Yoeli Childs is a 6’8” forward for the Brigham Young Cougars who recently declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. The back-to-back First Team All-WCC selection was the conference’s leading scorer and rebounder this season. Childs tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters and earned the opportunity to work out with the Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Brooklyn Nets. After being advised to work on his shot and ability to space the floor, Childs has answered the call by more than doubling his three-point volume while increasing his 3P% and FT%. The strong-framed forward with a 7’0” wingspan is a highly efficient double-double machine and will likely get a legitimate opportunity at the NBA if he continues to improve his ball skills.
Tale of the Tape
Post-Ups: Dribble Bump Baby Hook
Childs functions as the hub of BYU’s offense. Many of their sets end in back-to-the-basket post-up opportunities where Childs goes to work. In fact, 33.6% of Childs’ offensive possessions end in a post-up look.
Childs ranks as an 88th percentile post-up finisher in the half-court by scoring at a 1.027 PPP clip. While Childs has expanded his perimeter game and has evolved into more than a ground-bound big, he still primarily functions as traditional center within the Cougars’ offense.
Childs uses a variety of moves in the post. Per review of his post-up possession film, one of his go-to post moves is a baby hook stemming from his dribble bump series. Childs often takes two dribbles back into his defender to feel them out and get a gauge for how to gain leverage. He then initiates a forceful bump and quickly turn over his right or left shoulder to finish over the top of the defense. He’s shown the ability to convert this shot at a high rate from 5 to 12 feet. His technique in creating these looks makes him capable of finishing over taller, longer rim protectors.
Childs has multiple developed multiple counters to this baby hook, as well. He’s shown capable of facing up and attacking slower centers off the dribble to get to the rim. If bigs sag off, he can rise up and extend to shoot over them. When he establishes deep positioning following a switch, Childs has an effective drop step to create easy dunk opportunities.
In the clip below, we highlight Childs’ ability to score via the baby hook.
Traditional big-on-big post-up looks are slowly phasing out of the modern-day NBA. However, offenses are countering switch-heavy defensive schemes by seeking to punish mismatches when smaller guards end up switched onto bigs. Childs could theoretically thrive at punishing these switches while surrounded by shooters in a well-spaced offense.
Childs could stand to improve his post facilitation acumen to become a more versatile post-up threat. If he can make a point to seek cutters and weak side shooters while going to work down low, it could really benefit the projectability of his overall offensive value.
Offensive Rebounding Activity
As a prominent paint presence on the offensive end, Childs provides a lot of value by carving out solid position and fighting to keep possessions alive on the offensive glass. He averages two offensive rebounds per game and his physical presence helps carve out space for his teammates to track down offensive boards, as well.
Childs not only excels at securing offensive rebounds, but also at converting subsequent putback opportunities. In 41 putback opportunities this season, Childs ranks in the 86th percentile by converting at a 1.341 PPP clip. Once he secures an offensive rebound, defenders are often caught in an unfavorable position and forced to foul Childs to prevent an easy look, which results in Childs getting to the line on 29.3% of his putback opportunities. Childs increased his FT% to 70.8% this season and, if he can continue to improve in this area, will be able to count on a few easy points per game just from hustling and working hard as a high-energy offensive rebounder.
While it will be more difficult to snag offensive rebounds and convert putbacks in the presence of bigger, more athletic bigs at the next level, Childs’ strong frame, plus-wingspan, and effort level will give him a chance to continue to make a positive impact on the offensive glass in the pros.
In the clip below, we highlight Childs’ offensive rebounding activity.
Childs’ choice to forego his senior season and enter the 2019 NBA Draft seems to be a sensible one for a multitude of reasons. Childs got married this past summer, hinted at his NBA aspirations at the outset of the season, with the intent of doing what’s best for himself and his family. Childs was one of the most productive players in college basketball this season and showed tangible improvement in weaker areas of his game identified by NBA personnel last summer. This positive trajectory in on-court performance, in conjunction with Coach Rose’s retirement, likely gave Childs the clarity he needed to choose to chase his professional basketball dreams now.
As a slightly undersized ‘traditional’ big, Childs’ chances of hearing his name called on draft night may be slim, but he will likely still warrant some serious consideration as an undrafted free agent or potential two-way contract recipient. If he can carve out an initial role as a high-effort energy big while he continues to develop his jump shot, Childs may have a chance to stick.
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