Analyzing Devin Robinson, Sindarius Thornwell, and More

February 21, 2017

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to watch an SEC basketball game that was played between South Carolina and Florida, as there were several players that I wanted to scout that I had not seen much of this season. 

I wanted to take another glimpse at South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier and Florida’s Devin Robinson, to see how their games would translate to the NBA, and it also provided another opportunity to see Sindarius Thornwell play.  In this contest, Florida ended up winning decidedly, as they were able to claim a double-digit victory at home.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.

Florida’s 6-8 junior swingman, Devin Robinson put forth a strong showing to lead his team to a double-digit victory over South Carolina.  He shot the ball well, excelled as a scorer and facilitator, helped out on the boards, and he played terrific defense to get his team the win.  Robinson showcased tremendous shooting skills, as he really excelled as a floor spacer in this game.  He knocked down a slew of spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to take advantage when defenders would give him too much space to shoot the basketball.  In addition, he also was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper another time.

Plus, he also excelled as a scorer on the move.  Robinson made a quick cut to the hoop once, and he caught the ball and swiftly scored around the basket, as he also drew an extra free throw on that play.  He has very good speed, acceleration, and overall athletic ability, and Robinson was able to catch a defender napping as he capitalized by providing a three-point play for Florida.

He also displayed good playmaking skills.  Robinson played unselfishly, almost to a fault, and he continually threw crisp, accurate passes to his teammates.  He made an assortment of good passes, as he would find shooters off the dribble, and big men in the paint to set up scoring chances for them.  But he did commit one turnover, as he was called for setting a moving screen once on offense.  Also, Robinson showed a decent ability to rebound the basketball.  He was quite active on the glass, as he would leap up to haul in plenty of defensive boards, and he also would tip balls to teammates to help them come away with rebounds.

Devin Robinson also played excellent defense, as he made many impactful plays on that end of the floor.  He was virtually everywhere on the court, and he is a rangy defender whose length, athleticism, and smarts can make him a potential defensive stopper in the NBA.  Robinson did a great job of blocking shots inside the paint, and he would frequently jump passes to get steals and deflections for his team.  He also would poke balls away to make it tough for opponents to dribble, and he showed off solid positioning skills, as he would stay in front of his man, and contest shots to force misses.

In general, Devin Robinson played really well, as he excelled in virtually all facets of the game to lead his team to a 15-point victory over South Carolina.  Robinson could be a good value pick in the late first to the second round range, as he could end up being a solid 3 and D type of player in the NBA.

South Carolina’s 6-5 senior guard, Sindarius Thornwell had a solid game in a loss for his team to Florida, as he scored 23 points, and collected 10 rebounds.  He is an interesting prospect that plays like a throwback, old-school player, as he will attack the basket relentlessly to score on drives, hustle plays, as well as in the post.  But he did not make any threes, as he only took one late in the game. 

Thornwell is a very good scorer off the dribble.  He is a patient driver that is powerfully built, and he can score often on strong moves to the hoop.  He has a subtle spin move that he can use to get past defenders, and he has the strength, shooting touch, and body control to regularly finish plays around the basket.  He is a Chris Douglas-Roberts like player that just has a knack for getting buckets on drives to the rim, and he can draw many free throws to help his team in the process.

He also excelled at scoring on the move.  He was active at moving off the ball a couple times to get scores on curl cuts, as he would get the ball in the paint, and then drive in to draw free throws.  Plus, Thornwell also showed a knack for scoring off of put backs, as well as in transition, as he managed to throw down a dunk effortlessly on a fast break drive.

Plus, he also showed a good ability to score in the post.  Thornwell has good strength to back down his man, and he was able to score on a turnaround, close-range jumper, and draw an extra free throw for his team afterwards.  He did miss another time after using a drop step move, but Thornwell showed that he may be more advanced as a low post scorer than most players his size at his age.

However, he did not seem to make many jumpers, and he may not have made any of them from outside the paint area.  Thornwell struggled to make mid-range jumpers, and there were times where he would rush his shot.  He also did not take a three until late in the game, and he missed on his only attempt.

