Thoughts on Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter Jr, and Lonnie Walker in the Duke-Miami Game

January 16, 2018

By Alan Lu

I took the time to see Marvin Bagley III and Duke play in an ACC game against Miami, as this featured numerous prospects that could get picked in the lottery of the 2018 NBA Draft.  On this day, it was Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and Lonnie Walker IV that played the best, and while too many turnovers were committed early on, it was a very competitive game that went down to the wire, as Duke edged out Miami to get a narrow victory.  Here are my thoughts on how Bagley and other various prospects fared on this day.

Duke’s 6-11 freshman big man, Marvin Bagley III did not dominate in his team’s win over Miami, but he still managed to accumulate another double-double in this game.  Bagley showed an adequate ability to garner scores in the low post.  He possesses good footwork, and he can use quick spin moves and pivot moves to get strong scores from the block.  However, he also tended to miss on jump hooks, as he did not always find his shooting touch when he would look to score in the paint.  He also missed once after trying to score on a high post drive, and he also did not take a jumper from outside the paint area.

He also excelled at scoring on the move.  Bagley was able to score on a back door cut, and he also did a good job of scoring off of offensive rebounds, and he managed to score on a tip dunk once.  Also, he displayed good playmaking skills.  Bagley played unselfishly, as he would look to move the basketball, and he would get the ball to shooters from the post to set up scores for them.  He also was able to throw a good entry pass once.  However, there was one occasion where he struggled to protect the basketball, as he had a ball ripped away from him in the post to commit a turnover.

Plus, he also showed a very good ability to rebound the basketball.  He would haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he also would provide his team with second chance points.  However, there was one time where he forgot to block out, as this led his team to allow a put back score.  He also did not play good defense in this game.  For the positives, Bagley did manage to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he also would contest three-point shots to force misses.  However, he would tend to be late in getting back on defense, as he did not always show great effort on this end, which would lead his team to allow scores in transition.  He also committed a foul on a tip shot, as that led to a three-point play for the opposition.

In general, Marvin Bagley III played fairly well, but he did not put forth an outstanding performance in his team’s win over Miami.  Though he excelled at scoring in the post and at rebounding the basketball, he did not play very good defense in this game.  Also, he did not look to score on face-up plays nearly enough.  Still, he is a very skilled big man that could be a likely top 3 pick in 2018.

Duke’s 6-9 freshman big man, Wendell Carter Jr. played really well, as he helped lead his team to a narrow victory over Miami.  He had a solid all-around game, as he played well in virtually every category to help get Duke the win.  Carter did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He has a quick spin move that he can use to get past his man, and he was able to score on a powerful dunk once.  Also, he managed to score on a jump hook, but he did miss another time after attempting an up and under move.  He also showed a good ability to score on high post drives, as he possesses a good first step to the hoop, and he can finish plays above the rim.

Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers, and he also was able to make an open three off the catch.  Adding to that, he did a really good job of scoring on the move, as he was able to catch a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk off of a cut.  He also exhibited fairly average playmaking skills.  Carter showed a good willingness to pass out of the post.  But sometimes, he would be inaccurate with his passes, as that would lead him to commit some turnovers in this game.

Also, he did a really good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was frequently active at crashing the glass, and he would tend to leap up to get defensive boards when he was on the floor.  However, there was one occasion where he forgot to block out, which led his team to allow a put back score.

In addition, he played solid defense.  Carter did a great job of blocking shots, as he possesses very good timing to prevent opponents from scoring on drives to the basket.  Also, he will play passing lanes, as he can get his hands on passes to help his team force turnovers.  In addition, he did a very good job of rotating and staying in front of his man on drives to force opponents to miss shots, but sometimes, he would be late in making his rotations, which would cause him to commit fouls or allow scores on occasion.  In general, Wendell Carter Jr. had a solid showing, as he was able to help his team in a number of ways to get his team the win.  He is a smart, skilled basketball player that could be a likely lottery pick for the upcoming draft.

Miami’s 6-4 freshman combo guard, Lonnie Walker played really well against Duke, as he did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he played very good defense when he was on the floor.  Walker did a great job of making shots to space the floor for his team.  He really excelled at making pull-up threes, and he especially had a knack for knocking those down in transition.

He is an agile combo guard that did a good job of scoring off the dribble in transition.  However, he struggled to score on drives in half-court sets, as he tended to miss shots in traffic, and he ended up having his shots blocked a couple of times.  Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Walker did not appear to pass the ball too often, but he did show a good ability to find open teammates, as he can get the ball to them in a variety of ways.   In addition, he also is a good ball handler that did not turn the ball over.  Though he did not grab many rebounds, he was able to haul in a couple of defensive boards when he was on the court.

