Observations on Carsen Edwards, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome

March 31, 2019

by Alan Lu

I was able to take the time to see a really entertaining basketball game that took place between Virginia and Purdue in an Elite Eight basketball contest that featured numerous prospects that could be in the 2019 NBA Draft.  Carsen Edwards and Kyle Guy shot the ball very well, as they were the standout performers with their ability to score the basketball, and Ty Jerome and Mamadi Diakite also played well.  It was a hard-fought back and forth contest that went all the way into overtime, but Virginia was able to hold off Purdue to get the win.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this game.

Purdue’s junior guard, Carsen Edwards did a tremendous job of knocking down outside shots, and in this game, he made 10 threes and scored 42 points in his team’s narrow loss to Virginia.  While he may not fit a traditional position, Edwards can really put up points in a hurry, and he is a fleet-footed player that can get any shot he wants on the court.

Edwards showed an excellent ability to knock down threes to space the floor for his team on offense.  He handles the ball well and he is an agile guard that can use an assortment of dribble moves to get his shots up.  In this game, he was able to make a plethora of pull-up threes from well beyond the arc, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  He would frequently make three-point shots, and he even used a behind the back dribble move to make a bank three late in this game.

He also did a very good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers as well as on quick drives to the hoop.  Edwards can quickly split double teams on and off the ball, and he was able to make a couple of pull-up jumpers from just inside the arc.  He also has the foot speed to blow by defenders, and he was able to get past a taller defender to score on a speedy, left-handed drive off the glass.  He also managed to score on a floater, as he possesses very good scoring touch to get scores.  However, Edwards started to show signs of fatigue in overtime, and he ended up missing on a couple of pull-up jumpers from long range late in this contest.

On the downside, one of the main criticisms of Edwards’ game is that he is not really a facilitator or a distributor, and his performance, though it was great overall against Virginia, did little to ease those concerns.  Edwards does have the foot speed to split double teams, but he often did not look to pass often, and he did not actually record a single assist in this game.  He also was fairly turnover prone, as he would lose the handle on a couple of balls after driving into traffic a couple of times, and he also had a ball poked away that led him to commit a turnover.  Late in the game, he drove left towards the baseline as he was dangerously on the verge of stepping out of bounds, but then he threw an inaccurate hard pass that his teammate dropped out of bounds, which would proved to be a costly turnover in overtime.

Though he did not grab many rebounds in this game, Edwards was able to get a couple of defensive boards, and he can run down balls to get them to help his team on the glass.  Defensively, he looked to be above average.  On one play, he managed to poke a ball off of an opponent on a drive to force a turnover.  However, there was another instance where he over-ran his opponent as he ended up trailing his man on a drive before biting on a pump fake, which led him to foul him on a drive that led his team to allow a score and an extra free throw.

In general, Carsen Edwards played very well in this match against Virginia, as he really excelled as a shooter and scorer for his team on offense.  He had a terrific NCAA Tournament, and he really helped himself by having four really good games in the post-season.  He is an agile combo guard that can instantly get buckets on offense, but he may need to show teams that he can ably run the point at the next level.  Still, he is a tremendous shooter that has very good scoring skills, and he could be a good find for an NBA team in the late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Virginia’s 6-2 junior guard, Kyle Guy also had a very good showing in his team’s overtime win against Purdue.  After having a slow start in the first half, he shot the ball really well in the second half, and he did a great job of knocking down shots to help his team get the victory.

Guy did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, as he would often make quick spot-up threes off the catch.  He can run off screens to knock them down, and he also was able to make a long two off the dribble.  However, Guy struggled more when he would look to go all the way to get scores, and he would tend to miss on drives to the hoop.  He was able to score on a baseline drive off the glass on one play, though.  He also managed to score on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound, as no one blocked him out that time.

On the other hand, also like Edwards, Guy recorded zero assists despite excelling as a shooter and scorer in this game.  Guy threw a lazy interior pass that ended up getting intercepted once, and he also was called for stepping out of bounds after getting an offensive rebound another time.  Guy did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball in this game.  He was very active at crashing the glass, and he would often haul in numerous boards to help his team get rebounds.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Guy was able to intercept a crosscourt pass to get a steal, but he also had a tendency to be late on his rotations at times, as he would allow opponents to score on three-point shots.

In summary, Kyle Guy had a solid performance, as he scored 25 points, made 5 threes, and collected 10 rebounds in his team’s Elite Eight overtime win over Purdue.  He is a gifted shooter that can knock down threes with ease, though sometimes he can be prone to getting in shooting slumps.  There are concerns about his playmaking ability and average physical tools, but Guy’s ability to knock down shoots could help him find a niche role as a shooting specialist in the NBA.

