Udoka Azubuike Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Udoka Azubuike was the 22nd-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].

Despite having been exposed to some high level basketball, he is still fairly inexperienced. The 18-year-old[2] accumulated just 990 minutes in his two seasons at Kansas, the first of which was lost after the first third due to need for a wrist surgery. Other than that, he has just 124 minutes at the 2015 adidas Nations and one appearance at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit under his belt[3].

Azubuike averaged 22 points per 40 minutes[4] on 77% effective shooting and compiled a 26.9 PER in 36 appearances last season.

Kansas played the second toughest schedule in the country[5] and had a +26.9 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor, which led the team among rotation players[6].

A seven-foot, 273-pound bruising center, he got his touches in the post, sneaking behind the defense on slower-developing pick-and-rolls and crashing the offensive glass – logging 22.8% usage rate. Azubuike has a massive frame and remarkable length, so even though he still has plenty of room to develop in terms of skill, he manages to produce at a pretty good level due to his general size.

On the other end, the native of Lagos, Nigeria is a positive presence near the basket for the same reasons why he is effective on offense. He is also a little more nimble than his frame suggests but doesn’t figure to have the agility needed to defend out in space in this day and age.

OFFENSE

Azubuike can get deep seals in the post due to his size and strength. He doesn’t play with a lot of force trying to get position but doesn’t have to. Most of his shots come via backing his man down and setting up basic hooks. His feet are only so-so. But Azubuike has flashed glimpses of a more advanced skill-set to work his man out of position with shot fakes and head fakes. His touch on these hooks is pretty decent, as he shot 58.3% on his 60 two-point shots away from the basket[7] last season.

Azubuike hasn’t yet developed very good feel for dealing with more challenging approaches by the defense trying to get the ball out of his hands, though – averaging three turnovers per 40 minutes.

He is a good screener who sets his feet and makes it tough for the on-ball defender to get skinny around him, more often than not creating the head-start for the ball-handler that the pick-and-roll is designed to do.

Azubuike isn’t an explosive leaper off two feet diving down the middle of the lane in traffic but proved he is able to play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on slower-developing pick-and-rolls. He isn’t a high leaper but has a nine-foot-four standing reach[8] to catch the ball in a different stratosphere. His touch on non-dunk finishes is pretty decent too, as he’s shown he’s able to score in a crowd when needed – finishing his 214 attempts at the rim at an 82.2% clip.

He doesn’t have particularly impressive reaction instincts chasing the ball off the rim but made a tangible impact on the offensive glass because he is a tough body to boxout and has a seven-foot-seven wingspan to rebound out of his area – collecting 12.2% of Kansas’ misses when he was on the floor. His second jump isn’t all that quick but he can catch, gather himself and go back strong to finish in a crowd – converting 76.5% of his 21 putback attempts into scores.

As far as more proactively aiding the ball movement process, Azubuike can only assist others on pre-arranged reads, as he hasn’t yet developed court vision to act as a hub to facilitate offense from the high post and doesn’t have the sort of quick instincts to pass out of short rolls – assisting on just 5.7% of Kansas’ scores when he was on the floor and posting a lousy 0.3 assist-to-turnover ratio last season.

DEFENSE

Azubuike is an effective rim protector when he is able to hang back and patrol the lane – averaging three blocks per 40 minutes. He moves well enough in tight spaces and goes up quick enough to challenge shots but his blocks materialize more thanks to his massive standing reach rather than his leaping ability, though they came at the cost of him often putting himself in foul trouble, as he averaged 5.1 personal fouls per 40 minutes.

Azubuike flashed some decent awareness with his positioning as well, clogging up driving lanes and shadowing isolations when he felt his teammates might get blown by – averaging 23.6 minutes per game on a team that allowed opponents to take just 28.8% of their shots at the basket[9].

He proved to be attentive to his boxout responsibilities and did it with some nice physicality too, which also manifests itself in post defense. He struggles some reacting to the ball off the rim, though – collecting just 20.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

The problems are when he is forced to leave the general area near the basket.

