Evaluating De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Coby White

February 11, 2019

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Virginia play against North Carolina in yet another ACC basketball game.  I wanted to catch Nassir Little play, as he is a freshman swingman who has been playing well recently due to having excelled against Virginia Tech and NC State, as well as to watch other prospects that could end up being in the NBA.   Unfortunately, Little ended up getting hurt shortly after coming in the game, but it turned out to be an interesting match in which Virginia held on to get the win due to receiving strong performances from Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter, and Kyle Guy.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this contest, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Virginia’s 6-7 sophomore forward, De’Andre Hunter played very well to help get his team the win over North Carolina.  He excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also defended well when he was on the court.  He showed a knack for making spot-up threes to space the floor on offense.  Hunter made all three three-pointers from beyond the arc, and he would often take advantage whenever opponents would give him the space to shoot the basketball.  He also made a fadeaway, pull-up mid-range jumper, though he struggled more to make jumpers off the dribble.

Hunter also had a penchant for scoring on hustle plays.  He excelled at scoring off of cuts, and he also managed to throw down an emphatic dunk off of an inbounds play.  He also managed to get an acrobatic score off of an aggressive drive to the hoop, but he missed on a fadeaway jumper when posting up another time.  Also, Hunter displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He was able to find a cutter off the dribble to set up a score, and he also notched another assist.  Hunter is an unselfish player that is willing to make the extra pass, and he showed off solid court vision in this game.  He did commit one turnover, as he committed an offensive foul by charging into a defender on a drive to the basket.

Plus, he also was able to get his fair share of boards to help his team on the glass, especially on the defensive end.  Hunter even boxed out an opponent to come away with a defensive board once due to using good rebounding techniques that time.  Adding to that, Hunter played very good defense.  Hunter was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also blocked a shot to help his team on this end of the court.  He also would actively contest a variety of shots to force misses, as he can successfully challenge jumpers as well as shots off the dribble.  He did sometimes struggle to stay with opponents at times, as he ended up allowing opponents to score on a couple of threes, but overall he defended well when he was on the floor.

In general, De’Andre Hunter had a solid showing, as he played well in virtually all facets of the game to help get his team a win over North Carolina.  He primarily excelled as a floor spacer, scorer off off-ball motion plays, and as a defender on the court.  He could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the mid first round range this year, and he could end up being a reliable starter in the association.

Virginia’s 6-5 junior guard, Ty Jerome put forth a strong performance in his team’s win over North Carolina.  He especially excelled on the offensive end, as he did a very good job of shooting, scoring, and distributing the basketball when he was on the court.  Jerome did a very good job of knocking down threes to space the floor for his team on offense.  He was able to make a deep three from well beyond the arc, and he also made another one from the corner.  He also ran off of a screen to get the ball, and he was able to draw three free throws on his opponent.

He also showed off a good ability to get scores off the dribble.  Jerome can finish plays using either hand, and he can often score on floaters over his opponents.  He is a crafty scorer that possesses a good shooting touch, and he also can draw fouls upon his opponents, but he also may have trouble getting all the way to the rim at times, which can lead him to miss some shots.  Also, Jerome displayed strong playmaking skills.  He is a tremendously skilled passer that sees the floor well, and he can kick it out to shooters and often hit cutters to set up scores for his teammates.  He is a pinpoint passer that has solid court vision, and he can aptly find teammates on the move.  But sometimes he can be careless on offense, which led him to commit some turnovers.

In addition, he was able to get his fair share of boards to help his team on the court.  Defensively, Jerome looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he will contest threes to force misses, and late in the game, he was able to get into his opponent’s feet to do so as he made it uncomfortable for his man to take the shot, but sometimes, he can struggle to stay in front of his man, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also sagged off his man once to allow an opponent to score on a three, and he also was called for a reach-in foul when trying to pick off a pass thrown to the post.  In summary, Ty Jerome had a solid showing in his team’s win over North Carolina.  He is a smart, skilled player that can play either backcourt position, and he can effectively run the team at the point.  He could end up being a solid role player in the NBA, and he could be a good value pick for a team in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.