Also, Thornwell displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  He showed off a good ability to throw interior passes to big men, as well as a solid ability to throw accurate outlet passes to find teammates on the break.  Thornwell actually looked to pass quite often early  on, as he may actually have been unselfish to a fault at the onset of this game.  He also showed a tremendous ability to rebound the basketball.  Thornwell really excelled at hauling in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would frequently leap up to get tough boards in traffic amidst crowds.

Adding to that, Thornwell showcased adequate defensive skills.  He showed a very good ability to jump passes to get steals, and he has good hands and anticipation skills to do so.  Plus, he also would contest shots to force some misses.  But sometimes, he would be late on his rotations, and he had a tendency to commit bad fouls, as he would foul jump shooters, or he would foul someone off the ball, as he had something of a penchant to commit unnecessary fouls.

In this game, Sindarius Thornwell primarily excelled as an offensive player and rebounder for South Carolina, and he is a very productive player at the collegiate level.  But in the NBA, there may be questions as to how effective he may be at the next level.  Thornwell tends to take a lot of shots, and he primarily relies on isolation type of plays to get scores on offense.  While he has improved his jump shot this year, he has struggled with his jumper in the past three seasons, and his reluctance to take jumpers against Florida could allow defenders to sag off of him if he makes his way to the association. 

Also, as he will end up playing with better players, he will need to prove to NBA teams that he can excel in a supporting role.  Regardless, Thornwell could be an intriguing option for teams to pick in the second round, and his ability to score and rebound the basketball could make him an interesting prospect for the league.

South Carolina’s 6-6 sophomore guard, P.J. Dozier was one of the primary players that I was keen on scouting, but he ended up putting forth a disappointing performance, as he struggled to shoot or score efficiently throughout this game.  He did show some solid playmaking and defensive skills, but generally his shooting woes made it tough for his team to keep up with Florida on this day.

Dozier struggled to score consistently on drives to the hoop.  He did show a better ability to score on fast breaks, and he also scored on a contested leaner once on a half-court drive to the hoop.  But too often, he tended to take too many tough shots, as he would miss runners and he would usually miss in traffic, and he ended up having his shot blocked a couple of times.

Also, he struggled to consistently make jumpers.  Dozier did show a good ability to knock down mid-range jumpers, as he was able to make one off the catch, and he also used a step back move to make a pull-up jumper another time.  Dozier missed all of his threes off the catch, and he really had trouble finding a rhythm for his shot from beyond the arc.

Plus, he also showed off decent playmaking skills.  Dozier ran the point for his team, and when he was not looking to shoot or score the basketball, he showed a good ability to play that position.  He threw solid, accurate passes, and he was able to throw an assortment of passes to set up a variety of scoring chances for his team.  However, Dozier did get the ball poked away at times, as there were occasions where he struggled to protect the basketball.  He also showed a willingness to crash the glass.  Dozier was able to haul in a board on each end of the floor, and he was able to leap up to haul in a defensive rebound on one particular play.

Also, Dozier played good defense.  He has quick hands and anticipation skills, as that can enable him to get numerous steals for his team.  He excels at playing passing lanes, ripping balls away from opposing ball handlers, and at heaping on loose balls.  Plus, he was also able to draw a charge, and he would also contest shots to force some misses.  On the other hand, he did lose track of a cutter to allow a score another time.

In this game, P.J. Dozier did not play particularly well, as he really struggled to shoot or score the basketball efficiently when he was on the floor.  But he did show a good ability to run the point when he was not missing shots, and he also looked to be a solid defensive player.  Right now, he may not be ready to play in the NBA yet, but he could potentially be a worthwhile pickup for an NBA team in the second round if they can develop his game to the fullest of their abilities.

