Analyzing Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr., Dwayne Bacon, and More

February 9, 2017

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch an ACC matchup between Florida State and NC State, as it featured some of the very best prospects for the 2017 NBA Draft.  Jonathan Isaac and Dennis Smith went head to head against each other, and while it was anticipated to be a fun, but competitive event between the two, it quickly became a lopsided affair, as Isaac and Florida State dominated throughout the night.  Here are my thoughts on how Isaac, Smith, and other various prospects fared on this day, as well as how they rate as prospects for the NBA.

Florida State’s 6-11 freshman forward, Jonathan Isaac had a terrific showing, as he played well in all facets of the game to lead his team to a double-digit victory over NC State.  Isaac did a great job of scoring on hustle plays around the basket.  He has great athletic gifts, and he showed a knack for using off-ball movement to garner scores at the rim.  Isaac managed to score on a magnetic tip dunk, and he also excelled at throwing down emphatic dunks as well as at drawing free throws to help his team.

Plus, he shot the ball very well, as he showcased very good shooting skills.  Isaac was able to make an open three off the catch, as well as a face-up mid-range jumper, as he can reliably space the floor when he is on the court.  Also, Isaac showed a good ability to create his own shot to garner scores.  He was able to score on a quick drive to the hoop, as he managed to draw an extra free throw on that play.  Plus, Isaac showed a nifty ability to score on a fadeaway jumper in the low post.

He also showcased decent playmaking skills.  Isaac showed a willingness to find the open man, as he would make the extra pass to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  However, there was one time where he committed a turnover, as on that occasion, Isaac attempted a crossover move, but he ended up dribbling off of his own foot due to carelessness.  In addition, Isaac displayed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, as he would leap up to snare down numerous boards.

Plus, he also showed off good defensive skills.  Isaac has very good length, athleticism, and anticipation skills, as that can quickly enable him to get blocks and steals on the court.  He’ll swat shots off of drives, and he will also jump passes to obtain steals.  Also, he showed a good ability to contest shots to force misses.  But sometimes he would commit bad fouls, as he fouled a shooter on a pull-up mid-range jumper once.  He did commit a blocking foul on a drive in transition, but that call could’ve gone either way.

In general, Jonathan Isaac played very well as he lead Florida State to a blowout victory over NC State.  He started off by scoring his team’s first seven points, and he managed to play well throughout the rest of the contest.  Isaac was able to score the basketball at will, and he also rebounded and defended well.  He played unselfishly, and was able to make solid plays continuously.  Isaac looks to be a lock to be a top 5 pick for the upcoming draft, and he could be a terrific player in the NBA, as he could end up being a multi-All-Star in the association.

For NC State’s freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr., this game turned out to be relatively disappointing for him and his team, as they lost by a lot to Florida State.  Smith did put forth a decent showing, but it was nowhere close to how well he played when he faced off against Duke and Syracuse earlier this season.

Smith showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  He was able to get into a rhythm in the second half, as he has very good speed, quickness, and leaping ability to garner scores around the basket, and he was able to throw down a thunderous dunk off of a baseline drive.  However, he also had a penchant for getting his shots blocked, as he would keep over-penetrating and drive into traffic in this game.

But he struggled to make jumpers consistently in this game.  Smith was able to use a crossover move to knock down a pull-up, mid-range jumper with the clock winding down in the second half, but Smith struggled to make shots routinely in that range, and he missed his only three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

Also, he showed off fairly good playmaking skills.  Smith showed a solid ability to find shooters throughout the contest, as he would demonstrate the patience and court vision to get them the ball to set up plenty of scores for his teammates.  However, Smith was taken out of his rhythm early in the first half when Florida State decided to trap him whenever he touched the basketball, and he would not work hard enough to get open.  In addition, some of his passes were inaccurate, leading to turnovers.

Smith did not grab many rebounds in this game, but he did haul in a board on each end of the floor.  Most notably, he was able to run down a defensive rebound to help his team on that particular possession.  Defensively, he did not appear to do anything noteworthy on that side of the ball.

