Analyzing Dedric Lawson, Eric Paschall, and Lagerald Vick

December 16, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch a non-conference, college basketball game that took place between Kansas and Villanova that was played on December 15th.  There were numerous prospects that participated in this match such as Quentin Grimes, Eric Paschall, Dedric Lawson, and others.  Some of the players fared well and others did not.  As for the game itself, it was very competitive as both teams traded leads, but Kansas was able to hold onto get the win due to the strong play of Dedric Lawson and Lagerald Vick.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day, as well as how their skills may translate to the NBA.

Kansas’ junior forward, Dedric Lawson played very well, as he showed off a strong all-around game to help lead his team to a narrow win over Villanova.  He did a very good job of driving to the basket to get scores for his team.  Lawson has an adequate first step off the dribble and can use either hand to handle the basketball, and he would frequently score on strong moves to the hoop from the left and right elbows of the paint.  Lawson also used a quick spin move to score another time, and he really excels at scoring off the dribble from the high post.  He also managed to use a rip move to draw free throws on a reverse layup.  However, on one drive from out on the perimeter, Lawson struggled to get all the way to the basket that time, and ended up air-balling a floater that ended up being a miss.

Though he didn’t look to take many jumpers from outside of the paint area, Lawson excelled as a shooter when he would look to do so.  Early on, he moved off the ball from the post to get the ball in the corner to make a spot-up three.   Also, he was able to drive left to knock down a contested pull-up, mid-range shot from just inside the left elbow.  He also showed an adequate ability to get scores in the post.  Lawson has good strength, shooting touch, and footwork, and he can score on drop steps and step through moves when looking to score from the block.  He also managed to score on a running jump hook when going to his right, but sometimes he may try to force the issue too much on offense and rush his shots, which can lead him to miss on turnaround jumpers.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Lawson looked to score quite often, but he was able to make one good pass, as he managed to pass from the high post out to a shooter to notch an assist.  He also set a good on ball screen to allow his teammate to get an open shot off.  He did not turn the ball over, but sometimes he would get the ball poked away to almost commit turnovers, though his team would end up recovering the basketball.

Plus, he also was a chairman of the boards in this game.  Lawson had a knack for hauling in numerous rebounds to help his team, especially on the defensive end, and he also managed to bring the ball up once.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  For the positives, he was active in contesting shots when defending threes and drives to force some misses, and he would make good rotations to help his team protect the paint.  Lawson also almost collected a block by rotating to swat a shot off of the glass, but his teammate had committed a foul beforehand, but sometimes he would get beat when defending opponents off the dribble to allow scores, and he also was late to get back to a roll man another time that resulted in him committing the foul.  On a separate play, Lawson ended up getting backed down when defending in the post, and did not show much resistance, as he allowed his opponent to score on a jump hook.

In general, Dedric Lawson had a solid showing to help lead his team to a win over Villanova.  He excelled at getting scores off the dribble from the high post, as he can use either hand to do so, he can score in the post, and he also can knock down jumpers.  Plus, he also rebounded the ball very well.  Lawson will still need to show that he can consistently knock down outside shots as well as to guard quicker players out on the perimeter, but he is a skilled, versatile player that can help his team in many different facets of the game.  Right now, he may project to go in the late first to the second round range, as he may have the skills to end up being a reliable role player in the NBA.

Villanova’s 6-8 senior forward, Eric Paschall played well in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He primarily excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also helped out in the other facets of the game to keep his team in it.  Paschall did a very good job of shooting the basketball, as he excelled at spacing the floor for his team.  He showed a knack to score on turnaround mid-range jumpers, and on one play, he drove left and used a nifty pivot move to knock down a turnaround jumper while drawing an extra free throw.  Paschall also was able to make a couple of spot-up threes, as he can move off the ball to get open, and he also has good size to knock down long-range jumpers over defenders.  He also drew three free throws on a three-point shot as well.

