2022 Draft Watch: Evaluating Benny Williams and Charles Bediako
September 19th, 2021
By Alan Lu
LSU’s 7-0 incoming freshman center, Efton Reid has been rated as a five-star prospect across numerous recruiting services, and he is a highly touted prospect that has been rated high by several websites. I decided to take the time to watch him play for IMG Academy PG in a February 19th, post-graduate basketball game against Rocktop Academy, with thanks to YouTube via Rocktop Academy.
It was a little confusing that IMG Academy had more than one basketball team that featured notable prospects, as they have a varsity team and a post-graduate team. I decided to watch Reid play against Rocktop Academy because I wanted to see how he would fare in a close game, and it also allowed me a chance to watch some of his other talented teammates in Charles Bediako and Benny Williams. I wasn’t too impressed with how Reid fared in this game, as Reid didn’t seem to contribute much on either end of the floor, but I felt Bediako and Williams turned in strong performances to lead IMG Academy PG to get the victory. Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.
Syracuse’s 6-8 incoming freshman forward, Benny Williams turned in a superb, all-around performance to help lead IMG Academy PG to a win over Rocktop Academy. He played a terrific game as he excelled on both ends of the floor, and he played a vital role to help his team get the victory. Williams showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He is a terrific athlete that would often score on cuts and in transition in this game. He was able to catch lob passes off of cuts, and he would frequently score afterwards. He also managed to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk off of a backdoor cut early on. He also ran the floor, and scored on a high-flying dunk on a drive in transition. He also managed to draw free throws on a quick, baseline drive another time.
He also did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. Williams excelled at making open, spot-up threes, and he particularly showed a penchant for making corner threes off the catch. He also ran off of a ball screen to make a corner three once to show his shooting prowess and ability to move off the ball. Plus, he also excelled at scoring on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, and he has good balance and shooting touch to do so.
Plus, he also showcased good playmaking skills in this game. Williams is an unselfish player that would make the extra pass to get the ball to the open man, and he was able to rack up plenty of assists. He showed that he can make an assortment of passes off the dribble, and he would often find teammates on the move to create scoring chances for them. He also didn’t turn the ball over, but he did have a ball poked away on a drive to commit a turnover late in this match.
He also was able to leap up to get his fair share of boards, and Williams was able to haul in rebounds on both sides of the ball. Also, Williams played good defense. He is an athletic, rangy defender that can cover plenty of ground, and he is also a very good, on-ball defender. He was able to make a chase down block on a drive in transition late in this match, and he also poked a ball away to help his team get a steal. He also would apply considerable ball pressure, as he was able to get a deflection, and he also trapped an opposing ball handler to force a turnover another time. He also did a great job of contesting shots from out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to get a plethora of stops for his team. On the other hand, there was one instance where he got beat on a crossover move and then gave up too much space, which led him to allow his man to score on a long two. Another time when defending in the post, he allowed his opponent to get deep position, and he ended up allowing the basket that time.
In general, Benny Williams had a fantastic showing, as he had a strong all-around game to help lead IMG Academy PG to a win over Rocktop Academy. He is a very athletic forward that especially excelled as a shooter, scorer, facilitator, and defender, and he may be vastly underrated as a prospect for the NBA. He could be a good find in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft, and he is a skilled, versatile forward that could end up being a solid role player similar to current Los Angeles Clippers’ forward, Nicolas Batum in the NBA.
Alabama’s 7-0 incoming freshman center, Charles Bediako also played very well for IMG Academy PG to help them get a win over Rocktop Academy. Bediako is a very athletic big man that excelled as an interior player to help his team on both ends of the floor. Bediako showed a solid ability to score in the post. He would often throw down powerful dunks to score after getting the ball down low. He excelled at catching lobs, and he showed great strength to finish plays at the rim. He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Bediako ran the floor and caught an outlet pass, which enabled him to score on a thunderous dunk in traffic. He also managed to score on a strong put back after grabbing an offensive rebound. Sometimes, he would take rushed shots when looking to score in the paint, which would lead to misses. He also didn’t look to take jumpers from outside the paint area. While he did a very good job of drawing free throws, he struggled to consistently make them when he was at the foul line.
He also was a bit turnover prone on offense. On one good play, Bediako was able to throw a very long, accurate outlet pass to find a teammate on the break to notch an assist. He also showed that he can pass out of the post. On the downside, he appeared to have been called for setting a moving screen early on. When grabbing an offensive rebound once, he was crowded by his opponents, and he threw a hasty pass that got intercepted late in this contest.