In summary, Dennis Smith showed off a fairly good ability to distribute the basketball in a double-digit loss to Florida State.  But he was far too passive on offense in this contest, and he did not shoot or score nearly as well as expected.  He did not make a three, and he tended to have his shots blocked too often.  It was disappointing that he did not play nearly as well as he did against Duke or Syracuse, but Smith likely could be a good pick for an NBA team in the lottery.

Florida State’s 6-6 sophomore guard, Dwayne Bacon played very well to help lead his team to a blowout victory over NC State.  He excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and defender when he was on the floor, and he made numerous plays to help his team in this contest.  Bacon showed a very good ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He is a quick, strong guard that has a solid first step to the hoop, and he also has the body control to finish plays around the basket.   He also had a knack for drawing fouls upon opposing defenders, and he excelled at scoring on fast break drives.

He excelled at getting scores on the move.  Bacon was able to score on a tip in, as he did so quickly after managing to collect an offensive rebound for his team.  Plus, he also was able to throw down an emphatic dunk on a separate occasion.  But he was average at best at knocking down jumpers.  He did make a couple of spot-up threes off the catch, but he was streaky with his jump shot, and he also missed a mid-range jumper another time.

Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Bacon showed a willingness to find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  But he did commit a couple of turnovers, as one included a play where he accidentally dribbled off of his foot to lose the basketball.  Also, Bacon rebounded the ball really well.  He showed off a tremendous ability to haul in boards, especially on the defensive end, and he was able to quickly score off of his lone offensive rebound in this game.  Plus, he also defended well.  Bacon has very good length, athleticism, and timing, as he excelled at contesting and blocking shots to force misses.

Overall, Dwayne Bacon put forth a very good game, as he showed off a versatile skill set in a win for his team.  He is a player that can do everything to help Florida State on the court, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Florida State’s 7-1 senior center, Michael Ojo played very well to help lead his team to a double-digit victory over NC State.  He excelled in virtually all facets of the game, as he showcased a solid set of skills on both ends of the floor.  Ojo showed a solid ability to finish plays around the basket.  He ran the floor well, as he was able to throw down a powerful dunk on the break.  Plus, he also managed to score on an emphatic jam after finding himself open underneath the hoop.  Also, he showed a very good ability to score on put backs, as he possesses a great motor to do so.

He also flashed the ability to score in the post.  Ojo managed to draw free throws after using a drop step to attempt a dunk on an opposing defender.  However, Ojo struggled to score on jump hooks, as he had some trouble with his shooting touch when he would look to score on the block.  But he did do a very good job of making his free throws, which is an encouraging sign, as that could enable him to be a potential stretch big in the future.  Also, Ojo showed solid playmaking skills.  He has very good court vision, and he threw crisp, accurate passes to his teammates to set up scores for them.  Ojo threw sound interior passes, and he exhibited a strong ability to throw outlet passes, and to hit cutters in this game.

Plus, he also rebounded the ball well.  He was active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, and he frequently was able to score on put backs for his team.  Ojo also defended very well, as he excelled at blocking shots off of drives.  Also, he excelled at jumping passes to collect steals, and he would use his length to force misses.  But he did commit one bad foul around the basket, which led his team to allow a score and give up an extra free throw afterwards.

In this game, Michael Ojo played very well throughout this game, as he put forth a tremendous showing in a win over NC State.  He put forth a strong performance to help lead Florida State to a lopsided victory.  With his skill set, Ojo may have the skills to land on an NBA team’s roster next season.

Other Notes:

Florida State’s 6-6 sophomore swingman, Terance Mann put forth a solid showing, as he quietly nearly had a triple-double in a win for his team.  He excelled as a scorer off the dribble and in the paint, and he also showed off strong playmaking and rebounding skills.  He is a good athlete that made smart, sound plays throughout the contest, and he could be a definite player to watch in the future.