However, Paschall struggled more to score off the dribble when he would look to go all the way to the basket.  Though he has a decent initial first step, he can tend to struggle to get to the rim, and he would tend to miss shots in traffic as a result.   He also missed a put back off of an offensive rebound, as he can miss shots wildly around the hoop at times.  Also, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, Paschall is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he can both bring the ball up and pass out of the post.  On the other hand, he had a tendency to get the ball poked away when looking to create off the dribble, and he also traveled when looking to score in the post another time.  He also may not have great court vision, as he struggled to find an open teammate after being doubled when posting up, and ended up having to call a timeout afterwards.

Though he didn’t get many rebounds overall in this game against Kansas, Paschall was quite active at crashing the glass on offense to help get boards for his team on that end of the floor.  He would run in to get rebounds, and he showed a good motor in getting offensive boards.  However, he was called for a foul when going for a defensive rebound once, as he ended up pushing his opponent out of bounds when pursuing the basketball.

He also showed off decent defensive skills.  Paschall is an active help defender that will run in to get his hands on balls to help get his team steals and deflections due to possessing adequate mobility, instincts, as well as having a good motor on the floor.  He also will contest threes to force some misses.  On the other hand, he can struggle to defend opponents out on the perimeter.  He committed a foul on a drive once after getting beat off the dribble.  Another time, he kept backpedaling when defending a quicker guard, and ended up being too far underneath the hoop to aptly challenge the shot, which led his team to allow the basket.   He also was called for fouling a three-point shooter in the corner that was perhaps due to over-aggressiveness.  He made a good effort to try to chase his man off the line and contested the shot, but was called for swinging his arm that made contact with the opposing shooter.

In summary, Eric Paschall is a mobile, skilled forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  He is not an explosive athlete, but Paschall is a very good shooter that can also knock down shots off the dribble.  Right now, he may project to go in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft, as he could end up being a similar player to that of Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward, Anthony Tolliver in the NBA.

Kansas’ 6-5 senior guard, Lagerald Vick put forth a very good performance to help lead his team to a narrow win over Villanova.  He did a great job of knocking down shots to help his team on offense, and he was also very active on the glass, as he would pull down plenty of boards in this game.  Vick excelled at knocking down numerous jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He showed a gifted ability to make pull-up jumpers, especially from mid-range, as he has a crossover move that he can use to create separation, and he also used a step back to make a long two in the corner.  He also made a pull-up three after dribbling back from the right elbow, and also drew free throws off of another pull-up attempt from long distance.  Vick also was able to make a couple of spot-up threes, but he seemed to struggle more when taking threes off the catch.

He was able to score on a floater off of a quick left handed drive to the hoop.  Another time, Vick used an overhead ball fake to score on a runner in transition.  He didn’t look to go all the way to the hoop often, but he can score on floaters to keep defenses honest.  Also, he displayed average at best playmaking skills.  He was able to throw a high entry pass to get an assist, and he also showed a willingness to move off the ball to get open three-point shots.  However, Vick tendency to be inaccurate on his passes, which led him to commit some turnovers.  He threw an under-thrown lob pass to a cutter that ended up being intercepted, and he also threw an inaccurate inbounds pass that sailed out of bounds another time. 

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He hauled in plenty of defensive boards in this contest, and sometimes he would throw long outlet passes afterwards, but sometimes he would forget to block out, or pick up the wrong guy when attempting to do so, as his team would allow put back scores.  Plus, Vick also showed off decent defensive skills.  He would contest jumpers to force some misses, and he also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a deflection.  But sometimes he may sag too far off his man, which can cause him to be late on his rotations, and he also occasionally struggled to defend opponents off of drives.

Overall, Lagerald Vick had a very good game in his team’s win over Villanova.  Unlike his teammate Quentin Grimes, Vick has played really well this season since his lackluster showing in the Champions Classic against Michigan State.    Vick is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he could end up being a good find for a team in the NBA draft, as he could end up being a reliable role player in the association.