Azubuike is not suited to extend pick-and-roll coverage beyond the foul line. He just doesn’t have the foot speed for it, whether it’s picking up smaller players on switches, hedging-and-recovering in a timely manner, closing out to stretch big men at the three-point line out of the pick-and-pop, showing up to the level of the screen and trying to keep action in front. He even struggled to keep pace with dribble drives when tasked with only having to engage from the foul line down.

Azubuike puts in the effort to contest mid-range pull-ups but at times sells out to do so, needing to develop a better understanding of when it’s best to contest and when it’s best to prioritize getting a head-start getting position for a possible miss.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 9/17/1999

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to the measurements at the 2018 Combine

[9] 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

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Malik Newman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 10th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • Played one year at Mississippi State, sat out one year to transfer and played last season at Kansas.
  • Has accumulated 2,037 minutes in his 68 appearances in college. Other experiences include 286 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2013 U16 FIBA Americas and 2014 U17 FIBA World Cup and 57 minutes at the 2013 adidas Nations.
  • Most recently, averaged 17.9 points per 40 minutes[2] on 60.6% true shooting and compiled a 18.3 PER in 39 appearances last season[3].
  • Kansas played the second toughest schedule in the country[4] and had a +18 pace-adjusted point differential in his 1,234 minutes[5].
  • Six-foot-three off guard who acted for the most part as a weak-side floor-spacer in the half-court but had some responsibility turning the corner off dribble hand-offs and isolating against his man in emergency situations late in the shot clock.
    • Logged just 20.8% usage rate last season.
    • Took 51% of his shots from three-point range.
    • Also proved to be an able shot creator in transition, especially with regards to half-decent capability on pull-up three-pointers.
  • 21-year-old[6] whose primary role on the defense was as a weak-side defender; stunting in-and-closing out and rotating in to pick up the roll man or crowd the area near the basket. Made a low impact. Didn’t show a knack for creating events or that he can offer versatility in terms of guarding different types of players.

OFFENSE

  • Took most of his three-point shots on spot-ups. Doesn’t have rigid up-and-down balance, likes to kick his legs forward, but it works fine for him. Does nice shot preparation catching it on the hop, launches the ball from a high release, has a quick trigger and gets pretty good arc on his shot.
    • Nailed 41.5% of his 205 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 6.6 three-point shots per 40 minutes.
    • Hit 83.5% of his 115 foul shots.
  • Took some shots on the move; sprinting to a spot in transition, relocating around the wing, drifting to the corner and coming off pindown screens for one-dribble pull-ups. Wasn’t moved around all that often, though. Unclear to which level he could be good at those.
  • Had some chances to turn the corner and get downhill off hand-offs into pick-and-rolls on the side of the floor. Doesn’t have particularly impressive burst but moves very fluid on a straight line. So-so ability to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact, mostly dependant on if he was driving at a similarly-sized guard or a taller wing. Could probably use some more bulk to absorb contact better (189 pounds[7]). Can euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic, though mostly in transition.
    • Took 29.1% of his shots at the rim[8] and earned just 3.7 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.
    • Isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic. Mostly an up-and-down finisher, though has flashed some ability to finish on his way down. Has a strong preference for shooting finger-roll or scoop layups with his right hand but has flashed some dexterity with his left hand on speed layups if the rim protector forces him to. Not strong enough to finish through contact often.
      • Still shot just 59.8% on 117 attempts at the basket last season.
    • Didn’t show a floater to score over length from the in-between area.
  • Isolated against his man or put him in pick-and-roll late in the shot clock from time-to-time. Doesn’t blow by his man often but does a pretty good job of getting to his spots for stop-and-pop pull-ups. Has a decent handle and some shiftiness. Has developed neat resources to create separation; left-to-right between the legs, behind the back in a pinch, suddenness with hang dribbles, crossovers, hesitation.
    • Decent not great shot maker just yet: nailed 38.8% of his 80 two-point shots away from the rim last season.
  • Can make a drop-off pass, a pass over the top and a kick-out off dribble penetration but didn’t show to have anything special in terms of court vision at this point of his development. Unclear if he could be tasked with creating for others off pick-and-roll more often, something that would help his career because at his size most teams will probably prefer to have him run point.
    • Assisted on just 11.1% of Kansas’ scores when he was on the floor last season.
    • Posted a 1.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover rate.

