Analyzing Chandler Hutchison and Malik Pope

January 14, 2018

By Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Boise State’s 6-7 senior swingman, Chandler Hutchison play against Malik Pope and San Diego State in a game that took place last night, as I was able to view this on WatchESPN.  Hutchison had a terrific showing in his team’s narrow win over the Aztecs, as he scored early and often, and he ended up scoring 44 points to help get his team the victory.  For San Diego State, Pope made a lot of solid plays, as he did a very good job of finishing plays above the rim to get scores on offense, and he also helped out on the glass.  Here are my thoughts on how Hutchison and Pope fared in this game.

Chandler Hutchison played really well, as he did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball to lead his team to a close win over San Diego State.  He is an athletic, skilled player that can score in lots of different ways, and he also is a very good ball handler that can run the point on occasion.  Hutchison did a great job of knocking down numerous jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He really excelled at making three-point shots, as he can do so off the catch or dribble, and he also can run off of a curl to knock them down.  He can use a quick crossover and step back move to create separation between him and his defender, and he also had a knack for making bank pull-up threes in this game.  Plus, he also has a really good pump fake move, and he showed a strong ability to score on pull-up, jump shots.

Also, he really excelled at scoring on fast breaks.  Hutchison is very fast as he will sprint down court to get past his man, and he can score on drives, as well as throw down a high-flying dunk in transition.   He also showed a knack for drawing hoards of free throws upon the opposition, and he has a very good first step off the dribble to go along with possessing solid ball handling moves and the ability to accelerate to the basket.  Plus, Hutchison also showed a very good ability to score on aggressive drives to the hoop.  He is a gifted ball handler as he has a really good crossover move, and he has the body control to score consistently on acrobatic layups.

He also displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  Hutchison is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he can kick it out to shooters off the dribble to set up plenty of scoring chances for them.  He also handles the ball really well, as he possesses a really good ability to create shots for both himself and his teammates.  However, he can be inaccurate with his passes sometimes, which can lead him to commit some turnovers.  In addition, Hutchison did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently leap up to get defensive boards, and another time, he managed to tap a ball out to a teammate to help his team come away with another defensive rebound.

Adding to that, he also played good defense.  Hutchison will play passing lanes to help his team force turnovers, and he will also quickly get back on defense.  He will also challenge a variety shots to force his opponents to miss shots, as he can defend opponents in the post as well as out on the perimeter, but there was one time where he overran past his man, as he ended up getting beat off the dribble, as this caused a scramble in which an opponent’s teammate ended up making a three-point shot.

In general, Chandler Hutchison put forth an excellent performance, as he had a strong all-around game to lead Boise State to a win over San Diego State.  He has been having a superb senior year, and he is a really skilled, athletic swingman that really excels on offense, and he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the first round of the upcoming draft.

San Diego State’s 6-10 senior big man, Malik Pope had a really good showing in his team’s loss to Boise State, as he made a lot of highlight reel-worthy plays on offense, and he showed off a variety of scoring skills when he was on the floor.  Pope did a terrific job of scoring on hustle plays.  He really excelled at scoring on rolls to the rim, as he would roll hard to the hoop, and he would frequently catch lob passes to get scores around the basket.  He was able to throw down multiple alley-oop dunks in this game, including one off of a cut where he scored by using hand to do so.  Plus, Pope managed to score on a high-flying alley-oop dunk on a fast break, and he also did a good job of scoring on put backs after getting offensive boards for his team.

Also, he showed a good ability to get scores off the dribble.  Pope has a solid first step to the basket, and he was able to score on a high post drive to the hoop.  He also exhibited adequate low post scoring skills.  He showed off good footwork, agility, and shooting touch to score on a quick turnaround jumper once, but he missed on a turnaround jumper another time.  However, he did miss two mid-range jumpers in this game after getting the ball off the catch.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Pope passes well out of the post, as he can find open shooters, and he will also hit the cutter to set up numerous scoring chances for his teammates.  Plus, he is also a good ball handler, as he can quickly bring the ball up, and he set plenty of good on-ball screens to help set up scores for his teammates, but sometimes he can be turnover prone, as he may throw hasty passes that can get intercepted, and he also set a moving screen once on offense.

Plus, he also showed a fairly good ability to rebound the basketball.  Pope hauled in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to provide his team with second chance points by scoring on put backs.  He also managed to chase down a ball to get an offensive board once.  But sometimes, he would allow opponents to get rebounds in his area, as he may not always be in position or show great instincts to haul in balls that were up for grabs.

However, he did not seem to play good defense in this game.  For the positives, Pope would play passing lanes, and he would catch balls that were thrown to him to help get steals for his team.  He also would stay in front of his man on drives, and he was able to force his man to miss a shot once.  He also tended to be late to rotate to shooters, as this would cause him to allow them to score on jumpers.  Sometimes he would rotate in time, but he wouldn’t contest the shot on a drive, as this would lead him to allow scores in the paint.  Other times, he would get beat on dribble moves.   He also contested a shot too wildly on a drive once, which led him to commit a foul on that play.

In general, Malik Pope played very well, as he excelled as a scorer and rebounder when he was on the floor, and he is a very athletic big man that can catch lob passes to score on thunderous dunks around the basket.  He had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Boise State, and he could end up being a second round pick in 2018.

Other Notes:

Boise State’s 6-0 senior point guard, Lexus Williams did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, as he would score on tough drives in traffic, and he would make quick open threes off the catch to space the floor for his team.

Boise State’s 6-9 senior forward, Christian Sengfelder excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he even made a nifty, turnaround three-point shot just before the shot clock expired on one play.  He also would leap up to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.

San Diego State’s 6-4 senior guard, Trey Kell struggled to consistently knock down shots, as he really struggled to score in this game, though he did make a three after dribbling off of a screen once, and he also made a mid-range shot another time.  For the positives, he generally did a good job of passing the basketball, but he had trouble guarding shooters in this game.

San Diego State’s freshman forwards, Jalen McDaniels and Matt Mitchell excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as they both possess good athleticism, motor, and instincts, and they would frequently crash the glass to come away with rebounds.

San Diego State’s 6-1 junior point guard, Devin Watson excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, as he would make threes after dribbling off of screens, and he would score on quick drives to the basket.  He also passed the ball well, as he would throw accurate lobs to roll men to set up alley-oops for his teammates.

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