Assessing Jaxson Hayes, Kerwin Roach II, and Lagerald Vick

January 30, 2019

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Jaxson Hayes and the Texas Longhorns take on the Kansas Jayhawks in a Big 12 conference basketball game.  Though it was anticipated to be a close game in favor of the Jayhawks, Texas had control for most of the way, and the Longhorns ended up grabbing the win as they excelled in all facets of the game.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Texas’ 6-11 freshman center, Jaxson Hayes had a solid showing in his team’s win over Kansas.  He played well from the get-go, as he excelled at finishing plays around the basket, and he also rebounded and defended well when he was on the court.  Hayes excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Early on in this contest, he caught a lob pass off of a roll to the rim to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk.  He also ran the floor to score on another jam in transition.  Plus, he also would crash the glass to get offensive rebounds, and he used a spin move once to draw free throws off of a put back.

He also showed off adequate low post scoring skills.  Hayes was able to use a spin move to score on a turnaround jumper, and he showed off good footwork and scoring touch on that play.  Also, he managed to draw free throws on a dunk attempt after getting the ball around the basket on another occasion.  He did have a shot blocked once, but generally Hayes excelled at scoring on the block in this game.

Plus, he also displayed good playmaking skills.  Hayes made good passes out of the post to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he was able to kick the ball out to a shooter after getting an offensive board to notch an assist.  Also, he did not commit a single turnover on offense when he was on the floor.  In addition, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Hayes showed an excellent ability to haul in offensive rebounds as he would leap up to get tough boards in traffic, and he also showed a knack for getting defensive boards against Kansas.

Hayes also played good defense.  He showed a penchant for rotating to block shots off of drives due to possessing very good length, athleticism, and timing to do so.  He also leapt up to intercept an entry pass to get a steal, and Hayes also ripped a ball away from an opponent to force another turnover.  Plus, he would actively contest shots off of drives and in the post to force numerous misses, and he also managed to tie up an opponent that was dribbling to the hoop another time.  On the other hand, Hayes can be quite foul prone, and sometimes he will let opponents get the inside position when defending rolls or drives.  He also will need to add strength, as he had trouble defending stronger opponents off the dribble at times, which led him to pick up two quick fouls late in this match.

In general, Jaxson Hayes played well to help lead his team to a double-digit victory over Kansas.  He excelled as a finisher, rebounder, and interior defender when he was on the court, and he could project to be a solid rim protector at the next level.  He will need to continue to expand his skill set on offense and work on his jump shot, but Hayes is a solid prospect that could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Texas’ 6-4 senior guard, Kerwin Roach II had a decent game in his team’s win over Kansas.  He played very well early on, as he showed a knack for making threes to space the floor for his team.  He also helped out on the boards, but he struggled to make shots and committed some turnovers late in the game.  Roach did a good job of making spot-up threes to show off his floor spacing skills.  He especially excelled early on, as he had great success at making long-range jumpers off the catch when defenders would leave him open, and he also made a deep three off of a kick out.  However, he struggled to score off the dribble despite regularly being able to get into the lane, as he tended to miss on aggressive drives to the hoop, and generally it seemed that he would rush his shots too often when taking it to the rim.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Roach showed a knack for throwing accurate passes to teammates on rolls to the rim to set up scoring chances for them, and he was able to throw a good lob pass to Hayes to set up an alley-oop dunk early on.  Also, Roach can kick the ball out to shooters off the dribble.  However, he can be inaccurate with his passing, as he threw an inaccurate lob pass that went off the backboard once.  Another time, he threw a ball out of bounds when trapped late in the game.

He also would get his hands on balls to get rebounds when he was on the floor.  Roach was able to run down an offensive board due to possessing a very good motor, and he also would leap up to get defensive rebounds.  However, he was also called for a loose ball foul when going for a defensive board once, as an opponent had beat him to the ball to get to it before he did.  Roach also showed off decent defensive skills.  He managed to poke a ball away to help his team get a steal, and he also contested a shot on a drive to force a miss.  On the other hand, he also would be prone to committing reach-in fouls when defending opposing ball handlers due to over-aggressiveness.

In summary, Kerwin Roach made his impact felt early in this match, and he showed off solid shooting skills from beyond the arc, which helped get his team early momentum in this ball game against Kansas.  Roach struggled more towards the end, but he showed that he is an athletic combo guard that can shoot the basketball. Right now, he may project to be a second round prospect, as his ability to score and defend could enable him to be a reliable role player at the next level.

Kansas’ 6-5 senior guard, Lagerald Vick had an up and down game in his team’s loss to Texas.  He had some good and bad moments, but he was able to make a couple of threes late in this match to keep his team in it down the stretch.  Vick did a good job of making spot-up threes to space the floor on offense.  He was able to make an open three off the catch, and he also made a contested three later on.  However, he struggled more to knock down outside shots when running off of screens to get the ball, and he also struggled to consistently score on half-court drives.  Vick did show a decent ability to score off the dribble, as he managed to score on a speedy, left-handed drive once after making an off-balanced close range jumper, and he also ran the floor to score in transition another time due to possessing good athleticism, balance, and shooting touch on those plays.

