2021 Draft Watch: Assessing Jonathan Kuminga, Clifford Omoruyi, and C.J. Wilcher
September 15th, 2020
By Alan Lu
Recently, The Patrick School’s 6-8 forward, Jonathan Kuminga recently decided to play in the NBA G-League for the 2020-21 season, so I decided to watch him play in another high school game to get another glimpse of his skill set. This time, he played against Roselle Catholic in a December 23rd, 2019 game, as I saw this with thanks to YouTube via Slam Highlights.
Jonathan Kuminga is a very athletic, combo forward that possesses versatile scoring skills, and he can make highlight-reel worthy plays on both ends of the floor. Some consider him to be the potential number one overall pick for the 2021 draft, and he certainly made some plays in this game that seemed to indicate that he was worthy of being in the discussion.
Kuminga did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He was able to make a bank three-point shot from way out, and he also moved off the ball to knock down a quick corner three another time. Plus, he also used a ball fake to make a pull-up jumper from the left elbow. Another time, he dribbled to his right, and drew free throws while taking a pull-up jumper from the mid-range. Occasionally, he can tend to rush up shots, which can lead to misses, but he generally excelled at making his jump shots from long distances.
He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble. Kuminga was able to drive in from the high post to draw free throws on a dunk attempt. Another time, after running off the ball on a curl cut, he drove in from the high post to draw free throws after hoisting up a floater. Later on, after grabbing an offensive rebound, he drove in from the high post to score on a thunderous, two-handed dunk. However, there was one play where he missed on an awkward runner after attempting to drive to the hoop from further away from the basket. Kuminga seemed to be more comfortable at taking the ball to the rim when he would start off around or in the paint area, as opposed to starting his drive out from the perimeter.
He also displayed decent low post scoring skills. Kuminga is an agile, fleet-footed forward that possesses a solid shooting touch to score in the paint, and he was able to use a pump fake to score on a crafty, up and under move. He also drew free throws after hoisting up a one-legged, fadeaway jumper, as he managed to contort his body in such a way to draw the foul call. However, he also missed on a rushed, off-balanced layup after being thrown an inaccurate low pass down low another time, and he also had another shot blocked after attempting a drop step move.
Also, Kuminga displayed a solid ability to score on hustle plays. He runs the floor very well, and he was able to catch a long pass to score on a magnetic, high-flying dunk late in the game. He also drove rapidly up the court to draw free throws on the break, as he would hunt for fouls in order to get to the foul line. However, sometimes though, he would have his shots blocked off of cuts and in transition, and he can occasionally struggle to finish plays in traffic when he doesn’t get those foul calls.
In addition, Kuminga also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. He can throw solid passes off the dribble, as he can aptly find teammates on the move to set up scores for them. He can find roll men and cutters, and he has solid court vision that allows him to consistently find the open man. However, sometimes he can tend to over-dribble, as he will try to handle the ball in traffic, which can lead him to get the ball poked away or to lose it to the opposition. He also was called for traveling on a baseline drive, which was a shame because he would’ve scored on a thunderous dunk had that call not been made. He also passed out of a shot in the post, but he ended up throwing an inaccurate, ill-advised jump pass in which his pass ended up sailing out of bounds. Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Kuminga was able to chase down balls on both ends of the floor to help his team get a few boards.
Defensively, he looked to be fairly average. For the positives, Kuminga is a fairly active help defender that can make some plays on the ball. He was able to block a shot off of a drive hard to a teammate, and he also ran in to intercept an inbounds pass to get a steal, as he possesses good length, athleticism, and timing to do so. He also will apply considerable ball pressure when guarding opposing ball handlers, and he was able to contest jump shots to force some misses. However, he tended to over-help off his own man as he would be caught ball watching and would try to go for steals, but then he would be late on his rotations, which would cause his team to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would be too aggressive in trying to contest shots in the paint, as he would tend to pick up quick fouls.
