Analyzing Carlik Jones, Matthew Hurt, and David Johnson
January 23rd, 2021
By Alan Lu
Early in the season, Duke’s freshman forward, Jalen Johnson made noise by scoring 19 points on a perfect 8 of 8 shooting, as he also had 19 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks in his team’s season opening win over Coppin State. However, aside from playing well against Bellarmine, Johnson struggled over the next four games, and then ended up getting a foot injury. He has since returned, and played very well in his team’s January 19th loss to Pittsburgh, and so I wanted to see if he can play well against a highly ranked opponent.
Today, Jalen Johnson squared off against David Johnson and Louisville. He played well early on as a scorer in the paint, but he struggled quite a bit with turnovers and foul trouble, and Jalen Johnson struggled in this game in general. As for the game itself, it was a very competitive match in which Duke’s sophomore forward, Matthew Hurt shot the ball very well, but Louisville withstood Hurt’s scoring prowess, as they made key shots and got stops down the stretch to eventually get the win over Duke. Here are my thoughts on how Jalen Johnson, David Johnson, Matthew Hurt, Carlik Jones, and others fared on this day, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.
Louisville’s redshirt senior point guard, Carlik Jones played very well to help lead his team to a win over Duke, and he also really excelled at making plays down the stretch. Jones showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. He tended to favor going to his left, as he was able to score on a strong layup in traffic once, and he also would barrel his way to the hoop to often draw fouls upon his defenders to frequently get to the free throw line. Jones does a good job of changing speeds, and he is a subtly quick guard that has good strength and body control to regularly get his opponents into foul trouble.
He also displayed a fairly good mid-range game. Jones showed a knack for making jumpers from the elbows, and he also can dribble up to score on floaters. Sometimes though, he would be streaky with his jump shot from the mid-range, and he also would occasionally try to force up tough, difficult shots that would lead to misses. Though he didn’t take many threes in this game, he made long-range shots efficiently from beyond the arc, and Jones was able to make a spot-up three off the catch.
Also, he showed off decent playmaking skills. Jones is an unselfish player that was able to get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways. He would get the ball to shooters, and he also would find teammates on the break to set up scores for them. However, he also ended up committing a couple of ball-handling turnovers. He went in a little too fast and lost the ball on a drive out of bounds, and he was called for traveling another time. He threw an interior pass that went through the legs of his teammate, which though was a good read and his teammate dropped a catchable pass, it still led to another team turnover. Also, he was able to leap up to collect his fair share of rebounds, and he was able to leap up to get a few defensive rebounds.
Jones also played satisfactory defense. He did a good job of getting steals in this game. He was able to intercept a pass, and he also ran in to take a ball away from an opponent off of a drive to force another turnover. However, there was one play where he got beat on a spin move and ended up allowing a score in the post.
In summary, Carlik Jones had a sterling showing, as he scored 24 points, made 11 of his 12 free throws as he went to the foul line frequently, and he also dished out 5 assists to help his team get the win. He is a smart, skilled playmaker that excelled at making shots and running the team at the point in this game. Though he doesn’t possess elite athletic gifts or size for his position, he is a skilled offensive player that has a solid basketball IQ, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the 2021 draft. Jones is having a solid senior season this year, and he is a productive player whose skill set and feel for the game could enable him to excel as a role player in the NBA.
Duke’s 6-9 sophomore forward, Matthew Hurt had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Louisville. Hurt scored 24 points on 9 of 13 shots, he made 4 threes, and he also collected 8 rebounds before fouling out late in this game. Hurt did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball. He is an excellent marksman from beyond the arc, and he would often make spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to do so once from way out. He also managed to use a ball screen and dribbled to his right to make a pull-up three later on. Plus, he showed a penchant for making mid-range jump shots, as he can do so off the catch or make tough fade-away jumpers, and his size, footwork, and sharpshooting prowess allowed him to easily make shots over his defenders.
He also excelled as a scorer in the post. He has solid footwork and shooting touch down low, as he was able to turn to score on an open layup, and he also would draw numerous fouls upon his defenders. He also used a spin move to draw free throws on a drop step, turnaround jumper. Also, he was able to score on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound. Early in the game, he attempted to score on a roll to the rim, but missed that time.
