Observing Egor Koulechov, Chris Chiozza, and Quinndary Weatherspoon

January 11, 2018

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to watch Florida play against Mississippi State, as it was an SEC game that featured numerous prospects that could be in the 2018 NBA Draft.  Egor Koulechov shot the ball really well as he scored in a variety of ways, and Chris Chiozza showed solid playmaking and defensive skills when he was on the court.  It was quite competitive in the first half, but Florida later was able to run away with the game, as they were able to win by double digits.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.

Florida’s senior swingman, Egor Koulechov played really well as he made a lot of shots early, and he did a terrific job of shooting and scoring the basketball against Mississippi State.  Koulechov did a very good job of knocking down three-point shots to space the floor for his team.  He would make quick open threes off the catch, and he can easily knock down outside shots when given the space to shoot the basketball.  He also has a quick release, as he can easily get his shot off.

Also, he did a very good job of getting scores in the post.  Koulechov possesses solid footwork and shooting touch, as he was able to score on fadeaway, turnaround jumpers from the high post over his man.  He did miss once while posting up, but he generally showed a solid ability to get scores after backing his man down.  Plus, he also excelled at getting scores on the move.  Koulechov would run the floor, and he was able to throw down an emphatic dunk on the break.

He also showed an adequate ability to garner scores off the dribble.  Koulechov has a nifty pump fake move as he will get defenders to bite on them, and he can get them up in the air to go by them in order to sore on floaters and pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  He did miss a few times off the dribble, but generally Koulechov showed good patience, basketball savvy, and shooting touch to garner scores inside the arc.

However, he showed off average playmaking skills at best.  Koulechov did play unselfishly, as he would make the extra pass to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates.  He also managed to set an on-ball screen to free up a shooter to help set up a score another time, but he also ended up committing numerous turnovers due to carelessness.  He also was quite active on the glass, and he was able to haul in plenty of defensive rebounds in this game.

Also, he displayed fairly average defensive skills.  For the positives, Koulechov was able to catch an errant pass that was thrown right to him to get a steal, and he also rotated to contest a shot in the post to force a miss another time.  However, he allowed a score in the post another time.  He also had trouble guarding quicker players, as he got beat on a step back move to allow a three-point basket once.  On another play, he was too aggressive in closing out on a shooter, as his man got past him, and he ended up allowing a score on a runner off the dribble.  In general, Egor Koulechov played very well, as he helped Florida cruise to a blowout victory over Mississippi State.  He is a smart, skilled basketball player that can really put up points in a hurry, and he could end up being a good find for an NBA team in the second round of the upcoming draft.

Florida’s 6-0 senior point guard, Chris Chiozza also had a good showing, as he helped lead his team to a double-digit win over Mississippi State.  He did a great job of running the team and he played stout defense, and he also managed to hit some tough shots in the second half to get his team the victory.

Chiozza showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  He did a good job of running the point, and he would consistently get the ball to shooters to set up a wealth of scores for them.  He also was able to use a behind the back move off of a drive before kicking it out to a shooter to get an assist on one play.  But sometimes, he can be inaccurate with his passes, as that can lead him to commit turnovers.

He also displayed very good defensive skills.  Chiozza is a tough, feisty guard that will bring heavy ball pressure as he will hound opposing ball handlers, and he showed good hands and quickness to get a plethora of steals for his team.  He excelled at poking balls away and at jumping passes to force his opponents to commit turnovers.  Plus, he showed a good ability to knock down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  Chiozza excelled at making pull-up threes from beyond the arc, and he even was able to use a step back move to make one, as he also managed to get an additional free throw on that play.  However, he struggled to score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, as he struggled to consistently make shots when he was inside the arc.

He did a good job of getting scores in transition, as he would get scores and free throws on fast break drives.  However, Chiozza struggle to score on drives in half court sets, as he would not always have his balance or shooting touch when he would to score in the paint.  In general, Chris Chiozza put forth a solid performance to help lead his team to a win over Mississippi State.  He did a very good job of running the team and playing defense on this day, and he would likely be a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Mississippi State’s 6-4 junior guard, Quinndary Weatherspoon excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor against Florida.  He struggled to guard Koulechov defensively, but he was able to help his team in many different ways in this game.  Weatherspoon did a great job of knocking jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He really excelled at making pull-up threes, as he can use a step back move, and he also can make them from way out.  He also managed to score on a cut to the hoop.

He struggled to score on drives to the basket consistently, as he had trouble scoring in traffic, but he did manage to score on a quick drive to the hoop once.  However, he showed fairly average playmaking skills at best.  For the positives, Weatherspoon did a good job of throwing accurate interior passes, and he would also kick it out to shooters out of drives, but he also committed too many turnovers due to carelessness, as he would step out of bounds once when taking the ball to the basket, and he also traveled a couple of other times off of drives.

He also displayed a decent ability to rebound the basketball.  Weatherspoon was very active at crashing the offensive glass, and there was one time where he grabbed an offensive board and proceeded to hit the cutter to get an assist.  He also displayed average defensive skills at best.  He struggled early in the game when he was matched up on Koulechov, as he had trouble defending him in the post, as he would allow scores on turnaround jumpers.  Weatherspoon also had trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he would be too aggressive in playing his man, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores, but he did do a good job of collecting steals, as he showed a good ability to poke balls away and play passing lanes.  

In general, Quinndary Weatherspoon did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, as he was able to make a variety of shots for his team on offense.  He seemed to struggle with turnovers and his position defense, but he also helped his team on the boards.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that could potentially end up being a second round pick whenever he decides to declare for the NBA draft.

