Analyzing Caleb Martin, Chandler Hutchison, and Kendall Stephens

February 15, 2018

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to take the time to watch a Mountain West basketball game that was played between Nevada and Boise State on February 14th.  This game featured numerous prospects that could end up being selected in the 2018 NBA Draft, and Boise State’s 6-7 senior swingman Chandler Hutchison could end up being a potential first round pick in June.  It was a hard fought game, as both teams traded leads back and forth, but in the end, Nevada held on to get a tough win on the road.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.

Nevada’s 6-7 junior forward, Caleb Martin had a fairly good showing, as he showed off versatile scoring skills and solid athletic abilities, as he was able to lead his team to a narrow victory over Boise State.  Martin showed an adequate ability to get scores on strong drives to the hoop.  He is a patient, physical player that has a good first step to the basket, and he can elevate and accelerate to finish plays at the rim.  He managed to throw down a thunderous dunk to score on Hutchison, and he also can draw extra free throws after getting scores off the dribble, but sometimes, he may miss shots as he can struggle to score in traffic, and he may not always display a great first step or lift on his shots.

He also did a decent job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  Martin was not always consistent in making them, but he did show some prowess in making tough, pull-up jump shots from all over the court.  He can make contested jumpers with ease, and he also can use dribble moves to get his shots off, but sometimes, he may take questionable shots, which can lead him to being more prone to misses.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Martin used a hesitation move to score on a drive in transition, and he also threw down a powerful dunk after getting the ball on a backdoor cut to the basket.  Plus, he also used a pivot move to draw free throws on a step-through, up and under layup after posting up once.

Also, he showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  Caleb Martin did not look to pass often, but he can throw accurate passes, as he managed to pass back to a teammate after cutting to the hoop to set up a score, and he also threw an entry pass to set up another scoring chance.  However, he did commit his long turnover when he threw an entry pass that ended up being picked off by a defender on one play.  Though he didn’t grab many boards against Boise State, Martin was able to haul in at least a board on both ends of the floor.

He also showed off decent defensive skills.  Martin excelled at collecting steals for his team, as he managed to jump a pass quickly, and he also found a loose ball after an opponent let it get away from him while attempting to handle it late in the game.  Martin also did a good job of contesting jumpers to force misses, and he also successfully challenged a fast break drive another time, but sometimes, he would struggle to stay in front of his man when defending drives.  Other times, he would be late to contest shots, as that would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.  He also would defend his man in the post, but sometimes he would not jump up to contest the shot, as he ended up allowing his man to score a couple of times.

In general, Caleb Martin did a good job of scoring and shooting the basketball, and he also displayed some defensive skills when he was on the court.  He started off slowly, but he played better as the game wore on, and he was able to help lead his team to a win over Boise State.  With his skill set, he could end up being a second round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Boise State’s 6-7 senior swingman, Chandler Hutchison did not dominate like he had against San Diego State or in previous contests, as he struggled to consistently make shots, but he did play a good all-around games in his team’s loss to Nevada.  He did a decent job of getting scores on quick drives to the basket.  Hutchison has a solid first step off the dribble, and he can use dribble moves to get to the rim.  He also can draw plenty of fouls upon the opposition.  Plus, he also managed to get the ball on a curl cut, and he scored on a thunderous dunk after driving in from the high post, but Hutchison also tended to miss on runners, as he did not always display great shooting touch or body control when taking the ball to the hoop.

He also struggled to score on jump shots, as he missed all of his three-point shots, and he also missed on a pull-up, mid-range jumper late in the game.  Hutchison displayed strong playmaking skills when he was on the floor.  He played very unselfishly, as he passes and handles the ball well, and he possesses solid court vision.  He did a great job of throwing interior passes as well as finding open teammates on the break.  He also only committed one turnover, as he committed an offensive foul after driving in to attempt to score on a floater on the break.  He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Hutchison excelled at collecting defensive boards as he managed to leap up to haul plenty of them in, and sometimes he would push the ball up the floor to create transition scoring opportunities for himself and his team.

