NBA Comparison: Zach Auguste
Strengths: A player with a high ceiling and good potential across the board…in the 25 games he played, averaged 14.8/1.5/5.9 adding a steal and block per…good size and wingspan for his position…NBA level frame with the potential to be an athletic NBA wing..good free throw shooter, fluid form which translated to the rest of his offensive game…Can score from mid-range but excels from behind the arc..33% from deep in OTE league especially efficient on catch and shoot opportunities-most comfortable in the corners…Average ballhandler with the ability to run in transition and can take a rebound end to end, in the half court he has the ability to take slower bigs off the bounce and initiate the PNR…Can also act as the screen man with the ability to punish smaller guards on a switch or pop from three…prefers his right hand but can finish on both sides of the rim, isn’t afraid of contact with the potential to improve his finishing ability as he grows…Shooting ability from mid-range and behind the arc allow him to punish late or strong closeouts…Has shown to be reliable in the post and is comfortable taking turn around or getting in deep and pushing it off the glass, good anticipation when experiencing a double team and has proven he can make the right pass/decision under pressure…Off the ball he can act as a floor spacer or a cutter. Has shown he can elevate in transition and on the backdoor…good basketball IQ and instincts on both ends of the floor is always in the right place on the offensive end..runs the floor well without the ball…A good teammate, while he is quiet on the floor tends to lead by example…On the defensive end, he has continued to show promise especially considering his length and size…Has the potential to frustrate defenders with his length and size, can get into passing lanes and has proven to make it challenging on or off the ball when he is focused on the defensive end, has room to grow on both ends of the ball but his improvement from game one of OTE to now has been rapid
Weaknesses: The NBA Draft Combine helped identify areas of improvement for Barlow, especially in the 5 on 5’s…Not the most explosive in the half court, has a hard time rising uncontested in the post and recovering/help defenders with momentum have challenged him at the rim…Has a fluid shooting stroke but could benefit from speeding up his release, seemed a bit slow for the speed of the game..while he welcomes contact he isn’t the best when it comes to finishing through it, also seemed to struggle with physicality when being defended.., he doesn’t use his weight/size when finishing, at times he would allow the defender to force him into low efficiency shots – Instead of going straight to the basket creates a tougher look on a fade or when his momentum is going away from the rim – he can learn to use angles to his advantage going forward…these areas could be addressed if he continues to build on his frame…can continue to develop as a passer and playmaker, has shown flashes in a small sample size…Defensive ability could be determined by adjustment to the speed of the game..good hips but seemed to have slower feet when defending other draft prospects – Questions surrounding how many positions he could reasonably guard- currently feels like only forwards – Seems to have a tendency to drift and lose focus leaving him prone bad fouls and over-commitments…Has trouble on the switch out of the picker roll especially against smaller quicker guards…Not necessarily a weakness,but it is hard to gauge the competition he played against in comparison to college of the G-League…it doesn’t feel like he was truly challenged during his season with OTE.
Outlook: Barlow has gained significant ground on draft boards over the last two weeks. A virtual unknown before he went to OTE and an unknown going into the combine, he has found a way to prove himself with his game. His youth, talent and physical attributes all are going to allow him to succeed at the next level. While it is hard to gauge the level of competition he was facing in the Elite League, he will have time to develop in a G-League system (drafted or undrafted). In my opinion, Barlow’s potential and high upside are too much to ignore for a team looking for a calculated gamble in the second round. He should spend most of, if not all of his rookie year in the G-League but the growth he has shown could have him up on any main roster in year two.
Notes: Measured: 6’8.75” barefoot, 6’9.75” in shoes, 9’0.50” standing reach, 221.0 lbs, 7’3.00” wingspan at the 2022 NBA Draft Combine …
Joe Casey 6/15/22
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