Analyzing Jayson Tatum, V.J. Beachem, Grayson Allen, and Others

January 31, 2017

By Alan Lu

Duke and Notre Dame squared off in an ACC matchup that featured plenty of top prospects for the upcoming draft.  Duke went on a run towards the end of the first half, and appeared to be in cruise control until Notre Dame nearly was able to tie it up in the second half.  But Duke eventually found their groove once again, and with their ability to shoot and score the basketball, they were able to get a double-digit victory.  Here are my thoughts on various prospects that played on this day.

Duke’s 6-8 freshman forward, Jayson Tatum played very well to help lead his team past Notre Dame in this game.  He excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and defender on the floor, and his ability to contribute in a variety of ways proved to be quite beneficial in his team’s victory.

Tatum really excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores for his team.  He did a very good job of getting scores off the dribble, as well as in the post, as he would often score on quick, strong drives to the basket, and he showed solid footwork and shooting touch to garner numerous scores when posting up on the block.  He was also active as a finisher around the basket, but he struggled to knock down jumpers from the field.

However, he displayed average playmaking skills at best against Notre Dame.  Tatum did show a fairly good willingness to pass the basketball, as he was able to find an open shooter and hit a cutter to set up scores for his team.  However, he also tended to commit turnovers.  Tatum tended to commit clear out fouls off the dribble, he occasionally was inaccurate with his passing, and he also struggled to protect the basketball at times.  Also, Tatum did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball.  He hauled in many boards on both ends of the floor, and he would leap up to collect numerous defensive boards in traffic.  In addition, he also managed to score on a put back off of an offensive rebound in this game.

Plus, he also showed off good defensive skills.  Tatum was able to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing solid length, athletic ability, and timing, and he also managed to heap on a loose ball to collect a steal.  Plus, he showed a decent ability to contest shots to force misses.  But sometimes, he would give up too much space to shooters, and he also committed one foul on a drive to the hoop.

In general, Jayson Tatum put forth a very good showing, as he played well on both ends of the floor to help get his team the victory.  He made a lot of impactful plays throughout the contest, and he has a solid set of all-around skills that could enable him to be a very good pick in the lottery for the upcoming draft.

Notre Dame’s 6-8 senior forward, V.J. Beachem also played very well in this game.  He showed off strong shooting and scoring skills, as well as considerable athletic ability, and he also was active defensively in his team’s loss to Duke.

Beachem showed off a solid ability to attack the basket to garner scores.  He did a very good job of getting scores off the dribble, as he played with patience and poise to score in the half court, and he also managed to throw down an emphatic dunk on the break.  Plus, he also was able to make a quick backdoor cut to the hoop to throw down a thunderous jam to help his team.

Also, he showed a good ability to knock down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  Beachem was able to make a couple of spot-up threes off the catch, as well as a couple of pull-up, mid-range jumpers in this game.  However, he also missed a couple of open shots, as he may have missed several opportunities to put up even more points on the board.  He also showed off decent playmaking skills, as he did a good job of limiting his turnovers on offense.  But he did commit one turnover, as he was called for a traveling violation off the dribble.  He did not grab many rebounds in this game, but he hauled in boards on both ends of the floor, as he was able to collect multiple offensive rebounds in this game.

Beachem also showcased adequate defensive skills.  He showed quick hands that enabled him to obtain steals, and he was able to score on a fast break dunk off of his second one.  Plus, he also showed a solid ability to block shots when he was on the floor.  However, he also had some lapses defensively, that led him to commit fouls and allow scores.

In general, Beachem put forth a solid performance in his team’s loss to Duke.  He did a very good job of scoring the basketball, and he was quite active as a defender when he was on the court.  He displayed a diverse skill set than he appeared to show previously, and he could end up being a solid pick in the late first round of the upcoming draft.

Duke’s junior guard, Grayson Allen also played very well to help lead his team to a double-digit victory over Notre Dame.  He showed off great shooting and scoring skills, and he also defended well to help his team get the win.