On the downside, Hurt was fairly turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Hurt is an unselfish player that can pass out of the post, and he also can throw accurate entry passes. However, he threw a rushed, interior pass off of a drive that got intercepted once, and he also committed a couple of other turnovers due to carelessness.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball. Hurt was active at leaping up to crash the glass, as he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the court. However, late in this game, he got beat to a ball as he allowed an opponent to grab an offensive rebound in his area, and Hurt ended up fouling his man on a put back attempt, which led him to commit his fourth foul on that possession.
Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, Hurt was active at rotating to contest shots in the paint to force some misses. He also would contest jumpers to help get stops for his team, as he was able to do so when he was in position. However, he also tended to struggle to defend out on the perimeter. He tended to sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow them to score on threes and mid-range jumpers. Other times, he had trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
In general, Matthew Hurt played well in his team’s loss to Louisville. He shot the ball really well, and he did a superb job as his team’s primary shooter and scorer on offense. He struggled quite a bit defensively, but he did a tremendous job of getting his team points to help them stay in it while he was on the floor. Hurt has improved considerably by staying in school this season, and he likely has been his team’s most valuable player for them this year. He is a skilled, combination forward who can really shoot the basketball. He’s not an overwhelming athletic, but he is a very good shooter who is also crafty as a scorer on the court. Hurt’s strong offensive skills could make him a solid value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the 2021 draft, and he could project to be a solid shooter at that level similar to former veteran forward, Tracy Murray in the association.
Louisville’s 6-5 sophomore guard, David Johnson didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he still had a decent showing nonetheless, as he excelled in the non-shooting or scoring related elements of this game in his team’s win over Duke. He did a fairly good job of scoring in the post. Johnson was able to use an overhead ball fake as he dribbled left to score on a fade-away jumper from the baseline. He also went up strong to draw free throws on a turnaround jumper another time. He also posted up on another play, but after using a pivot move, he missed after using a step-through move to try to score.
Also, he shot the three-ball fairly well from beyond the arc to provide some floor-spacing for his team. Johnson was able to make quick, open spot-up threes off the catch, and he also used a jab step to make a corner three another time. He did miss on his fair share of threes, but he tended to miss on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range. Sometimes he would try to force up shots that would lead to misses.
Plus, he also displayed solid playmaking skills. Johnson is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates, and he also can pass out of the post, as well as find teammates on the break to get them the basketball. Sometimes though, he can try to do too much, especially when handling the ball under pressure, which can lead him to commit turnovers. He lost the ball once on a crossover move out of bounds, and he also had a ball poked away off of himself on a drive another time. Johnson also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He was very active at crashing the glass to help his team get boards on both sides of the ball.
He also played fairly good defense. Johnson is an active help defender that excelled at intercepting passes to get steals. He also is a physical defender that has good strength to hold his ground when defending in the post. He also managed to block a shot out of bounds when defending down low on a separate possession. However, he did have some trouble guarding taller players in the post, which would lead him to commit touch fouls. On a separate play, he sagged too far off of a shooter, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a three-point shot.
Overall, David Johnson seemed to have a better game than the box score indicated. He wasn’t efficient in making shots in this game, but he excelled as a facilitator, rebounder, and defender, and he also showed off versatile scoring skills. He’s not the flashiest player, but he showed a knack for making team plays to help his team get wins. Right now, he currently projects to go in the mid to late first round range, and he is an athletic, skilled combo guard that may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.
Duke’s freshman forward, Jalen Johnson had his ups and downs in this game, but ultimately he put forth another disappointing showing in his team’s loss to Louisville. He hasn’t really played well against top competition this season, but he got my hopes up after having a dominant performance in his team’s loss to Pittsburgh just days ago. Johnson started off well, but then immediately got plagued with turnovers, foul trouble, and inconsistent shooting later on in this match.
Johnson showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. He was able to use a ball fake to score on an open layup early on. He also managed to use a pump fake to score on a runner as well. He also showed a decent ability to score in the post. Johnson was able to spin left to score on a fadeaway, turnaround jumper while getting an extra free throw. However, he tried to overtly force the issue another time, which led his shot to get blocked instead.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Johnson was able to slip a screen to get the ball midway on a roll to the rim, and he then drove hard to the hoop from the high post to score on a leaner, and he was also able to get an extra free throw afterwards.
However, he really struggled to knock down outside shots in this game. Johnson missed on all three of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc, even though he was able to run off the ball to get a couple of them up. He also threw up a late game air-ball from downtown, as he had trouble making jumpers down the stretch.
