Analyzing Houston and Oregon State in the 2021 Elite Eight
March 30th, 2021
By Alan Lu
Yesterday, I took the time to watch Houston play Oregon State in a tough, competitive Elite Eight matchup. The Houston Cougars got off to a big lead in the first half, but Oregon State started chipping away at their lead in the second half. Houston’s strong defense proved to be too much for Oregon State, and that combined with being able to make some big shots down the stretch helped Houston pull away to get a victory over Oregon State to get to the Final Four. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.
Houston’s junior guard, Quentin Grimes played fairly well in his team’s win over Oregon State. It was a defensive battle between the two teams all the way through, but Grimes managed to score 18 points, and he also made 4 threes, and had 4 assists and 2 steals to help his team get the victory. He did a good job of knocking down quick, spot-up threes off the catch, and Grimes also showed that he can score on corner threes. He also managed to utilize a quick Euro-step move to score on a drive in transition. On the downside, he tended to take plenty of mid-range jumpers though, and he really struggled to make shots from that range.
He also passed the ball well, and Grimes did a good job of passing off the dribble to set up plenty of scores for his teammates. Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, he was able to chase down balls to get a board on each end of the floor. He also ran down a quick offensive rebound late in this game due to possessing a solid motor. Plus, Grimes played adequate defense in this game. He would jump passes to get steals and deflections, and he also contested a three to force a miss. Sometimes though he would get beat on moves to the hoop, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
Overall, Quentin Grimes played a solid all-around game, and he helped lead his team to get to the Final Four. He currently projects to be a second round prospect. While he’s had his ups and downs in the past, he is shooting and scoring well this season. If he plays well against Baylor, it could propel him up to the first round range if he can both turn in a strong performance and also help his team get the win.
Houston’s 6-5 senior guard, DeJon Jarreau had a decent showing in his team’s win over Oregon State. He struggled to score down the stretch, but Jarreau still managed to nearly get a triple-double, as he had 10 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds, along with 2 blocks and 1 steal in this game. Jarreau showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers in this game. He was able to make an open, corner three, and he also showed a knack for scoring on mid-range jumpers when he would hoist up shots from that range. He also nearly scored on a bank three from way out, but the ball was found to still be in his hand when the shot clock expired, so it didn’t count because the play resulted in a shot clock violation. On the downside, Jarreau struggled with his outside shot down the stretch, and he had trouble scoring consistently after that play was ruled in that way. He struggled to score on drives to the hoop when he would look to go all the way to the basket, and he would tend to miss on tough, angle shots in traffic as a result.
Jarreau also displayed good playmaking skills in this game. He passed and handled the ball well, as he would throw good interior passes, and he also threw a long outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break. He can successfully get the ball to his teammates on the move, and he is a fairly good passer off the dribble that has solid court vision. On the downside, he also was a bit turnover prone, and he threw a couple of hasty passes that ended up getting intercepted.
Also, Jarreau did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball. He also played satisfactory defense. Jarreau would block shots off of drives due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also managed to tie up an opposing ball handler to get a steal. He also managed to successfully draw a charge, and he also would contest mid-range shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.
Overall, DeJon Jarreau played fairly well in his team’s win over Oregon State. He is a very athletic, big point guard that defends well, and he did a good job of making plays on both ends of the floor. He struggled with his jump shot down the stretch, but he still was able to help his team pull out a tough win in this game. Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect, and he may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.
Oregon State’s 6-5 senior guard, Ethan Thompson had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Houston. He had shooting woes for most of the game, but he still passed the ball and rebounded well, and he was able to consistently get to the free throw line in this game. Thompson did a decent job of scoring off the dribble. Thompson was able to score on an acrobatic, switch of hands layup early on. He also used a spin move to score on a drive in transition. He also has a good pump fake move that he can use to draw defenders in the air to get plenty of free throws for his team. On the downside, he really struggled with his mid-range shot, and he also had a shot blocked off of a drive another time.
