Analyzing Blake Wesley, Oscar Tshiebwe, and Tyty Washington

December 11th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Today, Kentucky played against Notre Dame in a non-conference, college basketball game.  Even though Tyty Washington struggled mightily against Duke and played poorly in his team’s early season loss to them in the Champions Classic, his stock has stayed afloat in the late lottery to the mid first round range, as Kentucky has been pouncing on lower-tier Division 1 teams, so I decided it was time to give him another look. 

Also, Notre Dame’s 6-5 freshman guard, Blake Wesley has been moving up draft boards, and I wanted to watch him play to get a feel for his game.  It was a back and forth game that went all the way down to the wire, and Wesley was able to make a pivotal, go-ahead mid-range jumper to help his team get a decisive win over Kentucky.  Oscar Tshiebwe and Blake Wesley seemed to be the standout performers of this game, and here are my thoughts on how they along with Tyty Washington fared on this day.

Notre Dame’s 6-5 freshman guard, Blake Wesley hit a clutch mid-range shot to help get his team a late lead in Notre Dame’s win over Kentucky today.
(Photo:
Robert Franklin/Associated Press)

Blake Wesley had a good showing in this game, as he helped lead his team to get a narrow victory over Kentucky.  He is an athletic, energetic guard that played well on both ends of the floor, and he was able to make a critical, go-ahead jumper to put his team up for good late in this game.  He did a good job of attacking the hoop to score on offense.  He was able to drive hard to his right to score on a tough shot in traffic.  He also jumped a pass and scored on a high-flying, breakaway dunk.  He also managed to throw down a dunk off of a backdoor cut.

Plus, he also shot the ball well in this game.  Wesley excelled as a three-point shooter, as he showed that he can make them both off the catch and dribble.  He also dribbled to his left, and he stopped on a dime to score on a clutch mid-range jumper late in this match.  While he struggled to consistently score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, he managed to hit one when his team needed it the most.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Wesley is an unselfish player that will look to make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he also was able to throw an outlet pass to find a teammate on the break to set up a score for him late in this contest.  He also was able to make a drive and kick pass to get the ball to the open man, and he showed some ability to run the point if necessary.  On one drive to the hoop late in the game though, he threw a high inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds, and it could’ve been a costly mistake, especially if Kentucky were able to convert on some of their offensive possessions in crunch time.

Also, Blake Wesley was able to leap up to get his fair share of defensive rebounds to help his team out on the glass.  He also played solid defense in this game.  Wesley is an active, aggressive defender that can hound opponents with his length and quickness, and he tended to put himself in the right spots.  He was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also managed to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive another time.  He showed a knack for rotating to poke balls away in the post out of bounds.  He also used his length to contest a three-point shot to force a miss another time.  Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive when defending opponents, which can lead him to commit fouls.  On one play, he committed an aggressive foul on a mid-range shooter, as he closed out too hard when contesting the shot.  He also got outmuscled on a drive another time, which led him to commit the foul on another possession.

In general, Blake Wesley played well in his team’s win over Kentucky.  He is a versatile combo guard that showed off a variety of skills to help his team get the victory.  He is a smooth scorer that can knock down shots in a variety of ways, and he also is a solid defender that excelled at making plays on that side of the ball.  He may be quite underrated as a prospect, and if he continues to play well, he could end up being a first round pick in the 2022 draft.

Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe scored 25 points in his team’s loss to Notre Dame today.
(Photo:
Robert Franklin/Associated Press, via WKYT)

Oscar Tshiebwe played very well in his team’s loss to Notre Dame.  He especially dominated as a scorer in the post, and he also defended well when he was on the floor.  He also managed to set good screens to help set up scores for his teammates on offense. Tshiebwe really excelled at scoring in the post.  He would often get deep position due to possessing great strength, and he would use spin moves and drop step moves to score often on turnaround jump hooks.  He also was able to score on a powerful dunk, and he also would draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.  Plus, he also was able to get a steal and drive up court to score on a strong, fast break dunk.  He also did a good job of making mid-range jumpers.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Tshiebwe was able to pass out of the post to notch an assist.  He also would set good screens to help get his teammates open, which would allow them to handle the ball freely to score on mid-range jumpers.  On one play though after grabbing an offensive rebound, he got tied up by an opponent, which led him to commit a turnover that time. He also was able to leap up to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor to get his fair share of rebounds in this game.  On one play though, he was called for committing an over the back foul when going for an offensive board once. 

Plus, Tshiebwe played satisfactory defense when he was on the floor.  He did a tremendous job of jumping passes to get steals, and he particularly excelled at picking off entry passes to do so.  He also did a good job of blocking shots in this game.  He rotated to swat a shot hard off of a drive in transition, and he also blocked a three-point shot to force a shot clock violation.  On the downside, he would sometimes over-help off of his man, and he would allow opponents to score around the basket.  He also would sometimes whiff on steal attempts or not timely contest shots, and he would give up too much space to shooters to allow them to score off the dribble.