Walker also played great defense.  He did a great job of intercepted balls that were thrown to him to get steals, and he also managed to tip a pass upwards to himself to come away with another steal.  Plus, he also excelled at poking balls away from opposing ball handlers, as he would apply heavy ball pressure on this end of the floor.  In this game, Lonnie Walker played really well, as he had a terrific showing in his team’s loss to Duke.  He possesses a solid blend of having, athleticism, shooting ability, and defensive skills, as that could enable him to be a potential lottery pick for the upcoming draft.

Duke’s 6-5 freshman guard, Gary Trent Jr. quietly had a very good game, as he did a great job of shooting the basketball to help lift Duke to a victory over Miami.  He showed a knack for making threes to space the floor for his team.  Trent really excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he even made a bank three in transition.  Plus, he can make threes after running off of curls, and he also made a pull-up three once.

He also showed a solid ability to get scores off the dribble.  Trent can score on floaters, and he is a quick guard that can swiftly get to the hoop.  On the other hand, he did not show very good playmaking skills.  Trent did not seem to make any noteworthy passes, and he also was a bit turnover prone.  He had some trouble protecting the basketball, as he ended up getting the ball poked away on a couple of drives, and he also threw an inaccurate entry pass that sailed out of bounds.

Also, Trent showed off adequate defensive skills.  He showed a good ability to contest jumpers to force misses, and he also managed to block a shot to help his team protect the paint, but he also would commit touch fouls when guarding opposing ball handlers, due to over-aggressiveness.  In this game, Trent played really well, as he was able to make big shots from beyond the arc time and time again.  When he is making shots, he can really help his team, as he played like a definite first round prospect in this particular game against Miami.  Over the course of the entire season, Trent’s play has been inconsistent, but if he has more good games like he did against the Hurricanes, Trent could perhaps end up being a late first round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Miami’s sophomore big man, Dewan Huell had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Duke.  He excelled at finishing plays around the basket, and he hauled in many rebounds when he was on the floor.  Huell did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  Huell would consistently score off of off rebounds, and he would throw down multiple dunks to provide his team with second chance points.  He also was able to score on a thunderous dunk after rolling hard to the basket.  He also excelled at scoring in transition, and he also was able to score on a floater off of a drive.   However, he had trouble getting his jump hooks to fall after posting up, and he also had his shots blocked a couple of times after looking to score in half-court sets.

However, he showed off below average playmaking skills.  In this game, he did not seem to make any noteworthy passes, and he tended to commit turnovers due to carelessness.  He ended up dropping a pass that went out of bounds, and he also stepped out of bounds after flying in to grab an offensive rebound once.  Huell also threw a bad pass off of a drive that ended up being intercepted by a defender another time.  He did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  Huell was quite active on the glass, as he would frequently leap up to collect boards on both ends of the floor due to possessing very good athletic gifts, instincts, and motor to do so.

He did not defend very well in this game against Duke.  Huell struggled to guard his man when playing post defense, as he would tend to pick up fouls.  He also fell once when defending down low, which led him to give up a dunk to an opponent.  He also had trouble staying in front of his man even after rotating to help on drives, as his team ended up allowing scores to his opponents around the basket area.

Overall, Dewan Huell put forth a good performance, as he showed off solid inside scoring and rebounding skills in this game.  He will need to improve his perimeter skills and position defense, but he could potentially end up being a good find for a team whenever he decides to declare to enter the NBA draft.

Trevon Duval had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Miami, but he ended up playing well down the stretch.  He did show a penchant to throw up questionable shots and for committing turnovers at times, but Duval saved his best when the game was on the line, as he was able to get numerous scores and offensive rebounds to help get his team the victory.

Duval showed an adequate ability to get scores off the dribble.  He is a very fast playmaker that can quickly get into the lane, and he can score on tough, contorted shots around the basket, as he once was able to score on a switch of hands layup.   He also managed to score after rebounding his own free throw miss, as he drove in quickly to get a score at the rim.  However, sometimes he would play too fast, as that would occasionally lead him to miss wildly in traffic.