On the downside, Johnson was quite turnover prone on offense. On one good play, he was able to throw an accurate entry pass to set up a scoring opportunity for his teammate early on. However, he tended to telegraph his passes as a couple of them ended up getting intercepted, and he also threw an inaccurate pass off the dribble that sailed out of bounds. He also had a couple of balls poked away from him that resulted in turnovers, and he also committed a charging foul on a drive late in this game.
Also, he did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. Johnson was able to leap up to grab boards on both ends of he floor. However, there was one play where he overran a ball, and an opponent ended up beating him to the ball to get a loose ball late in this contest.
However, he will need to improve defensively. For the positives, Johnson was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive once. He also managed to contest a turnaround jumper when defending in the post to force a miss another time. On the other hand, he tended to pick up fouls defensively. Sometimes he would be late on his rotations, which would lead him to foul opponents when defending in the post, as well as off of cuts. He also bit on a ball fake, as he was too aggressive on a close out, which led him to allow his man to score on a mid-range floater. On a separate play, he sagged too far off of a shooter, which led him to allow a corner three-point basket to his opponent.
Overall, Jalen Johnson had a promising start to this game, as he scored in the post and off of a drive early on, but he then really struggled with turnovers and later with foul trouble, which took him out of his rhythm offensively. He also had trouble making jump shots from outside of the paint area. It was vastly disappointing that he couldn’t keep up with his solid start to play well overall, and he ended up scoring just 9 points on 8 shots, he did not collect an assist, and he committed a whopping 6 turnovers in this game. I’ve had my doubts about whether or not if he should be rated as a lottery-level prospect, and this only serves to confirm my doubts of whether or not if he is an elite-tier prospect or not.
Right now though, it’s not looking that way. He will need to be a more consistent player in games, and he will need to show NBA teams that he can play well against top-level competition. If he can improve his outside shot and take better care of the basketball, that could help him significantly.
Currently, Johnson may project to go in the mid first round range, and he is an athletic combo forward whose versatility and skill set could enable him to project to be a similar player to former veteran forward, Charlie Villanueva in the NBA. Johnson has been inconsistent year, but has shown flashes of his considerable potential. However, if he continues to struggle in conference play and later on this season, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up getting selected much lower in the NBA draft if he decides to declare to enter it at the end of this season.
Duke’s freshman guard, D.J. Steward played fairly well in his team’s loss to Louisville. He excelled as a scorer and defender in this game, and he made solid plays in the second half to help keep his team in this match. Steward showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. He would tend to favor going to his right, and he would go hard to the hoop to score the basketball and get extra free throws for his team. He also used a pump fake, and dribbled left to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper.
He also flashed the ability to knock down outside shots. Steward was able to make a spot-up three from well beyond the arc. However, he struggled to make threes consistently, and he missed his fair share of spot-up threes off the catch. He also was a bit turnover prone on offense. For the positives, he is an athletic guard that handles the ball well. On the downside, he also committed a couple of ball-handling turnovers. Steward committed a charging foul off of a drive that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover. Another time, he used a pump fake as he jumped up to try to take a shot, but he also came down with the ball without having released it, which led him to commit an up and down violation.
Also, Steward was able to chip in on the glass. Though he didn’t get many rebounds in this game, he was able to get a pair of defensive boards in this game. However, there was another play where he committed an over the back foul when going for an offensive board once.
Plus, he also defended well. Steward was able to block a mid-range jump shot due to possessing solid athleticism, timing, and instincts. He did a good job of contesting mid-range shots to force misses. He also poked a ball away from an opponent off of a drive to get a steal. There was one play where he committed a loose ball foul when going for a steal due to over-aggressiveness, but Steward generally excelled at making plays defensively in this game.
Overall, D.J. Steward had a fairly good game, as he primarily excelled as a scorer and defender in his team’s loss to Louisville. He will need to improve his outside shot and playmaking skills, but he is an athletic, energetic combo guard whose skill set and upside could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the second round range of the upcoming draft.
Louisville’s sophomore swingman, Samuell Williamson played well off the bench in his team’s win over Duke. He made plenty of hustle plays to help his team get points and rebounds in the paint. He would run off the ball to get it off of cuts, and he did a good job of scoring on quick, mid-range jump shots. Williamson also managed to score on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound. Sometimes, he would take, tough contested mid-range shots, as he missed on a couple of those, but he generally shot the ball fairly well in this game.
Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. Williamson especially excelled at leaping up to haul in defensive boards, and he was able to get a key defensive rebound late to help seal the win for his team. Overall, Williamson played well off the bench, and he especially did a good job of getting rebounds for his team. He is an athletic, energetic player that played well in this game, and he has been a solid contributor for his team this season. He will need to take more outside shots, and he will need to look to shoot more in games. He will likely need to stay in school for at least another year, but his athleticism, motor, and ability to contribute on both ends could enable him to be a second round prospect for the 2022 draft.
Duke’s sophomore guard, Wendell Moore Jr. had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Louisville. He has appeared to make small steps to improve his outside shot, and he has become a much more, confident player than he appeared to be during his team’s loss to Illinois. He still struggled to make shots consistently, but it’s encouraging that he’s taken strides to work on his jump shot, and he also passed the ball well in this game.
Moore flashed the ability to knock down jumpers to help his team space the floor in this game. He was able to use a jab step to make a three-point shot early on. He also showed a good ability to make pull-up jumpers from the mid-range. Moore tended to miss threes both off the catch and dribble later on, but it’s a good sign that he’s trusting his jump shot more, and that he is starting to see an improvement in the jumpers he takes on offense. He also was able to score on a tip-in after running in to grab an offensive rebound. Moore didn’t look to go all the way to score off the dribble often, but he did miss on an awkward, rushed drive to the hoop once.
Moore also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also showed the ability to pass off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates. However, he also committed a couple of turnovers. On one play, he drove towards the baseline, but was called for traveling. On another, he threw an inaccurate entry pass that ended up skipping out of bounds.
Moore was able to get his fair share of rebounds, and he was able to leap up to get boards on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he looked to be about average. Moore was able to dive on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also contested a mid-range jump shot to force a miss. However, he generally struggled to defend shooters out on the perimeter. He would sometimes be too aggressive, which would lead him to commit touch fouls. Another time, he sagged too far off of his man, which led his team to give up a three-point basket to an opponent.
Overall, Wendell Moore Jr. didn’t have his best game, but he at least seems to have been playing considerably better than the disastrous performances he had put up in his team’s losses to both Michigan State and Illinois. Months ago, it seemed that he had reached the ultimate low point as a basketball player. He really had trouble making shots, it seemed as if he had lost all of his confidence, and it looked like maybe it would take for him to transfer to regain it. Instead, he spent time working tirelessly on his jumper, and it is starting to pay off. While his shooting percentages have taken a hit this year, maybe it’ll pay off for him in the long run. Moore is a very athletic, physical swingman that always has had considerable upside, and if he can continue to develop his jumper, he could perhaps end up being a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA someday.
Louisville’s 6-5 freshman guard, Dre Davis played fairly well in his team’s win over Duke. He showed off versatile scoring skills, as he excelled at scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he also did a good job of making spot-up jumpers to help his team space the floor. He also managed to draw free throws on a baseline cut to the hoop.
He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Davis threw some good passes, as he was able to throw a nifty, behind-the-back pass to a cutter to notch an assist due to possessing solid court vision. He also was able to throw a solid interior pass to set up a score for a low post scorer. However, he also tended to throw hasty passes that would get intercepted, and he also threw another that ended up being dropped out of bounds. In addition, he also was called for committing a traveling violation on a drive in transition another time. Defensively, he didn’t look to be too noticeable, but sometimes he would commit fouls due to not quite being in position to make plays on those occasions.
Overall, Dre Davis had a fairly good showing, as he excelled as a scorer in this game, and showed off some passing skills. He will need to cut down on his turnovers, and improve his rebounding and defense, but his ability to score and distribute the basketball could make him a prospect to keep tabs on in the future.
Louisville’s 6-8 redshirt freshman forward, Jae’Lyn Withers played well in his team’s win over Duke. He generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he did a good job of scoring on cuts, in transition, and he also scored on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound. He also did a good job of finishing plays in the post to help his team score in the paint.
Also, he did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball. However, he would also sometimes tend to commit ball-handling turnovers, as he can struggle to handle the ball when faced with considerable ball pressure. Defensively, he struggled to defend in the post and off the dribble, as he tended to commit fouls and allow scores, but he did successfully draw a charge when defending a drive once to get a stop for his team.
Overall, Withers is an athletic, energetic forward that excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder for his team. He will need to extend his shooting range and cut down on the number of turnovers and fouls he commits in games, but he has been a solid role player for Louisville, and he could be a prospect to keep tabs on sometime down the road.