DEFENSE

  • Attentive to his responsibilities executing the scheme as a weak-side defender; rotated inside regularly to pick up the roll man and crowd the area near the basket.
    • Not an asset to help finish possessions via steals or blocks. Has only a six-foot-five wingspan and isn’t an explosive leaper off two feet.
    • Was an important contributor on the defensive glass, given Kansas played with a single pure big in the lineup for most of the season: collected 15.2% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Did a poor job on closeouts. They were either weak or he sold out to run the shooter off his shot, easily beaten by a shot fake and exposing the defense behind him.
  • Not strong or long enough to pick up bigger players on switches.
  • On the ball, bent his knees to get down in a stance.
    • Has a couple of lateral slides to stay in front in individual defense but isn’t tenacious enough to be considered an ace stopper.
    • Can’t get skinny to go over screens at the point of attack and doesn’t hustle back to try making an impact challenging or contesting shots and passes from behind.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to RealGM

[6] DOB: 2/21/1997

[7] According to measurements at the NBA Combine

[8] 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

Jerome Robinson Scouting Report

I’m not sure any player has improved more over the last three seasons than Jerome Robinson has during his time at Boston College.

Robinson is as good as any scorer in this class and should be in consideration to end up a first round pick after a stellar junior season where he averaged 23 points on 60.8% true shooting, four rebounds and 3.7 assists per 40 minutes[1].

When it comes to scoring, the six-foot-six wing can get the job done at all three levels, as one of the best off dribble scorers in this draft. He can get his own shot consistently, as well as being able to create for others.

The 21-year-old[2] can get lazy with his handle and dribbles a little too high at times but has a killer crossover and a set of dribble moves to get to the basket, where he had no problem finishing through contact – converting 64% of his 150 attempts at the rim last season[3].

When forced to cut his drives short, Robinson has issue pulling up from mid-range or long range in rhythm. He’s a polished scorer who isn’t easily denied by an opponent taking one facet of his arsenal away.

He’s not the most explosive athlete but there’s a smoothness and fluidity to the way he can get buckets that is similar to that of Will Barton or Allen Crabbe.

Robinson off dribble scoring clinic, hesitation dribble to crossover, right handed finish with contact again

Robinson mid-range game, crossover, dribble handoff, stop and pop ft line jumper

On top of that, Robinson has shown a willingness and improved ability to create for others, becoming more of a dual threat offensively. His vision is by no means elite but he has the IQ and awareness to see the floor, knowing where the open man is – assisting on 20.6% of Boston College’s scores during his 3,118 minutes there.

Robinson also has a knack for the hockey assist, great at swinging the ball and igniting a sequence of passes that leads to a shot.

He has now added shooting to his weaponry on the offensive end. That is not to say he couldn’t shoot before, but he’s now become a borderline dead eye shooter. Robinson upped his shooting percentage to where he made 43.4% of his two-point jumpers and 41% of his three-point shots last season.

He has NBA range, is lethal on catch-and-shoot’s, can make you pay curling off pindown screens, has no problem making shots with a hand in his face and can make shots off the dribble when forced to create an opening to rise up if one isn’t readily available off the catch.

Mechanically speaking, Robinson’s shot is pretty textbook; he’s got a high release and a quick trigger with a consistent follow through and getting good elevation. His increased shooting ability should only make him more deadly as a scorer.

Robinson’s decision making is something that will need some tuning up, if a team is to trust him as a primary or secondary ball handler. Sometimes he tries to do too much, making an easy pass difficult or getting trapped along the baseline on a drive, with really no other option but to force a tough pass.

He gets a little lazy with the ball from time-to-time, whether it be passing or handling it, telegraphing passes – averaging three turnovers per 40 minutes last season.

On the other end, there’s a plethora of questions and concerns for Robinson to work on. I imagine this would be the main reason for teams to pass on him if he doesn’t go in the first round.

Robinson’s on-ball defense is adequate. I watched him be a pest to Grayson Allen in Boston College’s 89-84 win over Duke on December, 9th. Allen missed 15 of his 20 shots, including eight of his nine three-point shots, while primarily matched up against him, so it’s clear Robinson has some defensive ability on the ball.

