Analyzing Tony Carr, Shep Garner, and Aric Holman

March 28, 2018

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to take the time to watch a basketball game that was played in the semifinals of the NIT between Penn State and Mississippi State.  I anticipated this to end up being a close match, but the Nittany Lions ended up pouring on the points early and often to get a double-digit win over the Bulldogs, as they were led by the strong play of their guards, Tony Carr and Shep Garner.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how the other prospects did on this day.

Penn State’s sophomore point guard, Tony Carr played very well in this game, as he had a solid showing to help lead his team to a blowout victory over Mississippi State.  Carr excelled as a shooter when he was on the floor, as he would make deep threes from beyond the arc, and he also used a crossover move to make a pull-up three from way out.  Carr has high arc on his shot, and he did a very good job of knocking long-range jumpers in this game.

Plus, he also did a good job of getting scores in the post.  Carr can back down his man, and he showed good scoring touch, as he can score on a turnaround jump hook as well as on a turnaround jumper, and he would also draw fouls upon his opponents.  He did miss several times, but generally he showed that he can score and makes passes from the block.  He also made a nice play once by running the floor to get the ball, and he managed to score on a dunk off of a drive on a fast break.

He also showed an adequate ability to get scores on drives to the basket.  Carr scored on a fadeaway leaner from the high post, and he also scored on a smooth layup another time.  Plus, he also can use an overhead ball fake to get past his man, and he excelled at drawing fouls upon his opponents.  But sometimes, he would miss shots off the dribble, as he may not always have his rhythm or balance when he takes shots.

Also, Carr displayed good playmaking skills when he was on the court.  He showed a knack for making a variety of accurate passes to set up scores to his teammates, and he can consistently find them on the move.  He excelled at passing to them on rolls to the rim, and he also can pass out of the post.  Plus, he also can threw a dump off pass off the dribble to set up additional scoring opportunities, and he also can hit the cutter.  He did not turn the ball over often, but he did so once, as he ended up getting intercepted once on a pass that he threw.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Carr hauled in plenty of boards to help his team in this game, as he would tend to crash the glass to collect defensive rebounds against Mississippi State.  But there was one play where he was called for committing a loose ball foul when going for a defensive rebound once.  Carr also played adequate defense in this game.  He managed to block a shot, as he was able to get his hand on a ball when defending in the post, and he also can heap on loose balls to force turnovers.   There was one play where he gave up too much space to his man, as this led his team to allow a three-point basket, but generally Carr defended well.

In general, Tony Carr played very well in his team’s win over Mississippi State.  He played a solid all-around game to help Penn State get the victory to advance to the NIT championship game to face off against Utah, and Carr could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Penn State’s 6-2 senior combo guard, Shep Garner had a terrific game, as he did a great job of making three-point shots to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Mississippi State.  Garner showed a knack for making deep threes from beyond the arc to space the floor for his team, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  He also used a pump fake to make a pull-up three, and he did an excellent job of knocking down long-range jumpers in this game.  He did attempt to score on a drive to the hoop in transition once, but he missed an open layup that time.

He also showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  Garner threw one nifty pass, as he threw a lob pass to a cutter to set up an alley-oop dunk, and he also showed the willingness to find the open man.  He did not turn the ball over once in this game, but he almost did so on one occasion, as there was one instance where he had a ball poked away, but it went to a teammate of his instead.

Plus, he also played good defense.  Garner will play passing lanes, as he can get steals and deflections for his team, and he also managed to tie up an opponent in the post to force another turnover.  Plus, he also managed to contest a mid-range jumper to force a miss.  Garner may not possess elite physical tools, but is a smart player that will position himself in ways to help get his team steals and stops on that side of the ball.

In summary, Shep Garner played very well to help get his team the win over Mississippi State, and he has played very well in this year’s NIT.  He is a gifted shooter that can really space the floor with his three-point shooting skills, and he could end up being a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Mississippi State’s 6-10 junior big man, Aric Holman played very well in his team’s loss to Penn State in the semifinals of the NIT this year.  He excelled as an inside scorer and a shot blocker for his team, and he was able to make some solid plays on both ends of the floor in this game.  Holman showed a good ability to score on hustle plays.  He managed to throw down an emphatic dunk off of a roll to the rim, and he also ran the floor to score on a magnetic dunk in transition another time.  Plus, he also used a jab step and a pump fake to score on a high post drive once, as he did so off the glass.