Allen showed off a terrific ability to make jumpers to space the floor for Duke.  He did a very good job of making threes and mid-range shots off the catch, as he showed a knack for making outside shots after running off of screens, and he also was able to score on pull-up jumpers.  Allen has a quick release that enabled him to easily get his shot off, and he really shot the ball well in this game.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  He showed a solid ability to find shooters to notch assists.  But he also committed several turnovers, as he at times would struggle to protect the basketball, and on other occasions he would get sloppy with his footwork on drives to the basket.

In this game, Allen showed off a decent ability to rebound the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass on the defensive end, though he did commit a foul on an opponent’s put back attempt once.  Also, Allen showcased solid defensive skills.  He managed to block a shot off of a drive, and he also excelled at staying in front of his man to contest shots in order to force misses.

In general, Allen played a solid all-around game, as he put forth a strong showing to lead his team to a double-digit victory.  He has bounced back quite nicely after experiencing shooting woes against NC State, and it is encouraging to see him play well since.  If he keeps this up, he could end up being a solid pick for a team in the late first round this year.

Notre Dame’s 6-5 junior forward, Bonzie Colson also put forth a good peformance in his team’s loss to Duke.  He showed off solid inside scoring, rebounding, and defensive skills as he played well on both ends of the floor in this contest.  Colson showed off a solid ability to finish plays in the paint.  He was able to score on a put back off of an offensive rebound, as well as off of a backdoor cut, as he has good strength, shooting touch, and body control to get numerous scores around the basket.

Also, he showed a very good ability to garner scores in the post, as well as off the dribble.  Colson was able to make a couple of fadeaway jumpers over Jefferson when he would post him up on the block, and he showed the ability to score on taller defenders in the paint.  Plus, he also excelled as a scorer off the dribble, and he was able to make a floater after using a pump fake move once.  He also was able to show the ability to make mid-range jumpers, as he did so once against Duke.  However, Colson was unable to knock down a three off of a pick and pop play, as he will likely need to work on his jump shot for the next level.

Colson did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was especially active on the defensive glass.  He also played solid defense against Duke.  He did a good job of playing passing lanes to help his team get steals, and he also used his length to contest shots to force misses.  He did commit one foul off of a drive, but Colson generally played solid defense for his team.

In summary, Bonzie Colson had a solid showing, as he excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and defender in the loss to Duke.  He mainly excelled at making plays in the paint, and while it may be uncertain if he may have sufficient perimeter skills for the next level, he is a productive player that could be a worthwhile pick for a team in the second round portion of the upcoming draft.

Duke’s 6-5 senior guard, Matt Jones also had a very good game, as he helped lead his team to defeat Notre Dame on this day.  He showed off tremendous shooting and scoring skills, and he was able to make key contributions to help get his team the victory.  Matt Jones did a very good job of making jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He was able to make a spot-up three off the catch, and he also used a step back move to knock down a pull-up, mid-range jumper.

Plus, he excelled as a scorer in the paint.  Jones was able to draw free throws on a drive, score on a put back off of an offensive rebound, and he also managed to score on a strong cut to the hoop and get an extra free throw afterwards.  Jones showed great shot selection and versatility as a scorer against Notre Dame.

Also, he showed good playmaking skills in this game.  Jones played very unselfishly, and he displayed a knack to find the open man to collect assists for his team.  He also was able to set an off-ball screen after finding an open shooter in the corner to set up a score.  He was called for a traveling violation on a drive, but generally Jones showed off strong decision-making skills when he was on the court.

Jones also showed a decent ability to rebound the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to score on a put back off of an offensive rebound in this game.  He also showcased adequate defensive skills. He showed off quick hands to help his team get steals and deflections.  He did give up too much space to allow a three-point score once, but he generally made it tough for his opponents to make plays on offense.

In general, Matt Jones played well on both ends of the floor, and he did a terrific job on offense to help get his team the victory.  He is a sharp shooter that may project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA, and he could be a solid find for a team in the association.

Duke’s 6-5 sophomore guard Luke Kennard also played fairly well, as he made shots and excelled as a scorer in a win for his team.  He showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers from the floor.  He is a crafty player that has a wide array of moves, and he can make pull-up jumpers, and he can use a step through move to garner scores.  While he did not take as many threes as he normally does, he was able to make a three off the catch.

