Evaluating Mike Daum and Kerwin Roach in an NIT Basketball Game

March 26, 2019

by Alan Lu

Recently, I took the opportunity to watch Mike Daum and South Dakota State play against Texas in the first round of the NIT in a basketball game that took place on March 19th.  Unfortunately, Jaxson Hayes sat out due to a knee injury, so Daum was not able to be matched up against him, but it still looked to be a good opportunity to see him play, nonetheless.  At first, it seemed like Texas was going to easily get the victory as they managed to get out to a 19-0 lead, but South Dakota State kept chipping away.  Mike Daum shot the ball well and made some good defensive plays, but Texas was able to hold on to get the victory due to receiving solid performances from Dylan Osetkowski, Kerwin Roach, and Courtney Ramey.  Here are my thoughts on how Mike Daum and the other various prospects fared, as well as how they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.

South Dakota State’s 6-9 senior forward, Mike Daum had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Texas.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he also was able to block a couple of shots on defense.  Daum did a good job of knocking down three-point shots off the catch, as he has plenty of range on his shot, and he also can score on pick and pop plays.  He did miss a couple of deep threes late in the game, but he generally shot the ball well from beyond the arc.

He also excelled at scoring in the post.  He has good footwork, strength, and scoring touch, and he can score on numerous turnaround jumpers and jump hooks over defenders.  Plus, he also runs the floor hard, as he was able to score on a couple of emphatic dunks on the break, but sometimes, he can be prone to rushing his shots, as he ended up missing a couple of put backs off of offensive rebounds.  Also, he may need to improve his ability to score on half-court drives.  Daum did managed to use a jab step to score on a left-handed drive off the glass, but he also had his shot blocked a couple of times due to not possessing great foot-speed. 

He also displayed average at best playmaking skills.  For the positives, Daum has a pump fake that he can use to get past defenders routinely, even if it may look rather slow developing and unconvincing at first.  He also can throw interior passes and can kick balls out to shooters to set up scores for his teammates, and he also will set hard, firm screens to help his teammates get open for shots.  But he also struggled occasionally to make plays off the dribble.  He would also get called for traveling, and he also had a ball poked away after attempting a behind the back dribble move on a drive to the hoop. 

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also managed to tip a couple of balls to teammates to help his them get defensive boards.  Daum also seemed to play slightly above average defense.  He did do a good job of blocking shots when defending in the paint, as he can stay with opponents on drives, and he will run hard back on defense due to possessing solid motor and timing to do so.  He also managed to hedge on a screen to help guard an opposing ball handler before going back to his man.  However, sometimes he can be late on his rotations, which can lead him to allow scores on off-ball motion plays, and he also may give up too much space to his opponents, which can also lead him to allow scores.

In general, Mike Daum put forth a good performance in his team’s loss, as he showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also rebounded the ball well against Texas.  He may not possess elite physical tools, but he is a skilled player that plays hard and he also can space the floor for teams on offense.  Right now, he may be a second round prospect, as he could end up being a stretch big in a similar mold to current Los Angeles Lakers’ center, Mike Muscala in the NBA.

Texas’ 6-4 senior guard, Kerwin Roach had a fairly good game in his team’s first round win over South Dakota State in the NIT.  He had a terrific first half, as he was making a variety of shots, and he also passed and defended well when he was on the court.  He started struggling more to make jumpers in the second half, but overall he did a good job of making plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory.  Roach did a decent job of making pull-up threes from beyond the arc, and he can dribble off of screens to knock down outside shots.  However, he struggled more to score off of drives when attacking the basket, as he would tend to miss shots more when looking to take the ball to the rim.  On the other hand, he did do a good job of drawing free throws by going strong to the basket when he would get foul calls.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Roach would swing the ball to open shooters to notch assists, but sometimes he would get sloppy with his ball handling, which would lead him to commit a couple of turnovers.  While he didn’t grab many rebounds, he was able to get his own offensive rebound after getting his shot stuffed on a drive, and he was able to draw free throws on a put back.  Roach also played good defense.  He was able to run in to tip an entry pass to a teammate to get a steal, and he also managed to leap up to block a couple of shots.  He managed to swat a three-point shot, as well as one off of a drive out of bounds.  Plus, Roach would contest jumpers to force misses.  On the other hand, he would also commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness.  A couple of times, he would struggle to guard his man off of the dribble, which would allow him to allow a couple of scores.

In summary, Kerwin Roach had a solid performance in his team’s victory against South Dakota State.  He is an athletic combo guard that has played well throughout his collegiate career, and he has been having a good senior season.  However, he has also had a history of being suspended for his conduct due to violating team rules, as he has done so on a number of occasions, and NBA teams will need to get to the bottom of that to figure out if he can fit in well as a role player with them at the next level.  If so, he has the talent and the skills to excel as a microwave type of scorer in the association, and he could end up being a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Other Notes:

Texas’ 6-9 senior forward, Dylan Osetkowski played very well in his team’s win over South Dakota State.  He excelled at making threes, as a low post scorer, and he also scored off of a cut, as well as on drives to the basket.  He managed to throw down a dunk to score in transition, and he also can draw numerous fouls upon his defenders.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  There were times where he struggled to defend quicker players off the dribble, but he also would jump passes to get steals, as he did a good job of playing passing lanes on this side of the ball.  Overall, Osetkowski scored 26 points and made 4 threes in his team’s win against South Dakota State.  Though he may not possess elite physical tools, Osetkowski is a skilled, big man that can shoot and score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he may have the skills to make an NBA team’s roster at the next level.

Texas’ 6-3 freshman point guard, Courtney Ramey shot the ball well as he excelled at knocking down threes, and he also threw solid interior passes to help set up scores for his teammates.  Plus, he also played very good defense, as he would wall off his opponents from getting all the way to the basket, and he would contest numerous shots off of drives to force a wealth of misses.  He excelled as a scorer and defender in this game, and he could be poised to have a very good sophomore season next year in college basketball.

North Dakota State’s 6-6 senior guard, Skyler Flatten also played well in this game.  He was able to make open spot-up threes, and he also can score on crafty drives to the hoop.  He even managed to score on an emphatic jam after driving hard to the rim on one occasion.  He also defended well, as he can get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections.  Right now, Flatten is a skilled swingman that has above average physical tools, and while he may not be outstanding at any one skill, he is a talented player that could potentially project into a 3 and D type of role in the NBA.  He has had a solid senior season, and he could end up finding his way onto an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.