Analyzing Jarrett Culver, Barry Brown Jr., and Dean Wade

January 23, 2019

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Jarrett Culver and Texas Tech play against Kansas State in a Big 12 conference basketball game.  It provided another opportunity to watch Culver play, as well as to get an extended look at watching prospects from Kansas State perform as well.  It was a competitive match for most of the way, but Kansas State was able to hold off Texas Tech to get the win due to receiving strong performances from Barry Brown and Dean Wade, and due to their stifling defense.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Texas Tech’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Jarrett Culver had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Kansas State.  Though he struggled with his jump shot, he was able to get scores off the dribble as well as in the post, and he also showed solid playmaking, rebounding, and defensive skills when he was on the court.  Culver did a fairly good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop.  He has a good first step off the dribble, and he can get past his man to get smooth scores and free throws for his team.  He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post, as he was able to make a fadeaway jumper once, but sometimes, he may settle for taking contested, off-balanced jumpers, which can lead to misses.

However, he struggled to consistently knock down jump shots in this game.  Culver was able to make a pull-up, long two point shot and a spot-up three, but he had trouble making long-range jumpers from beyond the arc, and sometimes he would force up difficult, off-balanced shots that would miss badly.  He did not show a good ability to run off of screens because he didn’t know how to properly set up his defender to run into the screen.  Therefore, his defenders would always know how to get around screeners to stay attached to him.  As a result, Culver tended to take tougher shots when he would elect to shoot the ball away from the paint.

Also, Culver displayed good playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that can aptly push the pace and find teammates on the move, and he will kick the ball out to shooters off the dribble to set up scores for them.  He tends to make good reads due to possessing solid court vision, and he can make timely passes routinely.  However, he also tended to commit his fair share of turnovers, as he would lose the ball or commit traveling violations on occasion.

Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Culver had a tendency to haul in lots of defensive boards, and he would often push the ball up the floor afterwards to create transition scoring opportunities and early offense for himself and his teammates.  He also played terrific defense.  Culver had a knack for collecting steals, as he will poke balls away and dive for loose balls to do so due to possessing good footwork, agility, and instincts.  He also would deflect passes, and he also did a good job of contesting threes to force misses.  He did not commit many defensive miscues, but sometimes he would rotate to commit reach-in fouls on occasion.

In general, Jarrett Culver played fairly well in his team’s losing effort to Kansas State.  Though he struggled with his jump shot and shot selection at times, Culver did just about everything else well, especially as a playmaker, rebounder, and defender.  He is an athletic, skilled swingman that could excel on both ends of the floor at the next level, and he may be a good bet to go in the lottery for the upcoming draft.

Kansas State’s 6-3 senior guard, Barry Brown Jr. played very well in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and Brown is an athletic playmaker that can get any shots he wants when he is on the court.  Brown showed a solid ability to get scores on quick, strong drives to the basket.  He has a very good first step to the hoop, and he would often draw fouls on his opponents to get to the foul line.  Brown also used a crossover to score on a reverse layup another time. In addition, he excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  On one play, he was able to score on a speedy drive in transition. Also, he was able to run in to score on a quick put back after getting an offensive rebound due to possessing very good speed and motor that time.

Plus, he also showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers, as he even made a bank pull-up three, as well as another three over a taller defender.  However, Brown struggled to make threes consistently, as he had more trouble knocking down spot-up threes off the catch.  He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Though Brown looked to score quite often, he can find the open man on occasion, and he was able to find an open teammate to notch an assist early in this contest.  He also is a very good ball handler that can deftly maneuver around to get the shot he wants in games.  But sometimes, he can throw a pass that may get deflected.  He also committed a turnover as he had a ball poked away while handling it on one offensive possession.

Also, Brown did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he would often leap up to collect them.  He also played fairly good defense.  Brown would actively play passing lanes to get steals for his team, and he would contest three-point shots and shots off of drives to force opponents to miss shots.  But sometimes he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him or his teammates to commit fouls as a result.

In summary, Barry Brown Jr. had a solid showing in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He played well in virtually all facets of the game, and he is a speedy scorer that can create shots for himself and his teammates at will.  He is a versatile scorer that can do so in a variety of ways, and he can quickly get into the lane to create plays for his team.  He may need to be a more consistent shooter and show that he can effectively run the point full-time at the next level, but he is an intriguing prospect that could go in the second round, as he may project into being a microwave type of scorer as an E’Twaun Moore type of player in the NBA.

