Observations on Kevin Hervey

April 11, 2018

by Alan Lu

Just before we get into Portsmouth, I wanted to scout one more player that I had yet to cover this season, and I decided to watch a full game of Texas-Arlington’s senior forward, Kevin Hervey.  There wasn’t much I could find online, so I decided to see him play in an NIT match from last season against BYU that was played on March 15th, 2017, as I was able to view this with thanks to YouTube via Zak Buncik.  Here are my thoughts on how Kevin Hervey fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Hervey generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was active at finishing plays around the basket, and he can get scores using off-ball motion.  He did a very good job of scoring on rolls and cuts, and he scored on a reverse layup once off of a backdoor cut.  He also managed to score on a timely tip-in, but he missed a put back another time after dribbling in to take the shot.

He also showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers.  Early on, he ran quickly off of a screen, as he made a quick three off the catch.  Late in this contest, Hervey dribbled around and then made a pull-up three from well beyond the arc.  He has a lot of range on his shot and he can make jumpers in many different ways.  Hervey also managed to make a mid-range jump shot off the catch on a give and go from around the elbow.  However, he struggled to be consistent in knocking down threes, and he did have a couple of bad misses, as he can sometimes rush his shots in which he may not always be set when taking them.

Plus, he also did a decent job of scoring in the post.  Hervey managed to get the ball in the high post once, and after his opponent whiffed on a steal attempt, Hervey took a couple of dribbles to promptly score off the glass.  He also managed to get open inside to get the ball, as he later scored on a drop shot.    But sometimes, he will end up taking tough shots, as he may struggle more to score if opponents don’t give him much space to operate on the block.  He also had trouble scoring on drives, as he also does not seem to have an elite first step to the hoop.

He also displayed good playmaking skills.  Hervey is a patient, unselfish player that sees the floor well, and he can throw long passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He also can find teammates on the move, and he can hit the cutter.  Plus, he will also set numerous screens for his team.  But sometimes, he have trouble protecting the ball in traffic, as he was called for a push off when he was looking to score off the dribble, and he also had a ball taken away from behind shortly after grabbing a rebound once.

Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Hervey was quite active at crashing the glass, and he would haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  But he would also sometimes forget to block out his man, which would lead his team to allow put back scores.  There was also another play where he committed an over the back foul when going for a defensive board in the first half.

He also showed off adequate defensive skills.  Hervey did a good job of helping his team force turnovers, as he can catch errant passes that go his way, and he also poked a ball away when defending in the post to help his team get steals.  Plus, he will use his length to deflect passes, and he also will rotate on drives as well as in the post to force some misses.

But sometimes, he’ll sag too far particularly when defending opponents off of screens, and communication issues with him and the point guard on how to defend them off of pick and rolls would lead their team to give up three-point baskets to the opposition.  In addition, he sometimes struggled to defend opponents when he would have to chase after them.  On one play, he fell when defending a pass out on the perimeter, as this ended up with his teammate to commit a foul in the post.  Another time, he was called for a reach-in foul when opponent attempted to race up the floor off of a defensive board.

In general, Kevin Hervey had a fairly good game in his team’s double-digit win over BYU on this day.  He is a skilled combo forward that possesses good athletic abilities, and he can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  He also is a solid rebounder that will actively crash the glass, and he also may be a better passer than given credit for.  On the other hand, he has had multiple knee injuries in the past, as that could negatively impact his draft stock somewhat.  But regardless, Hervey may have the skills to help an NBA team in a variety of ways, and he could potentially be a second round pick in this year’s draft.

Other Notes:

Texas-Arlington’s 6-2 combo guard Kaelon Wilson had a really good showing in this game, as he had an excellent first half in his team’s win over BYU.  He especially played well in the frenetic paced first half, as he was getting buckets at will, and he also is a good athlete that can make plays above the rim.

He is a good scorer off the dribble as he has a good first step to the hoop, and he also has the ball handling moves, balance, and body control to regularly finish plays around the basket.  Sometimes, he may miss shots in traffic as he may play too fast, though.  He did have a really good basket once as he used a crossover to score on a nifty, underhanded scoop shot.