He’s got good lateral quickness and length. The effort is usually there but hasn’t translated to consistent performance just yet. Boston College had a substantially lower defending rating than his individual defensive rating, meaning the team defended a lot better without him on the floor[4].

Robinson played in the zone a lot at Boston College but for whatever reason he would frequently leave his spot on rotations and get caught ball-watching, losing his man. He consistently gave up open looks on the weak-side, primarily corner-threes that would drive pro coaches insane.

I believe Jerome Robinson is a first round pick and view him as one of the premiere scorers in this draft class. Frankly, I would have no problem taking him anywhere between 17 and 30. There is a lot to work on defensively but he’s got the physical profile and work ethic to be expected to improve in those areas.

I’m not sure he’ll ever be an elite player but he’s a guy you want on your offense, whether it’s as starting two-guard or sixth man. His value on offense shouldn’t be underrated and I think he can carve out a nice career for himself, similar to that of J.R. Smith, Allen Crabbe, Will Barton, Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 2/22/1997

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] According to RealGM

Editor’s Note: Evan Wheeler is a regular contributor to ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Denver Sidekickswhere he is also a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @EvzSports

Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Had a great year. If not for Marvin Bagley III on the same team taking away the spotlight, would probably be even more highly touted by now.
  • Has the physical profile (six-foot-10, 259 pounds[1]) of a pure center in a time where pure centers are devalued but showed the skill he was previously known for and surprised with his nimbleness out in space.
  • Has a good deal of high level experience for a just-turned 19-year-old[2]:
    • 997 NCAA minutes with Duke;
    • 206 minutes defending the United States National Team at the 2015 U16 FIBA Americas and 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup;
    • 82 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations;
    • An appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit.
  • Averaged 20.2 points per 40 minutes[3] on 62.8% true shooting and compiled a 26.3 PER in 37 appearances last season[4].
  • Duke played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country[5] and had a +33.3 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor, which was the best net rating on the team among rotation players[6].
  • Played primarily center, though shared the court with Marques Bolden some.
    • Got most of his touches in the post.
    • Didn’t roll hard often but flashed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer out of the pick-and-pop.
    • Guarded pick-and-rolls mostly below the foul line during the first half of the season.
    • Defended the front of the basket when Duke went to a full time zone during the conference part of the schedule.

OFFENSE

  • Advanced post game for someone his age:
      • Power moves;
      • Head fakes;
      • Shot fakes;
      • Fake pivot move;
      • Pivot move to pass;
      • Turnaround, fadeaway jumper;
      • Most often looking for right handed hook but has a counter finishing with his off hand;
      • Struggled with touch during the second half of the season.
        • Shot 36.8% on 95 two-point attempts away from the basket[7].
      • Decent passer out of hard double teams with good court vision but not some exceptional passer and turned it over a displeasing amount;
        • Assisted on 12.9% of Duke’s scores when he was on the floor.
        • Averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes while logging 22.6% usage rate.
      • Prefers to rely on skill but doesn’t shy away from contact;
        • Averaged 6.8 foul shots per 40 minutes.
    • Didn’t roll hard to the basket often out of setting ball-screens:
      • Part of the problem was Bagley, III not always spacing out to the three-point line and Trevon Duval being a poor shooter but part of it was due to lack of explosiveness;
      • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs in transition and sneaking behind the defense with time to load up but can’t go up strong off two feet in traffic;
      • Proved to be coordinated enough for instances where he needed to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a finish with a defender between him and the basket;
      • Has decent touch on non-dunk finishes;
        • Shot 70.2% on 178 attempts at the rim.
    • Only a capable open shot shooter at this point of his development:
      • Fluidity of release improved the second half of the season, though it remains not quick enough to get a good look off when rushed by a closeout or over a contest;
      • Flashed quick shots out of the pick-and-pop and out of roll-and-replace but most suited for spot-ups as of now;
      • Touch was OK, though it can certainly improve;
        • Shot 73.8% on 168 free throws.
      • Shooting percentage indicates he certainly can become a real asset as a floor-spacer down the line but was not perfectly reflective of how real a long range shooter he is right now, as most of his misses were considerably short;
        • Nailed 41.3% of his 46 three-point shots, but at a pace of just 1.9 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • Doesn’t play with a particularly impressive motor or toughness disentangling himself from boxouts but was pretty effective crashing the offensive glass.
      • Has a seven-foot-four wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area.
        • Collected 12.7% of Duke’s misses when he was on the floor.
      • Decent second jump fighting for tip-ins.
        • Shot 75% on his 41 putbacks attempts.
    • Flashed a dribble drive from the elbow down, lacking an explosive first step but able to maintain his balance through contact, but isn’t suited to attack closeouts and hasn’t yet develop an in between game in terms of stop-and-pop jumpers, step-back jumpers, running floaters or floaters off jump-stops.

