Analyzing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, and Tyler Davis

January 10, 2018

By Alan Lu

The Kentucky-Texas A&M game was a thriller that went all the way down the wire.  Though neither team shot the ball well or took great care of the basketball, both teams played solid defense, and numerous were aggressive in taking the ball to the hoop to garner scores.  In the end, Kentucky made enough plays to get a one-point victory over Texas A&M, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Tyler Davis, and P.J. Washington appeared to have been the most consistently productive performers on this day.

Kentucky’s freshman guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played very well to help lead his team to a narrow win over Texas A&M.  He did a great job of attacking the basket, and he displayed solid playmaking and defensive skills when he was on the court.  Gilgeous-Alexander did a very good job of getting scores off the dribble.  He possesses good speed and acceleration, and he can score on quick drives to the hoop, as he seems to be particularly adept at using his left hand.  He also regularly drew fouls upon the opposition, and he also managed to score on a runner.  He also was able to score on a pull-up mid-range jumper, as he showed that he can make shots from that range.  However, he did not look to take a three in this game.

Plus, he also scored on a tip in off of his own miss due to possessing good instincts, athleticism, and motor to do so.  Also, he displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  Gilgeous-Alexander did a good job of throwing interior passes, and he also would get the ball to his teammates off the dribble, but he had some trouble protecting the basketball as he tended to get the ball poked away at times, and he also traveled once after attempting to pass out of a drive.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would leap up to get plenty of defensive boards to help his team.  However, he committed a foul when going for a defensive rebound once due to over-aggressiveness.  He also exhibited adequate defensive skills.  Gilgeous-Alexander excelled as a help defender, as he was able to obtain a steal, and he also managed to block two shots.  However, there were times where he would give up too much space, which would allow opponents to score on jumpers.  Another time, he ended up getting beat off the dribble as he ended up allowing a score to his opponent.  In general, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played very well in his team’s win over Texas A&M.  He is a skilled basketball player that can help his team in many different ways, and he could end up going in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft.

Kentucky’s 6-5 freshman guard, Hamidou Diallo really excelled at scoring the basketball, as he did so in a variety of ways to help his team get a close win over the Aggies.  He made a lot of hustle plays in this game, and he was able to get numerous scores in the paint.  Diallo really excelled at scoring on the move, as he would use off-ball motion to score on hustle plays.  He would consistently run the floor to score on fast breaks, as he managed to throw down magnetic jam, and he also was able to score on a reverse layup on a breakaway.  He also was able to catch a lob pass off of a cut to score on a nifty alley-oop dunk.

Also, Diallo did a good job of getting scores off the dribble as well as in the post.  Diallo was aggressive in driving the ball to the basket, and he would consistently draw fouls upon the opposition.  Also, he did a good job of drawing fouls when he would look to post up.  He also showed an adequate ability to shoot the basketball.  Diallo made a couple of mid-range jumpers, as he really excelled at making those types of shots.   However, he missed both of his three-point attempts against Texas A&M.

Diallo also displayed adequate playmaking skills when he was on the court.  He was able to kick it out to a shooter to set up a score for a teammate, and he also made a tough pass from the ground to find the open man after initially fumbling a pass and being trapped afterwards despite being on the floor, but he did throw a pass that was too hard for a teammate to catch once, as it bounced off of his teammate’s hands, and ended up going to an opponent instead on one offensive possession.

He also displayed average at best defensive skills.  For the positives, Diallo showed a willingness to play passing lanes, and he also would look to poke balls away in an attempt to help his team force turnovers.  But sometimes, he would be prone to committing fouls on the defensive end, and he also allowed a score on a drive on a separate play.  In general, Hamidou Diallo had a good showing in his team’s win over Texas A&M.  He did a great job of attacking the basket to garner scores, and he is a very athletic swingman that could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the mid first round of the upcoming draft.

Texas A&M’s junior center, Tyler Davis played very well in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He excelled as a finisher around the basket, he was able to make a three, and he also was a ball mover when he was on the floor.  Davis showed a good ability to score in the post.  He would catch entry passes, and he would tend to score on drop step moves around the basket.  He also managed to score on a jump hook.  Plus, he showed an adequate ability to score on put backs.  Plus, he also shot the ball well, as he was able to make a mid-range jumper, and he also made a three off the catch on a pick and pop play.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Davis showed a good ability to make passes from the post to set up scores for his teammates, and he would look to find the open man.  He also would hit the cutter, as he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving.  However, he also committed several turnovers in this game, as he can be inaccurate with his passes, and he had a ball poked away in the post, as he ended up losing the basketball.