Also, Hutchison played solid defense in this game.  Hutchison really excelled at collecting steals for his team, as he would quickly intercept passes, and he would also find loose balls and poke balls away.  He also did a very good job of blocking shots, as he can stay with his man on drives when defending out on the perimeter, and he possesses solid leaping ability, agility, and timing to swat numerous shots.  Also, he managed to contest a three to force a miss another time, but sometimes, he can be late to rotate, as this led his team to allow opponents to score on a couple of dunks.

In summary, Chandler Hutchison put forth a fairly good performance in his team’s loss to Nevada.  He did not end up shooting well nor did he score efficiently in this game, but he did manage to play well in all of the other areas in this contest.  He is an athletic, skilled basketball player that can help his team in a variety of ways, as he could end up being a good pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range on draft day.

Nevada’s 6-7 senior swingman Kendall Stephens had a good showing in his team’s win over Boise State, as he shot the ball really well, especially from beyond the arc.  He struggled with his position defense, but Stephens did a great job of spacing the floor to help his team on offense.  Stephens really excelled at knocking down jumpers from all over the court to effectively space the floor for his team.  He made numerous deep threes from well beyond the arc, and he has a quick release that enables him to easily get his shot off.  He also managed to score on a pull-up, mid-range jump shot from the baseline.  He did try to score on a drive to the hoop in his attempt to go all the way to the rim, but he had his shot blocked that time.

However, Stephens did not seem to show many other skills in non-shooting or scoring related facets of this game.  He did not collect many assists, but he did manage to collect his fair share of boards when he was on the floor.  He had trouble with his position defense, as he would struggle to stay in front of his man on drives, which would lead his him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also committed a foul when defending a bigger player in the high post another time, and he also over-helped in the paint once to allow his man to score on a three-point shot.

In summary, Stephens is a sharpshooter that is playing really well in his role as a floor spacer to help Nevada, as he is basically like a shooting specialist whose main role is to boost his team’s offense.  He was previously at Purdue, where he had three inconsistent seasons there where he played a similar role, though he did not play nearly as many minutes per game.  This year, it’s clear that he has been instrumental in helping Nevada get many wins this season.  Stephens may be rather limited as a player in other areas, but he is a decent athlete that shoots the ball well, and he could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Nevada’s junior forward, Cody Martin had a fairly good game in his team’s win over Boise State.  He is a tough, physical player that can get scores off the dribble as well as in the post, and he is adept at scoring on hustle plays.  He also is an unselfish player that can make solid reads on the floor, and he also can handle the ball, though sometimes he may throw passes that end up getting intercepted.  Plus, he also rebounded and defended well, and he even drew a charge when defending a drive in transition.  In this game, he was usually tasked with defending Hutchison.  Right now, he is a fill in the blanks player that can help his team plenty of ways, but he will need to improve his ability to shoot the basketball.  But with his skill set, he could potentially project to be a P.J. Tucker type if he does so, as he could end up being a player to watch in 2019.

Nevada’s 6-7 junior swingman, Jordan Caroline put forth a decent performance in his team’s win over Boise State.  He is a tough, physical player that excelled at scoring on put backs, and he can also get to the free throw line often.  He also showed a decent ability to score in the post as well as off the dribble, but sometimes he may miss awkwardly in traffic.  He did not excel as a shooter however, and he missed once on a pull-up, mid-range jump shot.

Caroline showed off decent playmaking skills, as he will make the extra pass, and he did not commit many turnovers on offense.  He excelled at getting numerous boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He would actively contest shots from all over the court to force some misses.  But he also allowed a score in the post once as he may be a bit undersized to defend down low.  He also over-helped on a drive, as he left his man open to allow a score around the basket.

In general, Jordan Caroline was able to contribute as an inside scorer and rebounder, but it is uncertain if his game will translate nearly as well to the next level.  He is not really a jump shooter or playmaker, and he still can have lapses defensively at times.  But he has consistently played well at Nevada, and if he plays well next year, he could potentially move up draft boards in 2019.

Boise State’s 6-9 senior forward, Christian Sengfelder was very active as an offensive rebounder.  He would score on put backs as well as in transition, and he managed to throw down a dunk on the break once, but he also tended to commit over the back fouls when going for boards.  Overall, though he may not be a great athlete, he is a high motor player, and he could perhaps end up having a fairly lengthy career in professional basketball.