DEFENSE

  • Effective rim protector when he was able to hang back and patrol the lane, which was less challenging for him to do once Duke installed a full time zone:
    • Has decent short area lateral quickness;
    • Was proactive stepping up the front of the basket as the last line of defense;
    • Not an explosive leaper off two feet in a pinch but acted as a shot blocking threat thanks to his nine-foot-one standing reach.
      • Averaged 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Challenged shots via verticality very well. Has a thick frame some guards will just bounce back off on impact, though at a risk of getting into foul trouble;
      • Averaged 4.2 personal fouls per 40 minutes.
    • Proved himself a willing charge drawer;
    • Was able to stick with ball handlers from the foul line down in college;
    • When he had less ground to cover, developed some awareness shadowing isolations and making preventive rotations that kept the dribble driver from getting all the way to the rim, which he didn’t show earlier in the year when Duke was guarding man-to-man.
  • When forced to guard out in space, flashed some decent nimbleness but doesn’t figure to be suited to venture far away from the basket in the pros.
    • Was able to influence ball handlers on hedges but can’t hustle back to contest effectively at the rim.
    • Unclear how well he can keep action in front if asked to show hard at the three-point line.
    • Can bend his knees to get down in a stance some and keep pace on straight line drives in a few matchups but isn’t agile enough to stay in front of shifty types.
  • Used his length some to get into passing lanes, though nothing at a difference making level.
    • Averaged 1.2 steals per 40 minutes.
  • Stout post defender.
  • Was attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not exceptionally quick chasing the ball off the rim.
    • Collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Had the best defensive rating among rotation players on a team that ended up ranked ninth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

[1] According to Duke’s official listing

[2] DOB: 4/16/1999

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to measurements at this year’s NBA Combine

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

Trevon Duval Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Disappointing year in college. Arrived at Duke as the sixth-ranked player in the 2017 high school class[1] but should end up a second round pick.
  • Averaged just 13.8 points per 40 minutes[2] on 21.2% usage rate due to a very lousy .473 effective field goal percentage and compiled a below average 13.0 PER in 37 appearances last season[3].
  • Reasonably experienced for a 19-year-old[4]:
    • 1,100 minutes of NCAA experience;
    • 242 minutes at the 2015 and 2016 adidas Nations;
    • An appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit.
  • Duke played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country[5] and had only a +2.1 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor, which was the second-worst net rating on the team[6].
  • Six-foot-three lead guard who as the triggerman of an attack that focused more heavily on getting its two dominant big men the ball in the post and its shooters touches off screens on the side of the floor.
    • Was relied on to space the floor upon giving up the ball but struggled to make shots away from the basket, losing his place in the starting lineup at one point before eventually recovering it.
    • Kept things moving and got to the rim very well in pick-and-roll with a spaced floor, though shot poorly there as well.
    • Averaged 29.8 minutes per game on a team that ranked third in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency.
  • Given his combination of size and athleticism, was expected to be a good-to-great defender but that wasn’t the case at all.
    • Wasn’t the only problem but it’s fair to say he was part of the reason why Duke installed a full time zone for the second half of the season, despite the fact it had five guys who will be given multiple chances to fail in the pros.

