s hit five three-pointers this season and opponents have closed out to him with more urgency over the last few games, making themselves vulnerable to being attacked off the bounce. Patton’s catch-and-shoot release seems workable, though the touch in his shot is only so-so and his 48.8% shooting on free throws puts in question whether that’s something he can develop into a real asset.

He’s well coordinated attacking off the bounce, flashing the ability to pump-fake a three, dribble by a closeout and kick out to a shooter spot-up on the strong side. Patton has long strides to cover a lot of ground in a few dribble but can’t really get by his man on quickness and hasn’t yet learned to draw contact, as he’s earned just 4.2 foul shots per 40 minutes.

Patton has also flashed some very appealing court vision, suggesting there is room for him to eventually become someone who can help facilitate offense from the elbows.

RIM RUNNING

But all these flashes he’s shown regarding his skill level are intriguing for the future. In the present, Patton’s role is as a rim runner in transition and out of the pick-and-roll, as he’s posted only a 20.8% usage rate and attempts at the basket accounted for 72.1% of his live ball offense, according to hoop-math.

The website ranks Creighton third in the country in percentage of shots in transition and Patton is a huge reason for that. He’s fluid and well coordinated sprinting up the floor and has consistently beaten his opponents changing ends of the court.

In the half-court, Patton dives hard to the basket in the screen-and-roll, has soft hands to catch the ball in traffic and pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes within close range, converting a jaw-dropping 85.7% of his 98 shots at the rim. He can also play above the rim as a target for lobs and constantly stresses the defense, even when he’s stationed on the back-side.

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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Catch&Score Finisher, Post Scorer

Harry Giles III Scouting Report

CONTEXT

The title of this post is misleading. It would be extremely unfair to fully evaluate Harry Giles at this point.

After missing the first 11 games of the season with yet another surgical procedure in one of his knees (this one considered minor), he has logged just 40 minutes so far.

That said, 30 of those came over his last two appearances, against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and a little bit clearer a picture has started to materialize the longer he stayed on the court, at least with regards to which areas of his game have been affected by the time he’s missed in recovery.

For reference, take a minute to read what Giles looked like prior to his arrival at Duke. Draft Express currently ranks him 12th in its top 100.

ATHLETIC ABILITY

From an athletic-standpoint, Giles does not look to have been severely impacted by his injuries up until this point.

He’s not gotten stiffer, proving himself able to bend his knees to get low in a stance, guarding both on and off the ball.

Giles has also shown no struggle sprinting up and down the court and he continues to move quite fluidly reacting in half-court defense, showcasing his mobility helping-and-recovering in pick-and-roll coverage and coming off the weak-side in help-defense.

And he’s back bouncing off the ground with extreme ease, displaying his impressive leaping ability controlling the glass. Giles still hasn’t developed a lot of core strength despite his 240-pound frame and can get pushed around at times but plays with a ton of energy tracking the ball off the rim and has a nine-foot-one standing reach to high-point it, collecting 26.1% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor so far this season – according to basketball-reference.

On the other end, Giles hustles for boards with as much intensity and has a seven-foot-three wingspan to rebound outside of his area. He’s collected 34.7% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor, a number that will regress but that should remain above average and will make him a huge asset to what already is a really good offense. More impressively, perhaps, is the fact that his second-jump is also back this quickly, though he’s converted just 16.7% of his putback attempts (per hoop-math) due to his touch on non-dunk finishes.

His vertical explosion is the one asset of his athletic profile that doesn’t appear to be totally back yet. Granted, Duke has yet to throw him proper lobs up high in the third floor, though Giles has proven he can get up in a pinch and adjust his body in the air in the couple of instances when a guard tried to connect with him but didn’t lob it up well enough.

But on the other end, Giles is yet to use his athleticism to make plays at the basket. He is making his rotations but looks rusty with the details of rim protection, at one time in the game against Virginia Tech failing to put his body in between the opponent and the basket. Giles was not a volume shot blocker in the previous level but the fact he is yet to block a shot in his 40 minutes on the court is a bit of a head-scratcher. And he’s fouling a ton, currently averaging seven personal fouls per 40 minutes.

SKILL LEVEL

Giles has struggled with his skill level in his immediate return to the court.

Duke does not play a pick-and-roll heavy offense, so it hasn’t provided him many opportunities to dive down the lane with momentum and get some easy baskets that way. What it’s done instead is force feed him in the low post – he’s posted a 27.6% usage rate in his 40 minutes of playing time – and the results have not been great because he’s clearly still working his way back.