Virginia’s 6-5 junior guard, Ty Jerome also played well in his team’s win over Purdue, as he made solid plays on both ends of the court.  Jerome shot the ball well, as he did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team on offense.  He can run off curls to make quick threes, and he also would pull up to knock down long-range jumpers off the dribble.  He also did a good job of scoring on crafty drives to the hoop, as he has a pump fake move that he can use to get a defender in the air, and he also can score on leaners and floaters.  On the downside, he would also miss some shots, as he would have some trouble getting into a rhythm at times.

He also displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  Jerome is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and would get shooters the basketball to set up scores for them.  He also can throw solid passes off the dribble due to possessing good court vision.  But he also was a bit turnover prone, and sometimes he would be careless with his ball handling, as he was called for a traveling violation once in this game.

He also was able to get his fair share of boards, as he was able to haul in a board on each end of the floor.  Defensively, Jerome looked to be about average.  He was able to catch tipped passes to help his team come up with steals, and he also can deflect passes, but sometimes he would be out of position when defending his man, which would lead him to allow scores.  Overall, Ty Jerome had a solid showing in this game, as he made a variety of plays to help his team on offense.  He is a skilled playmaker that can play either backcourt position, and he could end up being a good value pick for a team in the late first round of the upcoming draft.

For Virginia’s 6-7 sophomore forward De’Andre Hunter, he had his highs and lows in this game, but he played better late in this contest, as his ability to get scores off the dribble and defend helped his team get the win.  Hunter did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he can use either hand to get scores and free throws.  He has a solid first step off the dribble, and he has good strength to take on the contact to draw fouls upon his defenders.  He also was able to score on a step-through move in the post.  But sometimes he would not have his balance, which would lead him to miss shots.

He also showed a good ability to score on hustle plays, and Hunter was able to score on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound.  However, Hunter struggled to consistently knock down jumpers.  He did make a pull-up, long two-pointer, but he missed a couple of other times, and he was unable to make his lone three-point attempt despite being open to take the shot.  Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Hunter is an unselfish player that will get his teammates the basketball, and he an find the open man to get assists.  However, sometimes he can struggle to protect the basketball, as he had a ball poked away that led him to commit a turnover.

He also showed an adequate ability to get rebounds, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the court.  Hunter also played adequate defense.  He was able to jar a ball loose to get a steal, and he also did a good job of contesting shots to force opponents to miss jumpers.  He did have the unfortunate task of guarding Edwards, so his team allowed plenty of three-point baskets to him, and he also was called for a questionable foul calls when guarding opposing ball handlers tightly.  But other than that, Hunter was active in defending on the ball, and he would tend to be in position to regularly challenge shots.

Overall, De’Andre Hunter had an adequate performance in his team’s win over Purdue.  Though he struggled to consistently make shots, he was able to get some solid scores off the dribble, and he also played tough defense in this game.  It may be uncertain if he can develop into being a star player at the next level, but he could project into being a solid 3 and D type of player in the NBA, and he could end up being a good value pick for a team in the mid first round range on draft day.

Purdue’s 6-6 senior guard, Ryan Cline had his ups and downs, but he was unable to sustain the same level of success he had against Tennessee.  He played well early on, as he was able to make a couple of deep threes, and he even made a pull-up three from far out with a couple of defenders draped all over him.  Unfortunately, those threes that he made turned out to be the only field goals he made in the entire contest.  He had trouble creating his own shot off the dribble, and he became too passive, as he would often pass up shots later on, even when he had ample room to shoot the basketball.

He also really struggled to guard opponents defensively, as he especially had trouble guarding shooters.  Early in the second half, he was guarding Kyle Guy, and he did not do a good job of getting out on him to defend the three-ball, as his opponent would often knock down open corner threes.  In summary, Ryan Cline helped himself by having a very good game against Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament, but he did not play very well overall in his team’s loss to Virginia.  On the downside, he possesses just average at best physical tools, and he will likely need to improve his defensive skills.  Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate, but his ability to shoot the basketball could allow him to make an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Virginia’s 6-8 junior center, Mamadi Diakite put forth a good performance in his team’s victory against Purdue.  He showed a solid ability to score off of rolls, put backs, and off of broken plays, and he also managed to score on a thunderous put back dunk early on.  He also did an adequate job of scoring in the post, and he was able to score on a tough, fadeaway jumper once.  He did miss on a couple of turnaround jumpers, but he generally showed good shooting touch when looking to score down low.  Diakite also made a clutch, buzzer-beating, mid-range jumper from the baseline to tie the game to send it into overtime.

He also rebounded and defending well, as he is an athletic big man that also has a very good motor, and he would often swat shots to help his team protect the paint.  Overall, Diakite is a mobile, high motor big man that played well on both ends of the floor, and he could project into being a solid rim protector at the next level.  While he may be a bit undersized to play inside and has put up rather pedestrian numbers this year, Diakite is a very good defensive player that could end up being a good find in the second round for an NBA team at the next level.