Florida’s 6-1 senior point guard, Kasey Hill had an up and down game, as he had his highs and lows throughout this contest.  For the positives, he excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores for his team.  He managed to jump a quick pass to obtain a steal, and he quickly drove down court to throw down an emphatic dunk on the break.  Plus, he also showed a knack for scoring on runners off the dribble.

However, Hill struggled to consistently make jumpers.  While he did make good passes at times, Hill also tended to play too recklessly at times, as he would commit offensive fouls when making a move up the court or to the hoop with the ball in his hands.   While he showed a knack for collecting steals, he would occasionally have lapses on defense, which would allow him to allow a score or commit a foul as a result.

In general, Kasey Hill put forth a fairly mediocre performance in a win for his team.  He showed a good ability to score off the dribble, and he also showed off good athletic abilities, as well as adequate defensive skills.  But he struggled with his jump shot, and also with turnovers.  Right now, he may be a long shot to be drafted, but his skill set could allow him to make an NBA summer league roster sometime in the near future.

Florida’s sophomore combo guard, KeVaughn Allen played very well, as he helped lead his team to a victory over South Carolina.  He really excelled as a shooter and scorer on the floor, and he also fared well as a passer and defender.  Allen made pull up threes, and he often scored on quick drives to the hoop.  He did a tremendous job of drawing and making free throws, and he also threw down an emphatic dunk on the break towards the end of the first half.

Also, Allen showed a good ability to find the roll man to collect assists, and he also can quickly swing the ball to find shooters.  However, he can be careless on offense, which can lead him to commit turnovers.  He also played solid defense, as Allen has good hands, athleticism, and instincts that enabled him to get a couple of steals and a block in this game.

Right now, KeVaughn Allen may not have much draft buzz, but he is a skilled offensive player that can really put the ball in the hoop.  He is a bucket getter that played really well for Florida to get them a win over South Carolina, and he could be a prospect to keep an eye on in the future.

Florida’s 6-8 senior forward, Justin Leon showed a very good ability to shoot the basketball, as he made two quick threes in the corner, and he also made a long 2 off the dribble.  He struggled to score as a roll man, as he tended to get his shots blocked around the hoop, however.  Leon may be a long shot to make the NBA, but he may have what it takes to make an NBA summer league roster.

Other Notes:

Early on, South Carolina’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Chris Silva appeared to be playing well, as he was scoring in the post, as well as on hustle plays around the basket.  He also was an interior presence defensively, as he would alter shots to force misses in the post, and he also managed to draw two charging fouls on the opposition.  But aside from his ability to score in the first half, and solid defensive play early on, stemming mostly from forcing misses and his charge-taking abilities, Silva started to struggle more and more as the game wore on. 

He frequently turned the ball over, as he committed too many traveling violations, and had a penchant for getting the basketball ripped away from him.  He also tended to commit fouls on drives, and he ended up fouling out of the game.  Right now, Silva may at best be a borderline prospect for the NBA, but he has a lot to work on offensively.  He also did not grab a rebound, and he will also need to be a more disciplined defender in games.  But he is an athletic, high motor player that could play a pivotal role for South Carolina next season.

South Carolina’s 6-2 senior combo guard, Duane Notice shot the ball well, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer on the floor.  In a double-digit loss to Florida, he managed to score 16 points, as he was the only other player besides Sindarius Thornwell to get a double-digit number of points on South Carolina’s team in this match.

Overall, Florida started and ended well, as they ended up cruising to a 15-point win over South Carolina.  They made shots from all over the floor, displayed good ball movement, and made numerous plays defensively to get stops.  South Carolina played well late in the first half, but they had trouble keeping up in the end, as their inability to shoot or move the ball as well as Florida hindered them, and they really had trouble containing Florida defensively in the second half.

In this game, Devin Robinson put forth a very impressive performance, and his strong play here for Florida suggests he may have considerable upside as a player for the NBA.  Sindarius Thornwell played well in a loss for South Carolina, but P.J. Dozier’s lackluster performance was disappointing.  But in summary, this was quite an entertaining contest to watch, and Florida could be a sleeper team that may have what it takes to go far in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.