Giles has gotten decent enough seals in the mid-post and goes to work on getting his preferred right-handed hook over the defender’s left shoulder, as he’s yet to show a power move or a fade-away jumper. His footwork is quite fluid and he’s flashed a bit of a hesitation move on the turnaround to freeze his defender but his touch has been so-so, as it’s also been the case on non-dunk finishes near the basket. Giles has missed 14 of 21 shots so far, all of them within close range on layup, dunk or hook attempts, and he’s earned just two foul shots so far.

He had a really nice pass out of the low post in the Georgia Tech to Jayson Tatum but has just two assists in his four appearances, mostly because no opponent has feared him enough yet to double team him. Giles has also not been used helping facilitate offense from the high post.

He was a capable outside shot maker in AAU ball, even flirting with three-point attempts, but has been hesitant to take jumpers so far. There were a few times where he’s caught the ball with time and space to launch them and looked at the basket as if he was thinking about doing it but then passed it up to a guard. He is also yet to dribble drive from the perimeter, something he flashed the ability to do in AAU, when they even flirted with setting ball-screens for him.

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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Catch&Score Finisher

Endrice Adebayo Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Draft Express currently ranks Endrice Adebayo 15th in its 2017 board and it seems about right. The six-foot-10 center hasn’t shown the sort of skill level that suggests there is a foreseeable path for him to become a superstar but he is an impressive athlete who fits a clear role in a league where the spread pick-and-roll and switching are becoming prevalent.

DEFENSE

From a physical-standpoint, Adebayo has proven himself able to do just about everything on defense.

The 19-year-old (who turns 20 in July) can step into the front of the rim or come off the weak-side in help-defense and elevate out of two feet to protect the basket, as he’s averaged 2.6 blocks per 40 minutes – according to basketball-reference. And though he’s prone to leaving his feet and making himself vulnerable to fouling from time-to-time, Adebayo is averaging just 4.2 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which is a very acceptable number.

He is a stout post defender, possessing plenty of strength in his 258-pound frame to hold his ground, and looks to boxout in the defensive glass. Adebayo has collected just 16.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor, which is an unimpressive figure for someone his size, but watching him play, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with his defensive rebounding. He doesn’t pursue the ball with as much energy as he does on the offensive glass but it’s not as if he doesn’t give a crap either. My theory is that De’Aaron Fox and Wenyen Gabriel have played a role in that figure.

Away from the basket, Adebayo has shown adequate mobility to wall off dribble penetration in pick-and-roll defense and has picked up smaller players on switches with some regularity, even if that’s not a primary strategy Kentucky employs. In these instances, Adebayo bent his knees to get in a stance and proved himself able to keep pace with these smaller players on straight-line drives to block or effectively contest their shots at the rim with his nine-foot standing reach – though he doesn’t appear to have the lateral quickness needed to stay in front of more talented players who are able to shake him side-to-side.

Whether or not he will develop into an elite defender who can anchor a top 10 defense by himself should depend on how smart he is picking up the more subtle nuances of pro-level defense.

OFFENSE

Adebayo gets quite a few touches in the post but hasn’t yet developed the skill level needed to support the decision of feeding him the ball with his back to the basket.

If he is matched up against a player who is smaller or generally weaker, Adebayo is able to knock them back and explode out of two feet for some thunderous dunks. Those are impressive.

But for the most part, his footwork is still very mechanical at this point of his development and his touch on turnaround hooks is iffy. His inefficiency in the post explains why his .564 effective field-goal percentage is so anticlimactic.

Kentucky has also handed him the ball in the high post some and he’s impressed on a few occasions, hitting cutters working around him and identifying spot-up shooters coming open. Adebayo is averaging just 1.4 assists per 40 minutes so far but that has looked like a workable skill he might have and that figure could be higher if Kentucky had more shot makers.

Another skill he’s flashed that has looked workable is his catch-and-shoot jumper. His touch is iffy and his release is slow but he didn’t look hopeless in his attempts. That said, Adebayo is currently shooting just 61.1% on his foul shots and hit just nine shots away from the basket the entire season, so this might be just a mirage.