OFFENSE

  • Possesses a very appealing combination of skill and quickness off the dribble, with or without the aid of a pick. Has an explosive first step and is sudden enough to split double teams at the point of attack. Shifty; can go between the legs in a pinch, crossover into burst and euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic in the lane. Has a good handle and decent upper-body strength to maintain his balance through contact against defenders who can stay on his hip.
    • Took 44.5% of his shots at the rim[7], though earned just 3.2 free throws per 40 minutes.
  • Did some advanced work in pick-and-roll; proved able to pass over the top out of traps, play with pace against hedges waiting for driving lanes to open up and snake his way back to a spot around the foul line.
  • Not a genius who anticipates passing lanes a split-second before everyone else but proved to be a good passer on the move; can kickout, drop-off, deliver a pocket pass and make a wraparound pass among the trees.
    • Assisted on 30.2% of Duke’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • High turnover player due to attempting high risk passes as times.
    • Averaged 3.7 turnovers per 40 minutes.
  • Disappointing finisher; used his length to over-extend around rim protectors on finger-roll finishes, can finish through contact and flashed a floater to finish over length from the in-between area but isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot going up in traffic, can’t hang in the air and struggled with his touch at rim level.
    • Shot 55.8% on 154 attempts at the rim, with over a fifth of his makes assisted.
  • Couldn’t make a shot; off the dribble, off the catch and from the foul line. Mechanical release, doesn’t always launch the ball from the same spot and struggles with his touch.
    • Shot 29% on 107 three-point shots, at a pace of 3.9 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Shot 36.5% on 85 two-point shots away from the basket;
    • Shot 59.6% on 89 free throws.

DEFENSE

  • In his most engaged moments, proved capable of keeping pace in one-on-one defense and chasing opponents off screens.
  • But for the most part, too spaced out and often gets blown by out in space. Doesn’t use the strength in his 186-pound frame[8] to contain dribble penetration and gambles for strips on reach-around’s.
    • Averaged two steals per 40 minutes.
  • Flashed decent pick-and-roll defense earlier in the year; iced the action towards the sideline and got skinny navigating over screens on the middle of the floor.
  • Gets burned backdoor from time-to-time and does poorly on closeouts more often than not.
  • Wasn’t asked to switch or cross-match onto bigger players, whether it’s wings or big men. Has a six-foot-nine wingspan[9] to potentially be able to do it but frame needs to mature some more.
  • Contributed very little on the glass, even for a point guard.
    • Collected just 4.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Had the worst defensive rating on the team

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to RealGM

[4] DOB: 8/3/1998

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Duke’s official listing

[9] According to Draft Express

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

Allonzo Trier Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Allonzo Trier was the 18th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • In three seasons at Arizona, the six-foot-five wing accumulated 2,456 minutes of college basketball experience.
    • Other than that, he has 139 minutes at the 2013 and 2014 Nike Global Challenge and 182 minutes defending the United States National Team at the 2014 U18 FIBA Americas and 2015 U19 FIBA World Cup[2].
  • Most recently, he averaged 21.3 points per 40 minutes[3] on 65.6% true shooting and compiled a 21.1 PER in 33 appearances last season.
  • Arizona played only the 68th-toughest schedule in the country[4] and had a +22.7 pace-adjusted point differential in Trier’s 1,124 minutes[5].
  • The 22-year-old[6] had a lot of shot creation responsibility against a set defense, not just running point when Parker Jackson-Cartwright subbed out but as the most capable dribble penetrator on the team even with the diminutive lead guard in the game.
    • Trier logged 23.8% usage rate and assisted on 17.3% of Arizona’s scores when he was on the floor last season.
    • He was assisted on just 36.4% of his 184 field-goals[7].
    • His 129 offensive rating was far better than the team’s overall 114.7.
  • On the other end, the Findlay Prep product put in decent effort in individual defense and proved he is able to execute the scheme but doesn’t have enough athleticism to make a real positive contribution and isn’t instinctive enough to create events in volume.
    • He had the third worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players and Arizona defended better without him on the floor.