He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball. Bediako would often haul in boards on both ends of the floor to help his team get many rebounds. He also played good defense in this game. Bediako is a solid position defender that excelled at getting stops for his team. When defending in the post, he blocked a shot to himself. He also managed to catch a dropped pass to get a steal, and he pounced on a loose ball to help his team get another. He also showed a knack for contesting shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force plenty of misses. On the other hand, there was one play where he sagged too far on a switch and allowed an opponent to score on a mid-range jumper. Another time, he bit on a pump fake when defending in the post once to allow a score.
In summary, Charles Bediako is a very athletic, high-motor big man that has great physical tools, which could make him an intriguing draft prospect in 2022. Currently, he is a second round prospect, but if he can continue to hone his game and refine his offensive skills, he could end up being a solid role player similar to Daniel Gafford in the NBA.
Quinnipiac’s 6-0 incoming freshman point guard, Bernie Blunt played well for Rocktop Academy in his team’s loss to IMG Academy PG. He is a speedy scorer that can score in bunches, and he was able to get to anywhere he wanted on the floor. His shot selection was spotty at times, and he seemed to shoot a lot. While he was the best player on Rocktop Academy’s team in this game, sometimes his penchant for shooting got to a point where it seemed like where his other teammates weren’t getting involved enough on offense.
Blunt shot the ball well, as he especially excelled at knocking down threes to showcase his sharpshooting prowess. He especially showed a knack for making threes from way out, as he was able to do so off the catch, dribble, and he also ran off of a ball screen to knock one down early on. He also did a decent job of knocking down mid-range jumpers. He is a quick, agile guard that showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers from that range. He did miss his fair share of outside shots, and he also would throw up some questionable shots that ended up missing completely.
He also managed to score on a backdoor cut to the hoop. Blunt also did a satisfactory job of scoring off the dribble. He was able to score on a couple of quick, right-handed drives to the basket, as he lay it up high off the glass to do so. On the downside, he would sometimes try to overtly force the issue, which led him to get his shot blocked several times.
He also showcased decent playmaking skills. Blunt looked to score quite often, but he also showed that he can swing the ball to open shooters to set up scores for them. He also is a good passer off the dribble, and he can quickly spin out of double teams and find cutters to get his teammates the basketball. On the downside, he can be a bit loose with his ball handling, and there were a few times where defenders could poke balls away from him to get him to nearly turn the ball over.
Also, Blunt did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would quickly get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would often push the ball quickly up the court after getting defensive rebounds. He also played adequate defense in this game. Blunt is an active help defender that can get steals for his team. He was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also would pounce upon loose balls to help his team get others. He also hustled back to poke a ball away out of bounds to nearly force a turnover that time. On the downside, he would sometimes get caught ball watching, which would lead him to be late on his rotations and to allow scores to his opponents.
Overall, Bernie Blunt is a speedy playmaker that can shoot and score the basketball. He will need to show that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, and he’ll need to improve his defensive focus. Still, he is a talented prospect that was a good get for Quinnipiac. If things pan out for him, he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA someday.
Dayton’s 6-2 incoming freshman point guard, Lynn Greer III had a very good, all-around performance to help lead IMG Academy PG to a win over Rocktop Academy. While he didn’t seem to especially stand out as a shooter or scorer, he especially excelled in the other areas, as he did a great job of passing, rebounding, and defending when he was on the court.
Greer did a decent job of knocking down jumpers in this game. Greer was able to run quickly off of a ball screen to make an open mid-range jumper from around the left elbow. He also drove to the hoop and utilized a nice overhead ball fake to score on a smooth, running floater. While he didn’t take many threes, he was able to run off a ball screen to make a quick, spot-up three. He would sometimes miss on pull-up, mid-range jumpers and he didn’t seem to shoot enough, but he shot the ball well to keep his defenders honest.
He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble. He would drive hard to the hoop to get fouled in order to get to the free throw line. On the downside, sometimes he would force the issue too much, which would lead him to miss shots when he wouldn’t get foul calls. He also managed to score on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound. Plus, he also drew free throws on a put back another time.
Also, Greer did an excellent job of passing and handling the basketball. He is a pass-first point guard that excelled as a table setter for his team, and he was able to rack up assists at will in this game. He would throw swift, accurate lob passes to cutters as well as interior passes to teammates on the break to set up scores for them. He also showed that he can make an assortment of passes off the dribble as well as consistently find teammates on the move to get them the basketball. He showed off very good court vision and decision-making skills, and he also took great care of the basketball.
