adidas Nations Scouting Reports: Point Guards
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Mike Schmitz
August 10, 2015
Scouting reports on six of the top point guard prospects seen at the 2015 adidas Global Nations, including Dennis Smith, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Trevon Duval and Lautaro Lopez.

Dennis Smith, 6'2, Trinity Christian NC, Class of 2016
Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Has outstanding physical tools for a point guard—very good size, strength and athleticism
-Incredible athlete. Gets to wherever he wants on the floor. Lightning quick first step. Changes speeds amazingly well. Finishes above the rim with ease.
-Very good ball-handler
-Difficult to contain in open court with combination of speed, strength and shiftiness
-Can create his own shot driving either left or right
-Can knock down shots with feet set or off the dribble, albeit inconsistently. Has good shooting mechanics.
-Excellent passer when he wants to be. Finds teammates off the dribble impressively. Will be a very good distributor when it's all said and done
-Huge potential as a pick and roll threat thanks to ball-handling, shooting, ability to change speeds and court vision
-Will be an excellent defender if he wants to be. Shows very quick feet. The ability to get in passing lanes.
-Rebounds well from guard position

Weaknesses:
-Has plenty of room to improve his decision making and overall polish, particularly in the half-court
-Can look very wild at times. Doesn't always read the floor. Tries to just blow by opponents every time. Forces up difficult shots. Turns ball over
-Sloppy with his finishes around the basket in the half-court at times. Just tosses up floaters from outside the paint
-Perimeter shot is still fairly streaky. Hit just 20/70 of 3-point attempts (28.5%) in 27 games we have logged this summer. 91/126 (72%) from the free throw line leaves room for optimism
-Just goes through the motions at times on defense

Outlook: Potentially the most athletic guard in high school basketball. Looks to have grown. May be a legit 6-3 now. Outside shot is progressing. Developing a little more of a personality on the court as well. Looked unstoppable in pick and roll situations until a knee injury (eventually diagnosed as a torn ACL) knocked him out of the final day of televised games. Has plenty of things he can continue to work on, but nothing that can't be fixed. Missing his senior season of high school basketball is unfortunate, but as long as he recovers accordingly, his ceiling as a prospect is very very high.

Markelle Fultz, 6'4, Upper Marlboro, MD, High School Class of 2016

Mike Schmitz

Strengths:
-Excellent size, frame and length for a lead guard prospect. Huge hands. May still be growing. Just turned 17 in late May.
-Fluid athlete. Everything comes easily. Smooth with the ball. Can stop and start on a dime. Effortlessly changes speeds and directions. Gets to wherever he wants on the floor
-Tremendous ball handler. Has the ball on a string. Advanced combo moves.
-Outstanding feel for the game. Can play either guard spot thanks to his ball handling and vision. Creative passer. Can make the simple play. Threads the needle in transition. Uses bounce passes. Excellent timing delivering the ball. Averaged 9.1 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted to only 1.4 turnovers.
-Can score in a variety of ways. 26.4 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Able to create his own shot off the dribble. Nice burst off the bounce.
-Very good body control. Uses euro steps. Can finish around length with a head of steam. Uses the glass creatively with excellent touch
-Capable shooter off the catch and the dribble. Great natural touch.
-Good instincts on defense. Quick twitch. Jumps in the passing lanes. Disruptive in the back court. Has the tools to be a very solid on ball defender. Good effort level on defense. Gets blocks, steals and rebounds.
-Excellent overall poise and demeanor.

Weaknesses:
-Good not great shooter at this stage. Natural touch but has a tendency to hang onto the ball a split second too long. Slight lean back. Shoots on the way down at times.
-Shot 21-of-65 (32%) from three at UAA+Nations and 57% from the free throw line
-Can have a tendency to settle for contested jump shots off the dribble.
-More fluid and smooth than vertically explosive. Can improve his ability to consistently finish through contact and over length. Shot just 49% for 2 in UA Association and Adidas Nations settings this summer
-Very good frame but can still get stronger.

Outlook:
Fultz wasn't overly efficient at Adidas Nations but he posted nearly a triple double on a per 40 minutes pace adjusted basis and proved himself as arguably the best long-term guard prospect at the camp. Fultz' physical profile, creativity with the ball, smooth style of play and outstanding passing instincts draw comparisons to No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA pick, D'Angelo Russell. Fultz has future lottery pick potential, and should be able to make a seamless transition to the lead guard spot, which will boost his NBA draft stock even more.