Other Notes:

Florida’s 6-6 junior swingman, Jalen Hudson did not have his best game, but he had some good moments in his team’s win over Mississippi State.  He did struggle to knock down jumpers, but he played good defense, and he also was able to score on a baseline drive that also simultaneously got Mississippi State’s junior big man, Aric Holman to foul out with over 13 minutes left remaining in the contest.  Hudson struggled to consistently knock down jump shots, but he did show a good ability to make pull-up jumpers, as he was able to make a pull-up three after dribbling off of a screen, and he also made a quick pull-up mid-range shot on a different play.

He also showed a good ability to score on fast breaks, as he was able to draw free throws after driving the ball aggressively to the basket.  He did not score consistently on drives, as he tended to struggle to score in traffic.  But he was able to make a solid score from the baseline, as he was able to also get Aric Holman to foul out, and it enabled him to score on a three-point play.

Plus, he showed off decent playmaking skills when he was on the court.  Hudson was able to find a roll man to get an assist, and he would get the ball to his teammates to set up scoring chances for them, but he also committed a couple of turnovers, and he threw a bad pass off of a drive that ended up getting tipped and intercepted on one offensive possession.  In this game, Hudson was able to haul in his fair share of defensive boards when he was on the floor.

He also played solid defense.  Hudson did a good job of defending opponents on drives, as he would stay in front of his man, and he also rotated once to block a shot from behind.  He also will actively fight through screens.  But he did bite on a pump fake once to allow his man to score on a long, two-point shot.  In general, even though Jalen Hudson did not have a great game, he showed off a variety of skills, and he is an athletic swingman that may have plenty of upside as a prospect for the NBA.  Right now, he may likely go in the second round if he were to declare for the draft, but he may have the skills to end up being an effective role player in the league.

Mississippi State’s 6-10 junior center, Aric Holman showed off solid offensive skills when he was in the game against Florida, and he started against them.  However, he did not end up playing too long as he constantly ran into foul trouble, and he ended up fouling out in the second half even though there was plenty of time left in the game.

Holman showed off very good low post scoring skills when he was on the floor.  He used a quick spin move to score from the baseline, as he is an agile player that possesses good footwork.  He also managed to use a pivot move to score on a strong jump hook.  Another time, he used a pivot move to score on a quick, step through move, as he is a fleet footed big man that has the strength and shooting touch to consistently score in the paint.  While he did miss once, Holman generally shot the ball well when he would get the ball on the block.  However, he was called for setting a moving screen once, as that led him to commit a turnover.

Plus, he also possesses an adequate ability to rebound the basketball.  Holman was able to haul in his fair share of defensive boards, but there was one time where he allowed an opponent to grab a rebound in his area.  He also displayed fairly average defensive skills.  Holman would generally contest jumpers to force misses, and he also would rotate to step up on a drive to force a miss.  However, he tended to be quite foul prone, as he would tend to try to commit fouls trying to challenge shots in the post as well as on drives.  Another time, he was late to rotate to his man, as his team ended up allowing an opponent to score on a three-point shot.

In general, Aric Holman did not have his best game, but he did excel as a low post scorer when he was on the floor.  However, he did not take jumpers from outside the paint area, and he committed too many fouls at too fast a rate, as he fouled out relatively early in the second half, which put his team in a massive bind.  His team was already down by double digits, but there were unable to drum up a come back attempt after he had fouled out.  Still, Holman may be an intriguing prospect, as he is an athletic big man that may project to be a rim protector at the next level, and he could end up being a potential second round pick whenever he decides to declare for the NBA draft.

Mississippi State’s sophomore point guard, Lamar Peters appeared to play well early in the game, as he used a nifty step back, crossover move to score on a pull-up three from beyond the arc to space the floor for his team, but while he showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers, he missed all of two-point shots on drives to the basket, as he would miss wildly in traffic.  As the game continued, he ended up not playing very well, as he was entirely too turnover prone on offense.  Peters did play unselfishly, and he would throw entry passes and get the ball to shooters to set up plenty of scoring chances.  However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would either get intercepted or sail out of bounds, and he also had a ball ripped away off of a drive that led him to commit another turnover.

In addition, while he showed good footwork and brought considerable ball pressure defensively, Peters did not seem to play good defense in this game.  He was late to rotate once, as he ended up allowing his man to score on a three-point shot in transition.  Another time, he picked up a foul after guarding his man on a drive, as his opponent was attempting to kick the ball out to a shooter.

In general, Lamar Peters started off well, but he did not have a great game as it continued on.  But he is an athletic point guard that will get the ball to his teammates, and he is capable of playing good defense.  He will need more time to hone his overall game, but right now, it would probably be best if he were to stay in school at least for another year so that he can work to improve his skill set.

Mississippi State’s 6-11 freshman center, Abdul Ado had a solid game in his team’s loss to Florida.  He excelled as an inside scorer, rebounder, and defender when he was on the court.  He excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he also scored on a jump hook from the post.  He showed off very good athleticism and motor to make plays on both ends of the floor, and he would grab many rebounds in this game.  He also would actively contest and block shots to protect the paint, but sometimes he would be undisciplined, as he would be prone to committing fouls or be late on his rotations to allow opponents to score on jumpers.

In this game, Ado had a double-double, as he scored 12 points, collected 10 rebounds, and blocked 1 shot against Florida.  While he may be flying under the radar, he is an energetic big man who could end up being a rim protector in the NBA, as he could be a player to watch in 2019.