He also was magnificent at grabbing rebounds for his team. Greer would often leap up to get rebounds, and he also was able to leap up to get tough offensive boards in traffic. He would frequently come away with defensive boards, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the court afterwards. He also played good defense in this game. Greer did a good job of blocking shots in the paint, and he has very good timing and solid athletic gifts that allow him to swat shots. He also was able to pounce on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also deflected a pass to nearly force another turnover. He also would contest outside shots to force misses. On the other hand, there was one play where he sagged too far off of a shooter, which led him to allow his man to score on a three-point shot. He also got beat off the dribble once another time, which led his team to commit a foul later on.
Overall, Lynn Greer III, who is the son of former Temple great and former NBA player Lynn Greer II, played very well in this game, as he showed off tremendous basketball IQ and he showed a knack for making sound plays throughout this contest. He seems to be vastly underrated as a prospect for both college basketball and the NBA, and he is a talented player that could end up being a reliable backup point guard in the NBA someday.
LSU’s 7-0 incoming freshman center, Efton Reid didn’t really stand out that much in IMG Academy PG’s win over Rocktop Academy in this game. He is a strong, physical center that can make plays in the interior on both ends of the floor, but he didn’t take many shots, and he didn’t seem to make a noticeable impact in this contest. For the positives, Reid excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Early on, Reid managed to score on a strong put back while drawing an extra free throw. He was quite active on the offensive glass, and he would absorb the contact to get to the free throw line. He struggled more to score in the post, however. On one good possession, he ran down the court, and he was able to get open around the basket to get the ball, and he promptly scored on a powerful dunk afterwards. On the downside, he tried to back his man down on a high-post drive, but he had his shot blocked hard out of bounds. He also ran off the ball to get it down low, but later missed on a quick, right-handed jump hook. He also will need to improve his jump shot. In this game, he attempted an outside shot that appeared to be a long two, as he apparently stepped on the line, but he missed completely as he threw up an air-ball that time.
He displayed adequate playmaking skills. Reid is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he was able to throw an accurate lob pass to notch an assist early on in this match. He also managed to set an on-ball screen that helped his teammate score on an open, mid-range shot. He also was fairly active on the glass. Reid was able to leap up to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also was able to grab a strong offensive board in traffic once. On the other hand, there was one play where he almost collected a defensive board, but lost the ball out of bounds, as he wasn’t able to corral and secure the ball on that possession.
Defensively, he looked to be fairly average. Reid would actively look to contest and block shots, and he was able to contest a mid-range shot and a shot in the post to force a couple of misses. On the downside, he would tend to over-help in the paint and sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on open threes. He also had trouble defending on a drive once, which led him to commit a foul. Other times, he would appear to block shots, but would commit fouls when contesting those shots in the paint instead, which would get him into foul trouble.
Overall, Reid’s performance was quite disappointing in this game, and he didn’t seem to be anywhere near the five-star prospect that he was advertised to be. He didn’t show much in terms of his skill set, athleticism, or motor, but he does have very good size and strength for the center position. Moreover, he didn’t even appear to be the best big man on his own high school team in this game, and his teammate, Charles Bediako looked to be miles ahead of him in terms of talent and performance in this contest. Reid has a long way to go as a prospect for the NBA, and he’ll need to make substantial improvements on both ends of the floor. Efton Reid will likely need to spend time to hone his game at LSU, but if things pan out for him, he could end up being a serviceable backup center similar to Dan Gadzuric in the NBA.
LSU’s 6-5 incoming freshman swingman, Brandon Murray had a decent showing as he showed off some shooting and scoring skills to help IMG Academy PG get a win over Rocktop Academy. He excelled as a three-point shooter, as he was able to make them off the catch and dribble, and he also showed off considerable range in doing so. He also was able to knock down a couple of pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, and he also excelled at scoring on backdoor cuts.
He also ran the floor and caught a long pass, which enabled him to score on a two-handed dunk. He did also miss his fair share of jumpers, and he struggled to consistently get all the way to the basket when driving to the hoop, but Murray showed that he can reliably space the floor to help his team on offense. He also did a decent job of passing and handling the basketball. Murray is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he would throw accurate passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.
He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game. Defensively, he looked to be average at best. Murray was able to rotate to block a shot hard when defending around the basket. He also would contest threes as well as contest a shot off of a drive to force some misses. On the downside, he would tend to sag too far off of shooters, and sometimes he wouldn’t event contest the shot, which would allow opponents to score on three-pointers. He also would commit aggressive reach-in fouls when defending opposing ball handlers at times. Other times, he would struggle to stay in front of his man, which would lead him to get beat on cuts and off the dribble to allow scores.
Overall, Brandon Murray is an athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball. He’ll need to improve in the other facets of the game, but he looks to be a solid recruit for LSU. He may need to spend some time to hone his game at the collegiate level, but if he can play up to his potential, he could end up being a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA someday.