Much like on defense, how Adebayo truly excels on offense is from an athletic standpoint. He’s a decent screener who looks to draw contact, can play above the rim as a target for lobs out of the high pick-and-roll and crashes the offensive glass with prolificacy. Possessing a seven-foot-one wingspan that helps him rebound outside of his area, Adebayo has collected 14.7% of Kentucky’s misses when he’s been on the floor.

His touch on non-dunk finishes is suspect but he’s shooting 73.3% at the basket so far this season, per hoop-math, thanks to his explosiveness helping him transform almost everything into a dunk attempt and his quick second jump helping him convert 75% of his put-back attempts.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor and at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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7-footer, Catch&Score Finisher, Post Scorer, Shot Creator, Stretch Big, Tall Passer

Karl-Anthony Towns Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

POST-FIRST YEAR ASSESSMENT

  • 2,627 minutes
  • -2.4 pace-adjustment plus-minus
  • 22.5 PER

Expectations over what sort of impact a first-year player can have on a team are often overstated. There a very few players who can truly come in, take ownership of a team and turn everything around. Towns is one of the few exceptions.

The 20-year-old just had one of the best offensive seasons a rookie has ever had, posting averages of 23 points on 59% true-shooting and 13.1 rebounds per 36 minutes. More impressive, perhaps, was the way he did it too.

Towns had shown potential at Kentucky for maybe one day developing into a complete player on offense. Then he stepped into the league and was pretty close to that right away.

Despite playing most of his first year as a teenager, Towns proved able to score from the post, charging to the rim or stopping on a dime and hitting step-back jumpers out of face-up drives, on pick-and-pops from mid-range, playing above the rim as a target for lobs on the pick-and-roll, nailing spot-ups from three-point range, crashing the offensive glass for tip-ins and putback dunks, assisting cutters or outside shooters with his back to the basket and playing high-low from the top of the key.

Now, mind you, the Timberwolves won just over a third of their games.

Part of the problem was the context.

Minnesota didn’t know its star was already ready to be a star right away. So it planned according to the expectation that Towns was going to take some time developing into the focal point of an offense. It built a team with four other prospects under the age of 24 and three veterans past the age of 34. Only Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng and Nemanja Bjelica were in their primes.

The team also didn’t add many three-point shooters to leverage Towns’ presence into even more value. Furthermore, interim coach Sam Mitchell didn’t seem to understand the importance of the three-point shot in today’s game.

It speaks a lot to how good Towns was on offense (and Rubio as an organizer, as well) that the Timberwolves managed to finish the season 11th in scoring per possession while making the second fewest three-point shots in the entire league.

The other part of the problem was defense, and Towns played a role in it.

He showed flashes of dominant play on that end as well but was not any sort of a difference maker.

Towns has the agility and the length to keep pace with smaller players driving at him on the pick-and-roll and shut them down at the rim. But his impact as a rim protector was marginal, as he saved just 1.01 points per 36 minutes according to nyloncalculus.com’s Rim Protection metric.

Towns also allowed 0.90 points per possession on post-ups, one of the dozen or so worst marks in the league among players who guarded at least 100 such possessions.

Many criticized Mitchell when he started pairing Towns and Dieng more often midway through the year, then kept together most of the time after the All-Star break. But he had clearly identified Dieng was needed to stabilize the defense in a way Towns was not yet prepared to do so on his own.

According to nbawowy.com, the Timberwolves allowed 1.184 points per possession in 777 minutes with lineups that had Towns in but none of Dieng, Kevin Garnett, Adreian Payne and Nikola Pekovic out there with him. They went on to allow just 1.103 point per possession in 1,129 minutes with Towns and Dieng together – a mark that will never be confused with the early-2010s Pacers, but a less leaky defense nonetheless.

That’s probably what informed Tom Thibodeau’s decision to spend some money on Cole Aldrich and Jordan Hill, despite the fact they still have Dieng under contract and the right to retain him in restricted free agency in the summer of 2017. Even if Garnett and Pekovic never play another minute, it seems safe to assume Towns will not play many minutes without another prototypical big close to the rim any time soon.

That will be frustrating to watch in the era of smallball. The logical conclusion should be to have Towns playing as a center and stressing opponents from every spot on the floor, regardless of what’s his role in a given play, and opening up the lane for dribble penetrators and cutters.

But Thibodeau prioritizes the defense and the surest way to build the best defense still is by having a fortress barricading the front of the basket. Towns has not yet shown he can be that fortress all on his own.

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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Catch&Score Finisher

Harry Giles III Scouting Report

(First posted at Upside & Motor.)