Kansas State’s 6-9 senior forward, Dean Wade also played well in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He excelled as a low post scorer and mid-range shooter, and he also made solid passes from the post.  Also, he defended very well, as he was able to excel at making plays on and off the ball to help his team in this game.  Wade did a very good job of knocking down pull-up mid-range jumpers.  In addition, he also would draw plenty of free throws after getting thrown the ball to him in the post.  He also took a three-point shot from the corner but missed on his lone attempt from beyond the arc.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Wade is an unselfish player that can throw solid passes from the post, as he can find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  But he also can be a bit turnover prone, and on one play, he committed a charging foul after driving in from the high post in attempting to create something on one possession.  Wade also played very good defense.  He will play passing lanes, and he also managed to jump on a loose ball to get a steal.   Plus, he also was able to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he also tied up an opponent when rotating to defend a drive to almost force a turnover.  He also excelled at staying in front of his man when defending drives out on the perimeter, as he can force opponents to lose the ball or to travel.   He didn’t grab many rebounds, but he was able to collect his fair share of defensive boards when he was on the floor.

Overall, Dean Wade put forth a solid performance in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He is a smart, skilled big man that can post up and knock down mid-range jumpers, and he also played very good defense in this game.  Right now, he may need to extend his shooting range, but Wade is an interesting prospect that could profile into being a 3 and D type of player at the next level in the mold of a Chris Copeland type in the NBA.

Texas Tech’s 6-10 senior center, Tariq Owens played very well in his team’s loss to Kansas State.  He is an athletic, high motor player that can finish plays above the rim and he also excelled at blocking shots, but he also did a good job of making threes to space the floor for his team on offense.  Owens did a very good job of making spot-up threes off the catch to space the floor for his team.  Plus, he showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  Owens was able to catch a lob pass to score on a scintillating, alley-oop dunk off of a roll, and he also scored on a tip-in.  He also showed a good ability to score after getting the ball around the basket.  On the other hand, pretty much all of his skills were either in catch and finish situations, or in catch and shoot situations, and Owens did not look to take players off the dribble or to post up in this game, so he may be quite dependent on motion and in having teammates that can pass to be able to score.

He also showed fairly average playmaking skills.  Owens can throw long, accurate passes, as he was able to throw an outlet pass to help set up a scoring chance for a teammate on the break, and he also was able to find a cutter another time.  He did commit a turnover once as he threw a low, inaccurate pass that ended up going out of bounds.  Though he didn’t grab many rebounds as expected, Owens was able to collect multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also was able to score on a tip-in off of an offensive board.

Plus, he also played good defense.  Owens did a great job of rotating to swat shots off the dribble due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and timing.  He also would contest shots in the paint as well as a long-range jumper to force misses, and he can alter shots around the basket to prevent opponents from getting easy shots up.  Also, Owens was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive another time.

However, sometimes he can get called for fouls, as he may appear to block shots around the basket, only to get called for the foul on the swing down.  There also was one play where he over-ran past an opponent and ended up getting beat off the dribble to allow a pull-up, mid-range score.  Another time, he gave up deep position when defending in the post and did not jump up, as he ended up allowing a score on a jump hook.

Overall, Tariq Owens played well in his team’s loss to Kansas State.  He is an athletic, high motor big man that can make hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he also can knock down threes to space the floor on offense.  He is an intriguing prospect due to his floor spacing abilities and shot blocking prowess, and while he may be a borderline second round pick for the upcoming draft, he may have the skills to end up being an effective role player, as he could end up being a similar player to current Memphis Grizzlies’ forward, JaMychal Green in the association.

Other Notes:

I was watching Kansas State’s 6-5 junior swingman Xavier Sneed also play in this game, as he is a player who had a very good 2018 NCAA Tournament last spring.  Though he had some good moments, he did not stand out that much in this particular game against Texas Tech.  He did not shoot the ball very often, but he was able to score on an energetic tip slam after leaping up to get an offensive board, and he also showed some shooting skills by drilling a corner three to space the floor for his team on offense.

However, he was quite turnover prone in this game against Texas Tech.  Though Sneed is an unselfish player that can throw nice touch passes, he had a tendency to try to do too much off the dribble.  He had a tendency to lose the ball while handling it, and he also dropped a pass that led him to commit a turnover.  He also committed a charging foul off of a drive, and he also threw an inaccurate pass that ended up getting intercepted.  Also, Sneed did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would leap up to get plenty of defensive rebounds.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Sneed was able to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away to almost get another.  Also, he was able to contest a mid-range jumper to force a miss.  However, Sneed tended to be foul prone.  He would tend to commit touch fouls on jumpers, and he also was called for a reach-in foul when defending an opponent’s cut to the hoop.  On another play, he over-helped in the paint and was late to rotate back to his man, as he ended up allowing his opponent to score on a corner three.

Overall, Sneed had an up and down game in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He did not assert himself much on offense, and while he was efficient at scoring the basketball in the few times he elected to take shots, Sneed was also turnover and foul prone in this contest.  Luckily for him, his teammates, Barry Brown Jr. and Dean Wade were able to carry the mantle and the bulk of the offense to get his team to a win on this day.  Right now though, Sneed will need to improve his ability to make jumpers consistently, and he will need to be a more focused player.  For the time being, he may be a borderline second round prospect, and he is an energetic player that could remind NBA teams of former Cleveland Cavaliers’ swingman, Alonzo Gee in the NBA.

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