In general, Jonathan Kuminga is a very athletic, combo forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he is a talented prospect that may have a good deal of upside as a prospect for the NBA. He will need to take better care of the basketball and be a more focused defender in games, but his ability to create his own shot, make long-range jumpers, combined with having very good size and athleticism to play multiple positions may make him a tantalizing prospect for the NBA, as he could end up being a solid player in the league.
Rutgers’ 6-10 incoming freshman center, Clifford Omoruyi had a decent showing for Roselle Catholic in his team’s loss to The Patrick School. He is an athletic big man that excels at blocking shots, and defense will likely be his calling card if he ends up making his way to the NBA someday.
Omoruyi is an athletic, rangy defender that can make numerous plays on the ball, and he played good defense in this game. He is a talented shot blocker that would often rotate to swat shots in the paint due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also managed to jump on a loose ball to get a steal, as his defensive presence made it so that his opponent dropped a ball in mid-air just before attempting a mid-range shot, and Omoruyi also rotated to poke a ball away from his man off of a drive to get another steal.
He also deflected a pass off of an opponent to force another turnover, as he has good hands and instincts to do so. Also, he would often contest shots in the paint to force misses, and he has solid length and strength that allows him to be an effective low post defender. Sometimes though, he can tend to have lapses defensively. Occasionally, he can lose track of his man, which can lead his team to allow opponents to score on dunks. He also sometimes will forget to call out screens to his teammates, as his teammate would get blindsided and this would force him to rotate to commit fouls on drives. Other times, he would struggle to defend his man on the ball, as he may not always move his feet well when guarding opponents around the basket.
Also, Omoruyi did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He was quite active at crashing the glass, as he would leap up to get numerous boards on both ends of the floor. Plus, he would tend to score on hustle plays. Omoruyi runs the floor well, and he was able to score on a powerful, two-handed dunk on the break. He also would draw numerous fouls on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds to get to the free throw line, and he also drew free throws after getting fouled on a dunk attempt off of a cut. Sometimes though, he would miss on tip shots, and he also missed on a turnaround jump hook after getting an offensive rebound.
He also displayed adequate low post scoring skills. Omoruyi was able to catch an inaccurate lob pass off the glass, as he then scored on an off-balanced layup due to possessing good body control. He also did a very good job of getting to the free throw line by making strong moves to the hoop. However, he also tended to miss on off-balanced jumpers when he would take shots from the block.
He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Omoruyi was able to throw a long outlet pass to a teammate late in this game, and he also set a good on-ball screen that helped get a teammate an open jump shot. However, he was also called for setting a moving screen another time.
Overall, Clifford Omoruyi is an athletic big man that possesses solid shot blocking skills, and he showed a knack for getting to the free throw line. However, he also missed too many shots that he could have made around the basket, and he will need to expand upon his offensive skills. He will have to develop his face-up game more and extend his shooting range. Still, he played fairly well in this game, and he was a good get for Rutgers, as he could make an immediate impact for them next season. Right now, he could project to be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, as he may have the skills to end up being an effective, rotation player in the NBA.
Xavier’s 6-5 incoming freshman swingman, C.J. Wilcher showed some interesting skills for Roselle Catholic, as he is a strong, mobile shooting wing player that can score the basketball, but he also had his fair share of ups and downs in his team’s loss to The Patrick School.
Wilcher is a solid shooter that can knock down a slew of jumpers to space the floor for his team on offense. He can run off ball screens to knock down corner threes, and he also was able to get an extra free throw after making one late in this game. He also dribbled up the court to make a smooth pull-up three, as he can also score on pull-up jumpers from downtown. However, he struggled more to make pull-up jumpers from mid-range.
He also displayed decent low post scoring skills. Wilcher was able to score on a crafty up and under move. He also sealed his man to get the ball another time, and he drew free throws upon catching the basketball. However, sometimes he take contested, turnaround jumpers, as he can be prone to missing shots when he is not able to create much separation for his jump shot.
Also, Wilcher displayed a decent ability to score off the dribble. He can use either hand to score on strong moves to the hoop, and he also can score on floaters. Sometimes though, he would miss on contested shots, as he can be prone to forcing up tough shots in the paint.
