2022 Draft Watch: First Look at Aminu Mohammed

September 29th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Georgetown’s 6-5 incoming freshman forward, Aminu Mohammed is a highly regarded recruit that came in as a five-star prospect by multiple recruiting services.  I wanted to get to know more about his game, so I decided to watch him play in a high school match for Greenwood Laboratory School against Park Hill that was played on January 18th, with thanks to YouTube via Park Hill School Men’s Basketball.  He was by far the best player on the court, and he thrived as an athletic slasher, rebounder, and defender in this contest.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Aminu Mohammed is a very athletic swingman that could make an immediate impact at Georgetown for the upcoming season.
(Photo:
Andrew Jansen/News-Leader, via Springfield News-Leader)

Aminu Mohammed is a very athletic swingman that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help Greenwood Laboratory School get the win over Park Hill.  He especially excelled as a scorer and defender on the floor, and one of the most impressive things about his strong performance in this game was his shot-blocking prowess that he put on display.

Mohammed showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He excelled at scoring on strong put backs as well as in transition.  He would score off of offensive rebounds, and he also would handle the ball on the break and use subtle dribble moves to score at the rim.  He managed to change directions to score on a powerful dunk in transition once.  Plus, he also was able to get the ball on a backdoor cut off of a misdirection play, and he managed to utilize a pump fake to score on a crafty, switch of hands layup.

He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble as well as in the post.  Mohammed tends to favor going to his left, and he will use ball fakes to get defenders in the air to score inside.  He also would find ways to draw fouls to get to the free throw line despite showing shaky ball handling at times.  Mohammed also managed to score on a nifty, turnaround, fadeaway one-legged jumper from the baseline due to possessing good footwork, balance, and shooting touch to do so.  He doesn’t have a great initial burst to the hoop when looking to take his man off the dribble, and it can lead to some awkward misses.

He struggled more to score on outside shots.  Mohammed showed a tendency to go to his left, and he can score on fadeaway jumpers from the mid-range, and he also can pull up to knock down threes.  However, he tended to miss on contested or rushed mid-range jumpers, and he also would tend to miss on deep threes that he would sometimes recklessly hoist up too early in the shot clock.  He also sometimes would take threes at weird angles and didn’t always appear to have his feet set, and he seemed to miss more when he didn’t have enough time to set up his three-point shot.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Mohammed was proficient at throwing accurate interior passes, and he can deftly find teammates on the move to collect assists.  He was able to cut to the hoop to get the ball before promptly throwing a crafty, behind-the-back interior pass to set up a score late in this match.  He also can make drive and dish passes to consistently find the open man.  On the downside, he tended to be sloppy with his ball handling, and he would have been far more turnover prone if he faced better defenders on the court.  He tended to be very loose with his handles, and he generally struggled to handle the ball when pressured.  He was called for traveling off of a high post drive once, and he also would sometimes get balls poked away from him.  He also would sometimes throw inaccurate passes that would go astray that would lead to other turnovers. Also, Mohammed did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes bring the ball up and push it up the court to create early offense and scoring opportunities for his team.

He also played solid defense in this game.  Mohammed did a tremendous job of blocking shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing very good athleticism, leaping ability, and timing.  He would often rotate to block shots hard off of drives and in the paint, and he was able to swat one shot to himself to help his team get a defensive rebound.  He really excelled at contesting shots in the paint to force misses.  He also poked a ball away and rotated to tie up an opponent on a drive to nearly get steals other times.  On the downside, he didn’t always seem to give enough effort when defending out on the perimeter.  He would often give outside shooters way too much space to shoot, and he would sometimes not even look to actively contest those shots.  He would sometimes be late on his rotations, and every once in a while, he would get beat off the dribble when defending opposing ball handlers.

In general, Aminu Mohammed is a very athletic, physical swingman that excelled at scoring the basketball and making hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help Greenwood Laboratory School get the win in this game.  He is a talented prospect that plays much bigger than his listed size, and he is like an athletic big man in a shooting guard’s body.  On the other hand, he will need to significantly improve his outside shot and his ball-handling skills.  His strong athletic gifts and defensive versatility could make him an intriguing prospect for the NBA, but offensively, he may still have a long way to go.  If he can improve enough on offense to have at least a passable outside shot, he could end up being a solid role player similar to Miami Heat’s forward, P.J. Tucker in the NBA.

Greenwood Laboratory’s 6-9 then-high school senior forward, Victory Naboya also played well in his team’s win over Park Hill.  He primarily excelled at scoring in the paint and at making hustle plays to help his team get the victory.  Naboya was able to score on a thunderous dunk off of a roll to the rim. He also managed to score on a quick put back off of an offensive rebound.  He also excelled at scoring in the post, as he would score on layups and powerful dunks around the basket.  Plus, he also managed to set an off-ball screen to help his teammate score on an open jump shot.  On the downside, he would sometimes be careless on offense.  He dropped an entry pass out of bounds that led to a turnover.  On a baseline drive, he used a pump fake, but then was later called for a traveling violation another time.

Naboya also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to push the ball up the floor off of a defensive rebound once.  He also did a good job of contesting and blocking shots off the dribble to protect the paint.  He also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also contested a deep three to force a miss.  Sometimes, his team would be in scramble situations or would play zone defenses, and he would have to rotate to commit fouls on opposing ball handlers.

Overall, Victory Naboya had a solid showing in this game, and he is an athletic, high-motor big man that showed the potential to excel on an NCAA, Division 1 basketball team.  He’ll still need to improve his face-up game and show that he can succeed at higher levels, but he is a talented prospect that could be worth keeping tabs on in the future.

Park Hill’s then-high school senior guard, Nyk Bryant also played well in his team’s loss to Greenwood Laboratory School.  He showed a knack for scoring off the dribble as well as in transition, as he would frequently score on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range and on crafty layups.   He is a quick guard that handled the ball well, and he was able to find open shooters to get some assists.  He also was active defensively.  He was able to pounce on a loose ball to help his team get a steal once.  Also, he also helped trap an opposing ball handler to force a ball-handling turnover another time.

Overall, Nyk Bryant is an agile, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He’ll likely need to show teams that he can successfully run the point at higher levels, but his ability to knock down jump shots could enable him to carve out a playing career in professional basketball someday.

Park Hill’s 6-1 soon-to-be high school junior guard, Marqueas Bell had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Greenwood Laboratory School.  Bell showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes, and he also excelled at moving off the ball to knock down outside shots from beyond the arc.  While he didn’t look to score from inside the arc nearly as often, he was able to drive hard to the hoop to score on an acrobatic, reverse layup once.  Overall, Bell is an agile score-first, combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, but he will need to show teams that he can succeed at higher levels.  If so, he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Park Hill’s 6-5 freshman swingman, Anthony Hall played fairly well in his team’s loss to Greenwood Laboratory School.  He especially thrived as a shot blocker in this game, and he did a great job of swatting shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also showed off versatile scoring skills in the few times he seemed to hoist up shots.  He was able to score on an open three-pointer, and he also scored on a mid-range floater shortly after grabbing an offensive rebound.  He also managed to score on a fast break.  On the downside, Hall didn’t look to score nearly enough, nor appeared to stand out enough on offense. Overall, Hall is an energetic, high-motor player whose defensive skills may be ahead of his offense right now.  He’ll need to be more assertive on offense and trust his jump shot more, but his solid defensive skills could enable him to maybe carve out a playing career in professional basketball someday.

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