However, Davis did not do a great job of rebounding the basketball.  For the positives, he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  But sometimes he would commit fouls in trying to go for rebounds due to over-aggressiveness.  On defense, he looked to be about average.  He would look to play passing lanes, but he also would pick up fouls when defending in the paint.

In general, Tyler Davis put forth a solid performance, as he was able to make a lot of good plays to keep his team in the game for pretty much the duration of the contest.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he could end up being a second round pick for an NBA team whenever he decides to enter the draft.

Kentucky’s 6-8 freshman forward, P.J. Washington had a good showing in his team’s win over Texas A&M.  He played well in virtually every facet of the game, and he was able to make some big defensive plays as he made some key stops to help his team get the victory.  He did a good job of getting scores on strong drives to the hoop.  Washington excelled at scoring using his left hand, and he also showed a solid ability to draw fouls.  Plus, Washington was able to draw free throws off of a put back attempt, and he also was able to score around the basket another time.  However, he struggled to score in the post, and sometimes he would miss shots wildly in traffic.

Washington also shot the ball well, as he was able to make a spot-up three off the catch.  Also, he exhibited solid playmaking skills.  Washington played unselfishly, as he was able to make good passes in transition, and showed off good patience and court vision to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  Though he did not grab many rebounds, he was able to haul in a board on each end of the floor.

Washington also played good defense.  He would jump passes to get steals, and he would pressure opposing ball handlers.  Also, he was able to contest mid-range jumpers to force a miss.  His best defensive play was when he got a hand on a pass late in the game, as he tipped it up to himself, and he took the ball up court to find Diallo set up a score for his teammate on the break.  However, there was one time where he was late to roate, as he ended up committing a foul on a cutter.  In general, P.J. Washington put forth a solid showing, and he had a good all-around game to help lead his team to a narrow win over Texas A&M.  He helped Kentucky get key stops late in the contest, and he could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first round range on draft day.

Texas’ sophomore big man, Robert Williams waited awhile before playing in this game, and he had a slow start in the first half, as he had trouble getting involved on offense in that time frame, but he eventually was able to settle into the game, as he found his groove in the second half, and he helped provide his team with great energy, as well as solid inside scoring, rebounding, and defensive skills as the game wore on.

Williams did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  He caught a lob pass to score on a magnetic alley-oop dunk, and he also ran the floor to score on an empahtic jam in transition.  Williams excelled at scoring on rolls to the rim, and he also scored on a tip in.  However, he did miss on a wayward put back attempt once as he was falling backwards on one play.  He also did a good job of scoring in the post.  Williams was able to catch an entry pass, as he pivoted to score around the hoop, and he also scored on a strong jump hook another time.  But he missed his only three-point attempt late in the game.

However, he showed off below average playmaking skills.  He was able to throw an outlet pass to set up a scoring chance for a teammate in transition.  However, he also tended to commit some careless turnovers, as he would not always be focused n games.  He threw a really inaccurate pass from the high post that led to an over and back violation, and he also set a moving screen on offense another time.  Another time, he had the ball poked away from when posting up, but it did not lead to a turnover as it went out of bounds.  Also, he did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He leapt up to haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he possesses a very good blend of having length, athleticism, and the motor to do so.

In addition, Williams exhibited fairly average defensive skills.  For the positives, he would trap opponents, and he would provide significant ball pressure, and he would play passing lanes to help get his team steals.  However, he also had trouble defending drives, as sometimes he would over-rotate and get beat off the dribble by quicker guards to allow scores.  In addition, he also committed a foul on a high post drive on a separate defensive possession.  Robert Williams started off slowly, but he had a solid second half in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He will still need to improve his skill level offensively and be more of a disciplined defender, but his athleticism and potential could enable him to be a likely first round pick on draft day.

Kentucky’s freshman forward, Kevin Knox put forth a rather perplexing performance in his team’s win over Texas A&M.  He really excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, as he did not miss a field goal, despite not taking many shots in this game, but he also ended up being very turnover prone, and he also had his struggles defensively.  Knox did a very good job of making quick, spot-up threes off the catch, as he shot the ball well from the field.  Plus, he would also run the floor to score on fast breaks.  In addition, he also was able to score on a floater after taking the ball to the basket.

However, he did not do a great job of taking care of the basketball in this game.  Knox was called for committing a charging foul early in the game as a score was waved off after driving to the hoop.  He also fumbled a pass out of bounds after getting the ball on a cut.  Also, he used a quick spin move from the post, but he ended up being called for a traveling violation.  Another time, Knox had trouble passing out of a double team, as he threw a pass that was intercepted late in the game.  He did not grab many rebounds, but he was able to haul in a couple in his team’s win against Texas A&M, which included one where he chased a ball down to get his team a defensive board.