However, he was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, WIlcher is an unselfish player that can find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he can throw solid passes off the dribble when he plays under control. On the downside, he can tend to commit offensive fouls when trying to create his own shot, and he also committed a couple of careless ball-handling turnovers. On another play, he telegraphed an inbounds pass that ended up getting intercepted.
Though he didn’t get many rebounds against The Patrick School, Wilcher would run in and leap up to get his fair share of defensive rebounds when he was on the floor. On the downside, he was also called for committing an over the back foul when going for an offensive rebound late in this match.
Defensively, he looked to be about average. On the plus side, Wilcher is a fairly active help defender that can make some solid plays on the ball. He rotated to block a shot from behind due to possessing solid length and timing, and he also intercepted a pass to get a steal. He also poked a ball away to nearly get another steal, and he also altered a corner three to force a miss another time. However, he also would sometimes get beat off the dribble, which would cause his team to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would over-help off his man and misplay balls, which would put his team in compromised situations.
Overall, C.J. Wilcher is a tough, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, but he will need to improve his ball-handling skills, and be a more disciplined defender in games. His ability to knock down jump shots could allow him to make an impact for Xavier right away, and he could project into a 3 and D type of role at the NBA level.
St. Peter’s-bound, 6-5 guard Zarique Nutter had a very good showing for The Patrick School to help lead his team to a win over Roselle Catholic. He is an impressive athlete that can take the ball to the rack to get numerous scores, and he also some solid playmaking and defensive skills in this game.
Nutter really excelled at attacking the basket. He drove quickly to the hoop to score on a high-flying, two-handed jam on the break, and he also drew an extra free throw on that play. He also ran the floor to get another score, and he also managed to score off of a cut and a quick put back off of an offensive rebound. He is a very athletic swingman that plays very hard, and he would tend to score on off-ball motion plays.
He also showed a decent ability to score on half-court drives. Nutter was able to score on an aggressive baseline drive, and he would go hard to the rim to draw plenty of fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. However, there was one play where he missed on an off-balanced, contested layup in traffic, as he rushed his shot that time. He didn’t look to take many jumpers from outside of the basket area, but he did miss on a pull-up jumper from the mid-range once.
Plus, he also displayed solid playmaking skills. Nutter is an unselfish player that threw solid interior passes, and he would throw accurate lob passes to open teammates around the basket to set up scores for them. He can find cutters on the move, and he can quickly get into the lane to get the ball to open shooters. On the downside, he was called for a charging foul after lowering his shoulder into a defender off an aggressive baseline drive late in this game, as that call could have gone either way.
Also, Nutter did a solid job of rebounding the basketball. He was quite active at crashing the glass, and he would leap up to collect plenty of boards, as he was able to bring the ball up once off of a defensive rebound. He also hustled to save a ball to a teammate to help his team get a rebound later on.
Adding to that, he also played decent defense in this game. Nutter was able to block a shot hard out of bounds when defending in the post, as he displayed solid length, athleticism, and timing that time. He also managed to poke a ball away once, and he also tied up an opponent to force a tie-up to nearly get steals. He is a capable low post defender that can ably hold his ground on the block, and he would use his length to contest shots in order to force misses. On the downside, he also tended to pick up quick fouls, as he would sometimes get outmuscled when defending in the paint, and he also can sometimes struggle to defend opponents in one-on-one situations. He also committed a foul on a three-point shot, as he allowed the basket that led to a four-point play.
In summary, Zarique Nutter is a very athletic combo guard that thrives on going to the hoop to score the basketball, and he also can make solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor. He seems to be a very underrated prospect, and his ability to score and make highly athletic plays seems to suggest that he may have been under-recruited.
He will need to improve his jump shot though, as he will have to be more comfortable in taking shots from long range, and he will have to be a more consistent performer in games, but he is a very underrated prospect that may have considerable upside. If Nutter can continue to progress as an overall player and hone his game, he could project to be a solid role player in the NBA, as he could develop into being an energetic defensive specialist at that level if things break his way.
The Patrick School’s 6-10 high school junior big man, Samson Johnson also played very well to help lead his team to a victory over Roselle Catholic. He is an athletic, high-motor player that made solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he looked to be one of the best athletes in this game.