OFFENSE

  • The Seattle native doesn’t have an explosive first step and isn’t very fast with the ball. He is also not very shifty side-to-side. But he has proven to be very resourceful off the dribble, getting by his man or creating separation on craft.
  • He has an in-and-out dribble, hesitation moves and an euro-step to get his man off balance and maneuver his way through traffic. When he ran point and was guarded by smaller players, Trier also relied on his well-distributed 205-pound frame[8] to maintain his balance through contact.
  • He flashed some explosive leaping ability off one foot sprinting up the court to fill the lane in transition but isn’t able to go up strong in the half-court often, acting mostly as a rim level finisher. A good one at that, though. Trier has shown to be an ambidextrous finisher and able to adjust his body in the air for acrobatic finishes around rim protectors.
    • Trier finished his 99 shots at the rim at a 75.8% clip.
    • He didn’t put a ton of pressure at the rim last season, taking just 26.9% of his shots within close range and earning 6.6 foul shots per 40 minutes, due to Arizona’s poor spacing. The year before, with Lauri Markkanen opening the lane, Trier took 30.8% of his shots at the basket and averaged 8.1 free throws per 40 minutes.
  • Operating in middle high pick-and-roll:
    • He flashed a hesitation move to get into the lane but for the most part showed a strong preference for setting up step-back and side-step pull-ups, not just from the elbow area but also proving he’s able to make jumpers off the dribble from long range;
      • 40% of his three-point makes were unassisted.
      • Trier shot 45.9% on 85 shots from mid-range, with just one of his 39 makes from this zone assisted.
    • He doesn’t have advanced court vision in terms of tying up the help defense and tossing up lobs in traffic or making passes across his body to the opposite end of the floor but showed improvement year over year and is now a decent simple passer off the ball screen, able to deliver the pass over the top to the roll man and the skip pass in the pick-and-pop;
      • His assist rate went from 7.7% in year one through 16.2% in year two to 17.3% in year three.
    • He keeps his dribble alive against blitzes and looks to protect the ball in traffic.
      • His average of 2.5 turnovers per 40 minutes is not great but not that crippling for someone who was tasked with creating on the ball as much as he was.
    • Trier doesn’t offer a lot of versatility as a shooter, other than the eventual one-dribble elbow pull-up off a dribble hand-off. But he has evolved into a very solid spot-up gunner.
      • Trier gets little elevation, has a pronounced dip for rhythm and releases out in front but managed to get good arc on his shot and launch over closeouts comfortably in college. He still has room to work on the speed and fluidity of his release to be as effective in the pros, though.
      • Trier nailed 38% of his 184 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 6.5 such attempts per 40 minutes. He hit 37.8% of his 381 three-point attempts and 82.7% of his 446 free throws over his time at Arizona.

DEFENSE

  • Trier bends his knees to get down in a stance in one-on-one defense and can shuffle his feet laterally for two or three slides to stay in front for the initial push. But he doesn’t use his strength to contain dribble penetration through contact and eventually gets beaten if help isn’t shadowing the isolation close by.
  • Off ball, Trier can be caught ball watching from time-to-time, isn’t agile enough to chase shooters off screens and his closeouts are either weak or he flies by and exposes the defense behind him. He has a below average six-foot-six wingspan[9], lacking great length to make plays in the passing lanes often.
    • He averaged just 0.7 steals per 40 minutes last season.
  • Trier executes the scheme as a weak-side defender, stunting inside to clog driving lanes and rotating in to help crowd the area near the basket. He doesn’t have explosive leaping ability or the length to aid the rim protection effort.
  • Trier doesn’t offer versatility picking up different types of players on switches:
    • He is unable to get skinny navigating over screens at the point of attack and lacks agility to hustle back to his man in an attempt to bother or actively challenge the ball handler from behind;
    • He is not bulky, lengthy or tenacious enough to guard bigger players in the post or box them out.
  • His contribution on the defensive glass was below average.
    • He collected just 9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season and that rate was 11.8% over his three seasons in Tucson.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to RealGM

