24 - Riley Kugel

6-5, 205 Shooting Guard
Florida Freshman
11/30/03 (19.3 yrs)
Orlando, FL
High School
Dr. Phillips
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Desmond Bane

Strengths: A 6’5 wing with very good physical tools as a lengthy player with a strong, nicely developing 205 lb frame that can pack on even more muscle as he gets older … Also a plus athlete; has strong leaping ability, excellent body control and footwork, as well as solid overall quickness and speed … Good looking jump shot (36 3FG%) and can hit shots from deep with his feet set or occasionally using shifty combination dribbles and rangy step backs to create space … Has a high and quick release … Emerged as a main shot creator down the stretch for Florida and was impressive after mostly being a floor spacer and reserve player early on during his Fr. season (double figures in 9 straight games to end SEC play, 9.8 ppg on 46 FG%) … Had some games when he put up points in bunches with his shot-making off the dribble … Pretty good ball-handler, especially for a bigger-framed wing … An effective pick and roll threat who can have success creating shots for himself in the mid-range and short corners … Nice 1st step … Has the strength and broad shoulders to steamroll smaller perimeter players when going downhill to the rim, and shows real promise as a finisher and overall slasher … Effective transition player who runs the floor well and pressures backpedaling defenders with his ability to handle the ball and cover massive ground as a long strider … Will play the passing lanes and get the occasional deflection or steal (around 1 spg); has the potential to be a strong 2-way player with more experience … Classic late bloomer; has really grown into his body over the past year or so and that has corresponded with his development as a player … Had a meteoric rise in the recruiting rankings as a HS Sr that aligns closely to his ascension production wise during the back end of Florida’s SEC schedule … Seemed to become more and more confident and aggressive as his Fr year went on, and clearly has the tools to make his mark in a few different roles at the next level …

Weaknesses: Mostly wired to score and doesn’t really look to pass the ball much (1 apg), even when he has open teammates … Had a negative A/TO ratio (1/1.5) this season, numbers that speak to significant improvement needed as a perimeter player at the next level in terms of feel for the game and decision making … Sometimes settles for “tough 2s” or pull up 3s and doesn’t always get to the rim as much as you’d expect at the moment … Likes to go right predominantly off the bounce and needs to develop some counters when his strong hand is cut off … Only shot around 2 FTA per game as a Fr. and he was inconsistent when he got there (67 FT%), though he did improve towards the end of the season at drawing fouls … Somewhat raw defensively and could stand to show more awareness at times, as he occasionally ball watches and loses track of players spotting up along the perimeter … Had times when he planted at the 3-point line and didnt work to get himself open when he was off the ball … Below average rebounding numbers even for a wing (2.6 rpg) … Needs more experience and has some polish to add to his overall game … Has high upside and flashed with encouraging performances to end the season but will be looked at as a wild card if he remains in the draft after only really standing out for a 10 game stretch …

Overall: Kugel was pegged as an underrated 2022 prospect by various HS scouts after a strong summer on the AAU circuit just before his Sr season that saw him add around 20 lbs to his long frame and experience a 2-3 in growth spurt, while also playing well against some top prospects (ie Arkansas Fr and projected lottery pick Nick Smith) … After settling in as a 4-star recruit, Kugel signed to Florida after briefly being committed to Miss State and had a slow start establishing himself into the Gators rotation as a reserve early on in his Fr season before injuries to a couple of starters forced him to assume bigger responsibility at the end of the year … He answered the bell and had a few impactful games that opened the eyes of pro scouts with his size, athleticism and promising shot-making ability off the bounce and as a range shooter … There is plenty to like about his upside on both ends of the court, though he clearly needs more game experience and didn’t always play efficient, winning basketball even as he hit his stride as a Fr … It is important to consider the middling talent around him before and after injuries to their toll on the Gators, but improving his feel for passing and trusting his teammates would go a long way in making him an even more noteworthy offensive player … He could be a prospect for either the 2023 or 2024 Draft class, and his decision on when he’s declaring will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks …

Jorrye Nixon 3/15/23