In summary, Oscar Tshiebwe put forth a strong performance in this game, and he consistently excelled at making plays when he was on the floor.  He particularly thrived as a low post scorer, but he also played good defense against Notre Dame.  He’s been very productive at the collegiate level, and he could be a solid find for an NBA team whenever he decides to enter the draft.

Tyty Washington had some good moments in his team’s loss to Notre Dame.  He showed that he can score on mid-range jumpers, and he also played unselfishly, as he was able to rack up a solid number of assists.  On the downside, he wasn’t aggressive enough in trying to make plays on offense, and he also struggled on the defensive end for most of the contest.

Washington did a good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers.  He showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers from that range, and he showed that he can score using either hand.  He also managed to score on a tough, mid-range floater another time.  However, he missed on an aggressive drive another time.  He didn’t take many threes in this game, but he missed on an open corner three, as he rushed his shot in his lone three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

Also, he showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Washington can make quick drive and kick passes to get the ball to open shooters, and he also would throw accurate entry passes to set up scores for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would try to rush his moves too quickly, and other times he would over-dribble into traffic.   On one play, he had the ball stolen away from him off of a drive to lose the basketball.  He also was called for a charging foul on another drive, though his opponent seemed to be moving that time, and he would’ve scored if that call had not been made.

Though Washington didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, he was able to leap up to get a defensive board on one possession.  Defensively, he struggled though.  On the bright side, his best defensive possession was when he rotated to poke a ball quickly in the post out of bounds to nearly get a steal, and Washington showed solid agility and hands that time.  He also managed to stay in front of an opposing ball handler in the mid-range and allowed his teammate to rotate to swipe a ball away.

However, he often got beat off the dribble and on cuts, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.  It was odd that he struggled to stay in front of his opponents, considering that he’s considered to be more athletic than them.  He also had trouble getting around screens, and he would be late to rotate or to contest shots.  Also, his small stature would make it make it difficult for him to guard taller players, and he would allow them to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Tyty Washington had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Notre Dame.  He was able to tantalize and have some good moments on the offensive end, but he wasn’t aggressive enough on that side of the ball, and he didn’t take nearly enough threes on offense.  He also looked to be astonishingly bad on the defensive for most of the match, aside from a few possessions. 

He’ll need to play much better against power conference teams in the future.  Right now, his draft stock may be inflated, especially since he’s padded his numbers by feasting on low-tier division 1 competition.  However, his struggles against Duke and Notre Dame suggest that we should pump the brakes before hyping him up as a possible lottery pick.  While he has shown potential as an offensive-minded point guard, he still needs to improve his shot selection and defense, as that could help him reach his full potential when he gets to the NBA someday.

Keion Brooks also played well in his team’s loss to Notre Dame.  He is an athletic, junior forward that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help his team stay in the game. Brooks did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  He can use subtle moves to get around his defenders, which enabled him to score and get free throws.  He also managed to catch a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk.   Brooks also managed to score on a turnaround jumper down low.  Plus, he also did a decent job of knocking down mid-range jumpers, though he did seem to take too many of them in this match.

Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would get strong defensive boards to help his team collect rebounds.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Brooks is an athletic, energetic defender that was able to block a shot off of a drive to help his team protect the paint that time.  He also managed to rotate to swipe a ball away to get a steal.  On the downside, there was one play where he was very late to rotate to an opponent, and he gave up too much space to a shooter, which led his man to score on an open corner three-point shot.

Overall, Keion Brooks had a solid showing in this game.  He excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he showed a knack for making hustle plays in particular.  On the other hand, he didn’t make a three-point shot against Notre Dame.  He’ll need to show NBA scouts and teams that he can consistently knock down outside shots and he will need to improve his playmaking skills.  If things break his way, he could project into a defensive specialist role in the NBA someday.

Notre Dame’s 6-6 redshirt junior swingman, Dane Goodwin also played well in his team’s win over Kentucky.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense in this game.  Goodwin showed a penchant for scoring on hustle plays.  He really excelled at scoring on backdoor cuts.  He also drove in to score on a strong dunk on the break at the end of the game.  Plus, he also managed to use a drop step move to draw free throws when posting up once. 

Goodwin also did a decent job of shooting the basketball.  He was able to make a quick, spot-up three to help his team space the floor.  He also drove off of a screen to score off the glass.  On the downside, he struggled to score consistently off the dribble, and he especially seemed to struggle when he would look to score against help defenders.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Goodwin also played satisfactory defense in this game, and he was able to contest a three to force a miss.  Overall, Dane Goodwin is an agile swingman that excelled at making shots in this game, and he is a high-motor player that played solid team basketball in this game.  He didn’t seem to dominate in this match, but he thrived at making plays, especially on offense.  Goodwin is a smart basketball player that seems to have a good basketball IQ, and his ability to make shots and score on offense could enable him to carve out a role as a shooting specialist in the NBA someday.