However, he had a tendency to take too long when making decisions, as that led his team to commit a couple of shot clock violations in the first half of this game.  Vick dribbled in place before and then slipped when looking to drive to the basket to lose the ball leading to one shot clock violation, and he also waited too long to make a pass which led to another.  Vick did throw adequate interior passes as he was able to notch an assist once, but he also threw an inaccurate entry pass that sailed out of bounds another time.

He didn’t get many rebounds, but he was able to collect a couple of defensive boards when he was on the floor.  Vick looked to be about average on the defensive end.  He was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also was able to contest threes to force some misses, but sometimes, he would be caught ball watching, and he would be late to rotate and give up too much space to his man, which would allow his man to score on three-point shots.  Overall, Lagerald Vick did not have his best game, but he had some good moments in his team’s loss to Texas.  He is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and defend when he is on the court, and he could be a potential second round pick, as he could end up being an effective role player if he can be a more consistently productive player in games.

Texas’ 6-9 senior forward, Dylan Osetkowski played well in his team’s double-digit victory over Kansas.  Osetkowski excelled as a low post scorer as he has very good strength to consistently back down his opponents in the paint, and he would often score on turnaround jumpers and jump hooks, as he also possesses a good shooting touch and footwork.  He also would catch high passes and draw free throws after getting them, and he also excelled at scoring on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Osetkowski was able to pass out of the post to notch an assist, and he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to set up scores for his teammates.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds overall, Osetkowski showed a knack for collecting offensive boards to help his team get more offensive possessions.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He was able o intercept a pass to get a steal, but he also occasionally had trouble making timely rotations, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Overall, Dylan Osetkowski had a strong showing in his team’s win over Kansas.  He excelled as a low post scorer in this game, and he also helped out as a passer and offensive rebounder when he was on the floor.  He is a smart, skilled big man that had a knack for scoring on the block.  Right now, he may be an underrated prospect, as his ability to score in the post and make plays could enable him to potentially make an NBA team’s roster.

Kansas’ 6-5 freshman guard, Ochai Agbaji had a terrific game in his team’s loss to Texas.  He was easily his team’s best player on this night, as he made hustle plays on both ends of the floor, knocked down threes, and he also threw down a couple of thunderous dunks on the break.  Agbaji did a great job of knocking spot-up threes, and he also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He would often score on put backs, and he also threw down a couple of dunks in transition, as he managed to score on an alley-oop dunk once.  He also scored on alley-oop layup off of a roll to the rim another time.  Also, Agbaji did a good job of drawing free throws on aggressive drives to the hoop, as he is an athletic swingman that has a solid first step off the dribble.

Though he looked to score quite often, Agbaji was able to pass out of the post after getting an offensive rebound to help set up a score for a teammate, but sometimes, he would struggle to protect the basketball, as he had a ball poked away out of bounds to almost commit a turnover.  Another time, he threw a weak pass that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Agbaji is a high motor player that excelled at crashing the glass to haul in offensive boards, and he would cash in by providing his team with second chance points by scoring off of put backs.  He also managed to draw a foul after successfully scooping an offensive rebound by  diving on the floor to get the ball.  Also, Agbaji played good defense.  He was able to get a steal early on, and he also ran in to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly collect another.  Plus, he also contested a drive to force a miss.  But sometimes, he would commit reach-in fouls on opposing ball handlers due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Ochai Agbaji had a terrific game, as he scored 24 points in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He previously had not seen consistently playing time prior to this contest, but he really played well as he showed off strong all-around skills when he was on the floor.  Right now, he may not have much draft buzz, but if he continues to play well, he could quickly ascend up draft boards.  He is an athletic swingman that can make plays on both ends of the floor, and he could be a key prospect to keep an eye on in the future.

Other Notes:

Kansas’ 6-8 junior forward, Dedric Lawson did not have a great game overall.  He largely struggled in the first half and early in the second half, but he did play well down the stretch to try to help his team stay in the match.  Lawson did not shoot the ball well, but he did make some solid plays late as a scorer towards the end of this contest.  He showed an adequate ability to get scores off of drives to the basket.  Lawson would tend to draw non-shooting fouls after looking to score from the high post, and he also used a spin move to score on a strong left-handed drive while getting an extra free throw another time.  He also managed to draw free throws on a roll to the rim.

Also, he showed some low post scoring skills.  Lawson was able to lean in to score once from the block while getting an additional free throw.  However, he had trouble consistently scoring on jump hooks, and sometimes he would miss on off-balanced shots around the basket, as he struggled to get in a rhythm.  Lawson did make a three from the corner, but he tended to miss on open jumpers from beyond the arc, and he had trouble knocking down jump shots even when he was left wide open.