North Carolina’s 6-5 freshman point guard, Coby White had an up and down game in his team’s loss to Virginia.  He was able to make a variety of shots, and he also made some good passes and defensive plays at times, but he was inconsistent as a shooter, and also had some trouble with turnovers in this game.  White did a decent job of shooting the basketball in this game.  He was able to run off the ball to make a couple of threes from well beyond the arc, and he also made a deep three off the catch.  He almost made a pull-up three from way out, except the ball was still in his hands, which led to a shot clock violation.

However, he also can be streaky with his jump shot, as he also tended to miss long-range jumpers off the dribble.  Also, he did a decent job of scoring on speedy drives to the basket.   White has a quick first step to the hoop, and he would score going to his left or draw fouls upon defenders.  He also ran the floor to score in transition once, but sometimes he would be prone to taking too many tough shots, which would lead him to miss wildly at times, and to having his shots blocked.

He also was quite turnover prone in this game.  White can throw sharp interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  But he also struggled to make plays early on when matched against the feisty, smaller Kihei Clark, and White had some trouble protecting the basketball early on. White had a couple of balls poked away, and he also committed a charging foul off of a drive.  He also was inaccurate with a couple of passes that went astray, leading to other turnovers. While White eventually excelled as a shooter by making shots over the top of him to get a different opponent on him, he had some trouble making quick decisions in this game on offense.

White also played above average defense.  He was able to find a loose ball that an opposing ball handler had lost to get a steal, and it nearly led to a transition scoring opportunity before the referees called a shot clock violation on Virginia.  White also managed to contest a three to force a miss.  However, he was also late to rotate once, which led an opponent to score on a corner three.  He also ended up getting beat off the dribble to his right, which led him to foul his opponent on a drive to the hoop.

Overall, Coby White had some good moments in what was otherwise a mediocre performance of his in his team’s loss to Virginia.  He is a speedy combo guard that can score in a variety of ways, and he also has some playmaking and defensive skills.  He will need to be a more consistent player when he is on the floor, but is a talented prospect that could end up getting drafted in the late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Virginia’s 6-2 junior guard, Kyle Guy did a great job of knocking down threes, as he shot the ball really well to help get his team a major road victory over their conference opponent, North Carolina.   Guy excelled as a spot-up shooter as he would often make shots off the catch, and he also ran quickly off the ball to make a quick three-pointer while drawing an extra free throw once.  He would take advantage often when opponents when leave him open, and he also does a good job of running off of screens to get open shots from beyond the arc.  He also excelled at scoring off of drives, and he also scored on a reverse layup off of a cut to the hoop.  Overall, Guy had a very good game.  He is a very good shooter that could excel as a shooting specialist in the NBA, as he could end up being a Bryn Forbes type of player in the association.

North Carolina’s senior swingman, Cameron Johnson had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Virginia.  He was able to make spot-up threes off the catch, and he even ran off of a curl to knock one down from beyond the arc.  He also was able to run off of a curl to make a baseline mid-range jumper, and he also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Johnson would run the floor to get scores in transition, and he also drew free throws on a put back.  However, he had trouble knocking down jumpers consistently, and he also missed once after getting the ball on a backdoor cut to the basket.  He also displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  Johnson is an unselfish player that will keep the ball moving, and he was able to find open shooters to notch assists.  Plus, he also did not commit a single turnover on offense.  He did drop a low pass once, but the pass he received was basically uncatchable, and the turnover was credited to his teammate that time.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Johnson was quite active on the glass, and he was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average at best.  Johnson was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team force a turnover, and he also helped trap an opponent to force a passing turnover.  However, he tended to be late on his rotations, which would cause him to allow three-point baskets, and to commit a foul on a roll to the rim another time.  He also got outmuscled when defending in the post to give up a basket down low, and he also lost track of a cutter to give up another score.

In summary, Johnson was able to make a variety of plays when he was on the court, and he is a tall, athletic forward that can contribute in plenty of areas of the game.  However, he was inconsistent with his jump shot and also struggled as a position defender when he was on the court.  Right now, he may be a second round prospect, but if he can be a more consistently productive player in games, he could find a niche role as a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA.

North Carolina’s 6-8 senior forward, Luke Maye did not have his best game, but he had some good moments at times when he was on the court.  He is a good passer that can throw solid interior passes due to possessing good court vision, and he can make plays off the dribble and in the post.  Maye also was able to score on a put back after getting his own miss.  He also rebounded the ball very well, and he will also contest shots due to possessing a very good motor.