Villanova’s 6-3 redshirt senior guard, Phil Booth played very well in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he was able to make some big shots to help his team down the stretch to help them stay in the contest.  Booth showed a gifted ability to get scores off of drives to the basket.  He is a crafty player that can get to where he needs to go on the floor, and he possesses good body control, change of direction skills, and finishing ability at the rim.  Booth can score using either hand, and he has an assortment of moves that he can use to get past defenders.  He was able to change speeds and use a hesitation crossover move to score once, and he also used a step-through move to split a double team to score on another layup.  Booth can subtly change directions to get past his opponents, and he was able to glide in to score on a thunderous dunk late in this game.

He looked to score quite often, but Booth can kick the ball out to shooters to occasionally set up scoring chances for them.  But sometimes he may not show great court vision, and early on, he missed an opportunity to find a teammate on the roll as he decided to take the shot himself, which resulted in him missing on a pull-up three.  Booth also can be inaccurate on his passes, as they can end up getting deflected by an opponent or dropped by a teammate on occasion.

He also didn’t grab many boards, but Booth was able to leap up to haul in a couple of defensive rebounds, and he was able to get one in traffic.  Also, he played fairly average defense.  Booth is a better than advertised athlete, and he will play passing lanes to deflect passes, as he can tip them to teammates to help his team get steals.  Booth managed to break up a lob pass intended for a cutter and directed it to his teammate once.  He also was able to contest a pull-up three to force a miss.  However, Booth lacks the ideal size to defend on the court, and as a result, he ended up allowing opponents to score on rolls to the rim on switches, as well as on a long two.  Other times, he may not look to contest shots, which can lead his opponents to get scores inside the arc as well.

Overall, Phil Booth played very well, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he subtly made some impressive plays in this game against Kansas.  He is a score-first combo guard that can get buckets, and he also made some good defensive plays at times.  Right now, he may project to be a borderline second round candidate, but his ability to score the basketball and create off the dribble could allow him to make an NBA team’s roster someday.

Other Notes:

For Kansas’ 6-2 freshman guard Devon Dotson, his performance was a bit of a mixed bag.  While he ultimately scored efficiently in this game, the free throws he generated and made were likely because the other team was intentionally fouling in order to cut into the deficit.  In this game, Dotson was able to make a spot-up three to score on his lone attempt from beyond the arc to show his potential to be a shooter in games.  He also did a decent job of getting scores on aggressive drives to the hoop.  Dotson is a quick guard that can finish plays using either hand.  But sometimes he may go in too out of control, which can lead him to miss wildly around the basket.

However, he may still need to improve his playmaking skills.  On the plus side, Dotson has good foot speed, as he is a player that can push the ball up the floor, and he also managed to hit a cutter to set up a scoring opportunity for his teammate.  He also can find the open man when he looks to get his teammates the basketball.  However, he had a tendency to get his passes deflected, as he can be inaccurate on them.  He also threw a ball out of bounds, though that was due to miscommunication.  But on another play, he was called for a clear-out foul when looking to make a play off the dribble to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.

Though he didn’t grab many boards in this game, Dotson can chase down balls to get some boards, as he was able to get a rebound on each end of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Dotson will look to stay with his man when defending opposing ball handlers, and he can contest threes as well as shots off of drives to force misses.  However, he had a tendency to commit touch fouls when defending opponents off the dribble, and he also tended to get beat off the dribble too often due to not moving his feet very well on that end of the floor.  He also may struggle to defend taller players, as he committed a foul and allowed a basket to one such opponent when defending a turnaround mid-range jumper.

Overall, Devon Dotson is a speedy combo guard that has the ability to develop into a dynamic score first playmaker, but he will need to improve his court vision and be more consistent in games.  He also will need to improve his position defense.  Right now, he may be a second round prospect.  He might not contribute much to an NBA team right out of the gates, but Dotson’s athleticism and ability to make plays could potentially make him a useful role player at the next level.

Villanova’s 6-3 sophomore point guard, Collin Gillespie struggled for most of the game, but he played really well in the final two minutes, as he made a series of impressive drives to the hoop to get his team late scores to cut into the deficit to try to help his team rally back in this game.  He’s a quick, speedy playmaker that can score quickly off the dribble using either hand, and he made some fantastic finishes to score on tough layups late in the game.  Though he did miss some shots off the dribble as he may look to overtly force the issue at times, Gillespie really excelled as a scorer off drives late in the contest against Kansas.  He did look to take plenty of threes, but he struggled to make outside shots consistently from long range.

Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills.  He looked to score quite often, but sometimes he would look to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates.  However, he was called for a traveling violation early on off of one drive.  On another play, he dropped a pass that went into the backcourt, and ended up getting called for an over and back violation.

Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average.  For the positives, Gillespie is an active help defender that also will contest shots.  He ran in to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away that almost helped him get another.  He also will contest threes to force some misses, and Gillespie also drew a charge when defending an opponent off the dribble.    But sometimes he may over-help in the paint and be late on his rotations, which can cause him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.  He also may struggle to guard taller players, as his lack of size can make it tough for him to aptly contest shots, as he once allowed an opponent to score on a mid-range shot over him.

Overall, Collin Gillespie had a fairly good showing, as he played very well down the stretch to almost help get his team a win in this game.  He is a quick playmaker that accelerates well, and he was able to get numerous scores on aggressive drives to the basket.  He may not have much draft buzz right now, but he could be a player to watch in the future, as he may profile into being a potential T.J. McConnell type of player in the association.

Unfortunately for Kansas’ 6-5 freshman guard Quentin Grimes, he did not play well at all in his team’s win over Villanova.  He was plagued with foul trouble in the first half, and he never really asserted himself on offense or got going to be much of a factor on either end of the floor.  Even worse, for a player that is considered to be a shooter, not only did he not make a field goal against Villanova, but he struggled to make free throws when he was at the foul line.

Grimes was unable to knock down a shot from the field in this game.  He took a corner three in transition, but missed from that distance in the first half.  He also looked to score off of a cut, but ended up missing wildly off of the backboard.  He did manage to draw free throws on an aggressive, right handed drive off of a screen, as he was able to turn the corner off of a pick and roll that time.  However, though Grimes made the first free throw, he missed one that did not count due to a lane violation, and then ended up missing his second free throw anyways afterwards.

Though Grimes is an unselfish player that will look to move the basketball, he can be too much so at times, as he may not look for his own shot enough, and he also was very turnover prone when he was on the floor against Villanova.  Grimes had a tendency to throw weak passes in traffic that would get intercepted, as the opponent would be draped all over his teammate.  On one such play, he passed up wide-open three point shot to throw an entry pass, only for an opponent to run in to intercept the pass.  He also committed a charging foul when looking to pass out of a drive to a shooter that caused him to receive an offensive foul and a turnover another time due to recklessness.  Grimes generally had trouble getting past his man off the dribble, with the exception of the one time where he was able to get to the foul line off of a drive, and his less than ideal foot speed could make it tough for him to create his own offense at the next level.

Also, Grimes did not record a rebound, as he was not very active on the glass in this game.  He also did not play very good defense, either.  For one positive, Grimes managed to contest a three-point shot to force a miss.  However, Grimes tended to have lapses defensively, and he also struggled to defend opponents on the ball.  He would tend to put his hands on opponents, as he would get called for reach-in fouls when defending his man off the dribble.  Another time, Grimes was caught ball watching, and was late to rotate back, which caused him to allow a three-point shot to his opponent.  He also struggled to defend a drive on a separate play, as he allowed his man to make a pass to set up a three-point score due to lacking elite lateral quickness.

Right now, Quentin Grimes has hit something of a rookie wall in college basketball, as he had a tremendous game against Michigan State, but he has been in something of a prolonged shooting slump since playing well in the first two games of the season.  Grimes projects to be a spot-up shooter in the NBA, but his inability to consistently score or create offense, combined with not showing great defensive skills could be troublesome for him at the next level.  He may not be as polished a player, as initially thought, and he may need to spend more time in college to work on his overall game.  Therefore, Grimes may be over-rated as a prospect right now, as he probably would be a risky pick in the first round, but his ability and potential to develop into a shooter could make him a second round candidate for the upcoming draft.