Johnson can aptly score on hustle plays. He caught a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk off of a backdoor cut, and he also scored on an emphatic, two-handed jam off of a roll to the rim another time. Plus, he also managed to score on a nifty tip-in, while getting an extra free throw. Sometimes though, he can be prone to rushing, which would lead him to miss on put back attempts.
He also displayed adequate low post scoring skills. After finding himself open around the basket, Johnson was able to catch a lob pass to score on another alley-oop dunk, and he also managed to score on a bank hook shot another time. Johnson is a very athletic big man that can finish numerous plays above the rim, and he also possesses a solid shooting touch around the basket. However, on another play, he had his shot blocked by his defender.
He also displayed average at best playmaking skills in this game. Johnson showed the ability to throw outlet passes. However, he lost the ball after trying to attempt a mid-range jumper, as the ball slipped out of his hands and ended up resulting in a turnover.
Also, Johnson is a very good rebounder that will crash the glass to haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor. Sometimes though, he may not always secure balls to get rebounds, and he will need to add more strength to be able to defend in the post against stronger players after allowing rebounds to them.
Plus, he also played solid defense. Johnson was able to block a shot out of bounds after defending a drive out on the perimeter, as he possesses good length, athleticism, and timing to do so. He also nearly intercepted a pass to get a steal, but was called for landing out of bounds. He also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get a steal another time, and he will make solid rotations and actively contest shots in the paint to force misses. However, he can sometimes be too aggressive in doing so, which can lead him to pick up quick fouls.
Overall, Samson Johnson is a very athletic big man that could project to be a solid rim protector in the NBA. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker that can help his team protect the paint, and he also does a good job of scoring on off-ball motion plays on offense. He will likely need to improve his face-up game and extend his shooting range and also add more strength, but Johnson is an intriguing prospect that may possess considerable upside, as he may be a player to keep an eye on in the future.
Florida’s 6-5 incoming freshman swingman, Niels Lane played fairly well for Roselle Catholic in his team’s loss to The Patrick School. Though he didn’t really seem to standout in this game, he showed a knack for drawing and making free throws to help his team put up points throughout this contest.
Lane showed a solid ability to score on hustle plays. He would run the floor to score and get free throws, and he also managed to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive board. However, he also missed on a wild, rushed flip shot off of an offensive rebound, as he didn’t seem to have a great angle to score that time.
He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. He would drive aggressively to his right to get free throws, and Lane generally excelled at making them when he was at the foul line. However, when he would drive to his left, he tended to have his shots blocked, as he struggled more when going the other way.
He also displayed a decent ability to knock down jumpers. Lane moved off the ball to make an open corner three, as he can make shots from long-distance. However, he missed another time when hoisting up an open three on the break. He didn’t take many outside shots in this game, but it’s clear that Lane can shoot and knock down jumpers from long distances, and he needs to trust his shot and take more of them in games.
On the downside, he was quite turnover prone in this game. Lane didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, and he struggled to handle the ball in traffic. He over-dribbled once, and had the ball poked away as he lost it to an opponent, and he also committed a charging foul another time. He also was called for setting a moving screen, and he also threw a pass that got intercepted earlier. Lane was able to haul in his fair share of boards to help his team get some rebounds. He collected multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also pushed the ball up the floor off of a defensive rebound once.
However, he struggled defensively. For the positives, he can deflect passes, as he showed a willingness to play passing lanes. Lane also managed to successfully defend a drive, as he contested the shot to force a miss. On the other hand, he can sometimes be late on his rotations, and he had some trouble cutting off penetration when trying to rotate on drives, which would lead his team to allow scores. Other times, he would be too late to make plays, which would cause him to commit fouls around the basket.
Overall, Niels Lane is a versatile scorer that can knock down shots in a variety of ways, but he will need to improve in the other facets of the game. He is an above average athlete that can ably get his shot off, but he will need to improve his playmaking and defensive skills. He will need some time to develop his overall game, but over time, he could project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA someday.