He did not defend very well in this game, however.  Knox did manage to contest a floater on a drive to force a miss.  However, he had trouble guarding shooters, as he would give his man too much space, and he would over-help in the pain, which would allow them to score on three-point baskets.  In general, Kevin Knox did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, but he did not play nearly as well in the other facets of this game.  Still, his ability to score in a variety of ways may intrigue NBA teams, as he is a first round talent that could end up developing into a good player at the next level if he ends up being coached properly by the NBA team that he will go to in the future.

Texas A&M’s junior guard, Admon Gilder excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, as he particularly did a very good job of knocking down spot-up threes off the catch.  He also would frequently get to the free throw line after getting the ball in transition, and he also managed to score on a drive off the glass.  He did not stand out in the other facets of the game, and he had trouble guarding opponents off the dribble, but Gilder’s ability to shoot and score on offense helped his team stay in the game all the way until the end.

Kentucky’s 6-10 sophomore big man, Sacha Killeya-Jones showed off adequate inside scoring skills, rebounding, and defense, and he also brought great energy to his team.  He was able to score on a thunderous put back dunk, he drew many free throws by looking to score around the basket, and he also was able to catch a lob pass.  He also showed a good ability to rebound the basketball, as well as adequate defensive skills.  He would contest shots to force misses, but he also would commit fouls in trying to block shots.  However, Killeya-Jones did not shoot the ball well from further out, as that led to some awkward misses.

Texas A&M’s junior forward, D.J. Hogg did not have a great game, but he played well early on, as he was able to display versatile scoring skills as well as a solid ability to distribute the basketball.  But he ultimately struggled to make jump shots, and he had trouble keeping up against quicker players on both ends of the floor.  Hogg was able to knock down jumpers and score off the dribble, and he even used a step back move to score on a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  However, he was not able to score consistently.

On the bright side, he exhibited good playmaking skills.  He would make smart passes off the dribble, as he would kick it out to shooters and make dump off passes to big men to set up scores for his teammates.  However, sometimes he would be prone to throwing hasty passes, as a couple of them ended up being intercepted.  He also was able to chip in to help get his team rebounds on both ends of the floor, but Hogg displayed average defensive skills at best.  He was able to block a three-point shot to force a miss, and h also deflected a pass out of bounds.

However, Hogg had trouble defending his opponents off the dribble as he does not possess elite lateral quickness, and as a result, he ended up committing some fouls and allowing scores as a result.  In general, D.J. Hogg had a strong start to this game, but it didn’t last, as he ultimately had trouble consistently making plays to help his team throughout this contest.  Hogg is an interesting prospect, as he is a smart basketball player that has a variety of skills, but he also may not have nearly as much upside as some of the other prospects that played in this game due to his average athletic gifts.

Right now, he may have a playing style that resemble closely to current Phoenix Suns’ forward, Jared Dudley.  Hogg still will need to show that he can consistently shoot and defend well as he is not at that level yet, but if he ends up on the right team, he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA.

Kentucky’s 6-11 freshman center, Nick Richards did not have much of an impact on this game, as he was pretty much a non-factor offensively.  But he was able to haul in some defensive rebounds, and he would establish the inside position, as that helped him get to the free throw line late in the contest.  He also seemed to display adequate defensive skills.  Richards mostly excelled as a help defender, as he was able to poke a ball away when defending the post to get a steal, and he also jumped an entry pass to knock the ball to a teammate to help his team get another steal.  In addition, he will actively contest shots in the paint, as he was able to rotate to contest a shot off the dribble to force a miss one.

However, he did have a couple of miscues.  He fronted his man when defending the post, but he allowed his man to catch the ball, which allowed the other team to get an easy score in the post.   Also, he rotated to defend a drive, but he ended up committing a foul, as this led his team to allow a score as well as an additional free throw.

Texas A&M’s 6-10 senior center, Tonny Trocha-Morelos did not have much of an impact on this game, either, but he did show some skills at times.   Though he was very passive on offense, Trocha-Morelos managed to draw free throws after getting the ball on a cut to the hoop.  He also did a good job of moving the basketball to notch assists when he was on the floor.

Also, he showed off decent defensive skills.  Trocha-Morelos was able to block a shot in the post, and he would actively contest shots in the post to force misses.  Also, he was able to draw a charge as he was in position to get an opponent to commit an offensive foul on a drive to the basket.   However, he also would pick up quick fouls when contesting shots around the basket.

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