He did do a great job of knocking open, spot-up threes off the catch, as that really helped space the floor for Duke, and it also allowed Duval to get easier driving lanes later in the game.  Plus, he also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Duval collected many assists in this game, and he can throw solid interior passes to set up numerous scores for his teammates.  However, he also can tend to play too recklessly on offense.  Several of his passes ended up getting intercepted, and he also threw an inaccurate entry pass that ended up sailing out of bounds.  Another time, he was called for committing a charging foul on a drive to the basket.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Duval is very fast, and he was able to chase down balls off of his own misses from the free throw line to get key offensive rebounds to help his team late in the game.  He also was able to come away with a couple of defensive rebounds, but there was one time where he committed a foul as an opponent scored on a put back, as that led to a three-point play for the opposition.

However, he seemed to show below average defensive skills.  For the positives, Duval was able to intercept a pass to obtain a steal.  However, he also had some lapses defensively.  He would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he was late to rotate, as he ended up allowing his opponent to score on a three-point basket.

In general, Trevon Duval did not consistently play well in his team’s win against Miami, but overall, he ended up having a good game in spite of having made numerous mistakes in this game.  Though he can play too recklessly at times on offense and also be prone to having defensive lapses, Duval did a very good job of making shots, and he also collected many assists on offense.  With his skill set, he could end up being a good value pick in the mid to late first round range for an NBA team in the upcoming draft.

Grayson Allen did not have a great game, but he did make some good plays on both ends of the floor.  He did play very well defensively, but he struggled to make shots or to protect the basketball against Miami.  Allen played very good defense when he was on the floor.  Allen made a lot of solid defensive plays due to possessing solid athletic gifts, instincts, and motor.  He did a great job of jumping passes and poking balls away to obtain a plethora of steals, and he also would contest shots on drives to force misses.  In addition, he would chip in on the boards to help his team on the glass, but there was one time when he gave up a bit too much space to his man, which allowed his opponent to score on a three-point shot.

Allen also did a good job of scoring in transition, and he was able to throw down a magnetic jam off of a drive on the break. He struggled to consistently score on half-court sets, but he did once make a quick three off the catch in the corner after running off of a curl to get the ball.  He also showed below average playmaking skills.  He did play unselfishly, as he would get the ball to shooters to notch assists on offense.  However, he tended to commit too many turnovers, as he would rush plays and go too fast.  Sometimes, he would throw the ball away and get his passes picked off by defenders, another time, he lost the ball on a drive, and he also traveled once on a separate possession.

In this game, Grayson Allen did not have his best game, but he did defend well when he was on the court, and he was able to get a couple of solid scores against Miami.  He will need to be a more consistent player on offense, but he could end up being a good pick for a team in the second round on draft day.

Miami’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Bruce Brown just did not play very well when he was on the court.  He struggled to make shots consistently or take care of the basketball, and he did not seem to be assertive enough on offense, as his team ended up losing to Duke.  He did do a very good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He excelled at scoring on put backs after grabbing offensive boards, and he also ran the floor to throw down a dunk on a breakaway.  However, Brown did not do a good job of scoring on half-court drives, and he missed both of his three-point shots off the catch.

Also, he showed off below average playmaking skills.  Brown tended to be too passive on offense, as he did not seem to be very engaged in this game, and he did not seem to look for his own shot enough, nor did he seem to make many noteworthy passes in this game.  He also tended to be turnover prone, as he would throw inaccurate passes in traffic that would get deflected and intercepted by his opponents.  He did do a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was quite active at crashing the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.

He also played good defense, as he would catch a pass thrown to him to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away from an opponent to force another turnover, but overall, Bruce Bowen really struggled to get things going on the offensive end, and he just did not seem to do enough to help his team against Duke.  Still, he is an intriguing talent, as he is a very athletic combo guard that can attack the basket to get scores, and he is also a good defensive player.  With his skill set, he could end up being selected by an NBA team somewhere in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Other Notes:

Miami’s 6-7 junior swingman, Anthony Lawrence quietly played well, as he scored the basketball in a variety of ways, and he played great help defense, as he would rack up numerous steals, and he would leap up to swat shots to prevent opponents from scoring on drives to the basket.  He could be a player to watch in 2019.

Miami’s 5-7 freshman point guard Chris Lykes had his ups and downs in a loss to Duke as he eventually struggled to make threes consistently, but he did a very good job of using his speed, agility, and ball-handling moves to beat his opponents off the dribble to garner scores on aggressive drives to the basket.  In addition, he managed to draw a charge on an opponent on the defensive end.   Overall, Lykes has had a solid season this year, and he could end up being a solid player for Miami for years to come.