Analyzing E.C. Matthews and Kostas Antetokounmpo

February 23, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to watch Rhode Island compete against Dayton in an Atlantic 10 conference basketball game, as this was another opportunity to see Dayton’s 6-10 freshman forward, Kostas Antetokounmpo play, and it was a chance to see Rhode Island in a game setting.  Kostas Antetokounmpo played better than the last time I saw him participate in a match, but Rhode Island won handily as they managed to defeat Dayton by 25.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.

Rhode Island’s senior guard, E.C. Matthews played very well, as he had a solid all-around game in his team’s blowout win over Dayton.  He made very good plays on both ends of the floor, and he was able to make positive contributions consistently throughout this game.  Matthews shot the ball very well, as he excelled at making threes from beyond the arc to space the floor for his team.  He can make long-range jumpers both off the catch or dribble, and he has very good range on his jump shot.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would run the floor to often score on fast breaks, and he also managed to score off of a backdoor cut once.

Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to get scores on quick drives to the basket.  Matthews can use ball-handling moves to get past his man, and he also can score on runners, though he may struggle to make those consistently at times.  He also showed off decent playmaking skills.  Matthews is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he also did a good job of throwing long, interior passes to set up scoring chances for his team.

Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Matthews hauled in plenty of boards when he was on the floor, as he was especially active at crashing the glass on the defensive end of the court.  Adding to that, Matthews also played solid defense.  He showed a knack for getting steals, as he can jump passes and poke balls away to do so, and he swatted a shot off of a fast break drive to get a block.  He also managed to contest a three to force a miss, but there was one play though where he struggled to contest a shot, as that led his team to allow a score on a drive to the basket.

In general, E.C. Matthews is an athletic, skilled swingman that had a solid showing to lead his team to a double-digit victory over Dayton, and he did a very good job of making impactful plays to help his team on both ends of the court.  Sure it was against a team that currently has a losing record, but Matthews showed some intriguing skills, as he could end up being a potential second round pick in 2018.

Dayton’s 6-10 freshman forward, Kostas Antetokounmpo had a decent showing, while he had his ups and downs throughout this game, he showed off very good athletic gifts when he was on the floor, and he was able to make some good hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the court.  Kostas Antetokounmpo did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  His best score of the game was likely when he caught a lob pass after rolling hard to the rim, and he scored on a nifty alley-oop dunk.  He also managed to draw free throws after attempting to get an offensive board.  But he missed once around the basket after trying to score on a contorted leaner.

He also showed a decent ability to score in the post.  On one play, he caught the ball, and he used a pivot move to draw free throws after using a drop step move.  He struggled to score consistently on high post drives, as he had trouble scoring in traffic when making moves off the dribble, but he did manage to score on a high post drive once after using a hop step move, as he also was able to draw an extra free throw simultaneously.

However, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  Kostas Antetokounmpo had a tendency to drop low passes that were thrown to him, and he also had trouble creating his own shot at times.  He committed a traveling violation when looking to score from the high post after initially getting the ball on a roll, and he also pushed off when trying to post up a smaller player to commit an offensive foul another time.  Plus, he also threw a bad pass that was intercepted by a defender on a separate play.  Though he did not grab many rebounds against Rhode Island, Kostas managed to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.

He also showed off adequate defensive skills.  Kostas really excelled at blocking shots emphatically to prevent opponents from scoring on drives, as he would rotate and leap up high to do so.  But sometimes, he had trouble defending drives as he would occasionally be out of position, and another time he ended up getting outmuscled when attempting to defend a drive on the baseline.

In summary, Kostas Antetokounmpo had a fairly good game even though he neither started nor was the focal point of his team’s offense.  He is an energetic, high-motor player that could project to be a rim protector at the next level, but he will still likely need to expand upon his offensive skills in the meantime.  Right now, he may be a project player that could possess considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA, as he could end up being a second round pick if he were to enroll to be in the upcoming draft.

