Jan 18, 2022
NBA Comparison: Tim Young
Strengths: Has good size for an NBA big (7’0”, 245 pounds). Runs pretty well for his size. Very alert on defense. Does a good job finding his man and going out to contest shooters on the perimeter. Does a good job on the boards (10.8 rebounds per game). Really solid fundamentals. Boxes out. Goes up to grab the ball with two hands and does a good job clearing space. Able to hold his own on the glass against DeAndre Ayton (11 points and 12 rebounds). Smart player. Does a good job of not forcing it. Commands the ball well in the post. Really improved his shooting during the course of his career. He shot 60.9% from the foul line as a freshman and shot 82.8% as a senior. Also came into UCLA with no 3-point shot and winded up being a 40.2% 3-point shooter on 3.4 attempts per game. Post moves have really improved. Capable of hitting jump hooks inside, etc. Averaged a career-high 12.6 points per game in his senior year. Did a good job of staying on the floor and not fouling (2.4 fouls per game in 33.2 minutes).
Weaknesses: Not the most athletic big man. Athleticism is solid, but there are questions about his ability to hang with quicker, more athletic NBA bigs. His ability to hang with DeAndre Ayton is definitely encouraging. Solid scorer at UCLA, but not elite. Never the first option at UCLA. More of a third or fourth option kind of player. Not a bad shot blocker, but not great either (.9 blocks per game as a senior; 1.1 blocks per game for his career). His ability to protect to the rim needs to be better as a 7-footer. He’s good at a lot of things, but not great. Sort of a jack-of-all trades, master of none kind of player.
Overall: While it took him some time to fully develop, Thomas Welsh leaves UCLA as a very solid, all-around big man. He can score both inside and out, hold his own inside on the glass, and he’s a smart player who rarely makes any mistakes. Guys like him have the chance to find a home in the NBA, especially if they are 7-feet.
Notes: Measured 7’0, 241.5 lbs, with a 6’11 wingspan and 9’3.5 reach at the 2014 USA U18 tryouts
Ben Parker 6/21/18
January 1, 2014