However, he had trouble knocking down jumpers or consistently scoring in the post or off the dribble.  Maye also had trouble with his position defense, as he had a tendency to get beat off the dribble, and he would give up too much space to allow opponents to score on threes.  He also fouled an opponent on a three-point shot another time due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Maye did not play very well, but he did show some solid passing and rebounding skills in this game.  However, he possesses less than ideal size and athleticism to play inside, and he will need to improve his jump shot and position defense.  Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect, but if he makes his way to the NBA and succeeds, he could end up being a role player similar to Utah Jazz’s forward, Georges Niang in the association.

Other Notes:

North Carolina’s 6-4 senior guard, Kenny Williams shot the ball well early on, especially from beyond the arc, and he made a slew of spot-up threes to help get his team the early lead.  He has a lot of range on his shot, and he can make numerous outside shots from long distance.  However, he struggled to score when taking shots inside the arc, and he would often miss on shots off the dribble due to not always having his balance and due to trying to overtly force the issue.  He would attempt shots in traffic, and he had trouble scoring on pull-up mid-range jumpers or on aggressive drives to the rim.

He also passed the ball very well, as he would often find open shooters, and he also threw a high entry pass to notch assists in this game.  Also, Williams played decent defense in this game.  He was an active help defender that would get blocks and steals, as he can swat shots off of drives and jump shots, and he also would play passing lanes and jump on loose balls to make things difficult on his opponents, but he also had a tendency to over-help in the paint, as he would often be late to rotate back to his man, which would often cause him to allow three-point baskets to shooters, and he also fouled a shooter once to give up a four-point play.  He also had some trouble guarding his man off the dribble, as he can struggle more against quicker players.

Overall, Kenny Williams had an up and down game, but he showed that he can make some threes and defend when he is focused.  Right now, he has not really stood out from the pack in terms of his play this season, and therefore, he is likely a longshot to be drafted.  If he does make his way into the NBA, he could perhaps end up being a 3 and D type of role player in the association.

Virginia’s 6-9 junior big man, Mamadi Diakite played very well in his team’s win over North Carolina.  He is an athletic forward that plays very energetically.  He would often score on hustle plays on offense, and he would block shots to protect the paint for his team on the defensive end.  Diakite also was able to score on a running jump hook from the post, and he also scored on a dunk off of a cut.  He also was able to hit the cutter to notch an assist.  Overall, Diakite had a solid showing in this game, and he could be a second round prospect for the 2020 draft, as he could project to be a rim protector in the NBA.

North Carolina’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Garrison Brooks also played well in his team’s loss to Virginia.  Brooks would often score in the post as well as off of hustle plays, and he was able to score on a dunk after getting the ball in the paint once.  He also did a good job of finding open shooters to notch assists.  He would actively get rebounds, and he also managed to intercept a pass to get a steal.  Brooks is a player to watch in the future, and he could be a potential first round pick down the road if he sees more playing time as he continues on his collegiate career.

Virginia’s 5-9 freshman point guard, Kihei Clark made things difficult for Coby White early on, as he would often poke balls away from him to get steals, and he also tipped a pass off of an opponent to force another turnover.  He also managed to successfully draw a charge on a drive early on. 

However, his lack of size made it difficult for him to guard Coby White on jumpers, and later in this contest, Clark was switched off of him, as Virginia opted to guard White with a taller player in the second half.  Clark also struggled to score on offense.  Overall, Clark is an agile player that can be a pest defensively, but he will need to improve his ability to shoot, score, and make plays, and he may be a long shot to make it to the NBA.  If he does, he could perhaps be like an undersized, poor man’s version of former Golden State Warriors’ guard, Briante Weber in the NBA.

North Carolina’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Nassir Little came off the bench, and he actually did not play much in this game against Virginia.  He used a pump fake and a jab step move prior to dribbling in to miss a long two-point shot.  He then rolled his ankle after rotating to commit a foul in the post after his opponent had caught a pass in a way that led to the initial defender being out of position.  This game will probably have very little or no effect on Nassir Little’s draft stock, and he will not likely miss much game action as a result of the injury he received against Virginia.