Rhode Island’s 6-3 senior guard, Jared Terrell played fairly well in his team’s win over Dayton.  He excelled at knocking down pull-up threes, and he can dribble off of screens to knock them down.  Plus, he can score on hustle plays, and he is a skilled ball handler that showed a decent ability to score on drives to the hoop.  On one play, he used a nifty behind the back move prior to scoring on a runner.

However, he exhibited just average at best playmaking skills on offense.  He was able to get some assists by making passes on the break to set up scores for his teammates in transition, and he can throw accurate outlet passes, but sometimes, he may struggle to protect the basketball when handling it against ball pressure, and he also can throw inaccurate passes that may be prone to being intercepted on occasion.  He also played good defense.  Terrell excelled at playing passing lanes, as he would pick off passes to get steals, and he would also contest plenty of jumpers to force misses, but he also had a tendency to get beat off the dribble at times, which would usually lead him to commit fouls as a result.

In summary, Jared Terrell had his ups and downs, but he had a fairly good showing in his team’s win over Dayton.  He is a scorer that can make shots in a variety of ways, and he also defended well when he was on the court.  He will need to improve his playmaking skills and show that he can excel against tougher competition, but even still, with his skill set, Terrell could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Rhode Island’s 6-4 senior guard, Stanford Robinson put forth a fairly good performance, even though he did not often look to score in this game.  He showed off good playmaking skills, as he generally threw crisp, accurate passes to find teammates on the move, and he also can handle the basketball.  He also played very good defense.  Robinson showed a knack for jumping passes to get steals, and he also can poke balls away from his opponents to force additional turnovers.  Plus, he also managed to block a shot off of a cut due to possessing good leaping ability, quickness, and timing.  He also will actively contest shots to force misses, and he also managed to draw a charge when defending a drive, but every once in a while, he may have a lapse on this end, which can lead his team to allow a score.

Plus, he would help his team get defensive boards when he was on the floor.  Robinson didn’t look to score often, but he did excel at scoring on hustle plays.  He managed to score on a reverse layup off of a quick cut to the hoop, and he also used a hop step another time to score on a fast break drive.  In summary, Stanford Robinson is an athletic, energetic defensive specialist that has excelled as a role player for Rhode Island.  He might not be a dynamic offensive player however, which could present a significant hurdle if he wants to make an NBA team, but Robinson could end up having a game that may be suitable for the G-League or overseas in the future.

Rhode Island’s 6-3 sophomore point guard, Jeff Dowtin played really well, as he excelled at knocking down jumpers from all over the floor, and he also excelled at attacking the basket.  He showed a knack for scoring on runners off the dribble, he scored on a cut, and he also managed to score on an emphatic dunk on the break.  Also, Dowtin played unselfishly, as he was able to rack up a good number of assists, and he also played solid defense, as he was able to get his hands on balls to get steals for his team.  Overall, Down had a really good game, as he scored 20 points, and he had 5 assists and 2 steals in his team’s win over Dayton, and he is an athletic playmaker that could be a prospect to watch down the road.

Rhode Island’s 6-8 senior big man Andre Berry started this game, and while he did not play that much, he did play well when he was on the floor.   He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he showed great hands to catch a high pass to score on a roll, and he also scored as a trailer in transition after running the floor.  He also can aptly finish plays around the basket, and he also showed a knack for drawing fouls after posting up.  On the other hand, he did not seem to exhibit many other skills outside of scoring the basketball in this game, as he did not grab a rebound, an assist, a block, or steal against Dayton.

However, he will also need to improve his conditioning, as even though he did score 9 points on 3 shots, and he made all of his field goals, Berry only played 11 minutes, so he will need to show teams that he can play extended minutes in faster pace games in the near future.  Right now, he is an inside scorer that can get buckets, and while he may at best be a long shot for the NBA, he could end up carving out a fairly lengthy career in international basketball.

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