CONTEXT

Prior to the summer, Draft Express had Harry Giles III ranked as the top prospect for the 2017 draft, despite the fact the 18-year-old (April birthday) tore his right ACL in November and subsequently missed the majority of his final year in high school. It was the second time Giles III injured one of his knees, as he had previously tore his left ACL a couple of years prior.

Remaining so well thought of as a potential pro, despite the fact both his knees have already been cut open at such a young age, speaks volume to the sort of performances Giles III put on last summer for the United States Junior National Team at the 2015 FIBA World Championships U19 in Greece and for Team CP3 at the Nike EYBL circuit. This evaluation is based on how he looked and the skills he displayed on those two events.

ATHLETIC ABILITY

Giles III was a terrific athlete prior to the injury. Standing at six-foot-10, he moved extremelly fluidly for someone his size and could explode off the ground in a pinch.

That athleticism was maximized getting him on the move. Both Team CP3 and the United States Junior National Team set baseline screens for him to shift from one side of the block to the other in order for him to set deep position in the low post, since Giles III didn’t play with a lot of force despite weighing in at 235 pounds in the summer of 2015.

Neither team played pick-and-roll with proper spacing and he didn’t dive hard to the basket regularly but still managed to get plenty of finishing opportunities. On those, Giles III showed soft hands to catch the ball in traffic, coordination to rise up and finish at the rim without needing to gather himself, leaping ability to play above the rim as a target for lobs and impressive explosiveness to finish strong elevating out of one foot.

He was also quite energetic on the offensive glass, possessing a seven-foot-three wingspan to rebound outside of his area and second-jump-ability to fight for tip-ins and 50-50 balls. According to RealGM, Giles III collected 19.7% of the United States’ misses when he was on the floor at the 2015 FIBA World Championships U19. And based on stats researched at d1circuit.com, he grabbed 6.1 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes in 23 appearances at the EYBL circuit a couple of seasons ago.

Defensively, Giles III also rellied on his length, agility and leaping ability to make an impact as well.

Despite the fact his weight looked well distributed in his frame, he didn’t play post defense with a lot of toughness and often couldn’t hold ground. But he did use his nine-foot-one standing reach very effectively to wall-off opponents and make it extremelly tough for them to shoot over him.

Giles III played pick-and-roll defense flat footed and didn’t contain dribble penetration through good positioning but shuffled his feet well enough to shadow drivers and block or effectively contest shots at the rim. He also flashed some ability to pick up smaller players on switches, looking generally more engaged in individual defense, bending his knees to get low in a stance and putting in the effort to stay alive in these plays.

Giles III has the tools to be an outstanding rim protector but wasn’t as much of a force rotating off the weak-side in help-defense, though – blocking just 30 shots in 23 appearances at the EYBL circuit and eight shots in seven games at the Worlds U19.

Although prone to getting pushed out of the way by tougher big men from time to time, he was generally attentive to his boxout responsibilities and pursued the ball on the defensive glass with as much energy as on the other end – collecting 32.3% of opponents’ misses in Greece and averaging 13.3 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes in AAU ball.

SKILL LEVEL

Giles III flashed some glimpses of an extremelly appealing skill-set for someone his size but one not fully polished by that point.

His footowork in the post is very smooth but he didn’t use many shot-fakes or up-and-unders and his touch on turnaround hooks was iffy. That touch was also iffy on non-dunk finishes around length at the rim.

Giles III flashed some ball skills isolated at the top of the key, taking it to the basket on straight line drives and even proved himself willing to pass on the move to spot-up shooters in the corner made open by the defense collapsing against his dribble penetration.

But his handle wasn’t that tight as of that point and he couldn’t maintain his balance through contact. I even saw Team CP3 give him a ball-screen 23 feet away from the basket but Giles III didn’t show to have much shake side-to-side to navigate traffic and balance stopping on a dime to pull-up from mid-range in order to handle the ball in pick-and-roll regularly.

He was a capable shot maker on catch-and-shoots from range, nailing eight of 26 three-point shots at the EYBL circuit. Giles III can catch and elevate in what looks to be a single smooth motion out of standstill position but the touch on his shot was only so-so. His poor foul shooting (59.3% in 135 free throws at the EYBL, 64.3% on 28 attempts at the Worlds U19) raises doubt over his ability to develop into a legit outside threat in time.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor and at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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