Frank Jackson, 6'1, Lone Peak UT, Class of 2016
A detailed report on Jackson from earlier this summer can be found here

Lonzo Ball, 6'5, Chino Hills, CA, High School Class of 2016

Mike Schmitz

Strengths:
-Great size and solid length for a point guard prospect
-Outstanding vision – 8.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Creative passer with either hand. Delivers the ball from different angles. Excellent timing hitting cutters, shooters and rim runners.
-Master of the quick outlet pass, especially with one hand.
-Active on the offensive and defensive glass. Has a nose for the ball. Not afraid to mix it up inside. 16.0 rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted.
-Outstanding instincts on the defensive end. Excellent anticipation. Thin but has the size, length, quickness and instincts to be a very good defender when motivated. 3.6 steals and 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted.
-Very unorthodox release point on his jumper but shoots it with range and confidence, and gets good rotation, all things considered.

Weaknesses:
-Good size and length but doesn't have a great frame. Very thin upper and lower body. Slightly hunched over. Legs/feet are a bit pigeon-toed.
-Good not great athlete.
-Extremely unique shooting mechanics. Releases the ball from the left side of his body, well below his head. Shoots across his body. Easy to contest
-Shot 22/70 in for 3 (31%) in Adidas settings this summer (Nations+Uprising)
-Questionable shot selection. Can really pass but has a tendency to force up deep, contested threes early in possessions.
-Flashy passer who will turn it over at times trying to make the homerun play.
-Poised demeanor but looks apathetic at times, particularly defensively. Has a tendency to take possessions off.

Outlook:
Ball is one of the more unique talents in the 2016 class. His size, court vision, basketball instincts, rebounding ability and defensive playmaking will make him an eventual, legitimate triple double threat in the Pac-12. It will be interesting to see how Ball's jump shot, arguably his biggest weakness, develops under former sharpshooter and current UCLA head coach Steve Alford. Overall, Ball has room to improve his body, jumper, and shot selection, but he'll serve as a do-it-all lead guard for the Bruins, and has a chance to continue that versatility at the NBA level down the road if he continues to develop.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 6'5, St. Louis Christian MO, Class of 2017
Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Great size for a guard at 6-5
-Long arms and big hands
-Very interesting frame that will fill out nicely in time
-Smooth and fluid athlete. Operates at different speeds. Pushes ball nicely in transition
-Excellent footwork on drives. Shows great potential on the pick and roll.
-Creative and intelligent player. Finds teammates unselfishly
-Can make catch and shoot jumpers
-Makes shots off the dribble
-Ambidextrous. Uses both hands to shoot and finish
-Good potential defensively with his size, length and feel. Needs to harness that

Weaknesses:
-Lacks strength in a major way (normal for his age), which affects him significantly as a driver, defender and finisher. Lower body in particular needs work
-Tends to settle for pull-up jumpers and floaters instead of attacking the rim. Lacks a degree of toughness/aggressiveness? More smooth than explosive. Sub-50% 2P% everywhere he's been
-Advanced ball-handling skills are still a work in progress. Dribble is a bit high, which hampers him from getting all the way to the rim in traffic
-Doesn't get to the free throw line at a high rate
-Doesn't always shoot the ball the same way every time. Sometimes shoots with a very ugly looking two handed release with his elbow splaying out. Has a long way to go to improve his consistency as a shooter
-Still figuring out if he's a PG or a SG. May grow still and develop into a tall and versatile wing. Posted a 1/1 assist to turnover ratio in Under Armour U16 competition
-Can get overpowered defensively

Outlook: Young and raw combo guard with the framework of a very interesting game. Has a fairly advanced feel for the game for a 16-year old. Not getting a great deal of love from the recruiting services at the moment, but had some very impressive moments at the Adidas Nations. Has yet to play for any Canadian national team.

