In the modern NBA, it is essential to complement your stars and primary creators with a plethora of off-ball wings capable of spacing the floor and sticking it from deep. Such shooting prowess adds offensive value both from the perspective of their conversion of catch-and-shoot threes, as well as the gravity they provide as a means of creating operating room for drivers and shot creators. Modern NBA offensive schemes are very much reliant on the presence of reliable spot-up shooters, so draft prospects that show consistency in catch-and-shoot/spot-up possessions from deep may be more valuable than ever.
In our second Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into under-the-radar prospects that have shown projectable spot-up shooting prowess and an ability to counter high-hand over-commitments and attack closeouts.
Phil Booth is a 6’3” senior combo guard for the Villanova Wildcats. Booth, a fifth year senior, has provided a calming leadership presence throughout his collegiate career. Through his junior season, Booth was featured in a more complementary, low usage, off-ball offensive role while surrounded by NBA talent (Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman, Josh Hart, Ryan Arcidiacono, etc.). This year, Booth has been thrust into a more prominent role, and has handled the uptick in offensive responsibility quite effectively. After a slow start, the Wildcats are right back in the thick of things, leading the Big East and aspiring to make yet another deep NCAA tournament run. As a result of his team’s title runs and waves of NBA talent, Booth has had NBA scouts’ eyes on him for a while now. Booth will look to continue his strong individual play through the remainder of conference play and into the tournament, and has a legitimate chance to turn that former peripheral NBA talent evaluator attention into serious NBA consideration.
Marial Shayok is a 6’6” senior wing for the Iowa State Cyclones. After spending three seasons constrained by the context of a poor player-team fit within Virginia’s slow, methodical, grind-it-out style of play, Shayok sat out the 2017-18 season to facilitate his transfer to Iowa State. Shayok worked relentlessly on his game throughout his year off, and has taken his game to the next level. The Cyclones’ free flowing offense and a perpetual green light from Coach Steve Prohm, in conjunction with Shayok’s natural ability, hard work, and confidence, have catalyzed Shayok’s evolution into one of the Big 12’s top scoring threats.
We sat down with Ben Horwitz, Graduate Assistant for Syracuse Men’s Basketball. Ben was at the inaugural PBC in 2017 as the lead statistician, where he helped with on-court workouts and with player development.
See what he had to say.
Chris Clemons is a 5’9” lead guard for the Campbell Fighting Camels, and one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history. Currently sitting at 2,930 career points, Clemons is likely to crack the top ten all-time Division 1 scoring list in the Camels’ next game against Hampton, and has the chance to pass the likes of Oscar Robertson and Hersey Hawkins as he climbs toward the top five over the remainder of the season.
The undersized, under-recruited scoring phenom has tested the NBA Draft waters each of the past two offseasons, has gone through workouts with the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets, and has returned to Buies Creek on a mission to lead Campbell to its second ever NCAA tournament appearance, cement his NCAA scoring legacy, and prove to NBA scouts that he has what it takes to make it in the pros.
Defensive effectiveness has historically been difficult to adequately measure. Even in the modern NBA age of advanced analytics and sophisticated tracking data, individual defensive value within the context of team defensive scheme can be difficult to quantify.
Identification of prospects’ defensive contributions to winning intelligent, instinctual team defenders has historically been a market inefficiency within the context of NBA Draft prospect analysis. Traditional box score statistics (steals and blocks), their affiliated possession-based rate statistics (STL % / BLK %), and overarching defensive metrics (DBPM, Defensive Rating, etc.) are only a minor piece of the defensive translatability puzzle. A keen scouting eye and hours of in-depth film analysis is the only way to obtain a full understanding of a prospect’s acumen as a team defender, and whether their combination of skill, communication, athleticism, versatility, and instincts will translate to an NBA defensive scheme.
As such, we have gone through the exercise of a team defensive deep dive in the film room. In doing so, we have identified a handful of 2019 NBA Draft prospects that have shown to be consistently impactful team defenders in ways that could potentially translate to the next level.
Jordan Caroline is a 6’7” senior forward for the Nevada Wolfpack. Caroline tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters along with teammates Caleb and Cody Martin, all opting to return for their senior seasons. After working out for several teams, Caroline’s most consistent advice from NBA scouts was to continue to work on his three-point shooting and perimeter skills. Caroline took this constructive criticism, applied it to his offseason workouts, and has shown notable progress in these areas on the court this season. Caroline, one of twenty finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, is the heart and soul of the 21-1 Wolfpack and has a chance to improve his cache as a professional prospect throughout Nevada’s pursuit of a deep tournament run in March and April.
JaKeenan Gant is a 6’8” senior forward for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Gant, a former consensus top 50 high school recruit and Mizzou commit, has grown into one of the most dynamic forwards in the country. He possesses a unique combination of shooting range, rim protection, and explosive athleticism. Gant’s performance, to date, as a senior has landed him on the Lou Henson National Mid-Major Player of the Year mid-season watch list, and his dynamic skill set fits the mold of a modern NBA rim-protecting stretch four.
We sat down with James Fraschilla, Video Associate for the Orlando Magic. James was at the inaugural PBC in 2017 and helped lead our on court workouts. From NBA Summer League to USA Basketball, James is a rising star in basketball and we were fortunate to sit down with him and dig in.
See what he had to say.
Throughout January 2019, the Professional Basketball Combine scouting team released 10 prospect features for NCAA players that project to make an impact as professional basketball players. The team focused on prospects that fall outside the top 45 of our consensus draft-eligible prospect board, which is a weighted aggregate ranking system with inputs from a variety of reputable NBA draft analysts (ESPN’s Jonathan Givony / Mike Schmitz, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, the Stepien’s Jackson Hoy / Mike Gribanov, etc.).
Our scouting profiles attempt to encompass what each prospect brings to the table that has a chance to translate at the next level. We provide a detailed scouting graphic inclusive of statistics, strengths, improvement areas, body frame comparisons, skill breakdowns, and other information about the prospect.
These prospects are categorized into one of three groupings: “Senior Spotlight” (senior prospects), “Mid Major, Big Game” (mid-major prospects), and “Early Entrant Outlook” (prospects who may test the draft waters).
We will continue to release two to three scouting features each week. If you have missed any of the features, see below for a brief synopsis on each of January’s ten featured prospects and links to each full scouting profile (rankings reflect movement from initial feature release to the start of February).