Kellan Grady had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Notre Dame.  He was quite streaky as a shooter, but he showed that he can make threes off the catch and dribble, and he made a smooth pull-up three to help give his team a brief lead late in this match.  He also managed to drive off of a screen to score on a finger roll layup. He also would chase down balls to get defensive rebounds for his team.  He didn’t seem to be too noticeable defensively, but there was one play where he ended up getting beat on a backdoor cut to allow a score to his opponent.

Overall, Kellan Grady didn’t have his best game, but he showed that he is a shooter that can knock down outside shots.  He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but his ability to knock down three point shots could enable him to carve out a role as a shooting specialist in the NBA someday.

Notre Dame’s 6-9 senior forward, Paul Atkinson had a solid showing in his team’s win over Kentucky.  He did a good job of scoring in the paint, and he also passed the ball well when he was on the floor. Atkinson showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on powerful dunks off of cuts and rolls to the rim.  He also managed to score on a left-handed drive to the hoop.  He also would sometimes get deep position in the post, which would enable him to score on jump shots.  Sometimes though, he would try to do too much, which would lead him to miss on tough, contested shots around the basket.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  Atkinson can pass out of the post as well as off the dribble, and he was able to pass out of the post to find a cutter to notch an assist.  He also threw a crisp, accurate outlet pass to help set up a score for a teammate on the break.  On one play though, he was called for traveling shortly after using a pump fake off of a roll to the rim, and he would’ve scored had that call not been made.

Also, Atkinson did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and he also would box out to help his team come away with defensive rebounds.  On the downside, he and his teammates really struggled to guard Tshiebwe in the post.  He would often give up deep position, which would allow his opponent to score inside, and he also would miss on steal attempts.  He tended to struggle to guard opponents down low, which would also lead him to commit fouls around the basket, and he also allowed an opponent to score on an open mid-range shot another time.

Overall, Paul Atkinson played well in his team’s win over Kentucky.  Though he didn’t dominate in this game, he excelled as an inside scorer, and he also passed the ball well on offense.  Though he struggled to defend down low, he made solid team plays to help his team get the win.  He’ll likely need to extend his shooting range and he will need to improve his defense in the meantime, but his ability to make sound decisions and solid team plays could enable him to carve out a lengthy playing career in professional basketball.

Notre Dame’s 6-10 redshirt junior big man, Nate Laszewski didn’t have a great game, but he made enough plays to help his team come away with a win over Kentucky.  He did a decent job of scoring around the basket.  Laszewski was able to score on a put back.  He also used a pump fake to score another time when posting up.  On the downside, he also missed on an awkward shot in traffic another time.  Laszewski also was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch on a pick-and-pop play to showcase his shooting skills.  On the downside, he struggled to knock down threes consistently in this game, as he would miss on his other three-point attempts.

Also, Laszewski was able to set an on-ball screen for a teammate, which allowed his teammate to score on an open jump shot.  Laszewski was able to get boards on both ends of the floor to chip in on the glass.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He would look to contest shots when defending in the post, and that allowed him to force some misses.  However, he would often give up deep position when defending down low due to lacking great strength, and that would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Nate Laszewski didn’t really stand out on either end of the floor, but he also showcased some of his strengths, even though he didn’t shoot the ball well overall.  While he’s not an overwhelming athlete, he is a mobile big man that can shoot the basketball, and he’s a stretch big that can space the floor.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter and be more aggressive on offense, and he’ll need to regain the shooting touch he displayed last season.  Right now, he may be a long shot to be drafted, but his size and shooting skills could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

I wanted to get an extended look at Kentucky’s freshman big man, Daimion Collins, but once again, he was barely on the floor, so I didn’t get much of a chance to see him play in this game.  Early on, he committed an over the back foul on an offensive rebound attempt.  He showed off decent defensive skills in this game.  Collins managed to block a mid-range shot to close the first half.  On another play though, he gave up deep position and allowed his opponent to score down low. 

Overall, Collins is an athletic, but raw big man that has not played much this season.  He is probably not ready to play in the NBA, but mostly, he just needs to find playing time and play basketball, period.  It’s possible that his game may be better suited to playing at the NBA level than in college, because the NBA game is faster and more wide open.  However, he really hasn’t established his strengths on offense, and it’s hard to get a good feel for his game when he barely plays.  Right now, if he were to enter the 2022 draft, I don’t think it would be reasonable for an NBA team to consider drafting him until the mid to late second round range, because of the likelihood that Collins might be very far away from being able to contribute at the NBA level.

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