He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills. Thompson is an unselfish player that can find the open man to string together assists, and he also made a good pass from the post to find a cutter to notch another assist. On the downside, he can sometimes struggle to handle the ball when heavily pressured, which would lead to ball-handling turnovers. Also, Thompson did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Defensively, he looked to be about average. He was able to deflect a pass to nearly get a steal, but he also struggled to quicker defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead his team to commit fouls.
Overall, Ethan Thompson struggled to knock down shots, but he still had 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in his team’s loss to Houston. Despite his shooting woes in this game, Thompson had a good tournament overall, and he is a second round prospect whose versatility and shooting ability could enable him to project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.
Houston’s sophomore guard, Marcus Sasser had a decent showing in his team’s win over Oregon State. He scored 20 points in this game, and he also made 5 threes. He also struggled to score inside the arc, however. Sasser excelled at making spot-up threes as he can make them from well beyond the arc, and he also would draw free throws on quick drievs to the hoop. Sometimes though, he would be streaky with his jump shot, and he especially struggled to score from the mid-range.
He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Sasser would sometimes find open shooters to notch assists, and he also threw a long outlet pass to get a ball to a teammate on the break. Also, he did not turn the ball over once on offense. He also played solid defense. He did a good job of picking off passes to get steals, and he also rebounded the ball well.
Overall, Sasser is an agile, skilled shot maker that can shoot and score the basketball, but he can be quite streaky with his jump shot in games. He will need to be a more consistent shooter, but he is a talented scorer that could project to go in the second round range whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.
Oregon State’s 6-10 junior big man, Maurice Calloo played very well in his team’s loss to Houston. He scored 13 points on 7 shots, he made 2 threes, and he also hauled in 5 rebounds off the bench. Calloo is an athletic, skilled big man that showed a knack for scoring on jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team. He was able to make an open, corner three, and he also can knock down pull-up jumpers from both the mid-range and from beyond the arc. He also has a solid pump fake move, and he also drew three free throws on a deep three another time.
Overall, Calloo is a skilled stretch big that shoots the ball well, especially from the outside, and he excelled as a sharpshooter in his team’s loss to Houston. He could be due for a breakout season, and he is a talented prospect that could be a potential second round pick in 2022.
Houston’s 6-7 senior forward, Justin Gorham did a very good job of rebounding and defending in his team’s win over Oregon State. He grabbed 10 rebounds, and he would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections. He also helped double an opponent in the post to help force a shot clock violation. Though he struggled to score in this game, he managed to use a drop step to score on a jump hook in the post, and Gorham did a good job of drawing fouls when posting up and on fast breaks to get to the free throw line.
Overall, Gorham is a high-motor forward that has had a solid senior season for Houston. Though he doesn’t shoot the ball enough on offense, he has been a glue guy for their team. He will need to improve his outside shot and be more assertive on offense, but in a favorable scenario, he could perhaps project into a defensive specialist role in the NBA.
Houston’s 6-7 senior forward, Fabian White Jr. showed a solid ability to score in the post as well as off the dribble, and he also used a jab step to make a long two-point shot in this game. White excelled as a scorer and rebounder off the bench, and he scored 8 points and 7 rebounds to help his team get a win over Oregon State. He hasn’t seen as much playing time as expected, and he will still need to improve his outside shot, but White is tough, physical forward that could end up carving out a solid career either in the G-League or overseas even if he doesn’t make it to the NBA.
Oregon State’s sophomore guard, Gianni Hunt played well in limited minutes off the bench. He excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender in this game. He is a speedy guard that managed to split between two defenders to score on a fast break drive, and he can score on quick drives to the hoop. He also made a bank three to show off his shooting skills. Plus, he also would intercept passes to get steals. Overall, Hunt is a very athletic, skilled combo guard that played well in this game. He will likely need to stay in school to continue to improve and hone his game, but he could be a prospect to watch next season.