As a playmaker, he may have been about average at best.  He looked to score quite often, but he can throw good passes from the post to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  However, he had trouble protecting the basketball, and he had the ball ripped away from him while handling to lose it to opponents to commit a couple of turnovers.  He also helped out on the boards, as he would collect plenty of defensive boards when he was on the floor.  However, he didn’t box out an opponent once, which led him to committing a foul on a put back.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Lawson did a good job of jumping passes to get steals, and he also would swat shots off of drives to force misses, and he was able to get his opponents to take bad angle shots on occasion.  However, he had trouble making timely rotations, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also had trouble defending taller, stronger players in the post, and there was another time where he backpedaled too far when defending a drive in transition, which led his team to allow a dunk to his opponent.

Overall, Dedric Lawson did not have a great game, but he made some good plays at various junctures of this contest against Texas.  Still, he struggled to knock down jumpers or to score in the post, and he performed poorly on offense for most of the way.  Right now, he may be a second round prospect, but he will need to improve his jump shot and position defense in order to improve his odds to make it and succeed in the NBA.

Kansas’ freshman point guard, Devon Dotson had a decent game in his team’s loss to Texas.  He did a good job of scoring on speedy, aggressive drives to the hoop, as he can score on floaters and also draw numerous fouls on his defenders.  However, he did not look to take jumpers outside of the paint.  Also, he displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  He can quickly get into the lane to create scoring chances for himself and his teammates, and he can throw drop off passes and kick it out to shooters to notch assists.  He also threw an accurate lob pass to set up a score once.  His lone turnover came when he threw an inaccurate pass off the dribble that ended up sailing out of bounds.  There was another play where he dribbled around for too long and had his pass deflected by an opponent, which led his team to commit a shot clock violation.

Plus, Dotson did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would leap up to get some boards, and chase down balls to get others.  Dotson also played good defense.  He jumped on a loose ball to get a steal, and he also contested a shot on a drive to force a miss.  Overall, Devon Dotson did a good job of taking the ball to the basket to get scores and assists when he was on the floor.  Though he did not look to take jumpers, Dotson is a fast playmaker that can score and defend when he is on the floor.  On the other hand, he did not look to take enough shots, and he perhaps could have looked to assert himself more with the game on the line down the stretch.  Right now, he may be a late first to a second round prospect, and he has a variety of skills that could enable him to be a useful role player at the next level.

Kansas’ 6-5 freshman guard, Quentin Grimes had yet another disappointing performance in his team’s loss to Texas.  He did make an open three-point shot early, and it appeared as if he would be headed to being able to replicate his strong performance against Kentucky to have another quality game this season.  But alas, that did not end up being the case, and Grimes ended up being a virtual non-factor in his team’s loss to Texas.

He struggled to consistently knock down threes after that, he had a shot off of a drive blocked by an opponent after attempting to shy away from contact, and he also missed on a fadeaway, turnaround jumper from the post.  Grimes did throw a lob pass in transition to notch an assist, and he showed the ability to move the ball to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  However, he also threw a loopy entry pass though that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.

Defensively, he will still need to improve on this end of the floor, and Grimes especially had trouble guarding shooters.  He did take a ball away off of a drive to get a steal.  However, Grimes tended to be caught ball watching as he would wander too far away from his man, and he would be late on close outs, which would cause him to allow his opponents to score often on three-point shots.  He also was called for committing a foul on a drive another time.

In summary, this was yet another frustrating, lackluster showing from Kansas’ heralded, 6-5 freshman guard, Quentin Grimes.  He has been very inconsistent in his ability to produce throughout the season, as he has glimpses of showing star potential, and then has plenty of other games where he’s been a virtual no-show in games.  He will need to improve his focus and ability to move off the ball on offense, and be a more consistently productive shooter and disciplined position defender in games.  Right now, he will likely need to spend another season at Kansas to hone his overall game, but if he does declare for the draft at the end of the year, he could end up being a second round prospect due to his shooting ability and perceived upside for the next level.

Texas’ guards, Courtney Ramey and Jess Febres both shot the ball very well, as they excelled at making spot-up threes to space the floor for their team on offense.  Ramey also played good defense, as he was able to poke a ball away to force a turnover, and he also deflected a pass to force a shot clock violation.

Texas’ 6-9 sophomore center, Jericho Sims made some good plays off the bench in his team’s win over Kansas.  He showed deft footwork and shooting touch when scoring in the post, as he used a pivot and a quick spin move to score on a nifty turnaround jumper.  Also, he was able to catch a tough pass to score on a powerful dunk around the basket.  He also used a ball fake to draw free throws another time.  He did miss once around the basket, but Sims seemed to show improved low post scoring skills in this game.

He didn’t seem to make too many other plays that were that noticeable aside from showing solid low post scoring skills on offense.  Defensively, Sims did poke a ball away to help force a turnover.  On the other hand, he did throw a pass from the post that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.  He also did not grab many rebounds when he was on the floor.

Right now, Sims may still be a bit unpolished as a prospect, and he has not seen as much playing time as anticipated, as he is behind Jaxson Hayes and Dylan Osetkowski on the depth chart.  Still, Sims is an athletic big man that has a good motor, and he could be a potential second round pick in the future as he may project to be a rim protector in the NBA.