Florida State’s 6-4 junior point guard, Xavier Rathan-Mayes also played fairly well, as he generally excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.   He excelled as a scorer off the dribble, as he even was able to use a quick hesitation move to throw down a dunk.  He also made good passes, as he also threw a lob pass to set up an alley-oop dunk for his team.  Plus, he defended fairly well, as he was active in getting steals for his team.  In this game, Mayes put forth a good showing in a win for his team over NC State, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the upcoming draft.

NC State’s 6-7 sophomore swingman, Maverick Rowan excelled as a scorer for his team in a loss to Florida State.  He showed a strong ability to score on patient drives to the hoop, and he also excelled at knocking down pull-up mid-range jumpers.  Plus, he also defended fairly well, as he was able to block a three-point shot, and he dove on the ground to try to help his team get a steal, as he possesses a great motor.

But Rowan strangely did not take nor make nearly as many threes as he did against Syracuse.  He also occasionally committed bad turnovers and fouls, as he would sporadically have lapses in this game against Florida State.  Rowan could potentially be an intriguing prospect for the next level, but he will need to prove that his performance against Syracuse was not a fluke, as his calling card in the NBA would likely be his jump shot.

NC State’s 6-5 senior guard, Terry Henderson did not start the game off very well, but he later found his jump shot, as he put forth a decent showing in a loss to Florida State.  Henderson showed a good ability to knock down spot-up and pull-up threes, and he also showed off a solid ability to score off the dribble.

Henderson even was able to throw down a dunk in transition.  However, he struggled as a playmaker and defender, as he had a ball knocked off of him to commit one turnover.  On defense, he was beat off the dribble, and he committed a foul to allow a score and an extra free throw.  Henderson may be a long shot to be drafted, but his ability to shoot the basketball could enable him to make an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Florida State’s 6-4 sophomore guard, P.J. Savoy showed a solid ability to make threes off the catch, as he was able to knock them down quickly after coming off the bench in the middle of the game.  He may not be getting much draft buzz, but he could be an intriguing prospect, as he could end up being a player similar to Matt Carroll in the NBA.

NC State’s 6-8 junior forward, Abdul-Malik Abu had a decent game in a blowout loss to Florida State.  He excelled as a scorer off the dribble, and he especially excelled as a scorer on fast breaks, as he was able to throw down a magnetic dunk in transition.  He also showed off a decent ability to knock down mid-range jumpers. And Abu showed a solid ability to draw fouls upon defenders.

However, he did struggle to make mid-range jumpers consistently at times, and there was one time where he had his shot blocked when he was inside the paint.  Abu also did not rebound nor defend well, as he would show lapses that would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores on that end of the floor.  Right now, Abu may be a borderline second round candidate for the upcoming draft, but he will need to improve in the finer points of the game.  Most notably, he will need to work on his jump shot and defense in order to reach his full potential for the next level.

It was not a good game for NC State’s freshman big man, Omer Yurtseven.  He showed a knack for scoring on mid-range jumpers, and he also scored on a tip in.  Plus, he also rebounded the ball well on both ends of the floor, as he would leap up to do so, as he possesses a very good motor.  But he tended to miss easy shots around the basket, and he was inaccurate with his passes.   Yurtseven was also quite bad defensively, as he would be very foul prone, and he had a lot of trouble defending the post, as he does not possess great lateral quickness.

Right now, Omer Yurtseven may be more of a project player than anticipated.  He has struggled to find his footing in most games against top-notch competition, but he does have a few things going for him.  He can knock down mid-range jumpers, and he is a very good rebounder.  But he has tended to struggle against length and athleticism more times than not, and he may need to stay in school to hone his overall game.

Overall, this game was a largely anticipated match, as it featured two likely lottery picks in Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac and in NC State’s Dennis Smith.  But Florida State was the much stronger, deeper team, and they proved to be too much for NC State to handle.  Florida State played well in every category, as they made it tough for the opposition from the get go.  Isaac and the Seminoles were able to get into a groove from the jump, and they were able to proceed to go on to win easily over their opponents.