He also showed adequate low post scoring skills.  Holman managed to throw down a rim-rattling dunk once after getting the ball down low, and he also used a quick spin move to draw free throws on a baseline dunk attempt.  He showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his opponents.  But sometimes, he would miss shots from the block, as he would not always have his balance or shooting touch.  Also, he took a face-up jumper from the mid-range area, but he missed on that occasion.

In addition, he showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  Holman would throw passes out of the post to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He also did not commit a turnover, though he almost did one time when he was doubled in the post, and he threw a pass that ended up getting deflected out of bounds.  Plus, he was also able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  However, he didn’t grab as many rebounds as he could have in this game, and he also ended up committing a couple of over the back fouls when going for defensive boards in this game.

Holman also played adequate defense.  He did a great job of blocking shots, as he possesses very good leaping ability, quickness, and timing to do so, and late in the game he managed to swat a shot ferociously off of a drive to help his team protect the paint.  Plus, he also managed to successfully contest a three-point shot to force a miss once.  On the other hand, he would also tend to be late on his rotations when defending out on the perimeter, which would cause him to allow scores on jumpers.  He also was caught ball watching once, as he lost track of his man on a roll once, as his team allowed the opponent to score on a dunk that time.

In summary, Aric Holman had a good showing in his team’s loss to Penn State.  He made high-motor plays on both ends of the floor, and he excelled as an interior player in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that can block shots, and he also could project into a stretch big role at the next level if he commits himself to do so, and Holman could be a potential second round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Mississippi State’s 6-0 sophomore point guard, Lamar Peters did not have a great game, but he did do a good job of distributing the basketball when he was on the floor.  He struggled to make shots consistently, but Peters did make a pull-up three despite being unable to knock down jumpers routinely against Penn State.  He also was able to get a couple of tough scores on drives to the hoop, though he also had trouble making those shots consistently.  Peters used a hesitation move to score on a double pump leaner on a speedy drive once, and he also scored on a tough scoop layup in traffic another time.  But he tended to throw up contested shots in traffic, as he ended up getting his shots blocked twice, and he threw up an airball once when attempting a contested fadeaway jumper.

Plus, Peters exhibited solid playmaking skills.  He would throw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up scores for his teammates, and he also can throw long outlet passes to set up fast break scores.  Plus, he also can kick the ball out to shooters off the dribble.  He did not turn the ball over often, but he did so once, as he threw an inaccurate interior pass once that ended up getting picked off by a defender.  Also, he ran in to get an offensive board on one possession of this game.

Defensively though, he looked to be below average.  Peters does have quick feet, and he did manage to get a steal once.  However, he tended to be caught ball watching as he would be late on his rotations, which would cause him to allow three-point baskets to the opposition.  He also ended up committing a foul on a drive another time.  In general, Lamar Peters did not have his best game, but he did do good job of facilitating the basketball against Penn State.  He will still need to work on being a more efficient shooter in games, but he is a talented prospect that could end up being a potential second round pick in the future.

Mississippi State’s 6-4 junior guard, Quinndary Weatherspoon did not play very well, as he struggled to make shots or to stay away from committing turnovers, as he team ended up getting blown out by Penn State.  Weatherspoon did manage to score on a floater off of a drive, but he also threw up an airball when attempting another floater on a separate play.

He did manage to score on a reverse layup on a put back off of an offensive board due to possessing a good motor, but Weatherspoon also missed a floater in transition after trying to take it coast to coast off of a defensive board.  Also, he was unable to connect on any of his three-point attempts, as he could not find his shooting touch from beyond the arc in this game.

However, he also displayed below average playmaking skills.  For the positives, Weatherspoon threw a long, accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on a fast break.  In this game, he was able to throw some good interior passes at times.  On the other had, he was very turnover prone on offense.  He would tend to get the ball poked away when handling it as he would struggle to protect the basketball, and he also threw an inaccurate lob pass in transition that led to another turnover.  Plus, Weatherspoon did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would quickly obtain numerous defensive boards when he was on the court.

He also played average defense at best.  For the positives, Weatherspoon would hold his ground when defending in the post, and he would contest those shots to force misses.  However, he can be a bit undisciplined defensively.  But he once bit on a pump fake to allow a three-point basket.  On a separate play, he was late to defend on a roll to the rim, and his lack of size allowed his opponent to score easily on that occasion.  Overall, Quinndary Weatherspoon did not play very well, and he struggled in most facets of the game against Penn State.  He did rebound the ball well, though.  Still, this was not his best showing, and he could use another year in school to hone his overall game.