Jaylen Hands, 6'2, Mater Dei CA, Class of 2017
A detailed report on Hands from earlier this summer can be found here

Trevon Duval, 6'2, New Castle, DE, High School Class of 2017

Mike Schmitz

Strengths:
-Tremendous frame. Wide shoulders. 6' 2” with a 6' 8” wingspan.
-Quick first step. Lives in the paint. Tough to stay in front of. Able to play at different speeds. Does a nice job protecting the ball on his drives to the rim.
-Advanced ball handler.
-Good athlete. Uses his size and length to finish effectively despite having average size.
-Capable distributor. Best in drive and dish situations. Does a nice job getting a piece of the paint, drawing the backline defender and dropping it off to the big. Shows flashes of creativity as a passer.
-Has the tools to be a very good on ball defender. Long arms, great frame, quick feet.
-Just turned 17 on August 3.

Weaknesses:
-More of a scoring combo guard at this stage. Would rather get buckets than distribute. Hunting assists – gives it up when it will result in an assist.
-Doesn't always move the ball around the perimeter. Likes to isolate. Has a tendency to kill possessions at times.
-Turnover prone. Gets in too deep in the paint from time to time. Throws jump passes. Tries to thread the needle.
-Very limited outside shooter. Mechanics aren't terrible but seems to lack confidence. 14-of-56 from three (25%) this summer (UAA+Nations) and 70-of-111 (63%) from the free throw line.
-Demeanor can be a bit lazy. Doesn't always bring it on the defensive end.

Outlook:
Duval is an intriguing prospect given his frame, length, quickness, ball handling ability, flashes of playmaking, and age. It will be interesting to see how the 17-year-old looks in couple of years as the game begins to slow down for him. If Duval can turn himself into more of a point guard and find a way to start making shots from the perimeter, he has a chance to be one of the better guards to come out of the 2017 high school class.

Kobi Simmons, 6'4, St. Francis GA, Class of 2016
A detailed report on Simmons from earlier this summer can be found here

Lautaro Lopez, 6'2, Argentina, 1999
Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Average size at 6-2, but has some nice length
-Nice ball-handling skills. Some quickness. Good first step
-Really knows how to play pick and roll for a kid his age. Changes speeds. Good footwork. Finds open man
-Very unselfish. Makes extremely creative passes
-Good feel for the game. Moves off the ball. Knows how to play
-Tough and aggressive.
-Not afraid to drive right into teeth of the defense and take hits. Finishes creatively and intelligently, using either hand
-Shooting mechanics don't look bad
-Competes on defense.
-Has some swag to him

Weaknesses:
-Extremely thin. Difficult to say how his body will develop in time
-Didn't make a single 3-pointer at Adidas nations. Career 5/27 3-point shooter in 228 minutes we have logged
-Career 65% FT%
-Lack of strength will make it difficult for him to finish at a high level inside the paint unless he grows.
-What kind of potential does he have defensively?

Outlook: Very young and creative point guard, only born in 1999. Was the leader of the Argentinean U16 team that finished in third place this summer at the FIBA Americas Championship, earning a spot in the U17 World Championship in Spain in 2016. Had a negative assist to turnover at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, appearing to look primarily for his own offense. At Adidas Nations, among much older players and on a very unselfish and disciplined team, he looked to pass as much as possible and posted a near 5/1 assist to turnover ratio.

William McDowell-White, 6'5, Australia, 1998
A detailed report on McDowell-White from earlier this summer can be found here
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com Mike.Schmitz2@gmail.com .

 

Dennis Smith
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 11/25/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Trinity Christian
Current Team: N.C. State , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
18.1 Pts, 4.6 Rebs, 6.2 Asts


Markelle Fultz
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 05/29/1998
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: DeMatha Catholic HS
Current Team: Washington , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
23.3 Pts, 5.9 Rebs, 6.0 Asts


Lonzo Ball
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 10/27/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Chino Hills
Current Team: UCLA , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
14.6 Pts, 6.1 Rebs, 7.7 Asts


Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 09/02/1998
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Hamilton Heights Christian Academy
Current Team: , HS Senior
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Trevon Duval
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 191 lbs.
Birthday: 08/03/1998
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: IMG
Current Team: NJ Playaz , HS Senior
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
25.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 9.0 Asts


Lautaro Lopez
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 162 lbs.
Birthday: 01/08/1999
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Almagra , International
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
1.4 Pts, 0.9 Rebs, 0.8 Asts