He also showed a good ability to score in the paint.  Kennard was able to get a score on a cut to the hoop, and he also showed the ability to draw fouls when he would look to score off the dribble.  He did struggle to find his shooting touch early in the match, but Kennard was able to get into a rhythm as the game wore on.

Plus, he also displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  Kennard showed a knack for finding the open man when he was on the floor, and he also generally handled the ball well.  He did commit on turnover though, as he committed a traveling violation on a drive to the hoop.  Though he did not collect many boards in this game, Kennard was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, including one where he ran down a ball to obtain a defensive rebound for his team, and leapt up to get another.

However, he struggled to defend the opposition in this game.  He had trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he would tend to end up committing fouls, and allow scores on that end of the floor.  Kennard’s lack of ideal foot speed or lateral quickness really made it tough for him to stay in front of his man, and he ended up fouling out of this game.

In general, Luke Kennard put forth a fairly good showing, as he played well on offense in his team’s win over Notre Dame.  But questions about his game may persist, as he struggled to collect many rebounds or to defend well on this day.  Still, with his skill set, he could end up being a quality pick for a team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming NBA draft.

Other Notes:

Duke’s 6-9 senior big man, Amile Jefferson played well early on, as he made his first three shots of the game.  He demonstrated a prowess for getting quick scores off the dribble, especially from the high post as he showed a deft crossover move to get buckets.  But after he scored on a turnaround jump hook in the post, Jefferson struggled to make shots in the post later on, as he had trouble consistently scoring on jump hooks later in the game.  He started out making his first three shots, but he ended the game by missing his last four shots in this match.

He also showed off decent playmaking skills.  He showed the ability to make an accurate high pass to hit a cutter to set up a scoring chance.  However, he was inaccurate with his pass another time, which led him to commit a turnover.  While he did not collect many rebounds in this game, Jefferson was able to haul in a board on each end of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He was active as a help defender, as he would block a shot off of a drive, and play passing lanes to get a deflection and a steal for his team.

However, he tended to struggle to defend in the paint as a position defender.  He had some trouble guarding Colson in the post, as he allowed scores on fadeaway jumpers.  He also struggled to consistently defend drives, and he tended to commit touch fouls as a result.  Also, there was another time where he gave up too much space to a shooter, which led him to allow a mid-range jumper to the opposition.

Overall, Amile Jefferson did not have his best game, as he his highs and lows throughout the contest.  He started off playing very well, but he later had trouble matching his early production, as he was unable to score or grab many rebounds after getting six quick points at the start.  Still, he has been a valuable role player throughout his collegiate career for Duke, and he may have the smarts and skills to make a roster in the NBA despite his struggles in his return from injury so far.

Duke’s freshman big man, Harry Giles had an uneven performance, as he had a really slow start in the beginning, but he started to play well late in this game.  He did not play much overall, as he struggled to stay away from foul trouble, but he played well when he was not committing fouls.

Late in the game, Giles was really able to let his skills show.  He was active as a scorer and rebounder in the paint as the game was winding down, and Giles was able to score on a put back for his team.  Plus, he also showed a willingness to pass the basketball, and in the first half, Giles was able to notch an assist for his team.

Right now, Harry Giles may not be ready to play yet in the NBA, but he does possess an intriguing set of skills.  He is a capable scorer that can really excel at getting buckets in the paint, and he is also a tremendous rebounder.  However, Giles will likely need to improve defensively, and he will need to find more ways to stay on the floor in games.  If he can continue to refine his overall game, Giles could end up being a very good player in the association.

Duke’s freshman combo guard Frank Jackson did not have his best game, but he did show good defensive skills, as he showed off quick hands and instincts to obtain steals for his team.  But he did not look for his shot often, and he was turnover prone on offense as he showed hasty decision-making skills in this game.

In short, Jackson is a talented player, but he has been quite inconsistent in games, and perhaps frustratingly so, and he may need to prove to NBA teams that he can effectively run the point when he is tasked to do so.

Overall, this was quite an entertaining game, as both teams shot the ball well, and played at a solid pace throughout this contest.  Ultimately, Duke was able to solid plays down the stretch to help get the victory on the road.