Plus, he shot the ball well, as he can make pull-up mid-range jumpers and spot-up threes.  He also ran the floor and got the ball on a cut to score on a thunderous dunk on the break, as he managed to dunk on someone.  Also, Wilson used a quick rip move in the post another time to draw a non-shooting foul.

While he primarily looks to score first, he will also look to make the extra pass, as he can quickly move the basketball to set up scoring chances for his team.  He also handles the ball well, but sometimes, he may play too recklessly on offense, which can lead him to commit turnovers.  Wilson also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he excelled at hauling in defensive boards for his team.

Plus, he also played adequate defense, as he can run in to poke balls away and catch errant passes thrown his way to help his team get steals.  Wilson is a quick, agile player that also will fight through screens, and he will deflect passes and contest shots.  But sometimes, he would be too aggressive on the defensive end, as he would be called for hand-checking and reach-in fouls.

In summary, though Kaelon Wilson posted up fairly pedestrian numbers throughout his collegiate career, he undoubtedly had a terrific game in his team’s win over BYU on this day.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that thrives when his team plays uptempo, and he could end up having a solid career in the G-League or overseas.

Texas-Arlington’s 5-10 point guard, Erick Neal also played well to help get his team a win over BYU.  He is a table setter that possesses strong facilitation skills, as he is an agile playmaker that possesses good court vision that can get his teammates the ball in a variety of ways.  He also can split double teams off the dribble, and he can find teammates on the move.

On the other hand, he rarely looks for his own shot, and while he can knock down jumpers both off the catch or dribble, Neal may not take look to score enough on offense, and against BYU, he was inconsistent with his outside shot.  But he did have one nifty score that he made, as he used a quick crossover and a step back move to make a long, pull-up two from the baseline.  He also looked to go all the way to the hoop to try to score around the basket once, as he managed to split a double team quickly off the dribble, but he then missed an open finger roll afterwards.  Neal will also look to push the ball up the floor off of defensive boards.

On the other hand, he may need to improve his defense.  While he showed a good motor, and he can deflect passes, he also can be too aggressive, which can lead him to pick up quick fouls.  Neal tended to commit fouls due to hand-checking, but he also has a tendency to be caught on screens, which can lead him to allow three-point baskets.  Other times, he may lapses on this end that may cause his team to allow baskets.

In summary, Erick Neal is a smart, skilled point guard that can effectively run a team, and he can rack up many assists with the ball in his hands.  On the other hand, he also is an undersized playmaker that doesn’t look to score often, and his lack of size or elite athletic gifts may make it tough for him to defend opponents at the next level.  While he may be a longshot to make it to the NBA, Neal has a high basketball IQ, as he could thrive as a player in the G-League or overseas.

Texas-Arlington’s 7-0 senior center Link Kabadyundi appeared to score early on off of a roll to the rim, but that was called back, as the officials had called him for committing a charging foul instead.  As he ended up committing his first foul and turnover of the game, things snowballed pretty quickly for him.  Kabadyundi was often out of position and unable to come away with boards that were in his area, and he also struggled to defend in the post, as he tended to pick up quick fouls.

He did set numerous screens, and he was able to help a teammate score on a jump shot, as he is a big, physical center that has a wide frame which enables him to set good screens on offense.  But Kabadyundi was unable to score in this game.  He rolled to the hoop another time but was led too far by the passer, as he ended up catching the ball out of bounds.  In summary, Link Kabadyundi did not play very well, as he was in foul trouble despite not having played much.  He did manage to grab a defensive rebound at the end of the game though, as he leapt up quickly to do so that time.

Kabadyundi is a big man that may be the most effective as a scorer around the basket, and he shows some promise as the roll man on offense.  While he may have some mobility for a player his size, he will need to improve his conditioning, as that can help him grab more rebounds and make more plays on both ends of the floor.  There was one instance where he didn’t run the floor on offense when his teammate collected a steal late in the contest, so Kabadyundi will need to work on getting into better shape, as that will allow him to improve his ability to play in fast-paced games.  Right now, Kabadyundi looks to be a project player that might not be anywhere close to being ready to play in the NBA, but if coaches work to improve his skills and overall game, he could end up getting regular playing time in either the G-League or overseas sometime down the road.