Justin Wright-Foreman is a 6’1 1/2” left-handed lead guard for the Hofstra Pride. Wright-Foreman tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters, received valuable feedback from NBA personnel, impressed at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp, and came into his final collegiate season primed for both team and individual success. Hofstra (19-3) has ripped off a 16-game winning streak, and has their sights set on the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association championship and an NCAA tournament berth. Wright-Foreman, the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year is off to a historically strong start in his senior campaign. Since the 1996-1997 season, only five NCAA Division 1 players have averaged 25+PPG while shooting 50+% from two, 40+% from three, and 85+% from the line (Stephen Curry, J.J. Redick, Buddy Hield, Doug McDermott, and Mike Daum). Wright-Foreman is on pace to join this elite group as he closes out his senior season for the Pride. His efficient, high volume production has certainly put his name on the NBA’s radar. Per SportsNet New York basketball insider, Adam Zagoria, talent evaluators from the Spurs, Timberwolves, Celtics, Wizards, Nets, Kings, and Clippers made a stop in Long Island to see what Wright-Foreman brings to the table, and if his game translates to the NBA.
Tale of the Tape
Pull-Up / Step-Back Shooting
As indicated within the ‘Strengths’ and ‘Positional Skill Breakdown’ above, Wright-Foreman’s ability to create space off-the-dribble is one of the most alluring elements of his game from the perspective of potential NBA translatability. Wright-Foreman is one of the most effective self-creators in the country. As an off-the-dribble jump shooter, he is converting at a rate of 1.096 PPP, a 90th percentile rank on an incredibly high volume sample (~5.2 attempts per game). His space creation is predicated on a functional blend of balance, physicality, footwork, and shot mechanics. After forcing his defender’s momentum in one direction, Wright-Foreman gives them a slight bump, pulls his dribble back, creates more space via step-back or a side-step, seamlessly squares himself to the basket, and rises vertically into his shot.
In the clip below, we will highlight his ability to create space on the perimeter and convert on pull-up jumpers.
Standing at 6’1 1/2”, Justin Wright-Foreman is slightly smaller in stature than the average 6’2”-6’3” NBA lead guard. Though he has a strong frame and seemingly plus-length, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to get to and finish at the rim with the same frequency as throughout his college career. Wright-Foreman has a highly functional supplemental floater/runner finishing package to counter against basket-bound rim protection. When he beats his man as a driver and notes crowded help-side protection towering near the restricted area, Wright-Foreman reacts by decelerating and finishing with high arcing floaters. These are inherently difficult shots, but Wright-Foreman has proven to be quite effective at them. Though he favors driving to his left, he has shown the craftiness and natural touch to finish runners with either hand, dependent on his angle of attack.
Though runners and floaters are statistically inefficient relative to other shot types/locations and should not be the go-to scoring method for any player, they remain an essential counter move for all NBA guards and their unpredictability helps keep defenses on their toes. Wright-Foreman wisely picks and chooses when to mix these floaters in without being over reliant on them. Soft touch on floaters also serves as a positive indicator of shooting touch, on the whole, and Wright-Foreman’s floater acumen instills further confidence in the projectability of his outside shot.
In the clip below, we highlight Wright-Foreman’s effectiveness and touch on floaters and runners.
High-scoring lead guards from smaller conferences often fight an uphill battle to win over NBA scouts and talent evaluators. There have certainly been prospects fitting this mold to go on to success in the NBA (including Wright-Foreman’s mentor, Speedy Claxton), but more often than not, these players don’t gain enough NBA traction and end up taking their talents overseas.
Despite this historical trend, modern NBA amateur scouting processes have grown more thorough and sophisticated. No stone is left unturned, and talent is less likely than ever to slip through the cracks. Wright-Foreman’s scoring prowess, headlined by his space creation and pull-up acumen, give him a very real chance of getting his shot at the NBA. Leading Hofstra to an NCAA Tournament berth, along with continued progression as a defender and a facilitator, could certainly strengthen his case to front office decision-makers. Though hearing his name called on draft night may be a long shot, Wright-Foreman’s game is conducive to shining at NBA Summer League, putting up impressive numbers in the G League, and potentially earning a two-way contract.
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