NBA Comparison: Eddie Johnson/Shawn Marion
Strengths: Wes has all the tools, and fits the description of your classic athletic small forward … He’s quick and slippery when maneuvering in the lane … At 6’7, he has a huge wingspan (easily over 7′ feet), and tremendous leaping abilities which allow him to rise above traffic around the rim … He has a smooth and fluent motion on his jump shot, and gets nice elevation … Has a strong mid-range game that will only get better … Can spot up from short or deep, but seems to excel at shooting off one dribble after his quick first step enables him to create space between him and his defender… When he doesn’t shoot off the dribble, he uses an effective jab step to create separation and get off his shot, a must-have tool for a scoring small forward in the NBA … Also has deep range with a high and quick release, and his consistency will only improve – his 3 point percentage has gradually risen from 29% to 33% to 39% respectively in each of his 3 years… He shoots 50% from the field overall, and does not need 20 plus shots to be effective … Extremely unselfish, the offense rarely becomes stagnant when the ball is in his hands, a tendency other teams have when their go-to player tries to isolate himself … An underrated passer showing excellent vision and passing skills for a 3 … He moves extremely well off the ball, and does a great job of getting himself open off back screens … Wes can run the floor and finish effectively in transition … His quickness, awareness and long wingspan come into play defensively as well, as he is a terrific off-ball and help defender … Can quickly move from the weak-side to ball-side, and uses those long arms and high leaping abilities to block an average of 2 shots per game … He’s athletic and long enough to play effective on-ball defense at the next level … His wingspan and leaping abilities also make him an excellent rebounder, and his persistent nature and good nose for the ball make him a pest on theoffensive glass …
Weaknesses: Sometimes Wes settles or relies too much on his jump shot, and when it’s not on that day, he can disappear for long stretches throughout the game … Needs to bulk up- when guarded by stronger defenders, he tends to pull back for tougher jump shots as opposed to taking it strong and drawing the foul … Attempts less than 4 free throws per game … Tries to get out of slumps by shooting jumpers instead of being more aggressive … Has not developed much of a back-to-the-basket game yet, but his skills, high release and length give him a shot to develop a post game over time … Has trouble creating off the dribble, most of his opportunities come after one dribble or a catch and shoot … Not much of a playmaker, his ball handling skills are average, and he tends to throw the ball away too often … He’s 23 years old, so his upside and potential might take a hit when GMs look at guys who are up to 3 years younger …
Overall: A widely unknown transfer from Iowa State, Wes Johnson had to wait a year on the sidelines before becoming a household name and a star for Syracuse basketball … Plays a lot of the 4 in college, but will most definitely be a 3 at the next level. At 23 years old already, he should be more NBA ready than most players entering the draft … The big question with Wes is whether or not his inability to create will prevent him from being a relied upon scorer in the pros … Regardless, his smile can light up an arena and make him an immediate fan favorite, while his ability to shoot with hands in his face, as well as his defensive potential and rebounding skills, should propel him to the next level, making him a likely high lottery pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Jonathan Wasserman 3/1/10
Strengths: Figures to be the top transfer in the nation in 2009-10 … Long, athletic wing with a strong offensive game … Has a picture perfect jumpshot with excellent lift and good range. Gets his jump shot off quickly and has a knack for shooting effectively even with defenders in his face … Creates shots very well in isolation … Has an excellent handle and shoots very well off the dribble … An above average athlete who excels in the open floor … Big wingspan (7-foot) gives him an edge defensively and rebounding …
Weaknesses: Born in 1987, after sitting out a year with his transfer from Iowa State is one of the older players in the country … His upside will be questioned due to his age … Not an overpowering athlete. Lacks great strength to finish after contact and overpower opponents … Added strength would allow him to use his length to finish at the rim … Must become more efficient offensively. Despite his excellent shooting ability from the perimeter, his stats in his first two college seasons tell a different story as he shot just 29% and 33% in his FR and SO years … Likes to camp out at the 3 point stripe and spot up, but he’s more efficient shooting off the dribble … Despite his proficiency at shooting without much daylight, he should look to improve his shot selection … Gets careless passing the ball off the dribble … His handle needs to be tightened … Vision is questionable. Needs to learn better decision making when attacking the basket …
Aran Smith 8/11/09