NBA Comparison: Mateen Cleaves/Avery Johnson
Strengths: Quintessential lead guard with winner’s mentality … Shows maturity and composure under pressure well beyond his years. Brings a combination of speed and power to the PG position … Soothing hand at the controls with strong basketball IQ. Runs the offense efficiently … Extremely secure ball handler and decision maker … Displays good court vision and knowledge of teammates positioning on the floor … Averaged 4.6 assists against only 2.2 turnovers last season for a 2.1 ratio … Prefers to attack the paint, using his strength, change of pace dribble and change of direction to get by defenders … Does his best work in transition where he is an absolute jet … Charges into the paint like a running back, yet still with controlled aggression … Does not get knocked off balance on drives, nor lose control of the rock. Gets to the FT line frequently (5.6 attempts as a Soph and 6.5 through four games this season) where he converts over 80% … Has continued to take more initiative in scoring the ball, increasing his ppg average from 10 as a freshman to 15 as a sophomore, and looking even more confident early in 2009-2010 … His outside shot has improved dramatically … Shows good form with no excess movement … Does his best shooting coming off screens, allowing him to set his feet with room for the release … Also makes use of a step back jumper. Shot 39% from distance in 3 attempts per contest last season … Smart defender with good awareness … Uses his quick hands and anticipation to amass 1 steal per game for his collegiate career.
Weaknesses: His size and athletic limitations … Not an explosive athlete … Has difficulty beating defenders off the bounce in the half court … Has a less than overwhelming first step … Doesn’t maintain elevation through contact and has difficulty finishing amongst the trees at 6’1 … An impressive leaper when given a full head of steam, but limited in confined spaces … Despite improvements in his shooting stroke, still not a natural shooter … Needs to improve consistency on his jumper … Struggles to shoot off the dribble … Defenders lay off him and make him take jumpers out of his comfort zone. Doesn’t create enough easy shots for himself or teammates … Usually ends up taking a difficult attempt as a result of his inability to separate from defenders … Shot only 39.5% from the field as a sophomore … Lateral quickness is adequate, which he can mask at the college level … Likely will struggle to stay in front of quicker guards at the next level … His lack of height will also be exposed by bigger guards taking him into the post.
Notes: Led his team to the National Championship game in 2008-2009 … Preseason Wooden Award candidate for 2009-2010 season … Was selected to serve as a counselor at the Lebron James Skills Academy for top High School talent in the summer of 2009, exemplifying how respected he is by his peers.
Adam Ganeles 11/25/09