[6] DOB: 1/17/1996

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Arizona’s official listing

[9] According to Draft Express

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

Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman averaged 15.4 points per 40 minutes[1] on 57.3% effective shooting and posted a 19.5 PER in 40 appearances last season[2].
  • Villanova played the sixth-toughest schedule in the country[3] and had a +27.3 pace-adjusted point differential in Spellman’s 1,125 minutes[4].
  • The six-foot-nine stretch big was a vital part of Villanova’s offense, which often relied on lead guard Jalen Brunson taking his matchup into the post while Spellman vacated the area near the basket by spacing out to the three-point line.
    • Despite logging all of his minutes at center, Spellman took 44.6% of his shots from three-point range.
    • Despite possessing a strength advantage on most nights, given his thick 245-pound frame[5], he posted a low 18.3% usage rate.
  • On the other end, the 20-year-old[6] was an effective rim protector when well positioned and flashed some ability to defend out in space – extending pick-and-roll coverage slightly above the foul line and picking up smaller players on switches, but doesn’t really move in a way that makes you presume he will be as capable in the pros.
  • Other than his two years of college basketball, one of which he redshirted, the Ohio native only has 71 minutes at the 2014 Nike Global Challenge of meaningful experience under his belt.

OFFENSE

  • Spellman has proven to be a pretty good shooter for someone his size. He has a fluid release and good touch, launching the ball from a high point and getting his shots off comfortably over closeouts.
    • Other than spot-ups, Spellman has shown he’s able to take three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop as well, proving himself nimble enough to screen, relocate to an open spot and set his feet quickly.
    • Spellman nailed 43.3% of his 150 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.3 such attempts per 40 minutes – which is a very appealing rate for a center.
    • He converted 70% of his 70 foul shots – which is not necessarily concerning, but gives you some pause over how killer a shooter he truly is.
  • Spellman hasn’t yet developed a lot of dexterity in terms of handle and coordination attacking closeouts. When forced to put the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, he often ends up dribbling into a post-up, which is how he feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands.
  • Spellman showed a decent mix of power moves and face-up shooting operating out of the mid-post (he enjoys sizing up his man, jab-stepping and launching no-dribble jumpers), though he still has plenty of room to improve in terms of passing out of the block and incorporating pivot moves and fakes into his post-up routine.
    • He hit 42.2% of his 90 two-point shots away from the basket, with over half of them unassisted[7].
    • He assisted on just 4.3% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • When he screened at the point of attack, Spellman was either asked to prioritize popping to the three-point line or isn’t easily inclined to roll hard to the basket. And even when he did, Spellman didn’t show enough explosiveness to play above the rim as a target for lobs, though he flashed appealing coordination in instances when he was forced to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a non-dunk finish over a defender between him and the basket.
    • He took just 28.6% of his shots at the rim and hasn’t yet developed versatility to his finishing ability – converting just 59.4% of his 96 shots at the basket.
  • Considering his role on the offense, Spellman was fairly effective in the offensive glass. He doesn’t play with a lot of energy and isn’t a high leaper but is a big body that can be tough to boxout and has a seven-foot-two wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area or win battles for tap-outs.
    • He collected 9.9% of Villanova’s misses when he was on the floor.
    • But doesn’t have a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores – finishing his 37 putback at a very lousy 43.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is a so-so pick-and-roll defender.
    • At times, he was able to keep action in front dropping back to prioritize interior defense and moved his feet decently in tight spaces to clog driving lanes.
    • When asked to hedge-and-recover, Spellman struggled to influence the ball handler and then hustle back to the roll man quick enough to relieve the weak-side help-defender and not leave a shooter uncovered for too long.
    • Villanova switched quite aggressively and Spellman had to pick up a smaller player from time-to-time, proving he’s attentive enough to execute strategies that asked him to switch on the fly. He is not built to be able to stay in front of shifty types side-to-side but is able to keep pace on straight line drives decently enough to challenge or block shots from behind.
  • Spellman is also a so-so help defender.
    • Spellman is not always attentive to his responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He is also not very quick covering ground when put in long rotations. Despite his size, he is not very feared.
    • But when well positioned, Spellman was a reasonably effective rim protector. He is a big body that can be challenging to finish around when he’s standing between the opponent and the basket. He’s also pretty long, looked to contest shots via verticality and proved himself a willing charge drawer as well.
      • He averaged 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Spellman is a stout post defender.
    • He’s attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not all that physical, making him a good defensive rebounder but not really dominant.
      • Spellman collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to Ken Pomeroy

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] DOB: 7/21/1997

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Draft Express

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